Toxins To Look For In Your Daily Makeup Routine

 

Oh makeup… as Lauren Conrad put it at the ripe age of sixteen, “It’s like art for our face.” And I couldn’t agree more. Makeup is an artistic expression for many of us, a way for us to stand out or make a statement, and often times just a fun morning ritual that makes us feel more awake and ready for the day. 

 

Makeup’s history spans thousands of years at this point with the first “products” created from earthly clay, copper and ash.

 

In modern day times, most cosmetics in the marketplace contain a mix of:

  • parabens (widely recognized hormone disruptors)1,4-dioxane (a potent carcinogen),

  • heavy metals (like lead, mercury and arsenic),

  • phthalates (endocrine disruptors and carcinogens)

  • plant extracts,

  • alcohol,

  • PEGs (often contaminated with carcinogens),

  • fragrance/parfum & flavorings (which require no disclosure or testing and can contains hundreds of thousands of chemicals),

  • hydrolyzed wheat protein (thought to be unlikely to cause a gluten reaction except in very sensitive individuals),

  • retinyl palmitate (a cell disrupting potential carcinogen),

  • mineral oil (which can be contaminated with more dioxane),

  • aluminum,

  • titanium dioxide

  •  and water. 

 

You can probably figure out which of those ingredients you want to be putting on your skin every morning and kissing your kids or partner with and which you do not.

 

 

The Cosmetic Industry Is Hardly Regulated 

The FDA does not approve cosmetic ingredients before they hit the market with the exception of colorants. 

The FDA does not require “fragrance” or “flavoring” ingredients to be expanded on or made transparent to the public. Those words can mean absolutely any chemical, whether or not it has been tested for safety. 

The FDA is currently unable to issue mandatory recalls of cosmetics with known toxins in them such as lead or arsenic. That’s right. If L’Oreal knows their lipstick contains lead (as third-party testing has revealed), they have no obligation to pull it from the drugstore shelves. 

The FDA has no legal limits on heavy metals in cosmetics despite Health Canada’s guidance on the issue. 

 

Heavy Metals in Cosmetics Are Rampant

“Natural” mineral makeup is often times more likely to be contaminated than non-mineral makeup as the mining and manufacturing process of minerals makes heavy metals like lead, arsenic, mercury and cadmium more bioavailable. 

The vast (vast) majority of cosmetics companies do not test their sources or their end products for heavy metals which can be contaminated in harmful amounts with repeated chronic exposure (such as daily or weekly use). Repeat exposure is key here. The FDA has recommended  cosmetic companies set the level of allowable lead in lip products to 10 ppm but it does not require this limit nor does it test marketplace products nor issue recalls if products exceed this amount.

 

What Makes Beautycounter’s Makeup Different: 

Beautycounter triple tests each batch of color cosmetics for 12 of the most common heavy metals including lead, mercury, arsenic, nickel, cadmium and copper. We aim for non-detectable levels in every batch and often times achieve that or very low levels of 0.5 ppm (which is why we don’t believe any cosmetics company can truly call themselves “heavy metal free” for true transparency). I have yet to find another cosmetics company going to this level of testing for every single batch of ingredients and final product.  

 

Is Talc In Makeup Harmful?

In recent years, talc has gotten a bad rap in the media after a well-publicized lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson alleged their baby powder directly caused reproductive cancer. It turns out it wasn’t talc that was the issue but the asbestos-laden talc that J&J was sourcing for their best-selling baby powder. Sufficient evidence exists that J&J hid their knowledge of this asbestos contamination for decades from the public.

 

What Makes Beautycounter’s Makeup Different:

Beautycounter sources only certified asbestos-free talc which is both tested by our trusted source as well as our own third-party tester for every single batch.


Beautycounter’s newest pressed powders deliver on performance AND safety which is all a modern, health-conscious gal could ask for!

 

 

MY 5 MUST-HAVE HIGH-PERFORMING SAFER MAKEUP PRODUCTS

These five Beautycounter makeup products perform like my old MAC & Sephora favorites & I’m always getting compliments on my makeup when I wear them! 

