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Family, Motherhood, Pregnancy & Birth, Wellness

Beautycounter: How My Babies Led Me to Live Clean

It’s Earth Day!

Today’s a great day to share what living clean and living green means to me. Sure, I could talk to you about how we use dryer balls instead dryer sheets, how we make our own multi-purpose cleaners, about our collection of stainless steel canteens and reusable shopping bags, how we buy organic and non-GMO food as much as possible, how we forged ahead into cloth diapering, etc. I plan to share all these thing in time.

Today, however, there’s a concern very close to my heart. It’s an area of our lives which can be easy to overlook, and which could quite possibly be nullifying a large percentage of the efforts and expense which goes into running a greener household and enjoying a healthier lifestyle.

Today I am concerned about my skincare -the beauty, cleansing and care products I put on my body and the bodies of my family every day- and you should be too.

Toxins Can Enter Our Bodies Through Our Skin, and Fast

Did you know that it can take as little as 26 seconds for certain ingredients (including harmful toxins) on our skin to be absorbed into our bloodstream? That’s how essential oils and patches work. Alarmingly, studies of groups of people have shown some concentrations of toxic chemicals in the blood, toxins which are common ingredients in mainstream topical personal care products such as shampoo, skin creams, makeup, sunscreen, etc. The conclusion is that these toxins are being absorbed through the skin.

Though these outer layers of skin do a good job at keeping elements like water from seeping in, absorption of certain chemicals through the skin is very real. Many medicines are delivered through the skin, most often in the form of patches or gels. This method is quite potent and effective at delivering chemicals into our body (it’s even possible to die from an overdose on a fentanyl patch) [Source]

Motherhood Made Me Look for Better

Never has living a cleaner and more natural, toxin-free way of life been more important to me than when I became a mother. Here was this precious, tiny baby who depended on me for everything. I wanted only the best and purest things when it came to what went on and into his/her body. Incredible I know, but it didn’t occur to me until this last pregnancy that what I put on my own body would likewise affect my baby as she developed inside my womb from the nourishment I provided. What went into my bloodstream would cross the placenta, through the umbilical, and cycle through hers.

Over the past fifteen years, more than 10,000 Americans have had their blood tested by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in an attempt to determine their “chemical body burden.” The results of the CDC study were stunning: even those who lived in remote areas were found to have hundreds of synthetic chemicals in their bloodstream1 More disturbingly, this chemical exposure begins even before we take our first breath an astounding 287 chemical toxins have been detected within the umbilical cord blood of newborns. [Source]

 

I was just about 5 months pregnant with my youngest here during a motherhood modeling session last fall.

I Found a Solution I Absolutely Love

I had always avoided wearing makeup as much as possible postpartum because I didn’t feel comfortable with the risk of accidentally getting those products on my newborn. Why, we should be asking, are we forced to carry this burden? Why should we be wary of contaminating our loved ones with our beauty products? Why are we OK contaminating ourselves with them? It wasn’t until this pregnancy that I finally found a solution that gave me the peace of mind I had previously lacked. Enter Beautycounter.

I first discovered Beautycounter last fall after the last “safe” sunscreen I had tried for my kids failed to impress. It was pasty white, hard to rub into squirmy kids, and later, after reading the ingredients, turned out not to be so safe after all. One of my girlfriends who had same dilemma introduced Beautycounter’s sunscreen to me.

Beautycounter is relatively new company (it turned 5 this year) based out of Santa Monica and probably the biggest voice of advocacy for cleaner, safer, and overall better skincare and beauty products. Advocacy, because the last time the FDA passed a law to regulate the beauty industry was in 1938. Yes, 80 years ago! To add, there are no laws regulating terms such as “natural”, “green”, “hypoallergenic” so companies are able to use these terms to market without any testing or proof. Crazy right? It’s sadly true. I checked on the FDA website.

The U.S. law that governs the $62 billion cosmetics industry was passed in 1938 and does not provide the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with the power to ask cosmetic companies for safety data or issue recalls of cosmetics found to be unsafe. In the U.S., 30 ingredients are restricted or banned from cosmetics. The European Union (EU) bans close to 1,400 ingredients from cosmetics. The federal Canadian government currently prohibits less than 600 substances for use in cosmetics through Health Canada. The Office of the General Auditor in Canada announced in the spring of 2016 that Health Canada, “…does not regularly test cosmetic products to verify the accuracy of product labels or to check for the presence of prohibited substances, microbial contaminants, and heavy metals.” Read more about it here.

Beautycounter is all about transparency and its mission is to get safe products into the hands of everyone. Each of their high-performing products is free of 1,500 ingredients found on their Never List, that have been proven to be harmful and/or could possibly be linked to cancer, endocrine (hormone) disruption, allergies, and infertility.So I took the plunge. I tried their Flawless in Five collection and the Nourishing Cream Cleanser, and I was sold. I am excited to share that I joined the Beautycounter team as an independent consultant in March.

Why I Joined the Beautycounter Team

Because it works.

This is the first time that anywhere within the first two months of giving birth, I get compliments about how good I look. I have had people ask what I use, and I have had people ask if I even wore makeup. The stress that labor and delivery put on my body always shows on my face, so I was amazed that after 2-3 days of my skincare routine (I am currently using the Countermatch line and the No. 1 Brightening Facial Oil), that the dark spots and puffiness were gone. My routine helps keep the dark circles at bay, and when necessary, the concealer pen works wonders.

Because I love what they stand for.

Their mission statement really resonated with me and I was impressed by their passion to educate the public and to actively advocate for change. Granted, the products themselves are gorgeous and speak for themselves!

Because everyone, especially my family and friends, deserve Beautycounter.

I love having a beautiful skincare and makeup line that actually delivers and also something I can feel good about. We often talk about how important self care is for moms. For me, it starts here. Every morning and night routine, and anytime I put on makeup.

Skincare and cosmetics already cost me my hard-earned dollar; I should not also have to pay with my health to look and feel beautiful. What is sold to me with the promise of making me look my best with healthy, youthful skin, should not at the same time be slowly poisoning me from the inside. Every woman deserves to feel, look, and be beautiful without sacrificing her health or body. Now when I see ads for mainstream beauty products, I can’t help but ask “but at what cost?”

I am proud to be a part of their mission and so grateful to be able to have my own business while staying home with my kids, sharing my knowledge to promote a healthier lifestyle, and products I personally love and believe in.

Seeing is Believing.

If you’ve shared my concerns and are looking for an solution like I was, Beautycounter is for you! I’d absolutely love to chat with you to talk about your skincare concerns and goals, share makeup tips, or simply swap hilarious motherhood stories. Leave me a comment here or email me (maria@citygirlislandboy.com) if you’d like to sample a few products, be the first to know about special promos and deals, might be interested in joining my team (fun!), or have any questions at all. I would be more than happy to help you color match and find the perfect skin care routine. They also have an awesome no-risk 60 day free return policy so why not do your skin and health a solid? 😉

 

xoxo
Maria

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1 Comment

  • Reply Muriel Brown

    So glad to see your blog is highlighting BEAUTY COUNTER. Given that you are naturally beautiful and take care of your skin, it’s wonderful that there are safe products to use. I was also thinking about Earth day and what I have done and what I can do to make it a better place right at home and makeup is a fine place to start.

    April 24, 2018 at 3:08 am
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