I get asked all the time why I became a Beautycounter consultant. In this post I explain why, as a doctor, I became a Beautycounter consultant. If you have been considering joining as a Beautycounter consultant I hope you find this post helpful.
I get asked all the time why, as a doctor, do I also work with Beautycounter. “Don’t you make good money?”, “how do you have the time?”, “why would you ever get involved with a direct sales company?”. These are questions I get over and over again so I decided it was finally time to write a blog post addressing these questions and more. Because I have so many reasons why I joined Beautycounter and I am so glad I did. I cannot imagine my life without Beautycounter at this point. The friendships I have made, the advocacy work I get to do, the improvements I have seen in my skin, the extra money I make, the leadership and empowerment I get to provide for my team, and the personal growth I have seen have all been incredible.
Why I joined Beautycounter: Because our health matters
This is the main reason that I joined. As a doctor I see sick patients in my office day in and day out. So many health problems are on the rise, and there is increasing evidence that environmental exposures are playing a role in many different illnesses, everything from obesity, to cancers to autoimmune diseases. It makes me so angry!
You guys know that I have been interested in health and wellness for a long time. My passion for healthy eating lead me to start this blog in the first place. I’ve also always been very physically active. However, I am ashamed to say that for a long time I really gave no thought to the products I was using on my skin, on my hair, in my home etc. The idea of environmental health was foreign to me. I had no idea that the products that we use and surround ourselves with each and every day could be harmful to us. No clue. However, once I learned more I could not ignore that information. It actually makes me furious how unregulated the personal care industry is and how companies can knowingly use ingredients that are harmful to us in their products. In my mind there is nothing worse than companies that knowingly profit from making people ill. It makes me sick to think about. So let’s talk about some facts regarding the personal care industry because you may not know these things either. Because once you know, you can’t un-know.
The Personal Care Industry is Extremely Under-regulated
Coming from the medical profession where drugs have to be extensively tested for safety before they can be sold (and even then we can still find problems after they have been approved) I always assumed that the regulations for other industries were the same. Boy was I wrong. When it comes to the personal care industry, ingredients don’t have to be tested for safety before they can be used in products. How scary is that? It’s basically a free for all. In fact, of the over 80,000 different chemicals that have been introduced into the market since world war II, only 10% of them have ever been tested for safety in humans. 10%. It’s crazy. Yes, of those 80,000 different chemicals there are surely ones in there that are safe. But you can also be sure there are many that are not. Just look at what’s happened with Teflon and all of the health issues that it is causing (if you are unfamiliar with this issue please watch the documentary The Devil We Know). And that is just one example.
The personal care industry is so under-regulated that the last time a major federal law was passed in the US regulating the personal care industry was back in 1938. In fact, the US has only banned 30 ingredients from its personal care industry. The EU on the other hand has banned approximately 1400 ingredients, and we are doing a bit better here in Canada at 600. However, with that being said, Health Canada admits that they are not actually testing products for those banned ingredients, and a company doesn’t even have to inform Health Canada that they’ve introduced a new product to market until 10 days after it’s already on the shelf. So they are barely regulating anything at all.
What’s even worse is if a product is found to be harmful or dangerous, the FDA has no power to recall those dangerous products. It can only ask the company to voluntarily remove it from the shelves. Yes let me repeat that, when a product has been shown to be harmful or dangerous the FDA has no power to have it removed from the market. How this is even possible is mind boggling to me.
When you actually look at the skincare and beauty products on the market some of them contain ingredients that are very harmful to our health. Currently 1 in 5 products on the market contain ingredients that are known to cause or linked to cancer. This is especially relevant to hormonally based cancers such as breast cancer. Especially concerning from this standpoint is the use of parabens in skincare and beauty products. Parabens are known hormone disruptors, and parabens may contribute to hormonally based cancers such as breast cancer (see the references at the end of this post). One study even showed that 99% of those with breast cancer had paraben accumulation in their breast cancer tumors (see references). It’s pretty darn scary.
Other health problems that skincare and beauty products can contribute to include: allergic reactions, respiratory problems, neurological problems, weight gain, infertility, thyroid problems, birth defects, gastrointestinal problems, kidney problems, acne and more.
