126 Chemicals Later

126. That’s the number of unique chemical ingredients that the average american puts on their body each morning in the average 9 personal care items used on a daily basis, according to the Environmental Working Group. None of which, by the way, have been tested to determine safety. Think I’m exaggerating? I wish. The FDA’s website (1) states , “The law does not require cosmetic products and ingredients, other than color additives, to have FDA approval before they go on the market, but there are laws and regulations that apply to cosmetics on the market in interstate commerce.” And we’re not talking about a minor skin rash here or there; we’re talking real toxins. How many products are you putting in your body without knowing about it?  Are you eating food without reading labels, buying meat without checking to make sure it’s 100% grass fed or giving your kids snacks made with GMO corn and soy? I’d guess that if you’re reading my blog, you’re not doing any of the above, at least not with any regularity. But are you doing just that with what you’re putting on your body? I sure was, but I’ve called a spade a spade and redirected my path and would love to invite you to do the same. Please read on, as this is really important. About two months ago I signed on to be a part of the Beautycounter movement and added safe skincare and cosmetics to my menu of health + wellness offerings. More than a decade after launching my Paleo-inspired nutrition blog / coaching and wellness platform, becoming a part of a forward thinking movement with a mission was the obvious thing for me to do. As passionate as I am about educating and empowering about what we put in our body and the importance of doing our own resource to literally read between the lines, since the labels tend to be just a tad tricky, to say the least, I feel equally as passionate about learning and sharing what we’re putting on them. And with the recent press release on PR Newswire.com (2) two days ago, that Counter Brands, LLC, parent company of Beautycounter®, the leader in safer skincare and cosmetics has acquired the worldwide assets of NUDE Skincare, Inc. and NUDE Brands, Ltd. (founded by Ali Hewson, wife of social activist /and musician, Bono), my excitement grows even more! Why? Consider the magnitude! Any scenario in which we combine two organizations with shared goals and huge networks, the potential to reach people en masse is limitless! And for me, this is has even more potential for one single reason: it’s not something people are afraid of, or have to be in the throes of illness to accept, as is sometimes the reason why clients reach out to me for guidance with their paleo-inspired eating. It’s one thing when someone understands that a real, paleo diet is focused on eating natural foods, grown or raised or caught locally, in season and in a balanced manner. That person is far more likely to implement healthy eating strategies, no matter what their reason for making changes may be, compared to another person who may have been exposed to one of the many inaccurate versions of what Paleo really isn’t, who subsequently is less likely to achieve health benefits or long term lifestyle changes. For this reason, I’ve shifted my approach to nutritional coaching from what was once quite dogmatic to one which is more gentle to transition to because, after all, even if we make small steps to a healthier lifestyle, the positive end result can be just as beneficial as one that is adopted more quickly. And because of this, by coupling making healthier choices about what we put in our bodies with what we put on them, collectively moves us further down the path to optimal health. If we control the things we can control, we’re setting ourselves up to for wellness. So many things are out of our immediate ability to do anything about. We can rally to clean up the ocean, we can cut down on the use of plastic and we can use air filters in our home, but on a daily basis, there are still so many things we don’t have an immediate ability to change. So why not start with what we can? Chances are you already know the basics about what to eat and how to chose wisely when it comes to food, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, or if you’re savvy on who to follow and upon which other sites and blogs to rely for the truth. But have you ever really considered the other part, what you’re putting on your skin? Consider that the average adult uses 9 personal care products each day, with 126 unique chemical ingredients and more than a quarter of all women and one of every 100 men use at least 15 products daily, according to the Environmental Working Group (3) none of which are actually tested for being safe. Recall what I mentioned above; many of the products in your everyday skincare, haircare, make up and even the sunscreen you slather on your little ones are, without a doubt, simply not safe. Feeling skeptical? Without naming names, you can do your own digging. Head to The Skin Deep Database and, armed with your lotions, your fragrances and your kids’ bath gel, look up each and every last ingredient one by one and see what you come up with. Carcinogens like benzophenone, used in cosmetics such as lip balm? Endocrine disruptors like parabens? Neurotoxins like Methylisothiazolinone, also called MIT and commonly found in anti bacterial agents ? It’s no different from reading a label of a food item marked ‘energy bar’ and not knowing what that long list of chemical-sounding agents actually means, turning blind eye and hoping for the best. We have to educate ourselves and those around us, otherwise where are we heading?!? Beautycounter is not just another brand making claims of being ‘organic’ or ‘plant based’ (both of which have very loose interpretation anyway); it’s a cause, a movement and something I’m incredibly proud to be a part of. Learn more by reaching out to me directly and join me in this powerful, inspiring mission! If you’ve been reading my work for all this time, you know I wouldn’t recommend anything I didn’t believe in whole heartedly and this, without a doubt is something I’m behind 100%. 1 “U.S. Food and Drug Administration.” FDA Authority Over Cosmetics: How Cosmetics Are Not FDA-Approved, but Are FDA-Regulated. FDA, n.d. Web. 29 June 2016 2 “Beautycounter® Acquires NUDE Brand to Advance Safer Beauty Product Portfolio and International Expansion.” Beautycounter® Acquires NUDE Brand to Advance Safer Beauty Product Portfolio and International. PR Newswire, n.d. Web. 29 June 2016 3 “Exposures Add up – Survey Results | Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database | EWG.” Skin Deep Exposures Add up Survey Results Comments. EWG, n.d. Web. 29 June 2016