Health March 20, 2019

Natural Beauty

YOU GUYS! I am SO excited to share this post! This is truly the moment I have been waiting for.

When I set out on this journey last year, I knew I would need to transition my beauty products at some point. The problem is that chemical free beauty products are HARD to come by. I mean, really hard. Every time I would check a foundation, or body wash on my ‘Think Dirty’ app, I would find harmful chemicals. I have frequently settled for harmful products because of a lack of options. Fortunately, I have found the most AMAZING replacement for most of my products. Before I get into that though, I would like to share a reminder of the WHY behind all of this.

If you haven’t been keeping up with my blog posts, you might not be aware that the cosmetics industry is not regulated by any government body. This means that cosmetic companies, and those companies who produce your personal care products, have no standards to abide by when creating their formulas. The UK bans over 1400 different chemicals from personal care products, while the US only bans about 15 chemicals. This is INCREDIBLY concerning for me. Studies show that over the last 50 years, there has been substantial increases in breast cancer, thyroid cancer, and infertility, among several other auto-immune conditions and diseases. It’s no coincidence that we have also seen a drastic increase in the amount of chemicals used in society during that time.

Even more concerning is the Fragrance loophole. I can’t tell you how many times I have picked up a bottle of lotion or body wash with labeling that seems “clean”, and I find fragrance among the ingredients. Fragrance is considered proprietary knowledge, and companies are not required to share the ingredients they use to create it. There can be 100’s of ingredients within that fragrance, that are not being shared with consumers. This allows companies the opportunity to hide those chemicals thought to cause health concerns.

All of that to say, I have a hard time trusting labels. Even if you go to a store like Trader Joe’s, I think it’s incredibly important to check the ingredients on what you buy. I’ve even asked the ladies at Sephora or Macy’s to direct me to the cleanest products and they don’t really understand what I’m looking for. You truly have to protect yourself as the consumer.

You might be thinking to yourself, “this girl is cray”. I know, I get it. Some people wonder why I care, it’s not like it’s affecting your health all that much. You’re right, and maybe it’s not. However, every thing you put on your skin is absorbed into your body. That should be something we are all concerned about. When you consume something, your body is trying to figure out how to process all of those ingredients, including the chemicals. As a result, your body’s DNA is literally transforming trying to find ways to metabolize what it has just consumed. I deeply believe this is why we have disease, cancer, and infertility. Every tiny bit of chemicals I can cut out of my life, I am going to try and cut out. Our exposure to chemicals is overwhelming and it’s important to be cautious of what we can control.

The Good Stuff 

Alright! Let’s do this! I have recently transitioned all of my personal care products to a company called Beautycounter. I am beyond grateful to have come across this company, and 100% stand behind their products and what they stand for. No, I am not a consultant (that has since changed – I am a consultant because I truly believe in this company’s mission!) and I purchased all of my products with my own money. I am OBSESSED.

In the last year, I experienced some pretty severe acne. Trying to combat my constant breakouts, I tried many different products. I tried a few natural products that I found at my local Rosauer’s grocery store, and didn’t find much relief. I was using a witch hazel toner, hoping that making my skin extra clean would help… it didn’t.

Finally my husband said, maybe you need the chemicals to help your skin clear up. It took me months, but I finally broke down and went to Macy’s for some skin care products. When I walked up to the make up counter, I asked for something with the fewest harmful chemicals. They turned me on to a product made by Bare Essentials, a brand I have trusted for YEARS. I used their make up line religiously in high school, and through my early twenties. I felt confident using their products. Most of Bare Minerals products are reasonably safe, but I found that the cleanser and moisturizer I chose had fragrance listed as an ingredient. Every time I used them, I would cringe knowing what I know.

When I started looking into using Beauty Counter, I noticed they sell body wash and lotion as well. It made me curious to know what ingredients were in my favorite Bath and Body Works products. Interestingly enough, I couldn’t find a list of ingredients on BBW’s packaging or their website. Uhhh, RED FLAG.

Looking more closely, I found fragrance among the ingredients of my body wash. Clever marketing stated it’s ingredients derived from plant based products. This may be true, but there is no clear policy stating what is in this company’s fragrance. People are buying these products thinking they are a healthier option, when sometimes, they’re not!

Beautycounter is completely transparent with their ingredients. On their website, you can find a glossary of every ingredient used in their products. They also share about their ingredient selection process. Beauty Counter does not use ingredients known to be harmful, or potentially harmful. Read more about their ingredient sourcing at the link here:

My absolute FAVORITE buy from this BC haul is the Balancing + Charcoal Facial Mask. This product is to DIE for. Within days, I noticed a significant difference in the appearance in my skin. I use this product 2-3 times a week. Such a great little self-care routine.

I had the opportunity to try the Countermatch and Countercontrol skin care lines. My preference is for a sudsy cleanser, so the Countermatch moisture milk cleanser was not a great fit for me. The moisturizers and serums are to die for though! I opted for the Countercontrol line, which is advertised as a blemish-control regimen. I like to keep it simple and purchased the cleanser and moisturizer. The size of the bottles is surprisingly large, and a small amount of product goes a long way.

My other favorite product is the Overnight Resurfacing Peel. I can’t say enough about the efficacy of this product. Using the resurfacing peel with the charcoal face mask has been a winning combo. I use this product 2-3 times a week right before I go to bed, and have noticed a significant change in the brightness of my complexion. It is on the more expensive side, but in my opinion, is worth every penny!

The body wash and body lotion are an added bonus for me. The beautiful scent left me speechless. It smells fresh, without smelling artificial. Using the lotion on my hands has not proven to be super helpful, I was slightly disappointed by that. However, I do plan to purchase the hand cream and hope it will work a little bit better for my dry hands.

Final Thoughts… 

Switching to cleaner skin care products has given me so much comfort. If you decide to venture out to the Beauty Counter website, you will find that their products are quite expensive compared to many other companies. Everything I have learned has helped me see the value in spending that extra money on products I truly trust. Unfortunately, finding a similar product at Target or Macy’s will prove to be near impossible. If you are interested in learning more about Beautycounter and their mission, I would encourage you to visit their website! Information about their mission, and legislation on the cosmetics industry is plentiful. Their passion in this mission is a big part of my support for their products. I hope you found this information helpful, and inspiring. Until next time…