Another big concern is the presence of heavy metals in beauty products. Heavy metals can get into beauty products in one of two ways: intentionally or as a contaminant.
Mercury is one of the heavy metals that is allowed to be used intentionally in the beauty industry. This is concerning because mercury is very bad for our health. Mercury in any form is poisonous and can cause a number of different health problems including neurological problems, kidney problems, gastrointestinal problems and is very harmful to infants and babies. Currently mercury may be used as a preservative in products that are used around the eyes including eyeliners and mascara. The other terrifying thing is that if a company is using mercury as a preservative, they don’t have to disclose this ingredient on the label because the FDA does not require ingredients that comprise less than 1% of a cosmetic product to be shown on the label. Again, it’s crazy.
Contamination of makeup products with heavy metals is usually more of an issue than intentional use. This is due to the way that cosmetics are made. Many of the pigments used in color cosmetics are mineral based, and when these minerals are mined the heavy metals that settle in the soil around these minerals also get extracted, and hence contaminate the pigments. The concern is that there is no requirement for companies to test for heavy metal contamination in cosmetics. When they have been tested, 95% of lipsticks on the market were found to be contaminated with lead (see the references). It’s well known that lead is toxic, especially to children. Lead can be harmful to almost every system in the body and has been linked to many different health problems including brain damage, hearing loss, miscarriages, premature births, increased blood pressure, kidney damage, hormone imbalances and nervous system problems. It’s so dangerous that it’s been banned from many other industries, but so far the personal care industry hasn’t been subject to the same standards of scrutiny.
Now, you might think, does this really matter? I mean you are just putting these ingredients on your skin and in your hair so how much harm could they really do? Well, that’s the thing, they don’t just stay on your skin. Your skin isn’t a complete barrier, so a lot of what you put on your skin actually gets absorbed directly into your bloodstream (how much gets absorbed depends on the specific product and the ingredients used as well as your skin type). And once in your bloodstream, these harmful ingredients can impact almost every organ in your body. That’s why this is so important.
As well, when we look at newborn babies, studies have shown that there are over 200 different chemicals present in newborn umbilical cord blood. This is really scary. Our kids are already being exposed to harmful chemicals before they are even born (you can read about the findings in this article). In fact, the developing fetus is one of the most vulnerable populations, if not the most vulnerable, when it comes to environmental toxins and exposures. Their organ systems aren’t mature and they don’t have the same detoxification systems in place that adults do so they can be even more negatively affected by exposure to harmful ingredients.
So yes, what you put on your skin and on your body matters. It really matters.
So now that I have scared you about all the harmful ingredients that could be hiding in your current skincare and makeup products I want to explain why Beautycounter’s products are safer than any other brand out there (at least as far as I can tell based on the research that I have done).
First, their ingredient selection process is extremely strict to ensure that they are only using ingredients that are known to be safe for human health. They have banned over 1500 ingredients from their products that are known to be harmful and they have a very rigorous ingredient selection process that includes 5 steps:
STEP 1: BAN INTENTIONALLY – When creating our products, we prohibit questionable or potentially harmful ingredients.
STEP 2: SCREEN RIGOROUSLY – Using the best available sources, we screen every ingredient for specific health hazards.
STEP 3: LEARN CONSTANTLY –We review emerging data on cosmetics ingredients regularly and even commission our own non-animal studies.
STEP 4: SOURCE RESPONSIBLY –We choose the best organic, sustainable, and synthetic ingredients that meet our safety standards.
STEP 5: SHARE TRANSPARENTLY – We identify every formula ingredient including known components of fragrances, flavours, and preservatives.
And if there are questions about certain ingredients, or limited or conflicting evidence for ingredients that Beautycounter would like to use, they commission their own studies to show whether or not an ingredient is safe. They have a partnership with Tufts University and are doing research studies with Ana Soto, a leader in the research of endocrine disruptors. So far Beautycounter has done studies on a few different ingredients including phenoxyethanol which they found has no evidence of hormone disruption as well as lavender extract which they have also found to be safe.
