Clean Beauty Matters with Follain Founder Tara Foley


Clean beauty. We hear the term, but what does it really mean? And does it matter? I think so, and so does my guest for this 100th episode (whoot!) of Natural MD Radio, which you can listen to below.


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.

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.

 

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.

Show Notes

  • 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: Here are some of Tara’s Latest 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

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Ann McQuinn

Beautiful interview! Thank you Aviva and Tara for inspiring women to take of themselves so they can be their best for their loved ones and life endeavors. I'm enthralled with natural, yet effective, skin care. As one with very sensitive skin, I'm excited to visit Follain and take the quizzes to discover more best options. Thank you, again, for being the beautiful change we all want to see.

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Kim

Lived this episode! Always looking for natural products to use in and around the home but lacking direction for face/body care. Thank you!!

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Heather

I really enjoyed your episode with Tara. It’s great to hear this information getting out there. There are some products I have been using that a chose a few years ago, under the assumption that they were good for me, only to learn that the company has changed their formula or it wasn’t as good as the claimed it to be. Women want this information ao we can make better choices. Thanks for all you do!

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Marisa

Thanks for sharing this important information!

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Ana

Thank you for the honesty and for sharing your insights. Congratulations on this 100th episode! I liked that they don’t make you buy a specific brand or many products. They guide you to which product or products you may need based on your skin type. I also loved that they are environmentally friendly to go full circle into what goes into the water etc when we rinse off those products.

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Katie Kleiner

Loved this episode! Thank you for sharing all your knowledge about beauty products! I’m all about less can be so much better for our health. Thanks again!

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Maile

So enjoyed this podcast! I’d love to start with the soaps, and was thankful for a low stress starting point as it was eye opening to think about the amount of chemicals I use daily on my body. Thanks for sharing this and for all you both do to enhance abundant life for people!

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Maria Lopez

Thank you for all the work you do! I have postpartum thyroditis, after reading Dr. Aviva's book I changed how I ate and the products I used. Its so good to know that I can access Follain and find the beauty products I need. It is SOOOO HARD to find clean beauty products. I hope you ship to Canada :) Thank you again for all your work !!

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Lyndsay C.

I have recently been looking to making my own skin care products, to get more natural. And I rarely wear makeup. I was looking for something more natural for makeup. This episode just gave me that link to living more naturally with beauty supplies. Tara, thank you for saying that sometimes having time to ourselves might just be 5 minutes. I sometimes feel like I'm failing at that. But at least hey, now I know I'm not the only one that it might only be 5 minutes, but I need to Cherish those 5 minutes.

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Tammy

Thank you so much for this episode! I’ve been contemplating how to upgrade my skincare and beauty products. This episode gave some truly helpful tips on switching to healthier skincare products and a healthier lifestyle - taking “me time!” Thanks again!

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Kat

I enjoyed listening to your podcast, I've learned something new. Cleanwashing is so prevalent in cosmetic industry, unfortunately. I have been using essential oils and organic cosmetic products but never heard of Follain store. Thank you for introducing me to this resource! Would love to try some of the products they sell.

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Lori Harsch

Love the 100th podcast. Natural beauty is near and dear to me and I love that the Follain website has everything I would ever need to keep my beauty routine all in one place.

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Bethany

I really loved this episode! Being pregnant with my second, and a small business owner of a therapy practice, I cried at the honesty and relatability of both Tara and Dr. Aviva. I've been a long fan of Dr. Aviva, but this really was one of my favorite episodes. Its been a challenge finding good natural pregnancy safe products (that are actually safe) this time around. Thanks!

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Casey Hawley

Thank you so much for this episode! I have reduced toxic exposure in my diet and household cleaning products, but researching how to overhaul my beauty and skincare routine has been completely overwhelming. I was ecstatic to hear about Follain — how amazing to have a single resource for safe beauty and skincare products! You have saved me hours of Internet research, and likely hundreds of dollars buying products that aren’t suitable for my skin type. I’ve already taken the skin quiz and can’t wait to place my order! Thank you Dr. Aviva for tackling these topics that not only empower women to take back their health, but to do so in a manageable, practical way. You rock!

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Veronica

Aviva, Thank you for another great episode! Tara is awesome. I love her mission of helping women with their health, self-care, and making them feel beautiful all at the same time. I will definitely look into the website! Congratulations on your 100th episode!

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Maire

Hi Aviva! I just listened to your 100th episode and it was exactly what I’ve been needing to get me motivated to revamp my skin care and home cleaning products!! What you were both talking about also resonated with me. Being a business owner and a mom, self care is so important as is being patient with yourself. Can’t wait to clean out my beauty and home products to those that are good for me, my family and the planet!!

