If you’ve been around a while, you may have known that I have been trying to take better care of my skin – I mean we only have one to live in. 😀 I wanted to take today to talk about a topic that is near and dear to my heart – living a healthy lifestyle. If you’ve been around a while, you may have seen me talk about eating healthier for one or why I love to attend SoulCycle classes or on Instagram, I would show you some of the essential oils I was using. At the end of the day, I am trying to find what healthy means to me and I think all of these things play a role, including the skincare/makeup/beauty products I use on daily basis.
A little bit of background…
Five years ago, on a Saturday, I went through my normal routine, I woke up around 9 or 10 and starting doing my weekly weekend chores that needed to be done before I had to catch my next flight out on Monday and start the weekly routine of living out of a suitcase for 4 days a week. That day in particular, I went to the grocery store, dry cleaners, attended a weight lifting class at the gym and then headed back to my apartment to rest up before a friend’s birthday party later that evening. After relaxing for a few hours, I started to feel queasy, then my focus started to get narrower and my head was pounding – turns out, I was having my first migraine. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was the start of my life living with migraines. Now, let me say this – I don’t nearly have migraines as bad as other friends I know, but it still sucks to have to stop your life whenever one hits.
Over the next couple of months, I started having them more frequently. My doctor prescribed medications and told me whenever I started having the pre-cursor signs of one, that I should take the meds, drink lots of fluids and get some rest. There wasn’t much more we could do. I didn’t want to believe that – so, I turned to Dr. Google (I know, I know….it can be a dangerous place, but I am someone who needs to know all of the facts to be calm – I can rationalize my way out of a lot if I am armed with knowledge). During my research, I found out that environmental factors along with stress, hormones and some food additives may be the cause of my migraines. Now, the stress was understandable – I worked (and continue to work) in an extremely stressful position, but environmental factors are something I can have more control over.
Why am I planning to make these changes now?
Well, to be quite honest, I didn’t know the products I was putting on my skin day in and day out were that dangerous until recently. Sure, I knew there were some products that were better for me than others, but I didn’t know that the FDA has banned less than 10 chemicals to be used in our products versus the EU banning over 1000 due to safety concerns.
Another thing I learned from doing my research is that some of the products I am currently using have chemicals which are deemed “hormone and endocrine disruptors” and may be interfering in some of the health issues I’ve been having, including my migraines. (This information came from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) where they sited some pretty impressive research. You can check out one of the articles I spent time on here).
After I started down the path of testing some of these better beauty products, I started reading an extremely interesting book around what we eat and how it impacts our bodies, The Plant Paradox. The author, a cardiologist, re-iterated that our daily grooming products can interfere with the hormones in our body and can be one piece of the puzzle to addressing some health concerns, including migraines and severe allergies (which I have been struggling with for 20+ years)…
Ultimately, I have decided that I need to try out a few new products with “cleaner” ingredients because everything that I eat, interact with, or use could impact my body and how it functions. And, it couldn’t hurt to try these products out and see if they help with some of my health concerns.
Just a few thoughts before we jump into my recent favorites….
While I am trying to make a conscious effort to be more aware of the products I am using on daily basis, I am going to be gradually making these changes and am still going to be using products that work for me. I personally think, like all things in life, this needs to be about balance. Of the products that I have already tried to incorporate, I am loving some of them more than my old products. Others not so much.
I’m a firm believer that we have to be comfortable and confident in the products we are using for ourselves and we all have different needs and priorities. While I may start sharing products I believe are better for me – both in efficacy and chemicals within the products, it may not be the case for you and that’s totally fine. I’m just want to share my opinion on what’s working for me (like I do with everything on SGSB) and hope that it helps you in someway, shape or form.
What clean beauty products have I tried and loved already?
Since this all is overwhelming and overhauling a complete routine is time consuming, expensive and just plain mind boggling, at times, I’ve decided to continue down my journey in baby steps, which is why I’ve chosen to focus on skincare as my next step. I would eventually like to overhaul my whole routine, including makeup and other products I use regularly, but it’s not about perfection – rather it’s about making progress and moving forward in using products safer for my body.
If you want to learn more about clean beauty and some of my favorite product finds, be sure to sign up for my Better Beauty newsletter, where I’ll be sharing some of my research, favorite products and more!
Now, on to the fun part – these are the handful of products that I have already started using and loving….
I’ve had this cleanser in my arsenal for some time now. One of the biggest things I struggle with my skin is the dark spots that have developed from growing up in the Florida and Texas sun and not wearing sunscreen (one of my biggest regrets…). This cleanser not only helps me remove all of the dirt and makeup from the day, but it also has Vitamin C which is proven to help combat dark spots.
Between these peel pads the Overnight Peel below, I switch between both to help slough off the dead skin and continually bring new skin to the surface. I typically reach for these pads when I’m being lazy (true life – probably 3 times a week). I’ve also been reaching for these a bit more during the cold winter because they are a little gentler on my skin, but still help to give me that radiant glow.
This was the gateway products that introduced me to the Beautycounter brand which I’ve been absolutely loving because of their clean products and mission to advocate for better beauty regulations. By using this peel twice a week prior to moisturizing, I have seen a vast difference in the “glow” of my skin. As I mentioned above, it is definitely high strength which I greatly appreciate, but I have a bit of drier skin, so I have scaled back to once a week during the winter but I am excited to bring this back full time once the weather gets a bit warmer. Summer glow here I come….
Since I struggle with dry skin, I am always on the hunt for a moisturizer that will keep my skin looking and feeling super hydrated. After trying the Overnight Peel and falling in love, I had to test out BeautyCounter’s other skincare products. After looking through the different skincare sets they had, I decided to go with the Countermatch line because it is made with Hyaluronic Acid and intended to help restore the proper moisture levels to your skin. With it’s silky texture, I love how smooth it goes on but immediately absorbs and never feels oily. What was even better was that after 6 weeks of using it, I went to see my esthetician for a regularly scheduled facial who raved about how moisturized and great my skin looked (finally, a gold star after all those appointments where my skin wasn’t up to par!).
After reading about Endocrine Disruptors when researching about how to reduce the symptoms of my thyroid condition, I immediately knew that I needed to replace my deodorant with one that did not have Aluminum in it. After trying out a few, I’ve found myself going back to the Kopari one. It is super moisturizing but also keeps me odor free all day (which was the biggest problem I found with other aluminum free deodorants). Have you switched to aluminum free deodorants? Would you want me to share more the research I found out about them?