Of course, the most obvious place to start was with food, right? I slowly transitioned my diet to mostly whole foods, decided to shop local and organic whenever possible, cut out artificial ingredients, blah, blah, blah. So, what to detoxify next? Thankfully, this was around the time I was introduced to Beautycounter, a personal care company that is on a serious mission to get safer products into the hands of everyone. (shout out to my mentor Katie Hall Ambrosini!)
I wanted to know more immediately, and BOY, was Beautycounter ready to educate (srly, just go to their website)! This company is endlessly passionate about creating REAL change in the beauty industry and they're taking it all the way up to the doors of the White House. Bombarded by all this new info (I am going to try to give you the SparkNotes version here), I was forced to ask myself the ultimate question....
Q: Did I actually know what was in my personal care products?
A: HELL to the NO.
So, let's review: here I am, trying my absolute best to be healthy. I workout. I eat clean. I get 8 hours a night. But from the minute I wakeup to the minute I go to sleep, I am relentlessly exposing myself to harmful and questionable products. K.
Let me hit you with some hard core facts that may or may not knock your socks off...
The US has not passed a major federal law to regulate the safety of ingredients used in personal care products since 1938! WAKE UP, IT'S 2017!
There are more than 80,000 chemicals on the market today, about 90% of which don’t have any safety data...and we are putting them ALL. OVER. OUR. BODIES.
To date, the US has only partially banned 30 chemicals in the formulas of personal care products. (As a comparison, the European Union has banned more than 1,300 chemicals. Canada, around 600.)
Stay with me here. Why is this important to you?
Well because on average, women in America use about 12 personal products daily (men use 6). Take a second to think about your own morning routine. You wake up, shower, wash your face. That’s more than 5 products right there: shampoo, conditioner, body and face wash, body or face lotion. Ladies, what do you reach for next? Most likely your makeup. At least another 5 products right there. Are you a mom? Then you're using diaper cream and baby lotion on your children. Now, take that process and multiply it by 365 days a year. Do you see where I am going with this?
Each product you are lathering all over your skin daily has a dozen or more questionable chemicals in it. Oh, and did I mention that our skin is our LARGEST organ? Although our skin works hard as a barrier to keep out harmful invaders, it is most definitely penetrable! To break it down for you, the topic of skin absorption is highly debated. There are tons of exaggerated claims and statistics out there on skin absorption rates... what particles can penetrate... what can't...contributing factors, etc. So let's bottom line it: continual low-level exposure to these toxic particles on your skin is absolutely capable of causing harm over time! [Cue the ominous music...]
But seriously...the chemicals used in these products have been linked to cancer, reproductive issues, hormone disruption, among a long list of others. A few to worry about include: Phthalates, formaldehyde, arsenic, parfum, titanium dioxide, parabens, talc, lead, BHAs. Did you know about 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime in the US? Or about 1 in 3 children are born with Autism, ADHD, severe allergies, or asthma? These facts are just too crazy to push aside. We are clearly doing something wrong here.
WHAT WE PUT ON OUR SKIN MATTERS. And now it's entirely in your hands. There are so many nontoxic personal care products out there now. Pick one that works for YOU. It may not be Beautycounter, and that's completely OK. But hold yourself accountable. Read your labels. Be a detective. Do your research and make more informed choices to protect yourself and the ones you love most.
More on Beautycounter to come in a later blog. Us Beyar gals have slowly transitioned most of our personal care products over to their stuff. There are SO many reasons why we love about the company, but two of our faves are (1) They are constantly demonstrating their core values of transparency, progress, and education in everything they do (2) They take both safety AND performance into consideration. Beautycounter has a very rigorous screening process and has also created a Never List™ that is made up of more than 1,500 questionable/harmful chemicals that they will never use as ingredients. We are genuinely happy with everything we've tried. I am actually so passionate about the company that I became a consultant. *If you do want to learn more about this, I am here for you. Please email us at email@example.com.
EWG (Environmental Working Group). Skin Deep Cosmetic's Database. Why this matters – Cosmetics and your health. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/2011/04/12/why-this-matters/#
Beauty Counter: We all Deserve Better https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCur_ywX8Lo
The Ugly Truth About The Beauty Industry https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r71fevA_77s
Gregg Renfrew at The Nantucket Project 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InOfmZjCx-I
Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. A project of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners. US Laws. http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/regulations/us-laws/
The Story of Stuff (2010) The Story of Cosmetics http://storyofstuff.org/movies/story-of-cosmetics/
Huffington Post. (2012) Debrah Burnes. Putting It on Your Skin Does Let It in: What’s in Skin Care and How It Affects Your Health http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deborah-burnes/skin-care_b_1540929.html
Ursa Major.(2015) Zoë Furlong https://www.ursamajorvt.com/blogs/the-blog-cabin/37974081-how-do-toxics-enter-our-bodies