Chemicals You Should be Avoiding

Beauty, Beautycounter

How many of you have seen the word “all-natural” or “derived from plants” or even “GMO” and “Organic?”

I bet everyone reading this and when purchasing those products didn’t you feel super good about that choice? You were like, “Yes, stepping up my non-toxic game and choosing better ingredients for my body or house.”

Unfortunately, you might’ve fallen into a marketing scam that’s created by corporations only wanting your mula. They jack up the prices a bit, hide ingredients under certain words, maybe take a few bad ones out, and slap a gorgeous green label on it….and they hook us.

This is actually a tactic known as green-washing. I’ve talked about it previously on my blog, and I’ll keep talking about it until I’m blue in the face. So let me be a helpful guide in listing a handful of ingredients you should avoid. Also, I’ll end with a resource that has been crazy helpful to me when figuring out which products are actually clean.

I also want to preface this and say, I am NOT perfect. Do I still have to use clinical strength deodorant sometimes because I really don’t want to be running around my recital, spreading my stench around the dancers and their parents? Yes. Do I occasionally use the cheap vanilla body sprays that I’ve gotten for Christmas every year since I was 15? Yes is the answer. Do I still use makeup I got in an Ipsy bag over 2 years ago? Not often, but yeah.

This is a judgement-free zone. Okay, guys? I just try to do better each day and that’s all anyone can do. Don’t panic after reading this and don’t get so overwhelmed that you say, “F*** it, we’re all dying from cancer anyway!”

I used to say that and yes, cancer is so prevelant, it’s scary. But, a lot more preventable than one might think…Just a little tid bit here, “99% of breast cancer tissue contained parabens” (Dr. Philippa Darbre-University of Reading in the UK). My philosophy is…how about we try to take care of ourselves the best we can during our very short time here on earth? By doing so, we are teaching the next generation good habits as well.

NOW…into the chemicals…Here are 5 chemicals you should be avoiding (and here’s why)

1. Fragrance

This one actually makes me upset, because 9 times out of 10 I’ll see a potentially non-toxic product usually with the words, “made with essential oils” and I turn that bad boy around…BOOM there is it, “fragrance.” The word fragrance is a flavoring agent that could contain literally 3,000+ stock chemicals ingredients, including hormone disrupters and allergens!! “Fragrance” is protected under federal law’s classification of trade secrets meaning that they don’t have to disclose what chemicals actually fall under that word. It’s in almost everything as well, so if you’re battling super dry, irritated skin, flip over your lotion, detergent, body wash bottles and see if that pesky word is there…

2. Parabens (Methyl-, Isobutyl-, Propyl-, and more)

Thank goodness, more and more products are becoming paraben-free. This chemical is more widely known as harmful, which is GREAT! Here’s why it’s being taken out of things…it’s a preservative first and foremost which I try to avoid as much as possible. It’s meant to protect products from mold and bacteria growth, so meant to stop Earth’s natural decaying processes (eye roll). The most concerning issue with parabens is that they’re endocrine (hormone) disruptors, which may change important, natural hormone mechanisms in our bodies. For instance, they may effect reproduction, cause cancerous tumors, birth defects, and other developmental disorders. It’s found in shampoos, face & body washes, foundations, and lotions.

3. Oxybenzone

This chemical is actually in the moisturizer I used to use for years. It is also found in most sunscreens and people are spreading it all over the children having no idea why their child is having adverse reactions…oxybenzone is why. It’s a sunscreen agent and UV light absorber linked to irritation, allergies, sensitivity, and possible hormone disruption. This chemical is actually being banned in places around the world, including Hawaii.

4. BHA and BHT

These are synthetic antioxidants used to extend a product’s shelf life. They are likely hormone disruptors which as you read above…NOT good! They are also likely carcinogens and may cause liver damage. They are found often in lipsticks, moisturizers, and diaper creams.