 1. Tint Skin Foundation: a lightweight, breathable and buildable foundation that helps you achieve that bright, hydrated and slightly luminous glow. It’s not a heavy matte foundation, which I prefer, as heavier foundations cause me to breakout or my skin to look dull and dry.

2.Luminous Highlighter & the limited edition First Light Highlighter Palette: These new highlighters are the best I’ve ever used (and I’m coming from MAC & Sephora) – finely milled cocoa butter powder helps them go on naturally but provide a noticeable and gorgeous glow. Apply to your cheekbones, bridge of nose, cupid’s bow, shoulders & anywhere else you want a natural glow with either the Powder Brush or Fan BrushThey can be used as eyeshadows too!

3. Color Intense LipstickI personally prefer a more matte, long-lasting lipstick so Beautycounter really upped the ante with this lipstick line. Safer lipsticks have the reputation or wearing off fast but not here! Don’t be fooled by the name – there are plenty of neutral colors including Brunch, Backstage, and First Date (for a light rosy pink). No gluten or soy either and you can rest assured you won’t be slathering your lips in lead or mercury as well! There’s even a limited edition Holiday Mini Lipstick Vault that contain 8 colors for less than $10 EACH!

4. Velvet Eyeshadow Palette in Classic: To me, this is the perfect all-in-one day to night palette. Browns, neutrals and golds look beautiful on all skin tones and you can really achieve the most natural to a bold, dramatic look with this palette. I recommend the All Over, Crease and Precisioneyeshadow brushes for applying Beautycounter’s eyeshadows. Great mix of mattes & shimmers for all ages.

5. Touchup Concealer Pen: A sleepy mama’s dream come true for under-eye darkness, redness or breakouts. I love this Chanel-inspired concealer pen and how long it lasts me too. Just a few dabs under my eyes and in the corner of my nose where I’m prone to redness, and I’m looking like I got more than 6 hours of broken toddler-banging-on-our-door sleep! 

 

 


Save 20% on 6 daily safer makeup staples with Beautycounter’s Flawless in Five discounted and customizable makeup kit

It saves you almost $40 while switching over 6 natural-looking daytime makeup routine necessities. 



Tint Skin Foundation: 10 colors options for all skin tones


Touchup Concealer Pen: 5 color options from Fair to Dark


Eyebrow Pencil or the NEW Brow Gel: 3 color options for the pencil and 5 for the gel!


Mascara: choose between Lengthening and Volumizing 


Satin Blush: 7 color options (Nectar, Date & Melon are my faves!)

and Lip Gloss: 13 hydrating, sheer color options from barely there neutrals to pretty pops of color  

Once you choose your foundation color, the website customizes the rest of your color recommendations, but I’m happy to help with that too! Reply to this email for free makeup color matching with me!

 

 

Stainless Steel: Non-Toxic, High-Performance Cookware

 

stainless steel cookware

 

In the advent of convenience, a host of non-stick skillets, pans and pots have entered the cookware market. Made from a synthetic polymer and multiple chemicals, they may not be the best choice for the health of you and your family.

 

It’s hard to rationalize cooking your organic, fresh from the farm meat and produce on a toxic chemical-derived surface. We are exposed to environmental toxins at all angles, and I recommend cleaning up as much of your cookware, household cleaners and personal care products at home as you can afford. Do what you can within your control. 

 

I have received many questions about what cookware is the least harmful to use. My resounding answer is always stainless steel. Stainless steel is my preferred cookware choice for several reasons that extend beyond it’s safety. If you’re wondering what my second choice is…. cast-iron!

 

 

Stainless steel is the best cookware for creating flavorful, browned & tender food.

 

Stainless steel cookware heats evenly and it’s uncoated surface allows for rapid browning. The browning process is called the Maillard reaction that gives food it’s caramelized flavor.  Trust me, I’ve compared cooking with non-stick at my sister’s house to cooking with my stainless steel cookware set. It’s incredible the difference you’ll received in flavor and texture.

 

This Cuisinart 12-piece Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel set is what I use at home. This set has everything you need to transition your old stovetop cookware to stainless steel!

 

 


non toxic cookware

 

Stainless steel is the professional chef’s choice cookware for flavor and time.

Because of it’s even and rapid heating, stainless steel cookware cooks food faster than non-stick pans. I am able to saute cauliflower rice in 50% less time than I could with my previous coated cookware.

