Are your beauty products laden with harsh chemicals?

Are your beauty products laden with harsh chemicals?


In case you missed this one, this blog is a repeat of the third in a series about skin care products. I believe that beautycounter (one word,) a young progressive company, has made a difference in waking up an unregulated industry. I am pleased to represent beautycounter. My most important job is to share with my friends, family, colleagues and everyone I meet about using skin products that are not laden with harsh chemicals. Naturally, beautycounter manufactures products with no harsh chemical. For your perusal, the NEVER LIST.

Those with chemicals such as parabens (a preservative widely used in cosmetic products), benzophenones (used as UV filters) and bisphenol A in their urine were found to have abnormal amounts of the reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone.

The mixture of chemicals found in beauty products could harm women’s fertility or even cause breast cancer, a new study has found.

Researchers at George Mason University, in Virginia, discovered links between chemicals widely used in cosmetic and personal care products, and changes in reproductive hormones.

Excessive estrogen has been linked to fibroids and irregular menstrual periods, while too little prevents eggs maturing and being released from the ovary.

Too much progesterone is associated with both breast cancer and unusual vaginal bleeding, while it is thought bisphenol A (BPA), known as the ‘gender-bending’ chemical for its effects on male breast growth, could cause fertility problems.

Dr Anna Pollack, assistant professor of global and community health at George Mason University, said: “This study is the first to examine mixtures of chemicals that are widely used in personal care products in relation to hormones in healthy, reproductive-age women, using multiple measures of exposure across the menstrual cycle, which improved upon research that relied on one or two measures of chemicals.

“What we should take away from this study is that we may need to be careful about the chemicals in the beauty and personal care products we use.

“We have early indicators that chemicals such as parabens may increase estrogen levels. “If this finding is confirmed by additional research, it could have implications for oestrogen dependent diseases such as breast cancer.”

A chemical mixture approach, was recently published in the science journal Environment

Readers Digest: Matthew Cohen/

Sure, synthetic fragrances might make your products smell undeniably delicious, but they’re one of the top contenders to cause an allergic reaction to your skin. “Fragrances are usually made up of other harmful chemicals, like parabens, benzene derivatives, aldehydes, and more that are linked to cancer and nervous system issues,” explains Dr. Engelman. “Short term, they can cause irritation and redness on the applied area.” She recommends looking for these terms to clue you in that a product contains a fragrance: parfum, perfume, linalool, limonene, eugenol, citronellol, geraniol or cinnamal. Fragrance-free products are mostly labeled as so. “Eight Hour® Cream Skin Protectant Fragrance Free is a great way to boost moisture and strengthen the skin barrier without putting yourself at risk,” says Engelman. 
Beautycounter mission: Clean skin care for everyone

Beautycounter mission: Clean skin care for everyone

Beautycounter story

Gregg Renfrew, Beautycounter Founder

Like many of you, I’m a wife and mom—and, like many of you, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. As I applied sunscreen, lotion, and any number of beauty products on myself and my kids, I never thought for a second they might not be safe: After all, I thought, we live in a country that regulates everything. So imagine my shock when I learned that when it comes to the personal care industry, that’s simply not the case. Companies are allowed to use harmful ingredients and make their own judgments about safety.

And so I started Beautycounter, a company devoted to progress. Here you’ll find a wealth of empowering information about ways we can all make the world healthier, along with safer products you can trust. Because we all deserve better. Our vision is bold; real answers are never timid. Help us put truth back in beauty.

My take

Beautycounter, a young innovative, think out of the box company, is always adding new products for the health of us all. I believe in their philosophy, safer formulas for Every Body Head-To-Toe Essentials. Your Essentials w/o Harsh Chemicals-Explore Safer, Effective Makeup. Your family deserves the best.

The latest from the Beautycounter company is their Counterman line. My hubby, Tom Claus, uses my products, night and day creams, intense rejuvenating creams, and more, but men’s skin is tougher than a woman’s, Counterman has arrived and is the answer to men’s healthy skin care.

