Mother’s Day Gifts Tailor-Made for the Conscious Consumer

Mother’s Day is upon us. For many, this holiday is very painful. It can also be a time filled with joy. 

Fun fact: Mother’s Day was founded in 1914 by Anna Jarvis, a childless aunt of many nieces and nephews.  

If this day brings you pain, know that you are loved and do what you need to do to take care of yourself, like reach out to a friend or take a day for yourself. You may enjoy this article in Huffington Post called, Sometimes Mother’s Day Hurts. 

If this is a day filled with joy, then I bow to you and the ways you are celebrating motherhood. Scroll below for some creative gifts for the women in your life.

It’s my hope that all the maternal women in children’s lives - all the aunts, great-aunts, godmothers and women in general who offer their love to children not-their-own —  are remembered this Mother’s Day.

7 Gifts Curated with Health and Happiness in Mind ❤️

Now let’s be honest, most of you reading this are women. If you see something below for yourself, share it with someone or go ahead and treat yo’ self! You deserve it.

For the Woman Who Needs a Spa Day:
She’ll love the simple indulgence of a Balancing Spa Set and Chakra Balancing Bath Salts

For the Woman Who Spends Her Days in Heels:
She’s been jamming her toes into tight spaces for too long. Let them get out and stretch with these Yoga Toes.

For the Woman Who Has Health Goals (or challenges) on Her Mind:
She’s busy caring for everyone else. Show her you care with this simple yet effective 10-day clean eating jumpstart. Email me for details and take a peek at some info here.

For the Book Worm:
Treat her to a fabulous book about a fabulous woman: Becoming, by Michelle Obama.

For the Multi-tasker Who Applies Makeup on the Run:
She will love this customizable makeup kit that provides flawless beauty in under 5 minutes.

For the Woman Who Has Everything:
Get her the gift she doesn’t know she needs — a blue light blocking screen protector for her phone. Help protect her eyes and her skin from blue light damage.

For the Beach Bum:
Treat her to the best when it comes to sun protection with award winning sunscreen, pretty nails (polish) without the toxins, and a sun hat with spf.

Most importantly, have a wonderful day and treat everyone you see as though it’s their own special day.

xo,
Emily

Is Your Sunscreen Protecting You?

It won't be long until we're sitting at the pool or by the beach again. The good news is that sunscreen has gotten a lot safer in the past decade. The bad news is that a whopping 75% of sunscreens tested by the consumer watchdog Environmental Working Group still offer inadequate protection and/or harmful ingredients, including retinyl palmitate and oxybenzone.

Some new regulations passed by the FDA have banned false claims like “waterproof” and “sweatproof”. Don’t be duped by false marketing claims, of which there are many in the skin care industry!

My FAVORITE sunscreen is endorsed by the Environmental Working Group, safe for kids, adults, and coral reefs! Find it here.

Packing your swim bag doesn’t need to cause you stress, though. Here are some guidelines:

  1. The convenience is unbeatable, but avoid spray sunscreens due to proven inhalation risk and inadequate coverage.
  2. Go for mineral-only sunscreen featuring zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
  3. Avoid sky-high SPF claims, which do not offer superior protection.
  4. Choose both UVA AND UVB protection.
  5. Avoid Vitamin A in the form of retinal palmitate, a common sunscreen additive thought to actually increase skin tumors and lesions.
  6. Avoid Oxybenzone, which is linked to hormone disruption and potentially to cell damage that may lead to skin cancer.
  7. Avoid the ingredient “Fragrance”, which is often used to mask the chemicalized odor of sunscreen. Fragrance is a very dangerous ingredient in any skin care product.  

Here are all of the sunscreens recommended by the Environmental Working Group. Among them, THIS is my favorite brand. The lotion and stick both give excellent protection, glide on easily, won't leave a pasty, white, or chalky residue. Plus, you’ll love the light, fresh scent.

The Secret to Detoxing Without Food Rules

Is “getting healthier” one of your goals (aka losing weight, eating more vegetables, working out, sleeping more, more water, etc)? Odds are that one of these are on your list. 

