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Almost three years ago while waiting for a flight, my friends and I wandered around a department store idly shopping to fill the time. The one with the most beautiful porcelain skin said she was shopping for a new eye cream. Eye cream? We were in our mid-thirties. If that’s how one maintains flawless skin though, I was already sold. So I started using eye cream. Then my mother, a sign post for my future self, warned that I should use moisturizer and so I started buying moisturizer. For both, I cycled through numerous brands, looking for something without the fragrances that make my sensitive skin flare up and without so much oil that I would break out. It was hard to find something that was gentle and yet effective. However, I kept searching and wasting money on products I didn’t love.
I am willing to spend extra money for organic produce and antibiotic-free, free range meats, so why wouldn’t I do the same for the products I rub on my skin each day? But is organic better when it comes to cosmetics? How do I know what is safe and does it matter? I’m not a chemist so reading cosmetics labels is challenging, but I wanted to try. The American Cancer Society says that environmental factors may have a link to breast cancer but more research is needed. So why does every water bottle I now buy proudly exclaim that it is BPA-free? Well, it turns out BPA is a well-known endocrine disruptor in animals, but more research is needed in humans. But, unlike cosmetics, most makers of children’s products and water bottles have decided not to take any chances in the meantime. The dosage of carcinogens found in cosmetics is likely so small that it doesn’t have any significant effect, but we don’t know. The American Cancer Society says:
“Still, because there are no long-term studies, little is known about the health effects of long term exposure to many ingredients in cosmetics. This means that we cannot claim that these products will not cause health problems in some people.”
So a few months ago, a friend introduced me to Beautycounter, a safer beauty brand, as I was having this internal dilemma about whether or not I needed to fear my cosmetics. I figured, decreasing my daily exposure to things like parabens, phthalates, and formaldehyde couldn’t hurt! What I doubted was whether or not the performance could match other brands. I started with some travel size samples that I brought with me on a business trip to Chicago. I immediately noted that my skin seemed brighter and smoother. Perhaps it was the water in Chicago, I thought. Once home though, I continued to notice a difference on the days that I used my Beautycounter products. I also appreciated that I didn’t have to read their labels to know that they are safe because with their “never list” I knew that those questionable ingredients wouldn’t be there.
As a pediatrician, advocacy is at the core of what I do every day. Similarly, Beautycounter is a company that is committed to advocacy, interestingly to promote tighter regulations on their own industry, where the last major federal law was in 1938. Beautycounter has been a strong voice advocating for safety, transparency in labeling, and oversight by the FDA. Currently, the FDA “has neither the power to check ingredients before they go to market nor the ability to recall products that are believed to be harmful.” We deserve more than that.
Why would I sell Beautycounter though? I remember my mom selling Avon in the 1980’s and selling Beautycounter is reminiscent of that, however, I’m not selling lipstick just to supplement my income because there would be better ways to do that. Beautycounter is about “door-to-door advocacy” and sharing with others the activism of reforming an unregulated industry that we engage with each day. When I was initially searching for a new eye cream and moisturizer, my friends all told me that the products they used were either 1) the same one they chose in college over a decade ago, 2) the same one their mother used for years so they started using it too, or 3) they didn’t use anything because they didn’t know where to start. So once I found something I loved, I wanted to tell others all about it. And if I happen to make few dollars in the meantime so that I can buy more myself, then that is just a bonus. I want us all to shop for cosmetics with the same consideration we give to our children’s products and food, so that we have many healthy years ahead to earn more wrinkles together.
Shop with me here: www.beautycounter.com/katielockwood
Let me know if you want to try a sample, host a social and earn awesome rewards, or join the movement with me.