5. Get ready for this one….Methylisothiazolinone and Methylchloroisothiazolinone

These guys are chemical preservatives that are some of the most common irritants and causes of contact skin allergies. Even lab studies on the brain cells of mammals also suggest Methylisothiazolinone may be neurotoxic (poisonous to the nervous system). I wont name names here, but these preservatives are found in products from a heavily promoted Skincare brand. This brand claims to be “non-toxic.” If you would like to know which one, please feel free to ask me! They’re also found in shampoos, conditioners, and body washes.

So…now that I’ve freaked you out…what do you do to avoid said chemicals. Well, you’re not always going to be able to, but start by switching out one product at a time. For me, it was my cleansers and laudry detergents then soon after it was all my skincare.

I also want to highly recommend you use EWG Skin Deep (Environmental Working Group) as a resource. I have the app, but you can search on their website too. They rate products on a toxicity scale of 1-10 (10 being the most toxic). EWG has a strict criteria for transparency and health. I try to stick with products that are EWG verified or within the 1-3 range. Here’s an example of a product I looked up using the App (first picture) and the website (second picture) that has the highest rating of 10. Unfortunately, this brand is really popular. I personally used to use it for years. Not all of their products are rated highly, but there are A LOT, so this is why the EWG comes in handy!!


As you can see, this product contains 3 of the 5 chemicals that we should try to avoid. Key word here….”try.”

I hope this was helpful for you and didn’t put you in a panic, because that is not the intention. I believe in knowledge, education, and hard conversations. I want so badly to believe that the CDC, FDA, and all government regulated agencies have our best interest, but I’m just not so sure. Let’s dig a little deeper. I challenge you to research, research, research so you have confidence in the products you put on yourself and your families.

As a safer beauty advocate for Beautycounter, I would love to personally help you switch to cleaner beauty. It’s a GREAT place to start! Always here for questions!

Much love,

T

The 4 Hydrating Beautycounter Products You Need This Winter!

Beauty, Beautycounter

The first official snow fall came down on us today in Nebraska. Didn’t stick but Winter is coming! According to whoever predicts the weather, it’s going to be a wicked one out there this year. Lots of ice and cold-yay!

You know what that means for many of us….Dry skin! I have already had an inbox full of dry skin questions over these last couple weeks and I thought I would write something up for you all to refer back to when ordering from Beautycounter during the cold months.

Here are four hydrating products you need for your dry skin. After almost one full year with the company, I can personally attest to the amazing hydration all of these offer.

First, the Cleansing Balm. The “balm that does it all.” I’ve written and talked about this product so much. because it truly is incredible and one of our best sellers. I use it as a makeup remover every night. Finally, a product that removes makeup while adding hydration unlike all the other cleansers, liquids, or wipes that completely strip your skin of moisture (ick). The Balm can also be used as a straight up moisturizer (probably best overnight because it is a little thicker). It can be a variety of others things too, like an eczema cream, burn ointment, and even a hydrating facial mask. The balm recently got an upgrade and now contains lotus extract. This has brightening properties and has been used for centuries. Our Cleansing Balm also contains raspberry and cranberry oils and vitamin C. Massage gently onto face, if using it as a cleanser, and then wipe away with a damp cloth. I use microfiber.

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Counter+ Lotus Glow Cleansing Balm $72

Next, I can’t pick just one product from this collection, so I have to recommend the whole thing. The Countermatch Collection is the hydrating line you never knew you were missing. It seriously changed my skin and my life you guys. First products I started using and I was hooked on Beautycounter for life. The collection contains Pure Calm Cleansing Milk, Intense Moisture Serum, Eye Rescue Cream, Adaptive Moisture Lotion (for day), and Recovery Sleeping Cream (for night). This line seems to work for most skin types and I have zero reported issues or problems from clients so far. It’s a collection I can almost 100% guarantee will work for you. Even for those with oily skin, I would recommend this line first, because of the bio-mimic technology. This breakthrough technology matches the exact moisture your skin needs. I am oily prone myself and always thought I needed less hydration, but not the case. My skin was actually over producing oil because it was lacking hydration! Don’t strip your skin people.