Crispy sweet potato fries straight from the stove are one of my favorite ways to use stainless steel cookware. Just heat your solid fat of choice and fry sweet potato wedges until crispy!

Stainless steel creates a nice crust on tender meats like ribeye steaks – especially helpful if you don’t have a grill but want a restaurant worthy meal at home!

 

 

Everyone’s biggest hang-up with stainless steel? CLEANING IT!

Stainless steel is easy to clean if you follow my tips!

Here are my top tips for easiest cooking & cleaning with your stainless steel cookware!

 

For easiest clean up, do not cook higher than medium heat on the stovetop.

Use enough fat to grease the pan or pot so that food does not stick.

If cooking a low fat protein such as chicken breast, continue to move the meat around until it has achieved a crust. This will help prevent it from sticking when you want to flip the meat.

Immediately after cooking is complete, transfer food to a serving dish. Run warm water over cookware and use a gentle bristle brush to scrub any stuck-on food off.

Use a vinegar cleaner to get stainless steel pans shiny and new after each use and cleaning! My favorite is Aunt Fannie’s. Just be sure to avoid a citrus scent since it can rust the steel.

Cooking eggs? Heat your stainless steel skillet over medium low or medium heat until warm. Add enough fat to cover entire bottom of skillet (1 tablespoon for a 9-inch skillet will do). Cook eggs as desired, using a rubber spatula to gentle move and lift them before they stick. Transfer eggs to serving dish and immediately run under warm water and use a gentle scrub brush to clean.

DO NOT use abrasive scrub brushes or products containing bleach or citrus-derived ingredients which can cause rusting.

 

 


 

 

 

This post contains affiliate links which I receive a small compensation if you choose to make a purchase through my site. 

Why You Should Switch to Safer Deodorant

This past weekend I asked someone, “If you don’t trust what the government allows in our food supply, why would you trust what they allow in our personal care products?” (or our water, our prescription drugs, our household cleaners for that matter…)The person looked a little perplexed, and it definitely got them thinking.

 

I explained that the US government hasn’t passed a major federal law governing the safety of our personal care products since 1938. Companies aren’t even required to disclose exactly how or where their products are manufactured, which is why toxic chemicals like heavy metals make their way into our bathroom cabinets, our lip glosses, and our kid’s “baby oil” from contaminated sources in overseas production facilities and even on our home turf in America. Not only that, the FDA does not have the authority to mandate recalls of personal care products they deem harmful. They can only suggest the company participates in a voluntary recall at their own financial burden. Haha, yeah right.  (source: FDA website) 

 

It’s not like scientists haven’t discovered the potential and proven dangers of the toxins in our personal care products. They have. In fact, the European Union has banned 1,400 of the 1,500 chemicals that American cosmetics company Beautycounter has banned from their products. America has only banned 30 of the 1,500 chemicals known to be potentially harmful or confirmed to be harmful.And just because a shampoo gets washed out of your hair or a mascara touches just your eyelashes doesn’t mean these chemicals aren’t getting absorbed through your skin and mucous membranes.

 

One of the biggest potential offenders in your bathroom

is actually your deodorant.

 

Why deodorant? Well we put it on every day, sometimes multiple times a day, and we apply it to our underarms. Our axillary lymph nodes can be found in this area of our body. Other lymph nodes can be found in the groin and in the neck. They are part of our larger lymphatic system, which is responsible for filtering and draining fluids, bacteria, and toxins as well as acting as an important part of our immune system. Yes, the lymphatic system is INCREDIBLY important in preventing autoimmune diseases!!

 

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?

Current research is challenging the safety of typical over-the-counter underarm antiperspirants, but it still isn’t clear the quantity of chemicals absorbed through the skin. Maybe the research will turn up that we were always in the clear, but I’m going to say likely not since it has been proven that toxic chemicals applied to the skin do pass the skin barrier and can be absorbed into our bloodstream.

 
 

And frankly, our bodies were MEANT to sweat! It’s one of our detoxification mechanisms, so why would we block that using an antiperspirant? Especially one full of these chemicals like these!