As well, Beautycounter always discloses all of the ingredients in their products on their labels. What you see on the label is all that is in there. This is also ensured by the amount of contaminant testing they do. I mentioned earlier about the issue of heavy metal contamination in makeup products, well other very harmful ingredients can end up in skincare products as contaminants as well. This is because there are so many steps in the production chain of a skincare product that there are many places where contamination can happen. Beautycounter tests all of their products for contaminants, and they also test every batch of makeup three times for heavy metal contamination to ensure they are safe. As far as I know they have the strictest testing of any company in the industry. And they take the results of their testing very seriously. If a contaminant is ever found they immediately put a stop sell on that product to first determine if the contaminant is real (sometimes you can get false positive results), and if it is real, they then go back through their entire production chain to determine where that contamination happened. In one instance they took a product off the market for over 6 months to complete this analysis and ensure that it would never happen again.
I completely trust that Beautycounter’s products are safer than any other company’s on the market. The longer I have been with the company the more and more impressed I am at the effort they put into ensuring their products truly are safe.
Why I joined Beautycounter: Education and advocacy
Most people have no idea that their skincare and beauty products can be harmful. One of our biggest jobs as Beautycounter consultants is that of education. Just like I love to educate people about healthy eating, and the role that food can play in health and illness, I am equally passionate about educating people about healthy living and environmental health. Because again, once you know, you can’t un-know. Whether it’s sharing information one-on-one, at events, on Instagram, or in any other form, I love educating people about the role that their skincare products play in their overall health.
I talked earlier about the lack of regulation for the personal care industries in both the US and Canada. Beautycounter understands that what we ultimately need to happen is for the laws regulating this industry to change so that all companies can only use ingredients that are known to be safe for human health. We shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not products on the shelf contain carcinogens, hormone disruptors, neuro-toxins etc. All products should be safe. From this standpoint, Beautycounter is working closely with the governments in both Canada and the United States to try and make this a reality. Every other year Beautycounter sends select consultants to Washington DC to meet with congress to advocate for stricter laws in the personal care industry. Additionally, every year consultants meet with their local congressmen and congresswomen as well as members of parliament to help push for more protective laws. This May (2019) Beautycounter will be going to Ottawa for the first time to meet with parliament to ask for more health protective laws here in Canada (and I am hoping I will get to go!). Beautycounter also created the Counteract Coalition, an alliance of companies that supports the Personal Care Products Safety Act.
So far the advocacy work that Beautycounter has done has helped get the Personal Care Product Safety Act reintroduced, has helped get the Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2018 introduced, and has helped get oxybenzone banned from sunscreens in Hawaii. I could not be more excited to work for a company that will truly help make this world a better and safer place.
Why I joined Beautycounter: Friendships and Connections
To be honest when I joined Beautycounter I had no idea of the friends and connections I was going to make through this business. This has been one of the biggest blessings that has come out of working with Beautycounter. I have met so many incredible, like-minded, health conscious women all over Canada and the US. Most of my team members live in the United States, and had it not been for Beautycounter I never would have met them before. Many of the women on my team have become some of my best friends. I talk to many of them daily (if not multiple times a day) and never before have I been surrounded by such supportive and encouraging women (and now even a few men). The Beautycounter community is truly the best community. If nothing else, if you are feeling isolated or haven’t found “your tribe” I promise that you can find that within the Beautycounter community. It truly is amazing what women can do when they come together and support one another.
Why I joined Beautycounter: Money
I know that as women we don’t like to talk about money. But let’s be honest, we all need money to live. Now, when I signed up with Beautycounter I really just signed up for the discount. I wanted 25% off all the amazing products. I really had no sense of the income earning potential that Beautycounter could offer, and I still didn’t realize it until a year or so after I joined. That’s when I finally asked my mentor how much she was making. And her answer blew me away.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the money I make being a doctor is good money, but there are many downsides of medicine that you may not realize. For instance, I can only make money when I am physically seeing patients in my office. Even if I am reviewing charts at home or working from home I can’t get paid for that work. Additionally, we get no paid sick leave, no paid vacation time, no retirement benefits, no health benefits and no paid maternity leave. Last year when I got really sick with C.diff and had to miss a bunch of work was a huge wake up call for me. I didn’t make any money as a doctor during that time, even though I was still checking labs at home, phoning patients and trying to manage things the best I could. I was so grateful for my Beautycounter income during that time. Because those bills don’t disappear just because you are sick.