Those of us in the over 40 crowd are focused on slowing the aging process, feeling good, and staying mentally fit. Whether you know it or not, many of the changes we make are in an effort to reduce our toxin load, so that our organs and cells, etc. work optimally to achieve these results. 

There are three primary ways that toxins can get inside us: ingestion, inhalation, and absorption. When we talk about chemicals in pesticides or plastics and food packaging, we're mostly talking about things we ingest. 

But absorption, and even inhalation, are major pathways. In fact, absorption is potent because we absorb chemicals into the bloodstream first, before they eventually make their way to the liver to be processed, if possible.

Absorption happens through the skin, which is our largest organ. Our skin doesn’t absorb absolutely everything that touches it, but it absorbs quite a bit. Imagine soap, lotion, sanitizer, shaving oils, gels, and creams, deodorant, body spray, and perfume. And while I wish I it wasn’t true, most of the products we find at high-end department stores and cheap drugstores are not well-regulated or tested for safety. Therefore, the amount of toxic chemicals that our skin absorbs is virtually unregulated.

A 2004 study by the Environmental Working Group found that 89% of 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products have not been evaluated for safety by the CIR, the FDA, nor any other publicly accountable institution. The FDA doesn’t require companies to test their products, or share safety testing if they do. In fact, according to the FDA, “...a cosmetic manufacturer may use almost any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient and market the product without an approval from FDA.” 

So, we get to be the watchdogs. Now, I’m not a trained chemist, and odds are that you aren’t either. I wish we could trust the industry scientists and experts to be our watchdogs, but for the most part, their interests are quite different than ours. In fact, the personal care industry lobby pushes pretty hard to stay under the radar of regulations. 

Thanks to some extra pressure this past year, from environmental and human health organizations and Beautycounter, the FDA more than doubled the number of banned substances from 11 - 30. We’re a long way off from the EU who’s banned 1400 or Beautycounter who has banned 1500 from its products (Check out their “Never List” to know what’s best to avoid.) Small strides, but forward movement anyway. Here are the 19 that were added in 2016

Without geeking out too much on the safety of specific ingredients, there are a few things you should know in order to detox some harmful chemicals from your system. 

  1. Eating organic while slathering chemicals all over your skin, your largest organ, is cray-cray! 
  2. Women use an average of 12 personal care products containing 168 unique chemical ingredients every single day. Men use about 6, which contain about 85 chemicals every single day.
  3. Many chemicals used in personal care products are known or suspected endocrine disrupting chemicals, allergens, neurotoxins, and/or carcinogens. Really.
  4. Removing chemicals for just a few days greatly reduces their prevalence in your bloodstream. In fact, Good Morning America did an experiment testing just how long it took in this short segment.
  5. Start by avoiding ingredients listed as fragrance, perfume, parfum, and parabens. Here are 1498 other ingredients to avoid.

 


More about Beautycounter: 

Beautycounter (as in counter to the rest of the personal care industry and their lobbyists) is working hard in Washington to effect change. Beautycounter is moving the market by asking chemical companies to provide data on the chemicals they make and are truly pioneering the future of safe products.

It's a movement that has been so exciting and fulfilling to be part of! The caliber of passionate women (and a few passionate men) that I get to collaborate with has been the best surprise! And the ever-growing paycheck is the cherry on top. 

 

The Best Multi-Purpose Product for Your Skin This Winter

There’s a long list of reasons you might want to try a cleansing balm in place of your regular liquid, wipe, or bar facial cleansers this winter. As it gets colder, it's harder to keep your skin hydrated. A cleansing balm polishes skin (especially when used in conjunction with a muslin cloth) while leaving it feeling hydrated and soft.

"A balm is an effective option to remove dirt and oil without overly drying the skin,” says New York City dermatologist Joshua Zeichner.

Cleansing Balms are making a comeback in the skin care industry. Guess our mothers and grandmothers knew what they were doing! Beautycounter’s Cleansing Balm is the multi-purpose product (7-in-1) that lasts forever and is the one product I need when traveling.