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Katie

Thank you for this episode! I have been trying to find good skin products that minimize chemicals and won’t irritate my sensitive skin. I can’t wait to explore Follian!

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Caitlin

So thankful I listened to this episode! I am running out of shampoo and realized this could be a great way to switch a product that my whole family uses to something I can feel good about!! Love all of your episodes Aviva and as someone who has made many of my own skincare products I am so excited to check out Follain!

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Tara Robertson

First of all, congrats on 100 episodes! I have been a dedicated listener for about 6 months now and I love your podcast so much. This episode really resonated with me as I’ve been switching my skin care over for about 4 months and I feel very overwhelmed with what is ok and isn’t ok in skin care. It gets so confusing and there is so much contradicting information, so I love that you have broken it down. I also love that you had Tara Foley on and the introduction to her company. I am going to be checking it out to see what else I can swap out. I’ve been noticing so many issues I’ve been having stemming from fragrance, so I’m so happy you talked about that too! I also loved the discussion about the self care. This will be an episode I come back and listen to a few times. Thank you so much again for this great episode, all your other episodes, and for your dedication to your listeners on giving us information that is so important for our health. Tara

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Janae Cashen

I LOVED this podcast. I am a Follain ambassador and have gotten even more into clean beauty since finding out my mom has breast cancer. Can’t wait to share this episode. As I’m still in my early twenties, I love sharing this information with my friends and family!

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Kathryn

This was such a lovely conversation to listen in to! Thank you Tara for all your insight, honesty and passion! Definitely going to have to check out your company and support your mission.

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Hannah

Great episode! It’s unbelievable the number of chemicals we’re exposed to on a daily basis just in our cosmetics. I’ve actually been looking into “cleaner” shampoos, so this particular episode provided some helpful information.

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Devon Horsman

That you for all the information and tips! It is nice to have a trusted source.

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Darcy

Loved this show! I have been looking for ways to overhaul our beauty products for myself and my two daughters. So wonderful to hear about this company, as well as things to look for, both good and bad. Thank you for this!

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Laren

I really appreciated going over greenwashing, and just how important taking care of oneself is. The comment telling your daughter that it's important to take care of her, so why shouldn't you take care of yourself... Totally crucial! Thank you

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Anja Farin

Great show! Glad to know about this great company, and will share with others

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Jacqueline Cowan

Hi there, I loved this interview. I am a female entrepreneur and a women’s health advocate. I own PearlPhysio, a pelvic health physical therapy practice in CA. My favorite part of this interview was the honesty that Tara shared with us about her struggles to incorporate self care as an entrepreneur and as a mother. I love the idea of transforming the routine of washing your face at night into a relaxing ritual with healthy, good-smelling natural product to set the stage for a good nights sleep. All too often I, and I’m sure many other women rush through our own self care, focusing only on the care of others. What a great suggestion and I will share with my patients and friends. I’m going to start this tonight! Thank you.

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Joyce

Like so many of us, I’m in search of a healthier lifestyle. I am so happy to find so many wonderful personal products in one place. Thank you Follain!

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Leah

I'm hoping that this is where I am to leave a comment to be entered into the drawing of products from Follian. So excited after listening to this episode! Have been having fun taking the Follian online quizzes. Thanks for a great 100 episodes! Looking forward to the next 100!

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Molly Westmaas

I've noticed my skin changing over the past couple of years and next week I turn 28, so I decided to treat myself to a great skincare line. Thank you so much for sharing this episode (and your story about ordering an entire skincare line vs specific products). I'm so happy to have listened to this episode before placing that order and excited to use Follain and build my routine over time. Love that there are multiple options in different price ranges. Thank you, Aviva and Tara!

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Tierra

Thank you Aviva and Tara for this awesome 100th episode. Although I use very few outer beauty products (I like to rely on clean water, good food, and sleep to take care of most of that), I learned so much from this episode! My daughter uses quite a few products and I will be sending this episode her way! I really love the discussion on mompreneur priorities. These are real world issues for busy moms and both of you share so honestly about the inner workings of struggle and triumph in this realm. Thank you!

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Carolyn

Thank you so much for this episode. I am a ‘middle aged” woman who has finally realized the importance of natural body products and self care. How incredible to hear tips on how to transition to natural body products. Now I have begun to get my children in the process of bringing in more natural products in their life. Can’t wait to go to Follain’s website. Is there a store in NYC???