Countermatch Collection

Countermatch Collection $201

Thirdly, Melting Body Balm. It is as luxurious as it sounds. If you struggle with eczema or dry spots like I do, this product is for you. Immediately apply after the shower and your skin will be buttery smooth without the harsh chemicals and fragrance used in many other lotions that end up irritating your skin further. This product is infused with monai scent, argon and avocado oils. This Body Balm was a “Best of Beauty” Award Winner in Allure Magazine this year!

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Melting Body Balm $42

Last, but definitely not least…our Baby Soothing Oil. Yes, for baby, but also for you! Within our Beautycounter private Facebook groups, it’s one of the most recommended products by consultants. I think it’s also one of the products that I don’t talk enough about! This winter, I will be stocking up and making sure my clients that struggle with dry skin stock up too. It is a mix of organic coconut, jojoba, and sunflower seed oils. Absorbs easily, but doesn’t feel greasy!

Baby Soothing Oil

Baby Soothing Oil $22

I hope this year is the year you don’t have to struggle with dry skin. I know for so many years it was a personal struggle and I would continually layer on lotions that were packed with harmful ingredients. I also want to mention that you might want to switch up your laundrydetergent as well. That can exacerbate dry skin SOOO much! I use Molly’s Suds Laundry Powder, but they have liquid and a variety of other products too. This is not an advertisement, I just truly love their products and my eczema has almost disappeared with the use of cleaner beauty and cleaner detergent.

You can shop all these products at My Beautycounter Site.

Thank you all for reading and as always, I am here for whatever #betterbeauty questions you may have! I am not an expert on all things clean and safe yet, but everyday I am researching and taking steps to get there.

If you are on the hunt for safer products/beauty and this journey seems overwhelming to you. Download the EWG (Environmental Working Group) app or just search products you are wondering about in their website. So helpful!

Much Love,

T

 

“Hey Girl” – The Stigma Behind Direct Sales

Beautycounter

I’m sure every one of you, especially if you’re a young woman, has seen a DM or Facebook message that goes something like this:

“Hey girl, I love your page. You are so pretty and you seem like you have an amazing outlook on life. It also looks like you’re into fitness and I think you would really love this opportunity I have. You could double your income!! I would love to chat with you about it!”

Nine times out of ten we say, “No, thank you” or ignore it completely, right?

I know I did. I am always respectful of course, but after the 15th time of being approached, it feels like a bit much. My friends and I have had many of these conversations about MLM (multi-level marketing) people coming on too strong and frankly, it’s giving ALL direct sales a bad name. That frustrates me.

I will keep all actual MLM company names out of this post, because I don’t want to be disrespectful. So, in this next story I will refer to the company in this next story as company A. My friend has a high school acquaintance that started with company A a year ago. My friend went to one of her parties in the summer and then a week later the lady asked my friend if she wanted to host her own online video party and listed all the reasons why and that it would help her a lot etc…my friend politely declined. After all, she is going to college full-time, working, had a couple deaths in the family that were extremely difficult, and isn’t super interested in the products anyway. Nothing wrong with that.

About a week later Company A lady followed up once again, and my friend declined again, all while feeling incredibly guilty. Another week passes, and another message appears in her inbox, this time the message contains personal notes about how much this lady seems to care about her life. This lady knows little about my friend’s life and it came off super inauthentic. Any wise person can see right through that marketing tactic. “Identify with your consumer” should mean being relatable and empathetic not fake.

This weekend, my friend showed me the latest message from this lady, and you guys, it was 950 words. Longer than most high school essays. The message contained more pushy language promising my friend a car, promising that her hopes and dreams will be reached, even talking about the past memories from their childhood, and pretending to know about my friend’s career aspirations. She actually said the words, “I don’t understand why you’re not joining my team.” WHAT? This lady also accused my friend of “ignoring her” when my friend was driving through a snow storm earlier that month. I CAN’T YOU GUYS. Hearing this made me want to pull my hair out.