 7 Uses for Beautycounter’s Cleansing Balm

  1. Face wash
  2. Make up remover
  3. Hydrating Night cream
  4. All-in-one product for traveling
  5. Anti-aging product
  6. Alleviate dry elbows and knees
  7. Reduce minor skin irritations

The best part? This jar lasts forever – it’s a great value – a little goes a long way. Buy here.

Take the Job

Why I took the job and think you should too! 

Consultants just received a beautiful, thoughtful, eloquent video from CEO & Founder of Beautycounter, Gregg Renfrew.

Instead of giving the usual weekly update, she spoke to the election. She encouraged us all to reach out, be kind, connect, and find common values. She celebrated the fact that as a democracy, we are entitled to our own beliefs and values.

But she also spoke to the inevitable truth which is that the senate is no longer moving in Beautycounter's favor. This means that our battle for safer personal care products is an even steeper climb.

So - to try to take some action on another one of Gregg's inspiring messages - I'm asking you: If you believe in safer cosmetics and personal care products, if you believe in this mission: Take the Job. Become a part of our team. We can do so much more together. And together is what we need, now more than ever.

I've never been more proud to work with Beautycounter.

How to Have a Healthier Halloween...

... and still eat the candy

(for kids and adults)

Let’s be real. Who doesn’t want to dip into the Halloween candy? But none of us want the negative consequences of disrupted sleep, irritability, sugar cravings or addiction, immediate wrinkles and skin changes, belly fat, compromised immune function, and so much more. In fact, I’ve discovered the long list of side effects outweighs the momentary tastebud satisfaction. Yet, today I was looking for reasons to reach for the stash of Halloween candy my kids have collected this month from every. single. event.

When I eat sugar, I know it’s taking a toll, so I like to give my immune system a burst, balance my blood sugar levels, and help my skin. 

2 Ways to Boost Immune System

  1. Eat an extra serving or two of green vegetables. 
  2. Supplementation: Vit D, Probiotics, elderberry syrup (no sugar added)

2 Ways to Balance Blood Sugar Levels

  1. Eat a diet rich in low-glycemic foods.
  2. Pair high sugar intake with healthy fats (nuts, avocado, coconut fats, seeds) and protein to keep blood sugar levels from swinging.

2 Ways to Help My Skin

  1. Drink extra, extra water to counterbalance sugar’s pruning effects and to hasten its exit
  2. Use a charcoal-based skincare product to draw out the toxins. Choose one that has a moisturizing component, so as not to further dehydrate your skin from sugar’s pruning effects. My recommendation is Beautycounter’s Charcoal Cleansing Bar and Charcoal Purifying Mask

Tips for Radiant Skin in the Fall

If you are packing away your shorts and flip-flops, it’s also time to update your skincare routine to match the changing weather. A change of season typically means a change in the way skin behaves. The cooler, windy weather of Fall coupled with the drying effects of heated air, mean we need to treat our skin differently to avoid dryness, breakouts, and lackluster skin. Fall is the season to focus on renewing, moisturizing, and protecting. With a few simple updates, you can have glowing skin in the Fall and Winter too! 

 

