In all things human

Health-conscious readers, check it out!

Skin products – makeup, body care, sunscreen – can be a sneaky source of toxins and chemicals. And here we are, applying them directly on our skin! In a nutshell, the US only bans 30 toxic chemicals from skin products; Beautycounter bans 1500. One of my long time friends Ashley Wilson recently got involved with BeautyCounter. Since she’s a nurse, a smarty pants, and super conscious about her household products, I wanted to share her discoveries with you.

Just in time for your New Years Resolution.

Rachel: So, tell my readers a little about you?

Ashley: I am a Vancouverite, a Registered Nurse (RN) at Canuck Place Hospice and a mom of two awesome, energetic children, 4.5 year old girl and a 1 year old boy. I have traveled extensively and have recently been focused on my kiddos.

Rachel: What got you interested in the quality of household products? 

Ashley: Many years ago now,  I read an article about Respiratory Therapists (RTs) in the hospital getting pulmonary diseases and it was traced to the nebulized medications they were giving. When you administer medications as a mist, you are frequently standing around the person and many times holding the mask on the person. I did this with countless of my paediatric patients. The study was of RTs, but RNs also give these medications. I became concerned about the chemicals I was being exposed to and inhaling. That which helps sick lungs could damage healthy ones. It was then that I noticed that as I was liberally spraying Windex in my bathroom that I could taste the chemicals.

Rachel: Ew.

Ashley: Yeah! I started thinking about how much I must be inhaling in this small room. This got me thinking about all the chemicals I use in my home and how much I am inhaling, absorbing or inadvertently eating. I started putting my toothbrush away while I sprayed the mirror. I wondered about when I  scrubbed my tub with chemicals, how much is rinsed away and how much is added to my next bath. I did a little research and easily found alternatives for cleaning. I switched to vinegar and baking soda and have never looked back. However, when it came to beauty care products and detergents, I found that more difficult.

Rachel: Why?

Ashley: There is a list of the dirty dozen that you have to make sure are not in your products. I  found it hard to remember what I should avoid and even harder to find the list of  ingredients on many of the products. On top of that, my daughter wants to play with makeup and I can’t bring myself to put anything on her. 

Rachel: How did you get involved in Beauty Counter?

Ashley: I was introduced to Beautycounter from my friend Jen Steidl. She lives in Seattle and also a nurse and we have known each other a long time and had many adventures. Her two friends – a Chiropractor a Naturopath – got her involved. Jen told me about the founder and CEO Gregg Renfrew. Gregg (a woman) went through a similar process as myself of wanted to rid her home of chemicals. Her awareness was sparked after watching the documentary,  The Inconvenient Truth. This led her to being appalled by what was happening in the beauty industry.  

Rachel: Why, what’s going on in the beauty industry?

Ashley: In the United States, only 30 toxic chemicals have been banned. The last time legislation was changed was in 1938 when a woman went blind from an eyelash thickening treatment!  Canada is better: 600 toxic chemicals have been banned. The United Kingdom bans 1400. But Beautycounter bans 1500, and these 1500 chemicals comprises Beautycounter’s Never List. This list continues to grow.

Rachel: Whoa. That’s insane!  Are these chemicals really that bad?

Ashley: They are hormone disruptors, and some are connected to infertility and cause cancer. Even with chemicals banned, regulating the companies is minimal. The governments don’t have the manpower. In addition, there are many loopholes companies can get around the regulations, such as listing fragrance. This is a big warning sign on any label. Fragrance can encompassed anything and not be monitored (it is seen as their secret recipe). Complaints can be made and not have to be reported to the government agency.

Rachel: Yikes. So you joined their team?

Ashley: I want to be with a company that is making a change and that is being a disruptor. I also want a side hustle that I believe in. 🙂 

Rachel: Why do you like Beautycounter?

Beautycounter considers people, planet and profits equally. They are not just leading the way by making safer beauty care; they want to change the laws. They are going to DC and Ottawa and working on getting legislations changed. They want transparency and are being leaders. They are making a difference. They recently joined with Tuft University to support independent research.

Rachel: Okay, that sounds good. 

Ashley: I love the mission. The number one goal of Beautycounter is to educate. Also, it’s easy. I can order from my home. And if I don’t like it, I can return what I bought and I have 60 days to do so.

Rachel: What are your fave products?

Ashley: I love the products!! I love the cleansing balm, I love the body scrub and I love the dew skin foundation. What really got me interested was the sunscreen. It is great and fantastic for my kids.  Beautycounter is always coming out with new eye shadow palettes and lip gloss colours. Christy Coleman is a celebrity makeup artist that is on the team to bring in expert knowledge and gives awesome tips. There is a skincare regime for everyone. And make up… All the make up you would ever need.

Rachel: Okay, give us the skinny. What should people do to find out more?

Ashley: Check them out online. There is a ton of information on their website. You can be a client, hold a social, become a member, or partner with me.  I would love to be your consultant. You pay $25 USD per year to be a member, and you get free shipping after $100 USD and 15% product credit and special offers. A social is where you invite a few friends to your home or coffee shop and I can tell them about Beautycounter and our mission. As the host, you are eligible for free gifts and 50% of products depending on how much your group buys. Contact me anytime!

Rachel: Awesome. 


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