Ep. 63: 5 toxic beauty ingredients I avoid!

By: Cassy Joy

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We're back with our 63rd episode of the Fed+Fit Podcast! Remember to check back every Monday for a new episode and be sure to subscribe on iTunes!

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Episode 63 Links:

  • Get signed up for the Fed & Fit Project Online wait-list HERE.
  • Find my Beautycounter recommendations HERE.
  • Shop Beautycounter HERE.
  • Shop Primally Pure HERE.

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Episode 63

Today we’re going to talk about how to get on the waiting list for the new Fed and Fit Project online; PaleoFx, the five toxic beauty product ingredients that I avoid; and two trustworthy companies for safer beauty.

Cassy Joy: Good morning everybody! I hope this finds you well and your week off to a wonderful start. Thank you, once again for bearing with me while I took a little time to get some other projects out the door, but I’ve got some really great interviews in the queue now, and you’re going to have more every week; weekly episodes. Isn’t that exciting?

Before I get into today’s topic, which is a pretty cool one. It’s one I’ve been wanting to cover for a while. I wanted to give you a quick state of affairs {laughs} as it is in the Fed and Fit Cassy and Gus and husband household. So, as far as the book goes. If you’re a new listener; welcome to the party. I have just wrapped up work on my first printed cookbook. It is going to be available in stores nationwide; so you can hold it in your hands and you can dog-ear all the pages you like. It will be available on July 12th nationwide; it’s very exciting, it has been a long time in the making. I have poured everything into it I possibly could.

And my dear friend, Juli Bauer, behind PaleOMG.com, she’s a brilliant recipe developer, fitness programmer, all around positive spirit worked with me actually in the book to help bring a really robust fitness program to the 28-day program that I’ve got outlined in the book. And the 28-day program that’s outlined in the book actually is a copy of my Fed and Fit Project. And if you’ve been following me for a very long time {laughs} then you know that the project is my online healthy lifestyle, start to finish program. And it’s not just another cleanse or reset, although it can read that way; the four weeks can definitely be read that way. But the main point of it is that you cultivate, and I walk you through the process to cultivate these major lessons learned so that at the end of the four weeks, and beyond, not only do you have a really great baseline of health and you’re feeling really wonderful, but you’re also equipped then with these powerful realizations about yourself about how to build your perfect you plan.

So a lot of that information is in the book, but we are also going; I tell you that, because we are also going to be revving up the project online once again. And I will be giving you a lot more information about the project online as we get a little bit closer; but for the time being, if that sounds like something that you’re interested in, the project online is going to follow the same format that you’ll find in the book, but we are providing supplemental videos, like newscaster style, really fun, informational videos. The project online is going to be broken up more like an online class, a course you might take. We are going to have a community forum, all kinds of really wonderful supplemental resources; oh my goodness. The list could go on.

And I won’t bore you with all the details right now, but if you’re interested in possibly participating in that and letting you guys know first hear on the show that we’re going to have to cap our first enrollment. We’re going to start the first group in August, and because we don’t want to crash the site off the bat, we want to make sure that we’ve got a really great, focused group of folks in the beginning, we’re going to cap it. So first dibs for those seats will go out to anybody who is registered, signed up on the Fed and Fit Project mailing list. And the way that you get signed up on that mailing list is to go to https://FedandFit.com, that’s my website/blog; and at the top menu bar on the fifth little button over, you will see The Project. And it’s nestled in right next to the podcast button. So you can just click on The Project, and scroll down, and click sign up for updates here, and that will put you on the mailing list I send out. I truly am only going to be sending out one to two emails to that list total. So don’t think you’re singing up for another full on mailing list. So anyways! That’s pretty exciting stuff, and I just can’t wait to really share that with you guys.

Ok, other updates. I’ve got a whole slew; although I’ve been quiet on the podcast, I have been updating with brand new recipes on the blog very regularly, so be sure to check those out. I’ve got some that I’m really proud of; they’re some of my most favorites. It’s a funny thing that happens after you finish writing a book; I’ve got almost 200 recipes in this book, you guys. And I’ve always thought of them as some of my best; some of my best work is in this book, and I’m just so tickled that it’s going to be out in the world now. But a funny thing happened; when you look at that, you think; “Oh my goodness! 200 of my best recipes, am I going to have anything left? Is there anything left in the creative energy bank?” And something magical happens. For some reason, after I pressed send on that book and it went off to the printer and all was done, it was like this creative cloud washed over me again, and I had all kinds of ideas. So really fun ideas on there, as well as a Memorial Day special recipe coming up this week.

