Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Coming Clean with My Beauty Products

 A few weeks ago after I did my post on my favorite Beauty products, I got several emails and comments alerting me that some of the products I used were not safe, especially my beloved Cetaphil.  I really appreciated everyone that commented and alerted me to the unsafe items I was using.  You see I knew some of my beauty products were probably not the best for me but I turned a blind eye and didn't take the time to dig deep and do the research. It was easier just to keep using what I was using.

The funny thing is I am so particular about what I use on my kids but not me.  I decided it was time to make a change and toss some of my old products and start taking better care of my skin and body.  Something that really stuck with me is the fact that our skin is the largest organ on our body.  Everything we put on it is absorbed- especially lotions.  I immediately threw away my cetaphil and a few other products after that post.

 Enter my friend Christi Hucks.  Christi contacted me after my post about my favorite beauty items and alerted me that many were toxic.  She shared so much helpful information with me.  Christi and I have actually never met in person but we connected via social media.  I started following her last year when she did the One Year Wardrobe Resolution and went a whole year without buying any new clothes or accessories.  I was so impressed with her dedication and feel the same way about her work now.   She is now a rep with Beautycounter which is rapidly growing as one of the biggest  "safe" cosmetics  and beauty line.   She offered to do a post for my blog answering questions I had and I thought it was a great idea.  Also what better time than October- Breast Cancer Awareness month.

I am not saying either of us are experts ( I am most certainly not)  but we are just trying to learn all the facts we can about the Beauty Industry here in the US and why there are not more restrictions.  I wanted to share the info I received with others who may not know all the scary details like me a few weeks ago. Some of the facts and stats are frightening especially the ones involving breast cancer.

I am sure by now most of you are familiar with Beauty Counter. I have mentioned it several times on here before and I truly love so many of their products.  Their main mission is to get safe products into the hands of everyone and I love that.

Below are a few of my favorite Beauty Counter Items. After I tossed my Cetaphil Christi was sweet enough to send some of the Beautycounter Body Butter to try as a replacement.  Well I love it and it is now my everyday lotion.  A little bit goes a long way so it lasts awhile.

 If you are looking for other "safe" lines that I really like I also suggest Tata Harper, Josie Maran, and RMS Beauty (their coconut oil wipes are a must).

Enlightening Treatment Pads | Kids Bath Collection | Lip Sheer | Body Butter
Body Scrub | Concealer | Tinted Moisturizer | Restorative Night Cream


I compiled a list of my questions for Christi to answer and wanted to share her answers.

What ingredients should we as consumers be on look out for on our beauty labels that are particularly bad?

At Beautycounter we have a Never List of over 1500 ingredients, and I refer everyone to that list when scanning product labels for toxic ingredients. Here are the main chemical groups to avoid:

I know you mentioned Cetaphil as containing un-safe ingredients any other familiar brands that are also un-safe?

I usually don't like to name specific companies, rather I prefer to educate everyone on where to find the safety scores on the brands they are currently using. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is one of our trusted non-profits and they have an extensive database of over 60,000 products. Each product is given safety score on a scale of 1-10, with 1-2 being the "green zone." This is where you want all of your personal care products to be. You can find this database at www.ewg.org/skindeep or you can download the Skin Deep app to your phone. I do like to make the disclaimer that many products are not in the system. The reason for this is because, by law, there has been no regulation in the personal care industry since 1938. And companies are not required to list their ingredients on their products. Without full disclosure, it is impossible for the EWG to give an accurate safety score. My recommendation is to stick to products you can find in the system. If it's not in there, it should be a red flag. 

Why does the US not have the same restrictions on beauty items like Europe?

The US has not passed a federal law governing the personal care industry since 1938. This is alarming! Furthermore, the law that was passed is just 1 1/2 pages long and only bans 11 ingredients. Europe currently bans over 1300 ingredients from their personal care products.

Is there anything we can do to petition to have more restrictions placed on what is used in our Beauty Industry?

Absolutely! First and foremost, cast your "vote" for the world you want tomorrow by choosing to buy safe products today. Boycott toxic products.
As our Founder and CEO Gregg Renfrew says, "When the tide rises, all ships sail." When we all unite and make safer choices, companies will start to pay attention. It is consumerism that ultimately drives the market. If we stop buying toxic products, they will be forced to make a change. 

