From the time I could remember, I’ve always been cautious of the products I’ve used – both on my skin and in household. I may have been cautious for different reasons than present, but for the most part, it’s always been important to me. Today’s post shares my story and why I now choose safer beauty.
When I was 10, my mom took me to a boutique that specialized in makeup. In honesty, I do not remember the name of the store, just knew it was a special day as I had been asking for what seemed like years when I’d be allowed the vanity. I was given a makeover, the whole shebang – from foundation to eye shadow, the make up artist covered all the bases. I walked out, for lack of a better description – with one of each. I was set.
I remember seeing the bill and in that moment set the wallet standard to the makeup I’d use thereafter. Make up was going to be expensive. And if my mom had paid that much for a small boutique brand, price was going to be steep elsewhere. I remember thinking – “that’s the price of beauty, I guess.”
By the time I’d hit pan, the boutique had gone out of business. Completely naive to the actual ingredients and formulas used in creation, I sought out established brands – ones I knew held inventory should I need it. I didn’t think twice about price, because of the retail standard I’d set from the get-go .. Naturally, I developed a trust in the brands and established my favorites. For years I used the same concealer, mascara, moisturizer – because why not? For all I knew, these brands had established themselves ethically, the products were safe and effective, and tho the bill a bit costly, it reflected ‘the price of beauty’.
A few years after I married, I signed on as a consultant with Arbonne. It was my first real in-home business. I learned a lot about myself, my discipline, and educated myself on all the products sold. I honed into the reality of specific products and their purpose in each formulation. To be specific, I talked a lot about ‘mineral oil’ in all of my presentations – how it’s non water soluble, interferes with the absorption of nutrients, is a petroleum derivative that’s been linked to body toxicity and even Cancer… all that. It’s use is widely popular. I found that once customers/friends/family were aware of specific ingredients and reasonable use, the sell was easy.
The business side of Arbonne got the best of me, life happened and tho I am sure I could have pushed on, I felt I lacked the tools (and passion) to pursue it further. I haven’t used Arbonne for quite some time – not because I don’t enjoy the products or they don’t work – but more so because I haven’t done my research. A lot can change in 10 years. I am not entirely sure they’d meet the beauty standard I hold now.
A few years back I received a fb message from a friend inquiring on the brand of skin care I used and if I’d be interested in hearing more about her business with Beautycounter. I said, sure – why not? She’s a friend who’d supported me in my Keep business; I’d love to return the favor, even if it was just to listen and gain perspective. Y’all… it was eye opening. Yes, she shared all the products offered from skincare, bath & body, make up and even products for the family to use, but what was alarming were the details and the reality of our unknown. I was so naive. Completely unaware of the beauty standard, I had never before questioned my loyalty or the ethics these other cosmetic brands were built upon.
Many people don’t know what’s in the products they’re putting on their skin everyday. We work out, eat healthy foods, but then many of us cover our bodies with questionable or harmful ingredients. What we put on our skin matters, and right now there’s a lack of regulation in the industry. Did you know the U.S has not passed a major federal law to regulate the ingredients in personal care products since 1938? The EU has banned 1,400 ingredients1 when the U.S has only banned 30.2 THIRTY. Many of these potentially harmful ingredients in the products we’re using have been linked to cancer, infertility, hormonal disruption, skin irritation and more. One more eye opener – of the 80,000+ chemicals used in products today, over 80% have NEVER been tested for human safety.3 WHAT?
Referencing the ‘price of beauty’, my 10 yr old self had only taken into consideration ‘cost’ from a consumer standpoint. Later with Arbonne, I’d learned the power of research (and coincidently the increase in sales because of it) and knew companies used a magnitude of ingredients when formulating products. But I was timelessly unaware these companies had a choice. Truth is, the price of beauty is figuratively costly. Companies don’t always opt for safe ingredients because #1 they cost more, and #2 they don’t have to. The govt’s little regulation allows companies the choice, and sadly companies prioritize profit over safety. We as consumers (real humans, who wake up each morning, using products day after day) deserve better than that.
At start, Beautycounter knew they had to avoid using harmful ingredients found in many common beauty products on the market. That is why they’ve created a 5-Step Ingredient Selection Process, in which they prohibit over 1,500 ingredients from product formulations, screen ingredients for safety, and guide ingredient sourcing.
Learning this, I immedietly purchased a few Beautycounter products and tried them out. In honesty – I loved some, but not all. It’s understood that not one company is going to hold 100% perfect products that work for 100% of people. What I learned that day was significant tho, and from that point recognized the importance of product awareness. I made a conscious decision to take a good hard look at the products I’d been using and why.
I am not saying I’ve since then made the switch to safer beauty entirely – ransacking my household and throwing out products left and right just to coincide with belief would be impractical and financially unsmart. But I did order a few more products. I started shopping with Beautycounter so much that it only made sense to become a Band of Beauty member so I could receive a 10% return on purchases, free shipping, and exclusive offers.
