Safer Sunscreen

☀️ Summer is here and we’re outside more and using sunscreen more and on more of our bodies. But how do you know your sunscreen is safe? Does the label say dermatologist recommended? Did you find it at Whole Foods? Unfortunately those alone aren’t enough.

The Environmental Working Group recommends a mineral sunscreen that provides a physical barrier between you and the sun. But sometimes those even have junk in them.

Have you used this Sunscreen from Neutrogena?


AVOBENZONE – chemical sunscreen; not reef safe; concerns of damage to the DNA with exposure to UVA light

OCTOCRYLENE – chemical sunscreen; not reef safe

PEG-100 STEARATE – known to be contaminated with carcinogens

DISODIUM EDTA – linked to organ toxicity

FRAGRANCE – a blanket term for many ingredients that do not have to be disclosed because it is proprietary

Have you used this Sunscreen from Aveeno?


AVOBENZONE, OCTOCRYLENE, FRAGRANCE, PEG-100 STEARATE, and DISODIUM EDTA for the same reasons listed above.

OXYBENZONE – linked to reproductive hormone disruption like degraded sperm quality and endometriosis

Have you tried the baby line from Neutrogena?

This labeling is a good example of Green Washing. It uses words like “pure”, “eczema association accepted”, and “#1 dermatologist recommended”. It sounds good and it is certainly better – it is a zinc based sunscreen (mineral sunscreen). This is a recent reformulation. Here is what the EWG used to rate this sunscreen as:

This sunscreen from Alba Botanicals must be better, right?


AVOBENZONE and OCTOCRYLENE for the same reasons listed above.

HOMOSALATE – possible endocrine disruptor; linked to organ toxicity; sunlight breaks down this chemical into toxic byproducts.

CITRUS PEEL OIL – sensitizes the skin to UV rays (which is why I do not recommend citrus essential oils applied topically to skin that will be getting sun exposure).

**All information about ingredients obtained from the EWG’s app Healthy Living.

I hope that learning this doesn’t make you feel fearful. My intention is to empower you with knowledge, because once you know better, you can make the empowered decision do better.

And, luckily, Beautycounter’s Countersun has made on the EWG’s recommended sunscreen list! It is my go-to sunscreen because it is 1) effective, 2) safe for me, and 3) safe for the planet.

What’s your go-to sunscreen?

National Lipstick Day – July 29th

It’s #nationallipstickday friends!

💋Did you know that ONE in THREE lipstick brands contain more lead than the FDA’s acceptable limit? FYI, lead and other heavy metals 🤘🏼are commonly found in colored cosmetics – they are naturally occurring with the colorants. While they may be naturally occurring, they are not safe and they are easily absorbed through cosmetics.

The US FDA has issued some limits for metals as intentional colorants, but there are no limits for heavy metals as contaminants. The EU bans the intentional use of certain heavy metals, but currently does not mandate regulatory concentration limits for trace levels in cosmetic products. To date, Canada has the most health-protective regulations in place regarding allowable heavy metal levels, including trace contaminants, for cosmetics sold in Canada.

💋 Did you know that the average women consumes FOUR pounds of lipstick in their lifetime? That can add up to a whole lot of heavy metals. And currently, laws do not require that heavy metal contaminants be disclosed by cosmetics companies or listed on cosmetic ingredients labels because they are not intentional ingredients.

💋 Beautycounter third party tests EVERY batch of colored cosmetics FIVE times for heavy metals for zero or non-detectable levels. Not only is it safer, it’s also high performing – meaning it will compete with your conventional lipstick 💄.

Lipstick, so tell me:

Reds or pinks?

Sheer or intense?

Gloss or lipstick?

My answers: pinks (sometimes reds), intense, and lipstick!


Clean Beauty in the Press

When I switched to Safer Skincare with Beautycounter, it was extremely helpful to have articles about skincare, cosmetics, and the beauty industry to reference. These articles help to validate the Safer Skincare and Beauty movement, whether or not you choose to purchase Beautycounter or not.

