This is an updated blogpost to the original Janurary 2019 article. Since then, I’ve learned even more about product safety, and am so excited that more innovations in clean beauty are available to my readers.
This is an objective informative blogpost to give perspective on some of the regimens offered by Rodan+Fields; with then, an alternative option comparable in performance/results using significantly safer products. I will be speaking to regimens as a whole, not individual products for the most part. But please don’t take my word for it. You can always search for safety of products through excellent resources like ewg.org/skindeep or apps like Think Dirty or Healthy Living.
R+F is famous for their "Before + After" comparison photos. I thought I'd share my personal results pic. You'll notice on the left side, at three years younger, my skin is dull, my acne scarring is evident, and my pores are quite noticeable. On the right, I've aged three years, yet my skin is more radiant, my pores are less visible, and my acne scarring is virtually invisible. Yes, I am wearing makeup in both photos, but I think the evidence of skin improvement is clear. In fact, in the photo on left, I'm wearing a fuller coverage foundation. I think it also speaks volumes about Beautycounter's high performing cosmetics as well as exceptional skincare.
For this article, my main source is the Environmental Working Group’s website. They offer ratings on products & ingredients. Toxicity scores in three main categories are given a green, yellow, or red score as well as number rating. The three main categories are (risk of/related to)cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity, and allergies/immunotoxicity. What’s most important to know is, the lower the number(green), the safer an ingredient it. The higher the number(red), then the higher the toxicity and risk. (scale is 0-10)
Friends, if you haven’t yet become aware (it took me 35 years to know), what you put on your skin can affect your health. Your skin is your largest organ, and much of what you put on it can be absorbed into your body. With an average 138 ingredients women put on their bodies every single day, that adds up exponentially. So yes, your skincare and even makeup products matter. A lot.
Beautycounter is a leading clean beauty brand and has a Never List of over 1800 ingredients we promise never to use because of their links to various health concerns. Concerns like hormone disruption, endocrine disruption, cancer, allergies, birth defects, and more. You can view the list here. It’s an excellent reference for you and the ingredients I mention here are all on our Never List.
Some big ingredients to look out for in these particular regimens:
Retyinyl Palmitate - can form small molecules called free radicals that damage DNA and scores a 9 on the ewg website.
Fragrance - seeing this on any label is typically a no no. It can be a general term for dozens of chemicals in the form of “trade secret”. 75% of “fragrances” contain phthalates, which are known hormone disruptors.
PEG - PEGs are ethylene glycol polymers that are used to help keep beauty products stable and help enhance the penetration of other ingredients into your skin - oftentimes, bad chemicals.
Parabens - a class of preservatives commonly used to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Parabens are endocrine (or hormone) disruptors, which may alter important hormone mechanisms in our bodies
SKIN CONCERN: Dark Spots, Uneven Skin Tone, Dullness
THIS TO THAT: Reverse (Lightening) Regimen to Countermatch Regimen with Counter+ add ons
WHY: R+F Reverse Lightening Regimen uses hydroquinone for skin lightening. 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 Regimen
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 salicylic acid, you can mattify and clear your skin safer with this collection. Add on our Best Selling Charcoal Mask for detoxing skin, reducing appearance of pores & drawing out impurities.
SKIN CONCERN: Fine lines & Wrinkles, Dry Skin
THIS TO THAT: Redefine Regimen to Countertime Regimen
WHY: R+F Redefine Regimen uses retinyl palmitate in its Overnight Restorative Cream, which rates a 9 on EWGs site for toxicity. This regimen also contains fragrance, PEGs, and parabens. Beautycounter’s Countertime Regimen is formulated with safer ingredients yet offers excellent anti-aging benefits. Our Retinatural complex is made with alpine rose and bakuchiol for results similar to retinol but without the health risk. I know of many women seeing phenomenal results using this and often times paired with our Overnight Resurfacing Peel and/or Bright C Serum.
SKIN CONCERN: Sensitivity or No Skin Concerns
THIS TO THAT: Soothe Regimen to Counterstart plus Counter+ No.3 Balancing Oil
WHY: I 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 Counterstart Set is formulated for all normal skin types, but in my experience, is the most gentle of all our regimens. It is made with safer ingredients like Coconut Oil, soothing aloe, and Vitamin E. Beautycounter’s Counter+ Balancing Oil is made with a blend of oils including meadowfoam and ylang ylang to help hydrate and soothe skin.
If you do have sensitive skin, and want more personal help finding products that might be best for your skin concerns, email me here. I’m happy to offer you a consultation.
And of course, best practice is always to consult your doctor if you have health issues related to your skin.
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.
Image below is from Mamavation's blogpost. For more insights and to read her article, click here.
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.