You can also contact your state senators and congressmen. Let them know where you stand on these issues. The more they hear about these issues, the more likely they will be to add it to the agenda. There is strength in numbers. Add your voice to the movement.

Top 5 Favorite Beautycounter Items?

Wow! This is super hard. I literally use and love everything! But if I had to pick my 5 that I couldn't live without, this would be the list:

1. Lustro Face Oils - #1 is for sensitive skin, #2 is for anti-aging, and #3 is for acne-prone skin and rosacea. They can be used alone or mixed with one of our moisturizers. I prefer to mix 2-3 drops with the Essentials Every Night Cream at bedtime. 

3. Nourishing Cleansing Balm - This product is truly a miracle in a jar! It has 101 uses. You can use it as a cleanser, mask, or an overnight treatment. I have really dry hands and feet so I use it on them at night. This product also cured my son's eczema. I'm obsessed.

Why Use Beautycounter?

At Beautycounter, we ban over 1500 ingredients from our products - more than any other company on the planet. We also have one of the most rigorous and strictest ingredient screening processes, and we have the highest level of transparency of any brand on the market. We are also a B Corp. This means we have a triple bottom line of people, planet, and profits. We have to meet extremely strict standards (like having a zero-carbon footprint and using sustainably harvested/fair trade ingredients). Some other famous B Corps include Patagonia and Ben & Jerry's. We are also proud to partner with 3 trusted non-profits: Healthy Child Healthy World, The EWG, and The Breast Cancer Fund.

Any other favorite lines that are natural and safe to use?
When it comes to beauty, Beautycounter is definitely my favorite. But other safe brands that I would recommend are Tata Harper, Ava Anderson, and Honest.

Is there one item that if you are going to buy anything natural it should be that item? 
Organic Coconut Oil. You can use it for almost everything!

Any other important stats we as consumer should know?
Since we are highlighting Breast Cancer this month, I will start there. Currently, 1 out of 8 women will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Of those women, only 10% carry the BRCA gene. This means that 90% of the women being diagnosed have no family history of the disease. 
Here is an info graphic on some other scary statistics.

 I also want to mention Christi is donating 100% of proceeds from the sale of "pink" products this month.  Pink products are:
beauty counter 2

Huge Thank you to Christi for educating me and inspiring me to change my beauty habits!

I would like to note I am not affiliated with Beauty Counter and was not paid to write this post. I truly love their products and have been using them for over a year now.  I have joined together to help Christi host an online social for the next two weeks that you can shop HERE.


Pink Flamingo Style said...

LOVE THIS!! The blog world needs more of this ... honesty and education about the products we are using. I am just as guilty of using Cetaphil and not researching what is in it. I actually thought it was a good choice a dermatologist would pick. So glad you posted this!

katmcd said...

Thanks for this. I am going to look up the things I use tonight. It might be lazy but I never really thought about what I use- does it work?yes, okay, I will use it. Definitely need to be better.

Melissa said...

Natalie, I'm disappointed with this post as I love your blog so much! Toxic is a strong word--- Some of the products mentioned can be an irritant to some but not "toxic." Where is the scientific data behind this? Also, the sheets you posted as too small to read. :( Look forward to tomorrow's post.

Catherine Kummer said...

Hi there! I love Beauty Counter and love your blog, and I too was totally discouraged by the negative claims around Cetaphil - let's be honest, who hasn't been using Cetaphil since middle school!?! That is until I dug into the "research" a bit further. The majority of claims are not coming from doctors or scholarly journals, but more so big business that is working to push other products. While research is always needed I would be careful about claims and how they are tied back to dollars. I hope this helps!

Lisa said...

Check out the "think dirty" app. You can scan products and get their rating. My favorite newborn shampoo is a 9 :( I couldn't believe it!

HeatherM said...

Just because a chemical is present, does not mean it is harmful in the AMOUNT present. Heck A LOT of these "ingredients" in this so called list are found NATURALLY in foods.

Sarah said...

I agree with Heather M. Too much of anything, even too much water, can be considered toxic. Since when was "chemical" deemed a bad word? While I identify with Beauty Counter's mission (and even used some of their products-love the oil!), I am disappointed with how many of their claims, when you did deeper, are not well substantiated by science. However, it sells!
Also, how about a little more credit to our skin? It is a beast of a barrier! The amount of systemic absorption from anything applied topically is minimal.
-from someone who works in biomedical research who loves your blog, uses Beauty Counter and Cetaphil!