Clean beauty. We hear the term, but what does it mean – and does it really matter? I think so, and so does my guest for this 100th episode (whoot!) of Natural MD Radio, which you can listen to below, and make sure to have a look at the ‘show notes' below for additional resources and a special little ‘bonus' – a list of my special guest's personal favorite body products.
More than Skin Deep
It's estimated that by the time most women leave home for work in the morning, we've put on at least a dozen body products and cosmetics, each, in turn, containing as many as a dozen or more individual chemical ingredients. Frighteningly, the laws that govern the FDA's authority over the cosmetics industry are just two pages long and have not been updated since 1938, when they were first enacted. Federal officials are nearly powerless to regulate the soap, makeup, lotions, toothpastes, deodorants and other elixirs that we use every day.
Who's paying the price? Not the $70 billion a year cosmetics industry which is sitting pretty at our expense. It's us.
Cosmetics go more than skin deep. We absorb them through our skin into our tissue and general circulation; we breathe them in through fragrance, and even inadvertently “eat” them all day long – to the tune of, on average, an estimated two pounds of the stuff your lifetime, The chemicals they contain are not benign. In fact, many are known endocrine disruptors. Even minuscule amounts of numerous known toxins can have a profound effect on our health, and since women naturally have more fatty tissue than men, and we use body products and cosmetics from the time we're teens until well into our 70s, women accumulate these toxins in higher volumes. For teens and adult women, by far the main user of beauty products, the lack of regulation in the cosmetics industry – and lack of requirements for transparency about potentially harmful ingredients – is disastrous.
No More “Cleanwashing”
The phenomenon of ‘cleanwashing‘ in which a veneer of ‘healthier,' ‘clean,' or ‘green' is given to products when they are labelled as natural, non-toxic, handmade, active, organic, plant-based or free of specific chemical ingredients, can make it hard to choose even when you are seeking a more natural approach to your skin and beauty care practices.
Cleanwashing is the new greenwashing; words like natural, non-toxic, organic, and clean don’t always mean what you think they mean. ~ Tara Foley of @follain
Enter Tara Foley. Tara began her journey into clean cosmetics when she realized her own attention to diet, exercise, and a healthier lifestyle was not mirrored in her skin care products. An activist at heart, she realized that there was a gaping hole in the marketplace when it came to clean cosmetics. So she literally quit her day job, became obsessed with natural product knowledge, and even went to France to study on an organic lavender farm.
Fast forward to 2013 and Tara opened Follain, the first retailer to exclusively sell clean beauty. Using their own 5-step process, a credentialed advisory board, and an uncompromising commitment to being healthy for women and the planet, Tara has created a brand known for carrying products that meet the criteria that they be safe and effective, while still creating a luxurious experience for women.
Join me in this inspiring episode of Natural MD Radio for an intimate conversation with Tara about her own journey to creating a successful business, being a mom at the same time (yes, she experiences mom guilt and self doubt, too!), and why her mission to make skin care better for all of us is so important to our health, our daughters' health, and planetary health.
In this episode we discuss:
- Tara’s personal journey that led to the creation of Follain
- What is clean beauty
- The personal and ecological importance of using natural products for our beauty care
- How the beauty industry created and Instagram perpetuates unrealistic beauty pressures for women
- Which fads in wellness and beauty care Tara would like to see women avoid – and how to personalize what’s best for you.
- How to recognize “green washing” in ‘natural’ beauty products
- Which beauty products are the most important to swap when you’re on a budget
- What beauty product to swap first if your budget allows ‘just one' right now
- Personalizing your skin care routine
- Getting real on maintaining a healthy balance as an entrepreneur and a mom – self-care time, being present with her kids, and compartmentalizing work to keep it all together
BONUS: Tara’s Personal Product Faves
- Most important product –> Follain refillable hand & body soap (Great for us and the planet; liquid soap is sometimes the most toxic product people use.)
- Shampoo & conditioner –> Innersense Hair Bath and Conditioner.
- Hairstyling product –> Yarok Feed Your Ends heat protectant (protects my hair from my straightener – which I like a little too much!)
- Body moisturizer –> Osea Anti-aging Body Balm
- Facial cleanser of choice (works for me because I tend toward dry skin) –> Naturopathica Manuka Cleansing Balm
- Facial moisturizer of choice –> Pai Rosehip seed oil
- My special favorite current obsession: Josh Rosebrook’s Hydrating Accelerator – great to use as a toner or as a moisture mist throughout the day
Links and Resources
- How to find the right products for your specific skin type & concerns: Follain home page and quiz
- EWG Skin Deep for a natural products rating system of nearly 80,000 products – a personal go-to source for Dr. Aviva and Tara when evaluating ingredients and overall safety
- A Recent New York Times article on regulation in the cosmetics industry: Do You Know What’s in Your Cosmetics?