Tom Claus

According to Beautycounter, when they cast their Counterman campaign, they sought guys who embodied their standards—men who stand for something, who approach life with intention, think outside of the box, like my hubby, Tom, a scientist, having worked in discovery for new drugs for diabetes. Tom has had dry, scaly skin and has been using creams for his face and scalp for years. He’s been using CeraVe, and didn’t realize that it has harsh chemicals like parabens, (methyl-isobutyl-propyl- and other). Even baby sunscreen has harsh chemicals. Imagine smearing creams all over your babies and kids, and washing their hair and yours with shampoo laden with harsh chemicals? Check out Beautycounter’s ample never list and look at the ingredients on the packaging of the products you use.

Having several men in my life, a husband, three sons, two sons-in-law, and seven grandsons, I’m excited for them to climb out of their box and look at the big picture. It’s never too soon to learn how to keep you, your family and your men handsome and healthy.

Beautycounter mission: To get safer products into the hands of everyone.

Decades of studies indicate that serious health issues (including but not limited to asthma, cancer, and infertility) are on the rise and are due in some part to our ongoing exposure to toxic chemicals—whether it’s in the shower, on our commute, while we eat lunch at a local restaurant, or when we clean our kitchens at home.

There are more than 80,000 chemicals on the market today. Many don’t have any safety data. This is particularly true of those used in the skin care and beauty industry.

What’s worse is that the Food and Drug Administration (the agency that regulates cosmetics in the United States) does not have the authority to remove harmful ingredients from the products we put on our bodies and on our kids’ bodies every single day, day after day.

Get serious about skin care

Get serious about skin care

beautycounter cleanswapheader-these are some of the products available separately

For the sake of all of us, our good health and wise choices, I am doing my blog about skin care products that have no harsh chemicals.This information was taken from a New York Times interview with the founder of

In 2011, Ms. Gregg Renfrew founded beautycounter (one word),  manufacturer of cosmetics and personal care products. But instead of creating just another makeup brand, Ms. Renfrew made several unconventional decisions.

First, she made a list of more than 1500 potentially harmful ingredients that she vowed never to use in her products. Next, she turned the conventional business model on its head, shunning department stores in favor of a network of independent consultants. Finally, she embarked on a campaign to introduce new regulations to the personal care industry, noting that the last law governing it was passed in 1938.

How did Beautycounter get going?

I watched “An Inconvenient Truth” and had become impassioned with the environmental health movement. I was washing my children with a natural foaming oatmeal body wash by a name brand, but when I went on the Environmental Working Group’s database, it rated it an eight out of nine for toxicity. I thought I was using natural oatmeal body wash, and in fact I was putting toxins on my babies. I was just outraged. And I became truly obsessed with this.

Mini color intense lipstick vault

At the same time, I was looking at where direct to consumer was going, and where I saw the biggest white space was in beauty. No one had pioneered meaningful change in that industry. It took me a couple of years to concept the idea, the selling model, create the products from scratch. I went in thinking that we could just use white-label products and change a few ingredients. That was not the case.

You’re very focused on bringing more regulation to your own industry. That’s unusual.

Most people still believe that the Food and Drug Administration is protecting them in terms of personal care products. And most people believe that the products on the market are safe. But the F.D.A. is not necessarily screening ingredients for safety, which is very different from the food industry. The F.D.A. can be protective of the consumer in certain industries, but in our industry, we are woefully under regulated, and they don’t have the power to recall products. And this is one area where you have bipartisan support. Everyone agrees that we need to update the laws. It’s been 80 years now.

So what ingredients do you use and not use?

There are mostly natural ingredients that are safer, but some natural ingredients are not safe. There are heavy metals in the ground that are not safe for your health, and there are perfectly benign man-made ingredients. We have something called the Never List, which is a list of ingredients we chose not to formulate with.

To get safer products into the hands of everyone. Learn More

Taken partly from an interview with Ms. Renfrew by David Gelles at the New York Times. Gelles is the Corner Office columnist and business reporter. Follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter. @dgelles

It’s always Christmas in this camp!

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