I’ve become a bit of a health junkie in recent years. I try to take care of my body by eating clean and exercising regularly (Zumba and running are my favorite). I have always tried to eat healthy, but I had no idea that many of the products I was lathering on my face and body everyday contained toxic ingredients. Most of these chemicals get absorbed into our bloodstream and affect our overall health.
Two years ago, I began doing a lot of research into beauty products, and the number of toxic chemicals that were lining my bathroom sink & shower left me in shock and afraid of what I’ve been putting on my body for so many years. After all, our skin is our largest organ and anything put on it is absorbed into our bodies. Unfortunately, companies are allowed to use known toxins—ingredients that have been linked to cancer, reproductive issues, and hormone disruption—without ever disclosing these ingredients to us. In addition, the EU has banned over 1400 chemical substances and marked them as “toxic”, banning them from use in skincare products, whereas the US has only banned 30. Seems crazy, right? In light of these dramatic statistics, I have done a lot of research, and I’ve made a personal decision to read the ingredients on everything I put on and in my body.
The problem is that there is an utter lack of chemical policy in this country (for more, read this) that is pretty terrifying, primarily because most people mistakenly believe that like many other things in the U.S., the personal care industry is highly-regulated. It’s not. At all. What’s worse is the flagrant green-washing and marketing—“natural,” “organic,” “pure”—that lulls people into believing that they’re making safe, health-centric choices. Many products that are deemed to be “all-natural” and “organic” actually use harsh chemicals. This is because of the lack of regulations in the beauty industry with companies not having to disclose the dangers of their ingredients. That’s just not ok. Especially when many of the harmful ingredients found in personal care products have been linked to cancer, asthma, hormonal issues, infertility.
I had enough of the toxins and decided it was time to make a REAL change. Cleaning up my skincare and makeup has been an eye opening and interesting journey, and it’s not something that happens overnight. We have been switching out everything from skincare, makeup, toothpaste, laundry detergent and cleaning supplies. I have done a lot of research and made a personal commitment to avoid toxins in products, so I read the ingredients of everything I put on & in my body. I’ve even got my husband on board too! Some of my favorite resources for verifying product safety are Environmental Working Group and Think Dirty. If you are curious about ingredients and their effect on your health, you can use one of these apps like the Skin Deep database from the EWG to scan your products. You may be surprised by what you find out!
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) uses toxicity level ranking system to check every ingredient for safety – all of Beautycounter’s products for example are a 0, 1, or 2 on the scale. Anything 2 or under is considered non-toxic and safe. You can type in your products or scan the barcode to receive detailed rankings.
The good news in all of this is that the personal care industry is finally cleaning up its act, in large part because of pressure from consumers like all of us who are clamoring for safer options and more transparency about ingredients and formulas. There are some great companies working hard to create safer skincare products and to change the industry. These products work better than the department store brands we have learned to love and they are better for you! Beautycounter is the best company I have found, and I have seen a dramatic difference in my skin since I started using it.
The following is a list of ingredients that Beautycounter has committed never to use because of their harmful effects. Screenshot to help serve as a cheat sheet the next time you are shopping. We all deserve to know what’s in our products so that we can make informed decisions.
What I like about Beautycounter (in addition to there amazing producsts) is that their main priority is to educate and advocate for safer products. They aren’t solely focused on profits like the majority of other companies out there. Beautycounter offer everything from makeup, skincare, anti-aging, bath, hair, body, and baby products which work like conventional products, but are safer than their mainstream counterparts. My skin looks better than ever and, because they’re free from the most abhorrent toxic chemicals, I feel good about using them. I decided to become a Beautycounter consultant, not because having a full-time career in medical sales and managing my blog aren’t enough to throw me into a tailspin, but because I wanted to get the word out about the harmful ingredients hiding on shelves and let people know there are safer alternatives.
We all deserve to make informed decisions about the food we eat and the products we put on our skin. It is an ongoing process for me and I love researching and sharing about our journey. I would love to hear from you about your favorite non-toxic products or try to answer any questions you may have.
As you can tell, I’ve become a huge fan of Beautycounter since I started using it 2 years ago. I feel passionate about their mission to clean up the skincare industry, and I genuinely love all of their products. In the mornings, I use the Rejuvenating serum (one of my favorite products), the Dew Skin tinted moisturizer which contains SPF 20 for sun protection, aling with the Tint Skin foundation (and pretty much every other product they have!)… I love that it is more than just makeup, it also hydrates and plumps skin. I always see an immediate difference when I use it. I also use this cleanser every night to take off all the dead skin with my clarisonic (#obsessed). When I feel that my face needs to detox, I love using the charcoal mask – Holy moly, it’s like a magic trick to brighten & tighten skin! At night, I use the cleansing balm , which hydrates while it cleanses, removing make-up and impurities, but never stripping the skin of its moisture. 100% of the women who use this product showed a significant increase in skin hydration after only eight hours. I also can’t go without using this balancing face oil which, unlike most synthetic oils on the shelves, is easily absorbed and serves as the best moisturizer my skin has ever met. It is my favorite product of ALL TIME, and it has dramticaly changed my skin (goodbye breakouts, hello clear skin!). I wear the Rose lipstick with the Hibiscus cream blush, the mascara and the setting powder eveyday. I also loooove the shimmer oil not only because it is moisturizing, but it also helps provide the perfect shimmer & hint of tan color to help my pale skin (AND it scares away mosquitos with Rosemary – Huge for me!). Click here to see all of my favorite beauty products that I use on the regular!
Click here to read my post about the importance of sun safety. Unfortunately, all sunscreens are not created equal. Mineral sunscreens (using zinc and titanium dioxide) block UVA & UVB by keeping them from absorbing into the skin, while chemical sunscreens actually absorb the sun’s harmful rays & act as hormone disruptors. I use the EWG Skin Deep database to research the safety and ingredients and BEautycounter ranks among the best rated sunscreens for safety & effectiveness.
A few other things that I have contributed to the better health of my skin…
Apple Cider Vinegar: I never thought there would come a time that I would be able to tolerate this stuff, much less crave it, but now I drink it every morning with water when I wake up… And I love it! It gives me an energy boost, helps control blood sugar, clears skin, normalizes pH, and so much more! Shocker of the year.
Dairy free is the life for me. Sadly this means cheese and milk (cue the tears!) Studies show that 80- 85% of adult acne is connected to the consumption of dairy, which is an inflammatory. I have always been lactose intolerant, but I tortured myself because I love, love, love cheese and yogurt. They were difficult to part with. However, once I cut them from my diet, I saw a measurable difference in the appearance of my skin, as well as my allergies! Like night and day – my life is completely changed from years of fighting insane allergies and hormonal breakouts. For most people, it’s nearly impossible to cut all dairy from your diet, especially when dining out at restaurants. But I don’t have dairy in our home anymore, and I only eat it if I have to in social settings. When I first cut it out, there was a huge difference in my skin and it took only two weeks for the impact to be noticeable. I am now happily obsessed with almond milk! Thank god for yummy tasting & healthy alternatives!
Disclaimer: I am by no means a natural skincare or makeup expert, nor am I trying to sell you a bunch of stuff. Like with anything else I recommend on my blog, I just want to share my experience with making the switch to natural skincare and makeup products, and how they’re affecting my life personally. Plus, um HELLO those chemicals…EW. I love spreading awareness and sharing education, especially when it comes to our health. I hope this helped you.