Choosing Safer Skincare and Cosmetics

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I have taken an interest in the safety of my skincare products for years doing my best to only use what I understand to be safe. I read product labels and assumed those labeled "natural," "hypoallergenic," etc. were the best choice. However, in 2007 a fellow teacher introduced me to the Environmental Working Group. Their Skin Deep Cosmetic Database was eye opening for me. I thought I had a good idea about the safety of my products, but this tool was a game changer. I was able to search each cleanser, shampoo and cosmetic to be given an overall hazard rating and learn about their specific links to cancers, developmental and reproductive toxicities, allergies and environmental concerns.

Much to husband’s delight, I spent the next eleven years in the skincare and makeup aisles researching the potentially harmful ingredients in every product that entered our home. Personal care items I trusted were safe, were not. There were very few products that held up to the safety rating I desired for my family that actually performed. I learned that “natural” does not mean what we think it does. “If a product is labeled as ‘natural’ it will generally mean that at least some natural ingredients have been used in the formula, but a product can be labeled as natural and contain up to 30% synthetic ingredients.” (Jessica Quinn, 2018)

When we had our first son, safer baby wash options were beginning to hit the market, but I still struggled to find personal care products for me and my husband. I took to making our shampoo, lotions, lip balm, cleansers, oils, and more. I really did enjoy it, but by the time we had our fifth baby I was not able to keep up.

Safer Skincare

Enter Beautycounter

I learned about Beautycounter last fall and after researching the company’s mission and product ingredients I placed my first order. Within the first couple of days, there was a noticeable difference in how my skin felt and within four weeks I could visibly notice a change in its overall tone and texture. I quickly signed up as a consultant, for the discount of course. Knowing my passion about non-toxic living and skincare, my husband was encouraging and recommended I share with others. He might have also mentioned it would provide a good platform to use when sharing with strangers in local skincare aisles about the risks of their chosen products.

Through continued research I have learned:

• The United States has not passed a major federal law to regulate the safety of ingredients used in personal care products since 1938.

• There are more than 80,000 chemicals on the market today, many with no safety data whatsoever. This is particularly true of those used in the skin care and beauty industry.

• Over the past two decades, the European Union has banned close to 1,400 chemicals in the product formulas of personal care products and restricted the levels of over 250 more in such products. The United States has only partially banned 30 to date. THIRTY!

What I Love about Beautycounter

• Beautycounter has created The Never List™ made up of approximately 1,500 harmful or questionable ingredients prohibited from our product formulations, including the nearly 1,400 ingredients banned in the European Union.

• Using the best available sources, Beautycounter screens every potential ingredient for information on specific hazards like cancer, developmental toxicity, hormone disruption, and infertility.

Beautycounter chooses the best organic, natural, sustainable, and synthetic ingredients that meet our standards. Over 80% of the ingredients in our products are natural or plant-derived.

• Every formula ingredient, including known components of fragrances, flavors, and intentionally added preservatives, are listed on our product labels or on

• Beautycounter is hard at work in D.C. pushing for stricter laws in the cosmetics industry. Our hope is to get safer products into the hands of everyone. Consumers should not have to read labels to ensure their family's safety. 

Beautycounter works well for me because I love their mission to get safer products in the hands of everyone, and I am able to purchase incredibly safe and high-performing products for my whole family all in one place. I do not have time to stand around Target and Ulta researching each product and ingredient. I want to trust that what I buy is safe for my family and that it really performs. I don’t want to worry about all of the toxic ingredients found in most makeup when my girls want to play dress up. I don’t want to worry about parabens and artificial fragrance in my sons’ hair styling products. 

Switch to Safer

We have to be our own advocates as consumers and do the work to make sure that the products being absorbed into our bodies every day are safe. The beauty industry does not have our best interest in mind. I make the most educated choice possible to keep my family safe from harmful chemicals in our skincare and cleaning products to try and help them avoid cancer, hormonal disruption, infertility, allergies, asthma and more. THIS TIME, IT'S PERSONAL.

If you have questions about specific products or need help finding your best fit, please feel free to contact me.

Quinn, J. 2018, April 18. 16 Most Common Symbols and Labels on Your Beauty Products (and What They Really Mean). Retrieved from

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