  • Parabens (endocrine hormone disruptors)

  • Aluminum (linked to Alzheimer’s disease and heavy metal toxicity)

  • Propylene glycol (a synthetic chemical solvent)

  • Silica (a Prop 65 carcinogen)

  • Phthalates (endocrine disruptors linked to permanent birth defects)

  • Formaldehyde contaminated synthetics (a carcinogen)

  • Triclosan (which can lead to liver toxicity and thyroid dysfunction and has been banned by the FDA last year in effect as of September 2017).

 
 

What’s in a popular Dove women’s anti-pespirant that is potentially absorbing into your bloodstream? Mmmm… 

Active Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex Gly (15.2%). Purpose: Antiperspirant. Inactive Cyclopentasiloxane, Stearyl Alcohol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Ppg-14 Butyl Ether, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Peg-8, Fragrance (Parfum), Dimethicone, Silica, Polyethylene, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Steareth-100, Bht, Hydroxyethyl Urea.

source: Dove website

 

One could argue that the dose is in the poison. We don’t slather on deodorant over our entire bodies, mascara is only applied to our eye lashes, and foundation only touches our face.

But the Environmental Working Group is disproving that notion. The poison may be in even the lowest dose of a partially-carcinogenic chemical (which are found in MANY of our personal care products).The Environmental Working Group has its own team dedicated to cancer prevention research. This is from a 2015 article titled “Rethinking Carcinogens”:

 

The Halifax Project team investigated 85 common chemicals not known to be carcinogenic on their own and found that 50 can disrupt cancer-related pathways (known as the Hallmarks of Cancer) at low doses typically encountered in the environment. The researchers go on to propose that combinations of these chemicals could cause cancer by disrupting multiple pathways and overwhelming the body’s defenses. This thinking is in-line with the current understanding of cancer as a multi-step process. They also noted that even in the lowest doses, these potentially cancer-causing ingredients were disrupting cancer-related pathways. You didn’t need to glug a bottle of parabens a day!

 

It’s simply that the everyday choices we make overtime make our bodies more prone to developing and having difficulty fighting cancer. One of the first products I switched out for safer was my underarm deodorant.

 

Although it hasn’t been without-a-doubt confirmed that the aluminum and hormone-disrupting chemicals found in deodorant definitely cause breast cancer, I’m not willing to put chemicals on top of the lymph nodes nearest my breast (and that breast cancer frequently spreads to).

I went without deodorant for 3 years between 2013 and 2016. I lived in colder climates for most of the time, so it wasn’t a big deal, but once summer hit in Austin, Texas, I knew I needed to bring deodorant back into my routine! Now that I live in Florida where it’s pretty much 80 degrees or warmer year round, yeah I can’t away with no deodorant anymore!

After trying 3 different brands of safer deodorant from Whole Foods that neither prevented perspiration or covered up any sweaty smells, I had almost given up. But then I discovered Primally Pure.

 

PRIMALLY PURE CHARCOAL DEODORANT 

Primally Pure is this truly inspiring skincare and beauty company started by Bethany McDaniel. Bethany is a fellow new mom whose passion for safer products has extended to a full line of highly effective solutions to our everyday problems like dry skin, fine lines, stinky underarms, chapped lips, and even beard itch (man problem, ladies!) She’s been a huge inspiration for me throughout my journey in motherhood and switching to safer products. Bethany is one of the most generous and kind people I’ve “met” in our Paleo community of business owners! And her products are innovative, environmentally-conscious, and well-researched.

Primally Pure Charcoal Deodorant is the only safer deodorant I’ve tried that doesn’t just look pretty but it works. It is SO effective, I put it on in the morning and I don’t have to fear what I’m going to smell like by the end of the day. Showers are a luxury these days since staying home with an 8-month-old doesn’t give you much time for self care.

I use the Charcoal Deodorant because it contain non-nano zinc oxide to beat odor, arrowroot starch to absorb moisture, grass-fed tallow and coconut oil to sooth and moisturizer, baking soda to deodorize and best of all detoxifying charcoal and clay! 

 

primally pure charcoal deodorant

 

Compare THAT to the list of ingredients in Dove deodorant above! Start small with your lifestyle changes – even just switching to a safer deodorant can make a big difference in your overall toxin burden.