What's on the Outside

Did you know that the skin is your body's largest organ? (Yes, it's an organ!) Whatever you put on your skin will be absorbed into your bloodstream - potentially wreaking havoc on your internal organs and longterm health. Why is that? Well, most body and skin care products contain a wide array of toxic chemicals, many of which aren't even listed on the ingredients label, all of which aren't governed by federal law at all.

This is all information I came upon when a good friend joined Beautycounter, a lifestyle brand and B-corporation focused on bringing safe products into everyone's hands. She explained that the last time a law was passed in the US governing personal care products was in 1938. And Beautycounter's founder Gregg Renfrew is working hard to change this - with one visit to Washington already under her belt, and another planned in May, she's motivated to disrupt the antiquated standards in this industry.

This was too inspiring not to join! I became a consultant with Beautycounter in October 2015 and have loved being a part of this company and this movement.

While my focus is forever on what goes IN to our bodies, I'm more aware than ever of the importance of what goes ON to our bodies (especially now that I'm a mom).

I'd love to share some of my favorite personal care products with you today. If you're as obsessed as I am about reading ingredient labels on food products, then you'll want to pay close attention to your beauty products too! 

Face

I've struggled with my face since I turned 13. It was as if a switch flipped on my 13th birthday and overnight I got oily, acne-prone skin that wouldn't quit. It wasn't terrible, but it was constant. I tried it all (from Oxy pads to Retin-A to Proactiv) but nothing consistently worked on me. Now I'm older and my skin's needs have changed big time, but the occasional spot comes out. Two big things I've changed in the last 6 months: washing less and using a face oil (I know... oil on oily skin? Trust me.) And my skin has never been better. I don't wash my face in the morning, I just spritz my face all over with Rosewater Uplifting Spray (a refreshing toner) followed by two pumps of AM Day Cream mixed with a drop (ONE drop) of Lustro Face Oil #1 which contains calming calendula. At night, I wash with Routine Clean, apply PM Night Cream, and I treat any blemishes directly with pure Tea Tree Oil. This combination has been working for me for 6 months and I'm not about to change a thing! 

Body

There are only a handful of products I use on my hair and body, so I like to make sure they're good quality! Beautycounter's Everyday Shampoo and Conditioner are great - they're sulfate-free and leave my thick, wavy hair feeling soft and manageable, so much so that I have only been washing my hair three times a week. In between washes, I use Lulu Organics Hair Powder on my roots. After showers, I moisturize with Hydrate Body Lotion and a couple of drops of the Rosemary & Citrus Body Oil (especially in the winter). For deodorant, I have found two natural brands that work great. PiperWai is an awesome paste deodorant made with activated charcoal that really lasts. But when I don't feel like scooping it out and rubbing it in, I use Le Couvent des Minimes roll-on deodorant. They're both pricey but last a good long time and smell terrific. All three of us use the Protect All Over Sunscreen with SPF 30 for beach days - it can be so hard to find a natural sunscreen that actually does its job, but this one is excellent.

Makeup

I've always been a bit of a makeup minimalist. Beautycounter has a great, concentrated collection of cosmetics that perform beautifully. My everyday makeup routine starts with a few dabs of the Touchup Skin Concealer Pen in Light under my eyes. Then I use Dew Skin in #2, a tinted moisturizer with SPF 25. It's sheer enough that I don't feel "made up" but has a little bit of coverage to even out my skin tone. Then I sweep on some Matte Bronzer because isn't it nice to look like we've caught some sun, even in the dead of winter? I go a step further to brighten my cheeks with my favorite ever product: Color Pinch Cream Blusher in Hibiscus. I love how this makes me feel like I've just come in from a brisk winter walk - the perfect flushed cheek. At the present time, Beautycounter is working hard to release a mascara that only contains safe ingredients (no easy feat). In the meantime, I use Physician's Formula Organic Wear Masacara in Black. And I finish up my 5 minute morning routine with a dab of Lip Conditioner in Peppermint - a real wakeup call on tired mornings!

UPDATE: Beautycounter's Lengthening Mascara has arrived and is wonderful!!

Kids

What started my own interest in safe products was getting pregnant - I now understand the unique feeling of being a mother and wanting to do everything you can to protect your children and keep them safe. Luckily, Beautycounter has a kids line and a (brand new) baby line! My son Finn is almost 3, but we still use baby oil on his skin after baths because a) he'll always be my baby and b) products designed for babies are usually the purest, with only a few ingredients. At bathtime, we use the Kids Body Wash as a bubble bath, body wash, and shampoo. He brushes his teeth with Tom's Fluoride-Free Children's Toothpaste in Strawberry. After bathtime, Finn gets a little massage with Baby Soothing Oil and for really dry patches (particularly in winter) and on his bum since he's still in diapers at night, he gets a bit of the Baby Daily Protective Balm

What are your favorite natural products that you use at home?