My move to a greener complexion hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing since I set off on this path two years ago. Unfortunately, I’ve come across a bunch of duds product-wise that didn’t do what they promised, and sent me back to my questionable brands.
Though somewhat off-track, I’m still on the quest to green my routine! And it’s always a boost when I meet people who inspire me along the way. One of these women is Cara Beth Goldberg. A make up artist and Beautycounter rep who is pretty passionate about safe skincare. She kindly agreed to answer my questions which I hope will encourage you on the path of a clean beauty routine.
EL: You’re a self described product junkie! What was the impetus to learn more about clean cosmetics?
CBG: After years of experimenting with a plethora of beauty products professionally as a trained make-up artist, I (ironically) found myself becoming a representation of the everyday person suffering from the challenges associated with toxic chemical allergies. These chemicals —which are are commonly found in most beauty and personal care products— were all up in my routine!
As I continued to use these products, the toxic ingredients resulted in severe contact allergic reactions – everything from raw and itchy lip to swollen, rash-like eyes, eczema patches, scaly looking skin, and hives.
With no FDA regulation or requirements to disclose a full ingredient list, my frustrations and fears led me on a personal journey in the world of cleaner cosmetics and skincare. I am still a focus group of one! But I continue to learn more about it everyday.
EL: What were the first steps you took to cleaning up your beauty routine?
CBG: I took the same approach that I had learned at Canyon Ranch and Miraval Spa regarding packaged foods. If I couldn’t pronounce, spell or identify an ingredient, I decided it didn’t belong on my skin.
EL: What have you noticed in your skin / body / overall health since switching up your beauty routine to one less toxic?
CBG: While it is a work in progress, my skin is less reactive since I have eliminated unknown “parfums/fragrances” and harmful preservatives often found in household products as well as skincare!
EL: What appealed to you about working with Beautycounter?
CBG: As a consumer, their commitment to transparency is refreshing and takes away a lot of exhausting guesswork once you are on the cleaner path. As an advocate to empower women and mothers, I’m passionate about their clear mission to build awareness and get safer products into the hands of everyone. Their NEVER LIST is a list of 1,500 ingredients that are known to be harmful ingredients, (with 1,100 already banned in Europe) which will never be in their products.
EL: How would you prioritize the importance of greening certain products?
CBG: It’s been a hard break up for me with some staples, (Pureology hair care, Method hand soap, Rodial skincare and YSL makeup were among those I had to leave), but as I’m not a doctor or scientist, I rely on my own intuition and common sense. Thus, in my opinion, any high absorption products such as face, hand and body moisturizers that not only absorb into the skin but come in constant contact with your family, along with anything you can ingest (like lip products) should be carefully examined. You have to take baby steps, or it’s too overwhelming. It’s a process.
EL: How do you educate your 9 year old daughter about this stuff?
CBG: Well, as I’ve become the mother that says no to most personal care items in CVS, I try to explain that like sweets, not all lip glosses and conditioners are created equal. There is a difference between artificial coconut or vanilla, and the real deal. If you pay attention, you can smell, taste and feel the difference. I try to lead by example by supporting companies, especially female entrepreneurs that are raising the bar regarding the safety of beauty products as it relates to women and children’s health and the importance of respecting our bodies.
EL: What would you suggest to someone starting on a path to green their beauty routine?
CBG: I believe in baby steps, or it can overwhelm. First, with new beauty related purchases , I would set the intention to be mindful of the ingredients, and the source. I would also examine my current routine, and start to investigate the ingredients of the “go-to” products. I’d also continue to educate myself with resources such as EWG, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and Beautycounter. All of these offer easy navigational tools and list ingredients to stay away from.
EL: What are the must-haves in the beautycounter line?
CBG: Skincare: Citrus Mimosa Bath Collection, Unscented Baby Oil and Baby Balm (multi-purpose for the whole family!)
Face: Cleansing Balm and Jasmine Face Oil
See the entire line of Beautycounter here.
Thank you, Cara!
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