Let’s see; what else do I have for you. I’m working on a very special giveaway; an exclusive eBook giveaway for everybody who preordered a copy of the book. So as a special thank you to everybody; we’re also going to be organizing some bigger product giveaways as we get closer to the release date. But because I want to cover my bases and really show gratitude to everybody who’s been there since the beginning, I’m preparing a snacking eBook that’s going to be totally free; all you’ll need to do is just mail; I’ll give you all the instructions when the time comes, but you’ll just mail me a copy of your proof of purchase, whether that’s via email or if you want to take a picture of it, whatever floats your boat. Mail me a copy of your proof of preorder purchase and we will send you a copy of the eBook. It will be easy peasy!

Let’s see, what else do I have for you on my list? Oh my goodness, this weekend is PaleoFx. And if you are not familiar with PaleoFx, it is a; how do I describe PaleoFx? It is like the premier paleo friendly, functional medicine, health and wellness, lifestyle conference in the nation. It’s held once a year in Austin, Texas, in the last spring/early summer, and it is this weekend! And I live just down the road in San Antonio, Texas, so I’ve been lucky enough to hop in my car and head on up there. And this will be my third year in a row; I will be actually presenting at PaleoFx, I’m going to be doing a cooking demonstration. So if you’re going to be in town, if you’re either going to be there for the whole conference or you’re trying to pick a day, might I suggest Saturday? {laughs} Because that’s the day I’m presenting. I’m presenting at 3 p.m.; I’m going to do a cooking demo of my paleo detox salad. It’s a reader favorite, and I’m pretty stoked because I think I’m going to wear a red romper. {laughs} Because that’s what’s important, apparently.

You know when you’re getting ready to pack for a weekend away, you just start to think about clothes. Or at least, that’s what I do. I don’t think I’m alone there. And then aside from that, I’m going to be sharing a house this weekend with some of my best friends in the industry; Vanessa Barajas of Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind; Lexi Kornblum of Lexi’s Clean Kitchen will be there; Juli, of course, will be there of PaleOMG; Shaun and Suzanne of Pastured Kitchen, and our good friends, the Chin Loy’s; who just have the cutest little baby! We’re all going to be sharing a house together, so it’s going to be really, really fun. We did something similar last year and we had a great time, but we did not have Snapchat last year and we do have it this year, {laughs} so I recommend if you have not made the plunge and jumped into learning Snapchat; there’s totally a learning curve, but you can do it. If I can do you, you can do it! Get on there; we’re going to probably be posting lots of fun things on Snapchat. You can find me just by my username that you can see me anywhere online; @FedandFit. So those are my updates!

Ok, let’s get into this show. So, the reason why I wanted to do today’s show is, safer beauty products has been a passion project of mine for several years now. Liz Wolfe, who wrote the Skintervention Guide, she is also the bestselling author behind Eat the Yolks, she’s a friend and mentor of mine in this industry. Years ago I decided to take the plunge; I said, you know what, I have cleaned up my diet, and I saw a lot of results. When I eliminated really those inflammatory toxic foods out of my daily routine, my body responded beautifully. It was like I let my body take a deep breath for the first time; it was on the defense for so long, I finally just let my body be and heal, and I just felt better than ever.

So after you get past that hurdle; you know, so many of us have cleaned up our diets and we feel great. We know the benefits because it’s obvious. Then we start to take a look; where are toxins elsewhere in my life? And as a girl who; I enjoy wearing makeup, I enjoy doing my hair, I like beauty products. I like to switch things up every once in a while; try a new face wash, try a new moisturizer, try a new shampoo. And again, I don’t think I’m alone there, but I had to take a step back and really audit myself. I eliminated those toxins; I haven’t had a diet soda, for example; oh gosh, you guys, I used to drink diet Dr. Pepper like it was going out of style. I think I used to have three to four a day when I was in college. But I eliminated those toxins from my daily routine; but what am I putting on my skin?

Our skin is our largest organ, and just because it’s necessarily the outside doesn’t mean that what we put on it doesn’t find its way into our body, into our bloodstream, and become a part of our person and a part of something that then our immune system has to deal with, right? So for trying to make ourselves feel our best, look our best, and at the end of the day; by feel our best, not just feel healthy, but have peace of mind that the choices we’re making are proponents of good health. It brought me to a point where I said; you know what, let’s do it. I am going to clean everything up. And I jumped in; I read Liz’s Skintervention Guide, and of course I contacted her and we had all kinds of great conversations about it.

