The Truth Behind the Label

As consumers we are getting so much savvier, aren’t we? Many of us are practiced at reading food labels, but now we have to read our personal care and cleaning product labels too. We are very familiar with healthy, real food ingredients (eggs, corn, butter, oil), but product labels? Do you know if Arginine is a safe ingredient or not? Is it a plant or a chemical? And why should you care?

This may seem obvious, but think about it for a minute. Many of the ingredients that you slather on your skin — your largest organ — are absorbed directly into your bloodstream. And the most common of those are proving to interfere with your endocrine system, while other are allergens and carcinogens. (These are no bueno. Endocrine disruptors wreak havoc on your metabolism, fertility, waistline, diabetes, thyroid health, balance of immune system and propensity towards autoimmune diseases).

You may be wondering how in the world these ingredients make it into the marketplace? Frankly, the skincare industry is like the wild west. 1938 was the last time a major federal regulation was passed. That’s over 80 years ago!! Since then we’ve had a robust era for creating chemicals, deemed the Chemical Revolution. Thanks to this innovative era, over 80,000 chemicals have entered everyday products and most of these ingredients (an eyebrow raising 80%) have never been tested for safety. These ingredients are in our everyday products (the U.S. has only banned 30 ingredients, compared to the EU who’s banned over 1400). Many of these harmful, yet unbanned ingredients are in the everyday products we buy from drugstores or department stores and even our dermatologists.

If the available research proves these ingredients unsafe for people in the E.U., I’m pretty confident they are not doing anything helpful for your skin or your waistline, thyroid health, or long term cancer outcomes. Maybe you’ve heard the saying, genes load the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger. These are some of the environmental toxins pulling that metaphorical trigger.

Your skin is your largest organ and a direct pathway to your blood and through it all other organs, cells, and even fat tissue. Many of the most harmful ingredients in these products are fat soluble...they attach to any little bit of fat you have and tell your fat cells to grow bigger and multiply. So cruel, right? If you aren’t shedding those pounds, you also aren’t releasing those toxins. Double unfair! They continue to multiply…as you continue to get fatter.

It’s a dirty, rotten cycle. You are playing russian roulette with your products.

Because it’s been over 80 years since a major law has passed, there are gaping loopholes. For example, cosmetics can be labeled “natural,” “sustainable,” and nearly any other word that comes to mind without containing ingredients that accurately meet those descriptions. Products certified as organic can contain as little as 10% organic ingredients, depending on the certifier. “Safe” is not a standardized term, either. The FDA’s Office of Cosmetics (the agency that is in charge of regulating all cosmetics) does not define safety. That's how carcinogens and other harmful ingredients can be in our products -- because they haven't been banned.

How to avoid harmful ingredients in your skincare products:

  1. Be your own advocate!

  2. Learn how to spot dozens, if not hundreds, of common ingredients you want to avoid

  3. Find a few beauty brands you can trust.

  4. Double-check your label reading skills. I rely on rankings in the Healthy Living database by The Environmental Working Group (EWG). They rate common beauty products on a scale of 1-10. You’ll notice several brands that are marketing themselves as “natural” have products that rank 7-10 on the hazard scale. I aim to choose products that score 3 or less.

Because I’m committed to safety, I used to assume that meant that my products wouldn’t work as well either. Maybe my lipstick wouldn’t be as bold or my mascara would not stay in place all day. When I discovered that my all natural, organic products from Whole Foods were not nearly as safe as I thought they should be, I was grateful to find a company that would do the hard work for me. I stumbled upon Beautycounter and was sold when I discovered that they have the most rigorous ingredient screening process, and don’t settle for anything less than high-performance products. I’ve used Beautycounter’s products for 6 years now and it’s one of just a few brands I would recommend to my friends and family.

BONUS TIP: For the next few days, shop Beautycounter Friends & Family Sale for 15% off!

Beautycounter’s Ingredient Screening Process

Greenwashing and What 5 Popular Terms on Beauty Products Mean

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.

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:


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. 


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:



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).


Ever felt like the fattest person in the room?

I had an interesting experience this past weekend. I was at the first Beautycounter Leadership Summit. This brought together a room full of 350 bright, passionate, health-conscious women who are working to change the skin care industry. [An aside - the skin care industry is wrought with trouble. It's legal for our products to contain carcinogenic, endocrine-disrupting, fertility-damaging ingredients].

Back to my experience. Nearly every woman I sat next to admitted feeling fat or frumpy compared to her colleagues. I’m sure you can relate. How many times have you walked into a room and felt out of place in some way (either fatter, frumpier, uglier, dumber)? I use those words because they are the very same words I’ve told myself at times, and I’m guessing you’ve used those words about yourself too. Right?

We speak so unkindly to ourselves. We’d never talk like that to our kids! Why do we do it to ourselves?

In my experience, I know that I am more inclined to compare myself to others when I’m not feeling great about myself. When my own self-esteem is low.

In my experience, I know that my self-esteem suffers when I am not taking good care of myself.

In my experience I’ve learned that taking care of myself always means people get the best of me…not just what is left of me.

So, I’ll ask you the very same question I ask myself every morning:
What do you need to feel your very best today?

And I would LOVE to hear your answers! Head to my Facebook page to share yours.

See you there!