Here are some resources for you as you embark on your Safer Skincare journey. Click on each image to load the full article or resource.

The New York Times: Do You Know What’s in Your Cosmetics?

6 Super Popular Beautycounter Products You Should Consider Buying from your Facebook Friends

Sperm Count Zero

The New York Times: Are Your Sperm in Trouble?

Clean Beauty Can be a Dirty Business: Beautycounter, Sephora And P&G are Changing That

Glossy: Beautycounter Carves Out a Niche in Clean Skin Care for Men

WWD: Men Have More Grooming Options Than Ever

Opportunity Call with Beautycounter CEO Gregg Renfrew

Beautycounter: Most Innovative Company

#CleanBeauty Segment on the Today Show

Why Beautycounter is the #1 Trending Beauty Brand in 2018

California Strengthens Labeling Requirements for Professional Cosmetics

How to Support the Beautycounter Mission

One way to support the work that Beautycounter is doing to pave the way for Safer Skincare for everyone is to shop Beautycounter.

Another way to not only support the work that Beautycounter is doing, AND also to get rewarded yourself, is to join our Band Of Beauty Membership.

You can also host a Beautycounter Pop-Up.

This is a simple way to share safer skincare with your friends and family. For more info, head to the Host a Pop-Up portion of the Beautycounter website.

We would also love to have your voice in our movement in Washington, DC.


Or Join our team!

My Favorite Beautycounter Picks

I started using Beautycounter in the Spring of 2017. My first favorites were:



Now that I’ve tried more of the products, I have some new favorites to add to my list of old favorites:

The new(ish) makeup has been a BLAST to experiment with!



The Overnight Resurfacing Peel is a product I use every other night.
This is my new daily routine and my skin couldn’t be happier.
My everyday, non-negotiable. That safe SPF and lightweight coverage.

YL Essential Oils + Body Wash

After deciding to add essential oils to my unscented body lotion [recipe located here], the next step to upping my skincare routine was reevaluating my body wash, hand soap, and shave cream (and dishsoap too!).

Again, part of the reason why I’m using essential oils is to limit the amount of toxins that I’m exposed to everyday by choosing more natural alternatives to support my health. There are things out of my control (like the air I breathe), but there are things within my control that I can improve (like the foods I eat and what I put on my body). Because your skin is your largest organ and because it absorbs what we put on it, I needed to change the products that I use in my skincare routine each and every day. Artificial fragrances are on the top of my chopping block. I
n addition to avoiding the artificial junk, I wanted to start trying out oils that can support healthy skin.

I know many people like to just buy ready made body wash, hand soap, and shave cream. Other “oily folks” prefer to make it all from homemade ingredients. For me, I wanted something in the “Goldliocks” zone, not too much work and not too expensive. Dr. Bronner’s seemed like a great place to start. I’ve seen this this very wordy bottle of soap in health food stores for years and just never tried it out. A friend finally convinced me. 🙂

Here are the main reasons I like it: 1) It’s been made in the good ol’ USA since 1948 by a family of soapmakers that has been making soap since 1858. 2) There are 9 ingredients and they are regular old ingredients (hemp oil, jojoba oil, water, etc.). 3) They use organic and fair trade ingredients (although not all of the ingredients are both organic and fair trade). 4) It’s economical. 5) It’s multi-use. They claim 18 uses; I’m currently using it for 4 things.

Here’s what I’ve been trying out:

  1. For a full bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Castille soap, I add about 10-15 drops each of lavender, geranium, tea tree, and frankincense. Then shake like crazy to mix!
  2.  The options for fragrance combinations are endless. I choose oils that are good for skin and antimicrobial/antibacterial. Some other options would be lemon/citrus*, purification, thyme, thieves, melissa, and cinnamon bark.

* Citrus oils can begin to deteriorate plastics, so if using lemon or citrus oils, be sure that the soap is not being stored in a plastic container.

I would recommend testing oils and the soap first before using this all over.

Let me know if you try adding essential oils to your bodywash and how you like it.

Hugs & Health <3,