Are your personal care products contributing to your pain?

If you’ve been dealing with chronic illness for a while and doing your own research, it is probably not new information that what we allow our skin to come in contact with ends up infiltrating our body’s systems, impacting their health and function. For example, many common ingredients in every day personal care products directly affect the endocrine system (think hormones, sleep, mood, metabolism, and more), as well as contribute to things like chronic inflammation, neurological disorders, cancer, and more.


Did you know that the European Union has banned more than 1,400 ingredients from use in skin care and cosmetics? This is due to the fact that these ingredients have been proven to be carcinogenic, endocrine disruptors, or have other negative effects on the body. 


In comparison, the US has banned 30 ingredients.


Did you catch that? Europe has banned 1,400 ingredients with proven negative effects on our bodies, and of those 1,400 ingredients, the US has banned 30. THIRTY!!


Face it friends, our government is not concerned about our health. All the more reason for us to be our own advocates!


I’ve dabbled in natural skin care and makeup products off and on for the past 10 years. I have always gone back to my favorite products from Sephora because I could never find natural or non-toxic products that worked to my satisfaction. Colors were not pigmented well, mascara ended up under my eyes, and moisturizers and foundations were greasy, goopy, or the textures were not stable (they separated, or changed color/smell).


So frustrating!! I started wearing makeup a lot less to try to lessen the load of unsafe ingredients, but that didn’t eliminate them. 


Then I was introduced to BeautyCounter. 


BeautyCounter is a US company whose main goal is activism for safer products, and oh yeah, they have also created a line of fabulously performing, safe beauty products!! When I heard that one of their product developers is a makeup artist to the stars (think Hollywood, etc.) I was willing to test it out. 


I took with me all my baggage -- memories of shampoos that didn’t clean my greasy hair, moisturizers that left my skin smelling sour, and makeup that clumped, or disappeared. I told the consultant why I didn’t believe that “natural” products were good enough. She understood my hesitation and shared that she had felt the same way. She then provided me with some products to try for a week. 


Ladies (and fellas, if you’re reading this), let me tell you. These products are LEGIT! Interestingly enough, my eyes don’t burn after putting on mascara anymore. Well, as long as I don’t poke the wand in my eye, which I have DEFINITELY been known to do! 


But beyond makeup - hear me on this. What we put on our skin matters! Skin is the largest organ in our body and it absorbs what it comes in contact with. This means that every time we use cleaning products, you know, the ones that say “call poison control if swallowed” we are welcoming them into our bodies. Even if you use gloves you are breathing in the toxins.


Lotions, sunscreen, all these things are disrupting the systems that run our bodies, no wonder we are chronically ill! Acne, eczema, hives, all these things (and more) are ways our skin talks to us, begging us to consider what we feed it. But of course, it goes much deeper than our skin. If you start looking up the ingredients in your products and how they affect your body, it’s quite alarming. Believe it or not, many common brands have different versions of their personal care products for different countries. If you compare them side by side, the ingredients change based on where the product will be sold.


When I first started looking into the ingredients in my personal care products I was incredibly overwhelmed. I wanted to give up, but mostly I was angry that our government allows money to make decisions and cover up truth. Truth that affects the health and quality of life for its citizens!


But I realized that I can take a stand. WE can take a stand. We can make our voices heard, we can vote with our purchases, and we can do what is best for ourselves and our families.


If you’re interested in learning more about BeautyCounter’s mission and available products, check us out using this link: Use the comment feature on this blog post if you’d like to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.


Here’s to better health - AND better beauty!



[Note: All Photos by BeautyCounter. Thumbnail photo by Svyatoslav Romanov on Unsplash]