But I jumped in, and I went full blown oil cleansing method; which is where you actually cleanse your face; and I’ve got a blog post on it, so if you research, or Google oil cleansing Fed and Fit it should come up and tell you all of the nerdy science details I know you’re just dying to know {laughs}. You wash your; for what I did, at first, when I started was coconut oil and you just take coconut oil, rub it all over your face. It also will help take off makeup, take a wet washcloth that’s warm, and you put it over your face and you almost create a little bit of a steam bath where the coconut oil is able to really get into your pores, and it really does a wonderful job of cleaning your face. Then you wipe it all off; it leaves you squeaky clean. It’s incredible. And I did that.

I also followed a no-poo hair cleansing routine; which is where you use no shampoo, {laughs} is why it’s called that, and you use a mixture of baking soda and apple cider vinegar with water. I had mason jars and all kinds of kitchen supplies in my shower for years. And again, Google that and you can learn more about it. Or just look up Liz’s Skintervention Guide; Purely Primal Skincare Guide; it’s still a wonderful resource.

So I did no-poo and oil cleansing amongst other very, very healthy things. Pretty much stopped wearing makeup unless I was going to be on TV or have photos taken of me. And it was great; my skin felt great, my hair looked good, I was surprised. And I had that peace of mind; that feel good feeling that I was doing everything I could.

And then at the end of about 2 years, I think, it was when I was about to turn 30. My skin changed a little bit, my hair changed a little bit, and I was ready for more. I started to experience some dry skin; I started to experience more wrinkles and some dots, and I got to a point where; yep, I am an all natural girl and I love having that peace of mind that I’m putting no chemicals; toxic chemicals, forgive me, on my face and body. But I also {laughs} love conventional beauty; I do. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. So I got to the point where I was looking for; I started to dig into more research and I decided; ok, let’s say I don’t go full crunchy granola. I’m not going to wash my face with coconut oil and wash my hair with baking soda anymore. What is the next step up? I don’t want to jump back into the full blown slew of toxic chemical beauty goop, but what are some of the worst ingredients that I should avoid; and then what are some of the ones that are a little bit more benign, not going to have a huge impact. They’re definitely not natural, but they’re not going to have a huge impact on my health.

So I started doing some research; and I’m sorry for this very long back-story {laughs} I didn’t intend on telling you all of this, but now that I think about it I really do believe it’s relevant. I started to do some more research, and I came across some interesting statistics. At this point in time, there are approximately; and I borrowed some of these stats from a company I’m about to tell you about. There are about 10,000 ingredients used in beauty products right now; personal care products across every avenue in the United States. That’s 10,000 products. And only 10% of those have been tested for safety in human health. So 10% of 10,000 products that are being used right now. Which is pretty eye opening; so 90% of those products have not been tested for human health. And the last time the US actually passed a major federal law to regulate ingredients that were used in personal care products was 1938.

So really what this tells me; I’m not necessarily promoting more regulation. But what this tells me is that science has sped up much more quickly than testing has, right? And as a consumer, I want to know that the ingredients I’m putting on my face and body are good for my health, are not going to be extremely problematic in the future. If we rewind the clock and we think back years and years ago; folks didn’t know that cigarette smoke was bad. There weren’t tests out at that point in time. They didn’t know that Sweet and Low was bad for their health; or potentially harmful to health. So it’s just a matter of wanting to be on the cutting edge. I don’t want to have to look back at my beauty products in 10 to 15 years and see that this one mainstay ingredient was in all of them, and I didn’t know it was going to be so bad for me.

So that was really the motivating factor why I eventually went full on crunchy granola skin and hair care; but now that I also do want products that produce more conventional results, I should say. I really do want moisturized skin, and occasionally I want to wear makeup that I feel good about. So I needed to start researching; what are some of these ingredients that are probably the most egregious in terms of harmful to my health, and how can I avoid those?

So, this finally brings me to today’s topic that I want to talk about. It’s the 5 beauty ingredients that I avoid. There are still some that I want to avoid, but I like to narrow it down to just 5 for the purposes of this episode so we’ve got easily digestible information. But I’ll go ahead and run through them really quickly, and at the end of this I’m going to give you some options of companies that product beauty product lines that do not include these ingredients.

So let’s get into it; number one ingredient. And these are in no particular order, I’ve just got them written down. But number one is called triclosan. And triclosan is an antibacterial agent that is found in most antibiotic soaps that kills both the good and bad bacteria. And what’s important to know about triclosan is that it may disrupt hormones. Note that alcohol based antibacterial sanitizers are different and much more appropriate; those antibacterial alcohol based hand sanitizers tend to not include triclosan. But, read on the back of your bottles and make sure triclosan isn’t listed on there, because it might be an endocrine disruptor, which is a hormone disruptor.