Maybe you don’t have goals to make big side money, but having a second income stream is never a bad idea. You just never know what is going to happen in life.
Disclaimer: Please bear in mind that earnings with Beautycounter may vary significantly, they depend on many factors, and not all Consultants will earn money. Relevant factors include each Consultant’s time dedicated to selling/mentoring and their unique circumstances. To see more about the earnings and costs of Beautycounter Consultants, please view the 2019 Income Disclosure Statement at www.beautycounter.com/ids. In 2019, the average Beautycounter Consultant earned $2,060 in the U.S before expenses. In Canada, the typical Consultant earned between $0 and $1,000, excluding income from retail sales of products.
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Why I joined Beautycounter: Flexibility
One of the best things about working with Beautycounter is that you do the work on your own terms. It’s totally flexible. How much time you invest, how you run your business, where you do your work, when you do your work, it’s all up to you. I still work full time as a physician, run my blog, and work with Beautycounter. The other great thing is that even when I am on vacation or off sick from work I still earn money through Beautycounter, even when I am making no money as a doctor. You really can do the work from anywhere. I also realize that I don’t want to be tied to my office to make money for the rest of my life. I want the flexility to work where I want, when I want. I also don’t want to be on call for the rest of my life. I find call extremely stressful and it always takes a lot out of my physically and mentally. So for me, having another source of flexible income is very important.
The other great thing is that anyone can make this business work. We have people from every different background working with Beautycounter: stay at home moms, engineers, nurses, naturopaths, chiropractors, makeup artists, personal trainers, full time bloggers, stylists etc. Whatever your background and whatever your story is, you could make Beautycounter work for you and your life. I promise!
Why I joined Beautycounter: The products
The final reason I joined Beautycounter was for the products. Well, technically this was actually the first reason I joined. I wanted the discount. I wanted to save 25% on everything since I was going to be buying the products anyways. That was the entire reason I signed up initially. You see, when I first learned how harmful the products that I used to use were I spent ages (and tons of money) trying to find alternatives that would work for my skin. And nothing did. I probably tried 10 different “natural” or “healthy” brands and my skin just kept getting worse and worse. My acne was worse than it had ever been and I was so, so frustrated. Thankfully I have seen such a huge improvement in my skin since switching to Beautycounter. Because I could never promote something that I didn’t personally love. Below are some of my before and after photos (please be kind) from before and after I started using Beautycounter’s products. As you can see, the results have been really impressive and I am sure you can see why I love the products as much as I do.
Wow, this post has turned into something much longer than I ever intended it to be. But I hope this gives you a good overview of why I love working with Beautycounter so much, and what the opportunity has done for me personally, and what it could do for you.
If you’ve been curious about learning more about Beautycounter please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you are ready to take the plunge and start working with us you can sign up using this link. As you can see I cannot speak highly enough about Beautycounter and what the opportunity has done for me. It could do amazing things for you too.
Or if you just want to shop or try some Beautycounter products, again email me at email@example.com so that I can help you pick products that would be good for your skin. Alternatively you can shop by clicking here.
Other posts you might like:
- How to choose a safe sunscreen
- Deodorant health risks
- Is there mercury in your mascara?
- 15 scary skincare facts
- Human exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds: Their role in reproductive systems, metabolic syndrome and breast cancer. A review.
- Methylparaben stimulates tumor initiating cells in ER+ breast cancer models.
- Parabens can enable hallmarks and characteristics of cancer in human breast epithelial cells: a review of the literature with reference to new exposure data and regulatory status.
- Measurement of paraben concentrations in human breast tissue at serial locations across the breast from axilla to sternum.
- In the Public Eye: Mascara Exempt from Mercury Treaty
- FDA Regulations: prohibited and restricted ingredients
- FDA Finds Lead in 400 Shades of Lipstick
- Determination of total lead in 400 lipsticks on the U.S. market using a validated microwave-assisted digestion, inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometric method.
- Tests Find More Than 200 Chemicals in Newborn Umbilical Cord Blood – Article