Of course, starting The Sarah Stories and becoming an affiliate thru marketing platforms, gave me reason to cover beauty related topics. I’ve said it before, as an influencer, I do enjoy testing out other products to share and give honest opinion. And sticking with statement, I am not going to post and share products or brands that I don’t stand behind. What I found tho in experiment, was a resulting bias to Beautycounter. I am open to trying new products, and truthfully often do – but often question the label or claim of safety at start. Why must the consumer worry about reading labels? I shouldn’t have to question their formulation practice. Trust is the foundation of loyalty, and in my case, agreement to share.
I’ve noticed in all my beauty related posts, Beautycounter is the heart of content. With good reason. I trust Beautycounter. I trust their mission to create and distribute safer, high-performing products. Beautycounter educates the public on how to avoid harmful ingredients and urges the govt to pass laws to better regulate the beauty industry. This company is a whole lot more than a clean beauty brand. It is a movement. A movement I want to be a part of.
Which leads me to share that I am now a consultant with Beautycounter. Why? Because I genuinely love the products, use them myself and it coincides with my mission here at The Sarah Stories. Yes, style individuality and creative expression is rooted in every post shared. But more so, I believe we all want to feel beautiful and the best version of ourselves. Our health is our greatest asset, and our best is found when protecting it. It only makes sense to promote awareness, advocate change and empower all to make better choices for ourselves and families.
Am I going to stop promoting other brands? Of course not. As mentioned, I am open to product experiment and truthfully love any opportunity. If I think there is another brand that sells a superior product to Beautycounter, I will recommend that product instead. My skin care routine is still very similar as shared earlier this year – it still consists of multiple brands mentioned.
Why do I choose safer beauty? For me, #1. Many of you know I am adopted. A good portion of my life I was unaware of family history, or genetic susceptibility. Naturally, brows raise when I hear statistics and it gives reason for caution. That alone can be a preventative reason, right? But what caught me – were the alarming statistics related to illness, disorders, societal implications, infertility, and most Cancer.
One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.4 I am positive those reading know someone in their life who’s been diagnosed or currently undergoing treatment. Maybe that person is you. Point is, the rate is alarming. One might correlate the diagnosis to genetics. However, statistics state: Cancer susceptibility genes are estimated to account for only 5% – 10% of breast cancers overall. Approximately 90% of women diagnosed do not have a mutation in their BRCA genes, which are the genes many people think of when they think of genetic predisposition to the disease.5 How is it then that environmental induced cancer has been so grossly underestimated? It sure red flags our opposing choice – and the cosmetic industry standard – Does it not?
I choose safer beauty for my family. It’s positive that I place importance on my health, but as Mom, I want the best for my family and children. We all do. Children are far more vulnerable than adults to the effects of toxic chemicals and radiation.6 Studies show the potential body burden of chemicals absorbed from personal care products to be high. The use of safer products (those free of suspected hormone disruptive chemicals such as phthalates, parabens, and triclosan) proves to reduce that burden.7 Again, it’s statistics that open my eyes and lead me to the question of why not? Why wouldn’t I choose safer beauty?
Part of me as a parent is to protect. And tho I didn’t know any better at 10, 20, or even at 30 – I know reading labels and caring about ingredient lists is important (now more than ever). Imagine the lives of our children and future generations where they didn’t have to read the labels on the products they use every single day. I may have leveled to the beauty standard before – but not now. I refuse to because I deserve better. My children and family deserve better. YOU deserve better.
I choose safer beauty for YOU; To educate you, and share information that allows you to make better, more informed choices to protect yourselves and the ones you love most. I encourage all of you to be mindful about the products you’re using in your everyday life. Choosing safer beauty aligns with my mission to promote authenticity. The best version of ourselves – the most beautiful version – is found when health is at the forefront.
Expect to read more, see and hear more on specific products, this mission-driven company, and the initiative towards better beauty. With purpose, I will continue to bring awareness of our current beauty standard, always advocating for better. If you’ve read this far, chances are you’re intrigued and you’re interested in hearing more. You can read more here, continue discussion in comments, or feel free to email me with questions.
- https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32009R1223&from=EN[last accessed 12.20.16]
- https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetics-laws-regulations/prohibited-restricted-ingredients-cosmetics[last accessed 12.20.16]
- https://www.epa.gov/tsca-inventory/about-tsca-chemical-substance-inventory[last accessed 12.20.16]
- https://www.cancer.gov/types/breast/risk-fact-sheet[last accessed 12.20.16]
- https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/genetics/brca-fact-sheet[last accessed 12.20.16]
- https://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/advisory/pcp/annualReports/pcp08-09rpt/PCP_Report_08-09_508.pdf[last accessed 12.20.16]
- https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/10.1289/ehp.1510514[last accessed 12.20.16]