Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend and are excited for Christmas in a week! Does anyone get a short week? I had a wonderful weekend with family at my brother’s wedding! Cannot wait to see them all again this weekend.
Today I wanted to share about something I’m passionate about – safer beauty. Up until a year ago, the term “safer beauty” meant nothing to me. I was completely clueless as to what was in the products I put on my body every day. I don’t think I ever looked at the ingredient list on my products, mostly because I wouldn’t have recognized anything, and I had no reason to be concerned. However, I did check ingredients on my food – don’t they say, if you don’t recognize the ingredient don’t eat it? So I cared about health, but never worried about my personal care products.
Around this time last year, I was introduced to Beautycounter (a safer personal care product company), and learned some startling facts about the beauty industry. Since then, I have slowly been learning more and switching out my products. Most of the time, I get overwhelmed by things I have no control over, like big world events, but when I learned these facts about the beauty industry, I saw how I could make a difference, one step at a time.
What is Safer Beauty?
Essentially, safer beauty is beauty products that do not contain ingredients that negatively impact your health. It’s not necessarily “green,” “organic,” or “all-natural.” These are simply labels assigned by the beauty industry, but are essentially meaningless. Unlike the food industry, the FDA does not regulate these terms in the beauty industry. Something labeled “all-natural” could have some natural ingredients, but not all. And when I say personal care products and the beauty industry, I’m not just talking about cosmetics, this includes haircare, lotions, baby and kid’s products, men’s products, deodorant, toothpaste, sunscreen, nail polish, etc.
The beauty industry is almost entirely unregulated. The FDA has little control over the industry, leaving companies free to put anything out on the market without approval.
Did you Know?
If you start looking, you’ll find so much about the toxins in products and their impact on our health. Here are some of the basic facts that encouraged me to make a change to safer products.
- Since the Industrial Revolution, over 80,000 chemicals have been introduced into commerce, of which 10% are used in personal care products
- 80% of ingredients in personal care products have never been tested for human safety (this baffles me!)
- The last federal law regulating what goes into our personal care products was passed in 1938, which is a 1 1/2 page law regulating a $60 billion industry
- The EU bans over 1400 harmful ingredients from their products and the US bans 30
You may be asking why this matters to you, or maybe you’re thinking, who really cares – there are so many health claims out there now. I totally get it! I have felt the same way at times. So, I write all this not because I am a health guru, but because I cannot ignore what I’ve learned, and because I see that change can be made (look at Europe!).
Many of the ingredients found in personal care products have been linked to adverse health effects, such as cancer, infertility, birth defects, hormone disruption, and sensitivities. The average woman uses about 12 products a day, and men use about 7, exposing ourselves to hundreds of toxic ingredients every day. What breaks my heart are the young girls who start using make-up and are being exposed to hormone-altering chemicals.
Now being exposed to harmful chemicals in products once or a couple times isn’t going to kill you, but we never just use products once. Think how many times you wash your hands, brush your teeth, put lotion on your baby, or get a manicure – constant exposures build up over time, and that is what impacts your health. Even babies in the womb are not protected from what the mother puts in her body.
Small Changes, Big Impact
Over the last year, I have became more aware of the ingredients in my personal care products and passionate about creating a safe home. Slowly, but surely Blake and I have switched out our personal care products and are always on the lookout for safer alternatives that work well. I’ll be honest, it is a process and finding good products sometimes takes trial and error, but it’s doable and it doesn’t cost a fortune (one thing at a time).
Small changes over time do make a big impact. One of the biggest steps you can take is be curious about the ingredients in your products, even if the product seems “healthy”. If you don’t know what something is, look it up! Here are a couple resources that have helped me find safer products:
- Beautycounter’s Never List – List of harmful ingredients to be looking out for
- EWG Skin Deep directory – Rates the safety of products
I know this is a lot to chew, but I hope that this information gets you thinking. If you have questions about products or need any recommendations, comment below or send me an email!
Have you switched to safer products? What are some of your favorites?