  1. Exfoliate with an oil-based scrub - Exfoliating is imperative for repairing and brightening the complexion. Use an oil-based exfoliator to even skin discoloration (such as sun spots and acne scars), remove dull, tired, dry skin and encourage fresher, plumper cells to form. Exfoliating occasionally will give your skin a flawless finish. For the face use a gentle exfoliator 1-2x per week. Avoid those plastic micro-beads, and look for an oil-based exfoliator with jojoba esters, such as Beautycounter’s Nourishing Cream ExfoliatorIt’s okay to exfoliate your body more often than your face. I love brown sugar scrubs for my body, especially one like this that’s in a mineral-rich blend of oils. 
  2. Ditch the soap - Choose a creamier cleanser for your face and body. For the face, I love a cleanser that does everything and is safe for my skin, my body, and the environment. I use the Nourishing Cream Cleanser  because it’s lightweight yet deeply moisturizing, and contains witch hazel to tone skin, and coconut oil and aloe to help hydrate. (Even if you have oily skin, your skin will benefit and become less oily by using an oil based cleanser.) For my body, I rely on a body wash that is rich in marula and mongongo oils, ingredients that help soften and protect skin while sealing in moisture. My skin has never felt so soft!   
  3. Turn up your moisturizer - Switching from a lotion to a cream for the colder months is critical to focus on repairing from the effects of the harsh summer sun, moisturizing, and protecting against environmental toxins and the drying weather. In the same way that your body craves different foods in the different seasons, so does your skin. On my face I use the Nourishing Cream (AM) , Rejuvenating Night Cream (PM),  and I lather my body in mongongo oil by using the Enrich Body Butter. This is the only product that has helped my husband’s winter-time itchy legs. 
  4. Protect your lips - When you are out in the elements, keep your lips nourished and protected. I recommend this long-lasting, shea butter-and-avocado-oil-packed, hydrating powerhouse, because it works super well under lipstick too. Must be why Glamour named it Best Natural Beauty Product of 2016! Order here.
  5. Help your hands - My guess is that your hands are always helping others. Give them some love too. Use gentle cleanser and moisturizers during the day, and also treat them to overnight treatments regularly. I recommend this hand wash and cream. Our powerhouse product, Beautycounter’s Cleansing Balm, is a winner, not only for the face, but for your hands too! It’s a great overnight treatment (face and hands, plus it works great on my cuticles!) Plus, it’s on sale through September!! 

Your Winter Skin Solution

Your skin is thirsty, and Beautycounter’s products will quench that thirst while rebalancing your skin.

Hydration is the name of the game this season. So support your skin through your nutrition, your lifestyle, and your products. 

Healthy Nutrition

Add in healthy fats, such as coconut products, avocado, flax, organic butter and ghee, nuts, and seeds and drink plenty of water. It’s likely you and your skin are more dehydrated than you think!

Ditch the biggest beauty thief - SUGAR. I will help you with that in the FREE 4-day Sugar Shake Off. Details here: http://eepurl.com/bKk1_D

Lifestyle

Try Dry Skin Brushing a few times a week, before you shower. Use a natural bristle brush and gently move in circular motions, beginning with your legs and moving towards your heart. 

Products

Nourishing Cleansing Balm

This balm melts into your skin to hydrate while it cleanses, removing makeup and other impurities but does not strip away moisture. It contains Vtamin C to brighten your skin and raspberry and cranberry seed oils for added moisture. If you have dry skin or want to prevent aging, you can also use this balm as an intensely nourishing face mask. You'll wake up looking radiant. If you have extra on your hands, go ahead and rub it into your elbows or cuticles–you will not regret it. Easy multi-tasking!

Lustro Face Oil 

These oils are incredible, non-greasy, will give you a dewy glow (without shine) and will help reduce the signs of aging, chronic dryness and acne! I apply 1-2 drops of Lustro Oil #2 to my daytime and nighttime moisturizer. Bonus  - add a drop to a small bit of the Nourishing Cleansing Balm, rub together, and apply as an overnight hydrating mask.

Add a pop of color with moisturizing Scarlet Lip Sheer.

Shop Beautycounter here: www.beautycounter.com/EmilyGeizer

 

 

Skin Care For Fall

In addition to the extra sugar and rich foods, Fall presents its own sets of challenges when it comes to keeping your skin radiant. The combination of cold, windy air and dry, indoor heat can parch your skin and lips quickly. 

To combat this and protect my skin, I switch things up a bit. 

#1

The indoor heat and hot showers have already dried my skin out noticeably. To keep my skin smooth and supple, I use a heavier moisturizer. My favorites are Body Butter or a blend of Hydrate + Lustro Body Oil. 

#2

Polish your skin to remove the dry, dead skin cells that built up over the summer by using our Glow Sugar Scrub and Gentle Exfoliator.

#3

My skin is happier with lightweight formulas in the summer. North Carolina has plenty of humidity to keep my skin “dewy”. In the cooler weather, however, I like heavy hitters when it comes to hydration. In addition to using the rich Restorative Night Cream, I also love an overnight mask that blends the Lustro Face Oil with Nourishing Cleansing Balm. 

I truly LOVE my cleansing balm!I’ve never looked forward to my nighttime ritual before now!!