It gets even worse. My friend also ordered products from a different company a couple of years ago. This particular company has consultants take down your credit card number so they can order for you. Well, this consultant kept my friend’s card on file and charged it 9 months later “accidentally.” Just so happens that my friend had told her 2 months prior that she did not want to restock her products. When my friend confronted the consultant respectfully. She said, “something may have just got sent to your house. Maybe you can give it to a friend or your mom.” Not once did she offer a refund or apologize for the inconvenience. Super unethical and once again, a behavior that makes ALL direct sales companies look bad.

At this point, my friend said she feels almost violated in a way. She is so bombarded that she now has a bad taste in her mouth regarding all direct sales companies. I guarantee SO many people feel this way and truthfully, I felt this way too. I hate to admit it, but I made fun of MLM people. I thought most MLM companies were a scam and that their “get rich quick” mentality was ridiculous.

I never thought I would be a part of a direct sales company or be involved with sales ever again for that matter, but there’s something about being a part of a company that you actually belive in that feels different from pushing products you don’t use or truly know anything about. I believe in Beautycounter. I believe in our mission to enforce regulations in the beauty industry. It has been 81 years since the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act was last updated. While the U.S. beauty industry has grown into a whopping $62 billion dollar business! Since the FDA’s regulations are slim to none, Beautycounter has taken it upon themselves to not only prohibit the use of 1500 harmful or potentially harmful ingredients, which is called the Never List, we are 100% transparent about what is used in our products. What other companies do that?! Not enough that’s for sure!

With all this in mind, I was on board. Mostly, because I was already living this way. My mom emphasized safe products growing up and that mindset transitioned into my adult life, so Beautycounter is just an extension of who I am. I genuinely live my brand and that concept is missing within A LOT of other MLM companies. 

The idea that you will win a car or get lots of cash/free stuff is not the way to entice someone to join your team. Money should absolutely be a motivator, but if you’ve now traded money for quality and authenticity, it’s a problem. Yes, money makes the world go ’round and who doesn’t love it? But, if you are not passionate about the message behind your brand, why are you selling it?

On another note, why are mentors, directors, or team leaders pushing their teams to search out and send random, inauthentic messages to girls on social media? It’s uncomfortable, and frankly, kind of slimy. With Beautycounter, I have never felt pressured to make people order from me or join my team. Frankly, I will not reach out to random individuals on any social media platform. What seems to work thus far is consistently establishing effective promotions on Instagram and Facebook. Not just screenshotting the company emails, but making it my own. Setting up little photo shoots in my bathroom, or doing a quick Facebook video about my evening routine. When people see you living your brand and being 100% genuine, it’s refreshing.

When people are making purchasing decisions, they want to be able to see themselves using the products, so create that image for them. Show them how you are using it in your daily life. Just be honest and the sales will come! I am NOT saying you should settle. I have huge goals for myself and I continuously push myself to grow and learn each day, but I will be successful by staying true to myself, being authentic with my customers, and stressing the education/advocacy part of my business.

Marketing tools I effectively use: 

  • I will follow-up with individuals who have expressed interest in products.
  • I will tell members or customers about new products or promotions that would fit them.
  • I will promote, educate, and advocate Beautycounter on Instagram and Facebook.
  • I will hold social events online and in person.
  • I will do giveaways in private groups.
  • I will send samples to those who are interested.
  • I will answer any and all questions.
  • I will empower women and push them to grow.
  • I will advocate for safer beauty.
  •  I will continue to learn more about product ingredients and expand my knowledge on all things Beautycounter.
  • I will ALWAYS be honest, transparent, and authentic in my pursuit of success with direct sales.

I apologize if I offended anyone. My opinion is just that, my opinion and not everyone will agree. My thoughts come from a good place and I truly want every person involved with direct sales to be so darn happy, successful, and empowered.

Much love,

T

My Skincare Routine & Journey to Safer Beauty

Beauty, Beautycounter

Throughout the last couple years, I’ve tried to switch to better beauty. In college, I barely had enough money to buy groceries let alone high-end skincare or makeup. When I graduated and started having a regular income I knew it was time to research and find a skincare regimen that would start healing the damage from tanning that I so willingly put my skin through. I also wanted to start an anti-aging product, because I had heard from my wise elders that the earlier you start anti-aging, the better. That is very true!

