Makeup, shampoo, soap, deodorant… Oh My!!!
I recently did a podcast episode on personal care and thought I’d share my notes here! I am extremely low maintenance, but the products I do use are done with intention. I don’t just use whatever products I feel like or whatever is the least expensive or smells the nicest. What little I do use, I have researched and read about the ingredients and safety of what’s inside of each product.
This journey began back when we decided to try and have kids. I was a bit on the “older” side…I was considered “advanced maternal age” because I was 39 so I wanted to make sure that I could do what I could to put the right things into and onto my body. I have always been someone who takes care of myself. I have been an athlete my entire life, I eat fairly well, I challenge myself to be better each day through healthy activities. One thing I really hadn’t thought a whole lot about was personal care products because I really didn’t use a whole lot. I wanted to be as natural as possible and use as little extras as possible. I basically used body wash, shampoo, conditioner, some styling products, body lotion and face lotion. That was it!
Once I started down the rabbit hole of being more intentional about my products, a whole new world opened up and I was made aware that the personal care industry is basically unregulated and companies are allowed to do what they want with little to no repercussions should their products produce harm. I was stunned! How is it that companies can sometimes knowingly put ingredients into products and sell them to customers when they may have detrimental effects on human health? That makes ZERO sense to me!! So, as the saying goes, once you know something, you cannot un-know it… I was obsessed with finding things that would not cause health harm to myself or my family or friends… or anyone that wanted to listen! The flood gates had opened and the research hasn’t stopped. I find that now I research everything when it comes to health. Personal care, household cleaners, food, clothing… everything around us can either benefit or be a determent to our health.
I know we cannot control a lot of things- the air we breathe, the pesticides the local farmers use, the weed control neighbors use, what flows into our water supply, and on and on, BUT there are some things that we CAN control… like what I put on my and my families bodies, what we use to clean our house and inside air, and what we put into our mouths
I still have a very minimal “routine”, but I now know that what products I am using are not going to cause me issues in the future. There are some big things to watch out for in any personal care products you choose to use (makeup, soaps, lotions, sunscreens, haircare, deodorant, etc):
- Parabens (Methyl, Butyl, Ethyl, Propyl)
- PEGs (Polyethelene glycol)
- Phthalates (DBP, DEHP, DEP)
- SLS and SLES
Often a product with the fewest ingredients can be good… although it might not be effective. Organic is great, but not always necessary or effective. Natural is a catch phrase that means basically nothing- arsenic is natural and I wouldn’t put that on my skin. Chemical free sounds like it should be a good thing, but water is a chemical so if it says chemical free and has water- that’s false advertising. Chemicals aren’t necessarily a problem as there are safer chemicals that can be used in products.
The bottom line is that we need to purchase products from reputable companies that are working for the customer and the safety of their customers. Ask questions. If the company is unwilling to answer your questions or give you a list of ingredients, then I would suggest you pass. Something I like to look for are companies that are B-Corps– meaning they build their company and products based on a 3-tier process- people, planet, and profit. They go through a rigorous certification and must pass certain qualifications to become and remain a B-Corp. Another way of making sure your products are on the up and up is to ask if the company does 3rd party testing of their products. This is important so that there is unbiased information being given. A great resource is EWG Skin Deep App as well as look for the Made Safe or Leaping Bunny symbols. These are 3rd party groups that independently research and test ingredients and products for safety.
Below is a list of companies that I find to be reputable and safer. As I said, I am a minimalist so my list is short, but I have been using these for a long time and feel really good about recommending them. If you feel inclined, check them out!
*Full disclosure, I am a Consultant for Beautycounter and have been for almost 4 years, so if you choose to purchase from them I do receive a commission at no additional charge to you. I am available to answer ANY questions about products as well- they have been my go-to for many years! Send me a message here and we will chat! FYI- The 2020 Holiday Collection is coming SOON! Stay tuned for the awesomeness!