— Heather E.

#4

Time to combat the sun’s damage with a skin brightening serum that reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, thanks to a combination of vitamin C, mixed fruit acid complex, and algae and marine extract. Our Radiance Firming Complex has been called a  “facelift in a bottle”. 

#5

Cool weather can mean dry, crusty lips. Exfoliating your lips will revive them to a healthy suppleness.  Glow Sugar Scrub is a fabulous occasional lip scrub. Then I keep them protected with our Calendula Lip Conditioner. 
Double hitter: The Everyday Eye Cream also makes a great lip conditioner. 

5 Essential Strategies for Preventing Breast Cancer

In the 1960s, one in twenty women were diagnosed with breast cancer. Today? One in eight women. It's estimated that over 40,000 women will die from breast cancer in 2015, according to The American Cancer Society.

These statistics, and the latest research, suggest environmental factors are driving cancer. In addition to environmental toxins, breast cancer risk has significantly increased due to factors such as poor diet, chronic stress, and sleep deprivation.

Terrifying as the statistics are, the good news is that you can implement a number of powerful, simple strategies to prevent and treat breast cancer! 

5 Essential Strategies for Preventing Breast Cancer

  1. Fool-proof your diet against cancer! I could write 10 tips on food alone. Below are the bare necessities:

    a) Up your intake of fiber. High-fiber foods include vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and whole grains such as brown rice and ground flax seed.

    b) Watch your sugar intake and keep it under 25 grams per day (6 teaspoons). Read your labels because it adds up quickly! Put bluntly: Every time you eat sugar, you increase your risk for breast cancer.

    c) Wine time. One glass of wine a day increases your risk of breast cancer by 40%  and 2 glasses may increase your risk by as much as 70%! If you enjoy wine, consider modifying your habit to no more than 3 glasses/week.

    d) Eat your greens. Your mom wasn't joking! Fruits and vegetables are the most important fuel we can put into our bodies to make a difference in terms of prevention and health! Aim for 7-13 servings of fruits and vegetables everyday and favor the color green over all of the rainbow's colors! Recommendation: I get the nutrition from an additional 30 different fruits and veggies everyday with Juice Plus+.
     
  2. Reduce your toxic load. The data is unequivocal and just keeps pouring in – many of the 100,000+ man made chemicals that have been introduced into our ecosystems and thus our body-systems cause cancer and illness. You can reduce your toxic load drastically by focusing on sources like your food and cosmetics. But don't forget about your household cleaners and furnishings as well. 

    In addition to what you put IN your body, focus on what you put ON your body. Your skin is your largest organ. Don't slather it with toxins. I only use Beautycounter’s products because they commit to 100% transparency and will never use any ingredient thought to have a link to health and safety.
     
  3. Outsmart your stress. You are never going to eliminate stress altogether, but you can certainly outsmart it. Whether you opt for meditation, yoga, deep breathing, massage or another de-stressor, find something that works for you and do it. Sleep is also essential. Go for 7-9 hours/night to stay ahead of stress.
     
  4. Supplement Wisely. I keep my supplementation pretty simple, because I fuel my body with high-quality foods. Below are essential supplements to help prevent breast cancer.

    a) Probiotic - Leading researchers at Cleveland Clinic discovered gut microflora influences cancer genes and your immune system. Tend your inner garden with gut-supporting probiotics.
    b) Juice Plus+ - Fruits and vegetables are the most important fuel we can put into our bodies to make a difference in terms of health and prevention. Juice Plus+ offers concentrated nutrition from 30 different fruits and vegetables.
    c) Fish Oil - A variety of studies have shown essential fatty acids to be beneficial; the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil —eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) — are especially good. 
    d) Vitamin D - The widespread deficiency of Vitamin D is concerning because it plays an important role in many areas of our health. It contributes to bone strength, heart health, and cancer prevention.
     
  5. Master Your Movement. Studies show regular exercise can decrease your breast cancer risk, by regulating your insulin and blood sugar levels, your weight and your stress hormones. Find something that you look forward to each day and then get yourself some accountability  (running buddy, personal trainer, 30-day challenge, train for an event, etc).