Next on the list is; and this is kind of a mouthful but it’s phthalates, I believe is how you say it; it’s got a P-H and a T-H in there. But it’s spelled P-H-T-H-A-L-A-T-E-S. And what these little guys do is they help make fragrances stick to your skin, and they also make beauty products more pliable. These too are also endocrine disruptors, and have been shown in some studies to cause birth defects, which is really terrifying.

Next up we have polyethylene glycol and other PEG compounds like propylene glycol, if you’ve probably heard of that one. And the PEG compounds are usually used in conventional beauty products as thickeners or solvents; they’re used to help create creams and shampoos and sunscreens nice a soft. And products with polyethylene glycol or propylene glycol listed likely also contain carcinogenic compounds such as ethylene oxide depending on how their produced. So it’s just a really good one to just straight up avoid; it’s one that I really like to avoid. Carcinogenic compounds, if you’re not familiar with what that means, it just means potentially cancerous; cancer causing.

Next on the list is one that I’m sure everybody is very familiar with; parabens. Parabens are a preservative that are usually used to help extend the shelf life of a beauty product. Did you know that beauty products do have an expiration date? At least the good ones do. Parabens are endocrine disruptors, which means a hormone disruptor. But they do, the funny thing about parabens is they tend to mimic our own estrogen, and can confuse our body by adhering to estrogen receptors. So then our body will get mixed signals; whereas estrogen might trigger a certain reaction in the body, fake estrogen, as could be caused by parabens, triggers a different reaction which is what I mean by hormone disruptor. They’re found in shampoos, and face cleansers, and body wash, lotions, and a lot of foundations; liquid foundations especially. So keep your eyes peeled for parabens.

A lot of products right now, because paraben has become kind of a buzzword, are labeled paraben free. So that will help you out. Note too, before I forget and move on to this last one on the list; just because, part of the regulation that I was talking about before, the lack of regulation on personal care products right now; beauty companies do not have to list every ingredient that’s in a beauty product. So any personal care product, it’s not required that they list everything that’s in there. So what you want to do is to find a company that vows to list all of their ingredients. Just a tip. Or look for products that say that they are free of all of these things; they may not list all of their ingredients, but if you’re trying to meet in the middle, and maybe you’re not ready to commit to one of the companies I’m about to tell you about, and you’re just going into the grocery store, look for the ones that say they’re free of parabens, free of PEG compounds, free of phthalates and triclosan, yadda, yadda.

Ok, the last one on my list is sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. So SLS, and SLES. And forgive me if I’m mispronouncing these. I’m one of those girls when I read books, I don’t know why I do this, but for example Harry Potter comes to mind. When I read Harry Potter when I was younger, I made up how all of those names were pronounced in my head of all of the characters in Harry Potter; and it wasn’t until I saw the movies that I realized how their names were specifically supposed to be pronounced. Hermione comes to mind, and Dumbledore. I got both of those very wrong. So bear with me here, you guys.

Ok, so these SLS and SLES are surfactants that help make beauty products foam and bubble. So think about a really bubbly foamy face wash or a bubble bath, or even a shampoo that gets really nice and lathery. Now note; you can get a lather without having to use SLS and SLES, but personal care product companies tend to use these guys because they’re cheaper, they’re more reliable, it might create an easier product for them, it’s easier to accomplish what they’re really trying to achieve. But you can find some that will still lather that don’t contain these guys.

The problem with SLS and SLES is that they can cause immune damage and have an impact on your body’s ability to maintain moisture naturally. So what does this mean? Have you ever used a face wash and you started using it, and maybe you love it, maybe it bubbles so nicely. But you find that your face is almost more dry towards the end of the day than it was before, so you find yourself using more and more moisturizer. That is because that SLS or SLES is drying out your skin and keeping your body from retaining its own moisture. Whereas if you have a face wash that doesn’t have those compounds in it, it can cleanse your face but still leave your skin’s ability to retain its own moisture, own healthy oils intact. Right? So you won’t be as dependent on store-bought moisturizers. Pretty interesting stuff, I hope all of that was helpful.

Ok, so the best part of this whole story is the good news. What’s the good news in all of this information? Is that there actually are a couple of companies, and they’re new in the past 5 to 10 years, probably really just 5 years, that I have found that are completely transparent about what ingredients they put into their products. They are high performing; I would not recommend them if I had not personally tested them and experienced wonderful results. They’re affordable, I could just really get behind them. I’m going to recommend two to you today, and I've got more coming.

