I'm back! Wow has a lot happened since my last post! Yes, my baby bump is growing, and as much as I would love to share a baby Frederick update with you today I want to share another piece of my heart.
If you read THIS POST you know that our journey took a few years and while it was tricky to be in that season I will forever be grateful for it.
You see, without that part of our journey I wouldn't know what I know now when it pertains to safer beauty products.
Let's rewind 3 years, better yet to my 6th grade year of grade school. That's the year it all started; acne, cramps that lead me to miss school and yes my doctor placing me on birth control to try and contain most of that. I remember crying to my mom that I didn't want people to think I was a slut and she assured me that no one would have to know. We got most of the cramps under control, but the acne never really went away.
Five years ago I jumped on a very popular bandwagon with products that were being sold by independent distributors or consultants and what miracle products those were. For a year and a half I was an avid, twice a day, user of said products and then with a simple question from my doctor it all changed.
"Christina, what daily products are you using?"
My initial thought was why does my facewash, shampoo, lotion, you name it matter? Well, because your skin is your largest organ and what you put on your body ends up in your body.
When I told her what I was using she simply cautioned me to do some research and look in to alternatives. When I began educating myself on what I was putting on my body I was shocked!
I was slathering my skin every day with ALL of the following by only using the two lines of products I had:
- Benzalkonium chloride - a disinfectant used as a preservative and surfactant associated with severe skin, eye, and respiratory irritation and allergies.
- BHA and BHT - synthetic antioxidants used to extend shelf life. Studies have shown they are likely carcinogens and hormone disruptors and may cause liver damage.
- Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) - a chelating (binding) agent added to cosmetics to improve stability. Studies have shown toxicity to organs.
- Formaldehyde - used as a preservative in cosmetics. A known carcinogen that is also linked to asthma, neurotoxicity, and developmental toxicity. Present in the following ingredients: quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol (Bronopol), and several other preservatives are listed.
- Hydroquinone - a skin-lightening chemical that inhibits the production of melanin and is linked to cancer, organ toxicity, and skin irritation.
- Methylisothiazolinone - chemical preservatives that are among the most common irritants, sensitizers, and causes of contact skin allergies.
- Oxybenzonergies - sunscreen agent and ultraviolet light absorber linked to irritation, sensitization and allergies, and possible hormone disruption.
- Parabens (methyl-, propyl-) (found 50 times on said company's website product list) - a class of preservatives commonly used to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Parabens are endocrine (or hormone) disruptors, which may alter important hormone mechanisms in our bodies.
- Polyethylene glycol (PEG compounds) (found 27 times on said company's website product list) - PEGs are widely used in cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers. Depending on manufacturing processes, PEGs may be contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, which are both carcinogens.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS and SLES) - SLS and SLES are surfactants that can cause skin irritation or trigger allergies. SLES is often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a byproduct of a petrochemical process called ethoxylation, which is used to process other chemicals in order to make them less harsh.
- Synthetic flavor or fragrance (multiple leads to this being present in the company's said products, but when you search the ingredient list the result reads "A description for this result is not available because of this site's robots.txt") - an engineered scent or flavoring agent that may contain any combination of 3,000-plus stock chemical ingredients, including hormone disruptors and allergens. Fragrance formulas are protected under federal law’s classification of trade secrets and therefore can remain undisclosed.
- Toluene - a volatile petrochemical solvent that is toxic to the immune system and can cause birth defects.
- Triclocarban (multiple leads to this being present in said company's products, but when you search the ingredient list the result reads "A description for this result is not available because of this site's robots.txt") - antimicrobial pesticides toxic to the aquatic environment; may also impact human reproductive systems.
NOTE: These ingredients are all part of BeautyCounters "Never List." The Never List™ is made up of more than 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals that we never use as ingredients in our products. This includes the over 1,400 chemicals banned or restricted in personal care products by the European Union, plus additional chemicals screened by Beautycounter and found to be of concern.
I also found that the United States has not passed a major federal law to regulate the safety of ingredients used in personal care products since 1938!
Y'ALL! My jaw hit the floor. I was so ashamed at the fact that I had no earthly idea what harm I was doing to my body. I quickly started to do research on well preforming products that were clean.
I quickly threw away hundreds of dollars of products, some of which were brand new and unopened, and got in to contact with the one person I knew was a consultant for BeautyCounter.
For two years I have been an avid user of these amazing products, have become an ambassador for safer beauty and have learned more than I ever thought when it comes to words like "natural," "clean," "organic" and yes even "safe."
Yes, we have now reached the part where I tell you that I am so excited to now be a consultant with BeautyCounter!
You see after two years of watching this amazing company grow, head to Capitol Hill to lobby for better regulations and appear on the Today Show I couldn't sit back any longer. The BC mission is to "get safer products into the hands of everyone" and I couldn't be more excited to be part of just that.
If you only read one part of this post please read this.
Do your homework. Look at the ingredients that you are putting on your body, your spouses body and the skin of your children.
The Environmental Working Group is a great advocate for safer products and a great source to check in on what is happening in the beauty industry. I have this page tagged as one of my favorites and have been surprised to read facts and learn things that I didn't know before.
Of course, if you are curious about BeautyCounter I would love to chat! From skincare and makeup to sunscreen for the summer I now have access to it all. I am learning more and more each day and would love to help equip you with better knowledge and products for your home and the people that you love.
Images via: BeautyCounter Instagram