The quote “When you know better, you can do better” is attributed to Maya Angleou. That message resonates with me, and my journey so well. As a single mom living with my parents & 9 month old baby, I really just wanted to create more income. When an opportunity to do so was presented to me, after much thought, I decided to give it a try.
Before I Knew
I became a Rodan+Fields consultant in 2015 and loved the excitement of having my own business. I adored having a team of smart, fabulous women to support me and cheer me on. I was new at this, after all. SO NEW. Boy did I make mistakes…
I think its called “ignorance on fire”. I began selling skincare to family and friends. I had, at that point, no knowledge of safety and health regarding cosmetics. I was the queen of spam, and sales-y was my middle name. To all my family and friends who saw that side of me, I’m so sorry. While my methods were a little off, the heart of my mission was really to help women feel beautiful. It felt great to give women hope. If someone didn’t love their skin, I wanted to help them.
Learning The Truth
It was one single post. One post on Instagram that got me thinking, asking questions, and really wondering…”Is what I’m selling truly safe for my clients?”
I learned that hydroquinone is linked to organ toxicity and cancer. I knew this ingredient was in products I was selling to my mom and to my friends. It didn’t sit well with me. Even when I was told “its such a small amount that its not harmful”…I just couldn’t continue to sell this to people I loved. I refuse to be the reason anyone might possibly get ill. Even if that chance is small.
I began hunting for more information and stumbled upon Beautycounter. After learning about how poorly regulated cosmetics are in the US, I had come to a cross roads. The rest is history. I decided safer and healthier was the direction I wanted to go and left Rodan+Fields to partner with Beautycounter. Why I share this with you, is because I know there are many folks looking for the right regimen to help achieve results they are looking for- whether it's clear skin or a more youthful appearance. Since I have some experience with Rodan+Fields regimens, I’d like to offer some safer swaps for you. It can sometimes be tricky to find the perfect skincare match. If you are familiar with R+F, or are considering it, I would urge you to contemplate a cleaner option. Beautycounter products are significantly safer while made with high quality ingredients, inspired by nature, and formulated for efficacy & your health in mind.
Let’s take a look at R+F's four main regimens and skincare concerns. I'll highlight a questionable ingredient to look out for and suggest a clean swap in its place. Please keep in mind I am not a medical professional nor esthetician, and my suggestions are in no way intended to heal or treat any conditions. Best practice is always to consult with your physician should you have any concerns.
Safer Swaps : This To That
SKIN CONCERN: Dark Spots, Uneven Skin tone
THIS TO THAT: Reverse (Lightening) Regimen to Countermatch + Overnight Resurfacing Peel
WHY: R+F Reverse Lightening Regimen uses hydroquinone for skin lightning. Hydroquinone is linked to organ toxicity & cancer. You actually cannot buy this in Canada because hydroquinone is banned there. This supports the fact that the US is very poorly regulated. In fact we only ban about 30 ingredients here, while the EU bans 1400. Beautycounter’s Overnight Resurfacing Peel is our best product for evening skin tone while using 15 plant-derived acids to resurface your skin for a brighter more youthful complexion. I think it pairs well with our Countermatch Regimen because it’s our best collection for hydration and radiance, it provides oxygenation and nutrients for glowing skin.
SKIN CONCERN: Acne, Oily Skin
THIS TO THAT: Unblemish Regimen to Countercontrol
WHY: Products from R+F Unblemish Regimen are made with PEGs, Fragrance, and Parabens. Always look out for the term "fragrance" on ingredient lists. It's considered trade secret and companies don't have to list every ingredient by masking it with this term. It could mean a few to dozens of "hidden ingredients". Beautycounter’s Countercontrol Regimen helps combat acne, blemishes, breakouts, and oil without harsh surfactants. Using wintergreen, rosebay willow, and salycilic acid, you can mattify and clear your skin safer with this collection. Add on our Best Selling Charcoal Mask for detoxing skin, reducing appearace of pores & drawing out impurities.
SKIN CONCERN: Fine lines & Wrinkles, Dry Skin
THIS TO THAT: Redefine Regimen to Rejuvenating
WHY: R+F Redefine Regimen uses retinyl palmitate in its Overnight Restorative Cream, which rates a 9 on EWGs site for toxicity. Beautycounter’s Rejuvenating Regimen uses Jambu extract as well as fruit and berry seed oils to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C helps brighten and provides antioxidants. I think a great pairing is our Cleansing Balm because it’s raspberry and cranberry seed oils help provide lasting moisture. (Also an amazing makeup remover).
SKIN CONCERN: Sensitivity
THIS TO THAT: Soothe Regimen to Nourishing Collection
WHY: Phehoxyethanol scores a 4 for moderate risk related to organ toxicity and can be found in at least 3 of the Soothe regimen products. I also saw that the Soothe Mineral Sunscreen is made with 3 kinds of parabens. Butylparaben is one which ranks a 7/8 on the EWG’s website for toxicity. Beautycounter’s Nourishing Collection is formulated for all normal skin types, but in my experience, is the most gentle of all our regimens. I would omit the Cream Exfoliator from the set if you have sensitive skin. But over all, the regimen is exactly what it says, nourishing as well as hydrating. Made with safer ingredients like Coconut Oil and soothing aloe.
I hope reading this has got your mind curious about ingredients. While some products may seem to "work", you might have to wonder if it's worth using ingredients connected to health risk. Consider a safer option, my friend. A final big eye opener, for me, was this infographic(below) found on the mamavation blog. She's done a lot of research and it gave me confidence to see Beautycounter on the BEST list. It’s not always the easy route to hunt for products made with safer healthier ingredients. But now that we’ve learned how our skincare can affect our health, I really think its worth it to find best options. If you have questions or need help with anything, please feel free to reach out. If you're ready to make the switch to safer and grab your own clean regimen, get started here or join my email list to stay up to date on clean beauty, green living, and mom life.
Malia was born and raised in Kaneohe, Hawaii and graduated from Azusa Pacific University. She spent the majority of her career as an Early Childhood Education Teacher/Administrator.