I’m going to actually organize an entire beauty column when I get back from my book tour, which will be the last two weeks of July. I’m going to really launch; dive into a beauty column where I talk about the beauty swaps I made and why and I’m going to break it up into shampoo and conditioner beauty swaps, and I’m going to talk about your options from no-poo and how to do it to a very, very safe option that you can buy from a company that makes one, a very transparent one like what I’m about to tell you about, and maybe even one from the store that you can buy just at your local grocery store that’s probably a safer option than the other ones on the shelf, right? So I’m going to try to give you 3 options, from DIY, really crunchy, really, really healthy, no toxic ingredients at all; a middle ground that’s high performing and a safer beauty product; and then one that may not be as safe but it’s the best one on the shelf at the grocery store. So I’m going to try to give you a range of those.

Bu that being said, for the purposes of this show, I really just want to tell you about two companies. First, is Beautycounter. And you’ve probably heard me talk about them already on either Instagram, Snapchat has gotten some shout outs, and I also just launched a total Beautycounter write up on my blog, which I definitely encourage you to check it out.

But Beautycounter is a skincare, makeup, hair care, baby and body product company that is dedicated to the mission of creating safer beauty products. And I’m completely smitten with this company. Not only are they working in legislation to bring safer beauty products to everybody; not just with their products, but they’re trying to promote better labeling across the board so that consumers don’t have to be worried that the wool is being pulled over their eyes. It’s a really great company. They have a list of 1500 ingredients that they will never put into their products; it’s called their never list, and you can Google it. I also have it linked in that page on my website.

I currently use, and I turned to Beautycounter when I was ready for; when I talked before I was ready for some chemicals; I didn’t necessarily want all natural anymore, but I also didn’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I didn’t want to jump in and slather on that toxic goop anymore on my face, but I did want results. I wanted fine lines to start to fade, I wanted to heal my dry skin, and Beautycounter really did it. I spent a little over 2 months testing the products; I’m a hard sell, you guys. It takes me a long time to make up my mind on stuff like this. And I finally, after I saw the results after about 2 weeks I started to see results, and then I just kept experimenting with more products. And I’m really in love, and I’m recommending all of the things that I do love.

Also on that page, which is at the top of my menu bar, right where I talked about how you can find The Project signup sheet; at the very far right hand side of my menu you can see Beautycounter tab on https://FedandFit.com. And if you click on that, I tell you a little bit more about my journey with dry skin. But I give you a run through; a complete review of all the Beautycounter products I’ve tried, and I’ve broken them up into categories. Sun protection; they have a great sunscreen, you guys. Makeup that I love, hair care, anti-aging, moisturizers and cleansers. And I also have a list of the things that I tried and didn’t love; so you know I’m not just promoting everything. But there are, there are some things that I tried were great, but I really think homemade could be better on some of their options. But I had to review them all for you, so you can find that there.

Beautycounter is high performing products at I think a competitive price that spans; I use them for face wash, moisturizer, sun protection; they have this dew skin tint that is SPF 20, it has a very, very light color and I wear it every day. Anyway, I could go on and on and on, and I might later {laughs} on another show, but I highly recommend that.

The other company I want to tell you about is Primally Pure. Primally Pure; I had Bethany Joy on the podcast several episodes ago, and she is just a wonderful person. But that’s the other company that I turn to. And Primally Pure really is on the crunchier side, I should say; really nontoxic, all natural ingredients you can find in her stuff. The body butter is the lotion that I use for my hand and body; it’s my favorite. The vanilla almond is the flavor I love so much. I actually use; she just released, I’m so excited because I’ve been using a prototype of hers for a little while now; she just released this complexion mist, and I actually use that as my toner in between the other Beautycounter products that I use. It’s rose and mint and it’s lovely. So anyway, highly recommend you check out Primally Pure. She’s got the best lip balm, all great stuff. I use her deodorant, and it works really well, smells great.

So those are my recommendations. We’re going to link up to this in the show notes, but I appreciate you guys sticking in here with me along in this journey of trying to find better beauty products for one and all. Thanks again for joining me; next weeks’ episode is probably going to be one that I record at PaleoFx with the people that I’m sharing a house with. I think we might do some sort of a trivia game, just to keep it kind of fun and light and introduce you to those folks.

Thanks again for joining me you guys. I’ll be back again next week.


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