Hey everyone! I’d like to introduce you to my friend. She’s a fellow mom who not only cares about the earth but also cares about what’s in the products we use. She’s passionate about educating others about the harmful ingredients in everyday products. She’s opened my eyes to the awful ingredients in products I use everyday like detergent, sunscreen, and even something as simple as lotion. So kick your feet up, grab your favorite snack and beverage and get ready to learn.
Hey guys! My names Hannah. I am a military wife and a mother to an adorable one-year old little boy. If you’re anything like me, you go to the store and pick up whatever bottle of shampoo looks the best. Looking for words like organic, natural, plant based, etc. That should mean that they’re safe for you to use, right?
Until recently that what I thought. And then I started working for a company called Beautycounter and learned that that couldn’t be further than the truth. It is 100% legal for companies to label things as natural or organic even if a majority of the ingredients aren’t. It’s called “Greenwashing”. They are allowed to do this and get away with it because the personal care industry has very little regulation. The last time a major federal law was passed was in 1938! And at that, it’s a page and a half long… I don’t know about you, but that is not good enough for me or my family. The United States has only banned 30 ingredients from personal care products compared to Canada who has banned 600 and the European Union is up to 1,400. That means that its totally legal for companies to use things like formaldehyde releasers, parabens, PEGS, known carcinogens, and other harmful ingredients into their products. Ingredients that have been linked to things like cancer, infertility, and other health issues.
What is Fragrance?
One of the scariest things on a product label to me is the word “fragrance”. Fragrance is a term that companies can put on a label to hide thousands of chemicals. And they don’t have to disclose what’s in their fragrance because it’s a trade mark secret. When I first started clean swapping my products, ones with the word Fragrance were the first to go. If the chemicals in their Fragrance were safe, why wouldn’t they just put them on the label?
Be on the lookout
Let’s talk about some of the other ingredients that you should look out for that I mentioned earlier. Parabens are widely used as a preservative in personal care products. But they also do more than that. They possess estrogen-mimicking properties that can lead to hormone disruption. Its commonly found in things like shampoos, lotions, cleansers, and scrubs. These are pretty easy to spot on an ingredient label because they end in –paraben. So watch out for things like methylparaben, propylparaben, etc.
Formaldehyde is another one worth mentioning. It’s also used as a perseverative in cosmetics and has been deemed a human carcinogen (linked to cancer). But you won’t see formaldehyde on the ingredient label. That’s because they don’t just pour formaldehyde into the bottle. Most of the time, they add in formaldehyde releasing chemicals that release a small amount over time.
Helpful resource to aid you
A great website to learn more about what’s in your products is the ewg skin deep database. They rate products on a scale of one to ten, one being the best and ten being the worst. They also go through and rate each ingredient. If the specific product you’re looking for is not in the database, you can also look up some of the ingredients in the product to see how they rate.
When I first heard about it, I went through my whole house scanning ingredients and throwing away thrash bags full of horrible products.
I had no idea how toxic some of the products that I was using were until I started researching more. Products that I was not only using on myself but on my child. We all want what’s best for our family. If we know better, we can do better.
That’s when I learned about Beautycounter. Beautycounter is a safer beauty brand that doesn’t hide behind greenwashing or fragrance. Their mission is to get safer products into the hands of every one. In the U.S., roughly 10% of product ingredients are tested for safety. At Beautycounter, each ingredient has to go through a very thorough screening process before it can be put into our products. We test each batch of products before, during, and after production to make sure they are safe and that there is no contamination. Remember when I said the U.S. has only banned 30 ingredients? Well Beautycounter has banned 1,500. If an ingredient has even the slightest chance of being harmful, it’s not allowed in our products.
For instance, Coppertone completely sheer sunscreen lotion SPF 50 has fragrance which is a huge red flag right off the bat. Another harmful ingredient in it is avobenzone. It penetrates the skin and helps other chemicals get into the skin. It photodegrades when exposed to the sun, increasing free radicals in the skin and increasing the risk of certain types of skin cancer. To make it even worse, it also contains oxybenzone which is a chemical that Hawaii has recently banned, and Beautycounter helped indorse this ban, because it bleaches the coral reefs and leads to genetic damage of the coral reefs. It’s the worst of the worst when it comes to sunscreen. Consider switching to a mineral based sunscreen like the one Beautycounter offers. Beautycounter is made with non-nano zinc oxide. It’s completely reef safe and safe for you.
Our transparency is another thing that sets us apart from a lot of other companies. You can find out exactly what is in every product both on the website and on the packaging it comes in. Our goal is to make products that are safer and as high preforming as the ones you are currently using. For us, it’s not just about selling lipstick, it’s about educating people on the products that we use every day. We want to make it so that you can walk into a store and pick a product off the shelf and trust that its safe. That’s why we advocate on state and federal levels for better regulation in the personal care industry. That’s why I joined Beautycounter, to add my voice to the movement and to bring better, safer products into my home.
If you’d like to learn more or have any questions please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “beautycounter” or check out the website at beautycounter.com/hannahjameson