We love our readers, we really we do. And this past weekend we both got to meet a few of you—at the Beautylish event in L.A., and the PURE Yoga West event in New York—and it’s always a deeply touching experience. It’s also always surprising. Are you 14 or are you 50? Are you a black makeup artist living in the midwest spreading the clean message to Middle America (you know who you are) or are you a high-powered banker living in New York, or a young woman trying to find a way in to the natural beauty space (you know who you are too!)?
You are all of these people! And we’re guessing that while many of you are inspired and inspiring young college women (we’ve met some of you, too), there are probably a fair number of moms in this crowd too.
Motherhood, which we don’t talk about too often since neither of us has joined the ranks, is probably the number one clean beauty a-ha moment.
For so many women, it is the first time they connect the idea that what goes on their skin actually gets in their body—and consequently into the body of their unborn child.
We’re forgetting exact statistics here, but unborn children come into the world pre-loaded with hundreds of chemicals their mothers (and sometimes even their grandmothers) were exposed to. They even find chemicals that have been banned for generations.
And studies by a woman we know and admire, Dr. Shanna Swan (see her on 60 Minutes, and on the TODAY Show with us), have shown that hormone disruptors like phthalates are indeed affecting the reproductive organs of baby boys (and we’re waiting on what she discovers about girls).
Now, all of this is not to scare you, mothers and one-day mothers. We just thought that since we don’t talk about the wee ones all that often, that we’d open up the floor to you. (More and more we’re realizing that our site is about one part us to several more parts community). So some questions:
—Was pregnancy your a-ha moment? What was the clincher?
—Did your doctor talk about products when you were pregnant?
—And of course, what do you use on your baby and kids? Name product names please! We’re sure many moms in the making would love to know.
Can’t wait to hear about your kids!
We’re just full of questions today, aren’t we?!
We’ve actually been meaning to ask you this one for a while now, because when it comes to clean beauty everyone has had what we call the “a-ha moment”—and it can make for great story telling. Of course, you’ve heard ours about a billion times now: We got the Brazilian Blowout, found out we’d put ourselves through toxic trauma, started reading the labels on our products, and freaked the frig out.
Seems her mother has a habit of cutting out newspaper clippings for her, and a recent one was from the Sunday Telegraph. This particular piece featured our guy Horst Rechelbacher, founder of Aveda and a clean-beauty pioneer, spelling out why our beauty products may be doing us harm. Laura’s reaction:
I read it. I worried about it. And then I started reading the labels on my lotions and potions…and worried even more.
A little further down she realizes that she uses an average of 14 products a day—despite considering herself pretty low maintenance—and that’s before nail polish and makeup. Going down her list:
My body moisturiser (Palmer’s), face wash (Simple) and leave-in conditioner (Keihl’s) all contain methylparaben and propylparaben, which are used as preservatives. They are suspected hormone disruptors and may interfere with male reproductive functions.
My expensive shampoo (Aveda) has cyclomethicone, used to soften, smooth and moisten. It’s another suspected hormone disruptor and reproductive toxicant that’s known to be harmful to fish and other wildlife.
My face wash and toothpaste (Macleans) contain sodium laureth sulfate, a widely used foaming agent that can be contaminated with a chemical confusingly called ‘1,4-dioxane’, which may cause cancer.
Pretty much everything I use contained fragrance, which can also be referred to as parfum, both of which are catch-all terms that can include any of 5,000 ingredients, some of which are linked to cancer or can trigger allergies and asthma.
Oh, we know honey, we know! And boy can we sympathize—right? Go give the girl some support, but also tell us here about your own moment of truth.