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July 19, 2017
This is a guest post from Kate Robichaud, Senior Manager at Beautycounter
Five years ago, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Grave’s, which affects your thyroid production. It was managed well with medication and my quality of life was good. After my second child was born, the symptoms worsened. I suffered from heart palpitations, dizzy spells, anxiety, weight gain and I struggled to get enough energy to make it through each day. My doctor’s conclusion was that the drugs were no longer effective and the best route would be to take my thyroid out, which meant I’d be on a different medication for the rest of my life. I was determined to find a different way.
I dove into the research and, through the support of natural care professionals, started making huge changes to my lifestyle. When you have a weak immune system, toxins can wreak havoc on your body, so it’s important to reduce your exposure. I started looking at what was going in my body, on my body and what I was using around the house. I switched to a paleo diet and started buying only organic. I started cleaning with essential oils and natural products. I always thought I had been making good decisions for myself and my family for our skincare but it wasn’t until I started to educate myself that I realized my choices were not as good as I had been led to believe. What you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream very quickly. When I was introduced to Beautycounter it was like finding my holy grail. I didn’t have to stress and analyze each purchase, obsessively pouring over ingredient lists. With Beautycounter’s commitment to transparency and safety, they earned my trust. Within six weeks of making these small but sweeping changes I was in remission!
What I’ve learned is that sometimes the smallest changes can have the biggest impact. Beautycounter’s Founder and CEO, Gregg Refrew, started making small changes to all areas of her life years ago after seeing The Inconvenient Truth. She had no idea we were being exposed to so many chemicals. She swapped glass for plastic, started using natural cleaning products, she even changed out her mattress! Gregg couldn’t find skincare and cosmetics that met her needs from a performance standpoint while simultaneously being safer for her health. This led her to launching Beautycounter, creating the movement for better beauty which has disrupted the beauty industry. She has welcomed thousands of women and men to join her on this mission and I am thrilled to be apart of it. Our mission: to get safer products into the hands of everyone. There are so many health concerns these days from asthma, allergies, infertility, cancer and hormone disruption and I want my children to be able to walk into a store, grab something off the shelf and not have to question if it’s safe.
That will have a big impact on your health, and the planet
Did you know that your skin is your body’s largest organ? What you put on your skin and what comes in contact with your skin - like laundry detergent - is just as important as what you put in your body. Many detergents contain potentially harmful ingredients which will sit next to your skin for a lengthy period of time and can be absorbed.
Buying your fruit, vegetables and meat organic is an easy way to reduce the number of chemicals you are exposed to on a daily basis. There are great options for sourcing organic foods affordably these days, with many communities having weekly local organic delivery boxes.You can also have a look into CSAs (community supported agriculture) during your local growing season. Find a farm to buy your meat from, often times buying organic meat direct from the farmer is the same price as conventional at the grocery store. If budget is a concern, prioritize! EWG’s dirty dozen and clean fifteen list can help you determine what fruits and vegetables have the highest risk of chemical contamination and which ones are okay to buy conventional.
The air in your home can become contaminated by cleaning products, furniture, fabrics and synthetic building materials. Pollen, bacteria and mold can also contribute to indoor air pollution. Plants do a great job at purifying the air. Try an easy to care for plant such as a spider plant, dracaena or aloe vera.
Perfume typically contains synthetic fragrances, which can be a combination of dozens of chemicals. Fragrance can cause asthma attacks, trigger dermatitis, and disrupt hormones. Choose essential oils instead, which are extracted from plants. Bonus - they also address various skin, emotional and wellbeing concerns.
Pick a safe sunscreen. Chemical sunscreens work by acting like a sponge and absorbing the sun’s rays when they hit your skin - think about that for a moment - and are known to cause allergic reactions and hormone disruption. Physical sunscreen like Zinc oxide or Titaium Oxide act as a shield by reflecting and scattering UV rays to prevent them from penetrating or damaging the skin. In addition, Oxybenzone, which is found in many chemical sunscreens, is known to cause damage to coral reefs. Choose a sunscreen with non-nano zinc oxide - a mineral that protects against both UVA and UVB rays and hasn’t been found to be dangerous to the ocean ecosystem.
Tip: The easiest way I’ve found to make sure I’m choosing the healthiest products is using The Environmental Working Group’s app Healthy Living when I’m shopping. You can plug in the product into their huge database and it will rate it for you on the spot.
Decades of studies indicate that serious health issues are on the rise and are due in part to our ongoing exposure to toxic chemicals. There are more than 80,000 chemicals in personal products on the market today. Many don’t have any safety data. This is particularly true of those used in the skincare and beauty industry. What’s worse is that the Food and Drug Administration (the agency that regulates cosmetics in the United States) continues to allow companies to use chemicals known to be extremely harmful.
Over the past two decades, the European Union has banned more than 1,300 chemicals in the product formulas of personal care products and restricted the levels of over 250 more in such products. The United States has only partially banned 30 of those chemicals to date and Canada has banned 600.
Just like buying more ethical fashion, we deserve better and need to, as consumers, take an active role in understanding what is in our beauty products, and the effects on our health.
At Beautycounter, we’re committed to a health and safety standard that goes well beyond what’s required by Canadian and U.S. law: We’ve banned the use of more than 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals through our "Never List”—all while ensuring our products perform and that they’re as indulgent as any other luxe shampoo, lipstick, or oil in the market.
Simple swap outs of everyday beauty products can make a huge difference to your health.This is about progress—not perfection, because every little bit counts.
We’d like to help you get started with a giveaway from ENCIRCLED and BEAUTYCOUNTER.
This prize pack includes Beautycounter Cleansing Balm, Colour Pinch Cream Blusher in Hibiscus, Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion, No.1 Brightening Face Oil, paired with our Transform Legwarmer, The Travelista Headband and a $25 Gift Card to Encircled.
1. Follow @kates.clean.slate and @encircled_ on Instagram.2. Tag a friend who loves natural beauty on the Encircled Instagram entry post.
Good luck! For details on rules an regulations, see here: Rules and Regulations
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