I had seen and heard so much about one of, if not the biggest skincare company in the country, so I decided to give it a go! It wasn’t bad by any means and I don’t know how much change I actually saw, but it seemed to combat my dryness and I had zero breakouts while using it. The one thing I couldn’t shake was the occasional sting the products gave me, as well as the questionable ingredients. The products also left my skin very oily, which I thought was better than dry at the time.

Flashback to a decade ago…my whole family had started making the switch to healthier, safer, and organic options. I grew up with my mom making our own homemade laundry soap, buying the least amount of processed foods possible, and educating our family on safe ingredients and natural ways to remedy sickness through vitamins, foods etc…We believed in trying homeopathic care first and chiropractor appointments were common.

My mom’s research opened up my eyes to the corruption in the food, pharmaceutical, and FDA industry. It’s super confusing navigating your way through skincare, makeup, and household products, because we see the words “organic,” “green,” “non-toxic,” “chemical-free,” or my personal favorite, “all-natural.” Sounds amazing right?

So many times, more than I could count, I would buy products from Whole Foods thinking they’re “safe,” but they were ineffective, would dry out my face more than products with chemicals, and they would sting or burn. FYI: nothing should sting or burn!!

This tactic of labeling things “all-natural” etc… is known as greenwashing and it is an epidemic! Want to know the worst part? The FDA is virtually unregulated so they’re allowing this to happen! Allowing citizens to be completely fooled and left to their own devices to find out what products are ACTUALLY safe. For example, the term “organic” isn’t regulated by the FDA. When your products or food are labeled organic it means that the “item must be free of synthetic additives like pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and dyes, must not be processed using industrial solvents, irradiation, or genetic engineering” (USDA, 2019). BUT, just because a product is organic does not mean that it doesn’t contain harmful preservatives or other questionable ingredients. Labeling a product “organic” along with other catchy terms is a marketing tool plain and simple.

Another example of the loopholes within the FDA industry is the word “fragrance.” There could be dozens, even hundreds of harmful ingredients that fall within that word. With all this knowledge I had a hard time using a skincare line that was chalked full of possibly harmful ingredients and ironically a friend that had used the same line as me switched to a different, safer brand. I was curious, so I researched their site on and off for a full 3 weeks. I was so motivated and inspired by the company’s transparency, mission to provide safe products, and drive to regulate the beauty industry starting in Washington that I dove in full force and became a consultant. This company I’m so passionate about is Beautycounter and it was one of the best choices I’ve ever made! Not only do the products provide me with more hydrated, healthy skin. I genuinely believe in everything they stand for. Empowering women is a huge part of their philsophy and that is definitely something I can get behind! Beautycounter is also a B Corporation (B stands for Benefit) which means they use the power of business to help solve social and environmental problems by voluntarily meeting standards of transparency, accountability, and performance. Becoming a B Corporation is highly difficult.

So why is Beautycounter Safer? 

First off, they’re transparent. Beautycounter does not hide any ingredients used to formulate their products. For example, I mentioned the word “fragrance” above. They do not hide harmful ingredients under that word and they share every ingredient so the consumer knows exactly what they’re buying. Beautycounter also has a 5-Step Ingredient Selection Process, in which they prohibit 1,500 ingredients from product formulations. This is called The Never List. Beautycounter does not claim to be “all-natural” or “chemical-free.” Natural ingredients are not neccessarily safe, and synthetic ingredients are not neccessarily harmful. For example, water is a chemical. They do however, choose ingredients with little or no risk to health. In order to know what is safe, as a part of their Ingredient Selection Process, they review emerging data regularly and even occasionally commission their own studies when they are not able to gather enough information on a particular chemical.

To snowball of that…I’d love to share my daily skincare routine with you in hopes that you might learn more about Beautycounter and the type of products that you could incoporate into your routine or possibly learn more about safer beauty products in general! I’ve been trying a plethora of Beautycounter products and I’m loving them so much I could go on forever. So, to keep it shorter I’m going to share with you my must-haves that I use daily and absolutely can’t live without!

