Hello! My name is Elisabeth Klos and I am guest posting from San Diego, California. Elaine and I met this summer, (get ready) ONLINE! We connected across the country to share healthy ideas and tips. Elaine's genuine care and concern for others, which rings true in her writing, caught my attention and I wanted to soak up her wisdom. I became Elaine's client, (which I highly recommend) and she reminded me in the kindest way possible to stick to my guns with my kids' health and eating habits. Healthy habits have been important for me for many years now. Choosing to fuel and pamper my body with the best of what is available has always interested me, as an athlete, and now a mom and a woman wanting to feel good. While food in general has always been more of a struggle for me, there is one healthy habit that came easily for me in my quest for the best health. This positive habit is using skin care and beauty products known to be safer for human health.
Prior to 2011, it never occurred to me that what I put ON my body was just as important as what I put in my body. Then, about 6 years ago, I couldn't get pregnant with my first child. I always thought I was very healthy; I was a marathon runner, in great shape, I rarely drank alcohol, and I got great sleep, (of course since I had no kids!) I didn't realize the importance of certain ingredients which go into total body well-being.
With a looming infertility scare, I tried Western medicine approaches. I went on drugs to help my body ovulate and I took many tests to figure out if something was wrong. On a whim I decided to do something out of my comfort zone, I went to an acupuncturist. After meeting with her she determined that I needed to 1. gain weight 2. eat WHOLE foods - (non processed food) 3. ditch extreme exercise and 4. look into what I put on my body by way of products like shampoo, face wash, makeup, lotions, etc.
Those changes seemed daunting and uncomfortable, and yet I knew deep down that I needed to slow down and gain some body fat. What surprised me most were the unhealthy aspects of many personal care products I was using. For example, the following are found in many products:
- Hormone mimicking parabens which are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer (see sources at bottom)
- Phthalates, especially in products with *fragrance, which are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer
- Synthetic colors, which are suspected to be a human carcinogen
- Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen
- And many more
All of these ingredients are included in extremely tiny amounts, but I had to wonder, why did I have to put any amount of these toxic ingredients on my body?
I dove into researching personal care products with the app ewg.org. I looked on Amazon.com to find products that ranked VERY low on EWG's safety scale. What I found were a lot of products that did not work as well as my old stuff. At the time, I dealt with face soaps that didn't feel clean, and shampoos that made my hair feel more dirty because I wanted the safest and the best.
Fast forward 4 years of eating healthier, slowing down my exercise, and choosing safer products and I had not only one, but two babies. Around the time of my second child's birth, my good friend and health advocate introduced me to Beautycounter. She said, "This brand is like a blend of the department store stuff you love and the random, crunchy stuff you've been trying!"
I also learned that Beautycounter utilizes my favorite healthy product research site, ewg.org to make sure their products all rank a 3 or lower, with most being 1s and 2s (the safest). I found out that Beautycounter bans over 1500 ingredients including all the ingredients that are banned by the EU. (The US only bans 30 ingredients currently!) This information was eye opening and relieving. I didn't want to have to go back to researching every product. I wanted to save time by trusting in a company to deliver safe and high performing products all at once.
So I turned to Beautycounter for my lotions, cleansers, shampoo, makeup and even my kids' soaps. I liked that I could buy on their website through my friend whenever I wanted (I didn't have to sign up for any monthly program or as a member)...it felt so easy and different. My favorite thing about Beautycounter is their transparency. They list every single ingredient in every product. No “fragrances” or “natural flavors”. It makes it easy for my friends with allergies to figure out what to use. And it makes me trust the company even more.
Now, as a busy mom of two, I am a Beautycounter Consultant. I became one because I was always intrigued by having my own business and I knew that I had finally found a company I could stand behind. I love the flexibility it gives me as a mom. I would do anything to be able to spend the most time with them while they are little and I feel lucky that I found something meaningful and helpful to others.
So the moral of my story and this guest post is threefold: 1. When it comes to your health, seek out second opinions and TRY alternative/natural healing...no matter what, you will learn a lot about yourself and the way your body works. 2. Remember that your skin is your body's largest organ and what you put on your body matters as much as what you put in it. 3. Listen to your heart when it comes to doing meaningful work. TRY new things. It's never too late or too hard to start doing something worthwhile and impactful.
Thank you, Elaine, for allowing me to share my story. Readers, if are open to trying safer beauty products and would like to connect or ask questions, here is how to reach me:
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**A special for Elaine's friends through the month of December: I will reimburse all ground shipping fees on any order. Beautycounter products are 60-day, free returns so enjoy trying something new, safe & effective!