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McKenzie

I've been listening to Aviva's podcasts for the past year and have absolutely loved them! I am a Registered Dietitian who is passionate about healthy living and love Aviva's holistic, lifestyle approach to health and wellness. These podcasts have been amazingly educational and full of practical steps that listeners can take to move towards a better, healthier versions of themselves. I really enjoyed this podcast with guest speaker Tara Foley. I admire how Aviva doesn't sell any products in order to keep her information pure, but so appreciate that she is sharing some companies she trusts with her listeners. I can't wait to try some products from Follain! Thank you both for the amazing hard work that you do!

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elissa

Thank you so much! You continue to inspire me and guide me to better health. I loved this episode because it helped me to reflect on the whole idea of beauty and what that means to me. One of the keys that you two spoke about is self-care. As w women's health nurse, I see that it is so important to guide women in this arena because our own selves often gets lost in the shuffle. I know that even applying my sensual, rose moisturizer has the power to transform me and my day. Small acts of kindness! Thanks so much for bringing your paradigm of change, beauty and true health to our world. May you be blessed to continue with your holy work.

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    Cindy

    Can’t wait to take the Follain quiz and start using the products! Aviva, I have learned so much from your podcasts , which I have applied to my life and now spread the word to others! Thank you

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Nancy Ng

Thank you for this informative podcast. I am somewhat early in my journey in migrating to natural products so I completely appreciate the opportunity to learn about follain and the background to how it came to be.

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Lisa

I loved this podcast! I have followed Dr. Aviva for a while now and she always has such informative and interesting topics. I use as much natural products as I can, but have not tried natural makeup. Follain has awesome products that I'm going to try out!

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Diane

Fantastic episode! It’s always encouraging to see successful women owned businesses that are making a real and positive impact on the world.

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Julie

Thank you for this great episode and reminding us that every little thing can make a difference for us but also for the planet...

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Sara

Thank you for having Tara on Natural MD Radio sharing what she does. I have transitioned a lot of household cleaning products, food, etc to natural, non harmful products. However, I’ve struggled making the transitioning my all of my skin care over because it is so overwhelming! How awesome that Follain helps personalize what products are right for you. I am excited to take the quiz to find out what products are recommended to take one more step towards taking back my health! Thank you so much!!

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anna

Thank you Aviva and Tara. A couple of points that stick with me. 1. The discussion of Instagram and how it is influencing self-esteem, self-image, beauty and representation. This honest conversation heightened my awareness of the platform’s influence and the power we each have in choosing how we show up on it. 2. The return to knowledge I’ve heard before about the emptiness of product labels: green, clean, natural, and the need to go a step further and know the ingredients to avoid! 3. The reference to SkinDeep! I’ve checked most of my daily products and have gotten rid of one and will look to change out others when they run empty. 4. The authentic conversation about being mothers, thank you! thank you! thank you! The way you show up provides solace in a media interface filled with phoney!

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Rachel

Loved this episode! So informative! I've tried many many clean products for my face and body with some hit and miss results so I'm excited to try the Follain quiz and get some tailored recommendations. Thanks for continuing to share your knowledge thru your blog and podcast. I learn so much :)

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KalenaSpire

Hello! I am thrilled to hear that I won the giveaway. Please let me know what I need to do next. Thank you!

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Sarah Edwards

Congratulations on 100 episodes! I am a huge fan of Follain and loved hearing your conversation with Tara. Being wary of the "next perfect ingredient" was a helpful reminder. Our skin is unique and the same products don't work for everyone!

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Shauna

I love that an episode on beauty products spends as much time discussing the many facets of modern womanhood (balancing the desire to look beautiful with real self confidence and beauty, which have nothing to do with what’s at the surface; balancing the need for autonomy and creativity with motherhood) as products. A refreshing, frank conversation- thank you! <3

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Tami Madsen

Bless you, Tara for following through with your dreams to make truly safe skin care products available to us. Thank you to Dr. Romm for featuring you on her podcasts! I've listened to almost every one of them. I am a 56 yr old returning student, interested in clean eating, clean makeup, and healthy living. I am a mother of four adult children, two of which live at home still, and grandmother of two! My 24-yr old daughter was diagnosed with Lyme disease and Babesia just three years ago after years of ill health. My husband and I support her and hope for her symptoms to go into remission; she is an online student. I did some college after high school, but have mostly worked part time in clerical positions most of my life. I've been gluten free for over 10 years as a result of my kids' food allergies, but I struggle with self-diagnosed histamine intolerance (chronic sinusitis), so currently following gut healing protocol. Your podcasts have inspired me to seek out answers for better health for me and my family. Thank you for the information and encouragement Dr. Romm!

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