CLEANSERS:

Cleansing Balm seriously does it all!  I use this almost every night, especially for make-up removal. It’s not only a nourishing daily cleanser and make-up remover, but it also can be used as an overnight mask. It hydrates with nutrient-rich raspberry and cranberry seed oils and promotes a brighter complexion with radiance-boosting vitamin C.

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Charcoal Cleansing Bar is what I use in the morning. It gives me a squeaky clean feeling. Ideal for oily or blemish-prone skin, this detoxifying cleansing bar absorbs impurities in your skin without drying it out, resulting in a clearer, smoother, and brighter-looking complexion. Made with purifying Japanese binchotan charcoal, antioxidant-rich organic green tea, and hydrating organic coconut oil.

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SERUM:

Intense Moisture Serum: I use this about every other day, depending on dryness level. This can be used by itself, but I usually put it under my moisturizer, because my skin is super dry overall! It’s infused with two forms of hyaluronic acid, this intensely moisturizing serum delivers immediate and lasting hydration, while vitamins C (ascorbic acid) and E (tocopherol) provide antioxidant protection.

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MOISTURIZERS:

Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion: I use this daily in the mornings after cleanser and/or serum. It’s lightweight and doesn’t feel oily. Not only does it provide up to 24-hours of hydration — it actually adjusts hydration levels throughout the day for a smooth look and feel and radiant glow. My favorite thing about this lotion is the Breakthrough Bio-Mimic Technology, which harnesses the unique life-giving properties of plants to exactly match the structure of skin, giving it precisely what it needs and nothing it doesn’t.

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Countermatch Recovery Sleep Cream: I use this daily as well, but at night. I didn’t know I needed a night cream until this jar of goodness entered my life. The blend of hyaluronic acid, plum oil, and tara gum creates a protective layer to help replenish hydration and revitalize skin while you sleep—so skin looks youthfully smoother, softer, and more radiant in the morning and it DOES!

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OTHER FAVS I RECOMMEND:

No. 3 Balancing Facial Oil: I was always skeptical about putting oil on my skin. My skin is already oily, why would I add more? I can’t tell you how much this has calmed down my redness and dryness. It’s a proprietary blend of seven natural oils moisturizes and smooths. Softening meadowfoam seed oil restores balance, while wild chamomile calms and soothes skin. Perfect for all skin types, especially those concerned with skin clarity, calming, and balancing.

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Overnight Resurfacing Peel: WOW is all I can say about this product. This peel has given me the most noticeable difference so far. My skin literally glows in the morning. I put this peel on before bed. I let it sit for 3-5 minutes then follow it up with my night cream.  I use a couple times a week. It’s formulated with 15 botanically-derived acids, this leave-on AHA/BHA peel improves skin texture and minimizes the appearance of pores, fine lines, and dark spots without irritation or over-drying. Does NOT dry out skin or turn it bright red like some other chemical peels do.

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My boyfriend, Kyle is also using Beautycounter products. He is loving the Smooth & Control Conditioner. He has a dry scalp and has noticed a decrease in dandruff after using the conditioner for a couple weeks. I also just purchased the Counterman Collection for Kyle, because he struggles with dry skin and red bumps. I’m extremely excited for him to try it. Updates coming soon!

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It’s been refreshing to feel confident in my skin with or without makeup and yes, I am a consultant for Beautycounter so my job is to tell you how amazing everything is! But, if you know me at all, you would know that I am approached by direct sales companies all the time and I’ve turned them down for years, because I just didn’t believe in their products 100%. I finally found a company where it’s more than just selling their product, it’s educating women and families that we don’t have to settle for crap anymore! It’s a push for regulations on beauty products and a demand for some change in the beauty industry. SAFER BEAUTY is here people and it’s here to stay!

If you want to dive into my website to look at more products here is my link:

Beautycounter by Taryn

Thanks for reading!

Much love,

T