laure carter

Hello I’m Laure and I want to share with you why I use Beautycounter!

From an Ayurvedic point of view, the root cause of symptoms and disease is the buildup of waste, impurities and toxins as a result of faulty digestion due to diet and lifestyle habits and choices.

That’s why Ayurveda’s main focus is diet and lifestyle.

As an Ayurvedic Diet and Lifestyle Coach, I’m also concerned about other sources of toxins and impurities, one such source is skin care and makeup.

I’ve been interested in this subject ever since my early modeling days when clean skin care didn’t really exist unless you made it yourself and clean make up designed for women of color were even more rare. All we really had was Iman’s make up line.

Today, we have a lot more choice, but the safety regulations for make up ingredients still have a long way to go!

I was keenly made aware of that when I lived in France during the Mad-Cow disease scare and so many products from reputable cosmetics companies like Chanel had to be recalled! At that time I was reminded of an incident during a fashion show for Chanel when my skin broke out horribly after the Chanel make up artist used the company’s make up on my face.

Did you know that make up for women of color have even more unsafe pigmentation!?

Women of color have higher levels of beauty-product-related chemicals in their bodies compared to white women, according to a commentary published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Less than 25% of beauty products marketed to women of color are rated as safe by the Environmental Working Group.

Here’s an article in Science Daily:

“Pressure to meet Western standards of beauty means Black, Latina and Asian American women are using more beauty products and thus are exposed to higher levels of chemicals known to be harmful to health,” says Ami Zota, ScD, MS, an assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) at the George Washington University. “Beauty product use is a critical but underappreciated source of reproductive harm and environmental injustice.

The authors [Zota and Bhavna Shamasunder) point out that the beauty product industry is estimated to bring in more than $400 billion globally. They also say that previous studies have documented that Black, Latina and Asian-American women spend more on beauty products than the national average, often because of marketing practices that emphasize a European standard of beauty.

For example, women of color buy products like skin lightening face cream which often contain hidden ingredients such as topical steroids or the toxic metal mercury, Zota says.

Black women are known to suffer more anxiety about having “bad hair” and are twice as likely to experience social pressure to straighten their hair. Hair products like straighteners or relaxers are likely to contain estrogen and can trigger premature reproductive development in young girls and possibly uterine tumors, the commentary says.

Other studies show that beauty and personal care products contain multiple, hidden chemicals that are linked to endocrine, reproductive or development toxicity. They can be especially dangerous for women age 18 to 34, the authors say. Women in this age group are known to be heavy buyers, purchasing more than 10 types of beauty products per year. Such women and their offspring may experience heightened vulnerability to such chemicals, especially if exposure occurs during sensitive periods such as pregnancy.

Marketing efforts have also encouraged Black women to use douching products with messages about uncleanliness and odors. A study done by Zota and colleagues in 2016 found that in a national sample of reproductive age women, those who reported douching frequently, had 150 percent higher exposures to a harmful chemical known as DEP. This chemical, often found in fragranced beauty products, may cause birth defects in babies and has also been linked to health problems in women, Zota says.

At the same time, research suggests that low-income women of color are more likely to live in an environment with high levels of pollutants contaminating the air, soil and water. Thus women of color are not only heavy users of beauty products but may also be exposed to toxic chemicals simply by living in a more polluted home or neighborhood.

“For women who live in already polluted neighborhoods, beauty product chemicals may add to their overall burden of exposures to toxic chemicals, says Bhavna Shamasunder, as assistant professor in the Urban and Environmental Policy Department at Occidental College. “Certain racial/ethnic groups may be systematically and disproportionately exposed to chemicals in beauty products since factors such as institutionalized racism can influence product use.” In the commentary, the co-authors warn that multiple exposures to chemicals in beauty products and in the environment add up and can interfere with healthy reproduction and development.

Now some of you might say but Laure, there are many Ayurvedic skin care products available now, what’s the difference between these and Beautycounter products. Well, “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean safe! Some of these natural products need to be used immediately for fear of going bad. And I personally really don’t like the oily feel of some of these products and I’ve tried a lot of them!

I also challenge the safety of these “natural” products for people with a compromised immune system, some of whom I work with.

I use Beautycounter products and because I am who I am, I wanted to share them with my clients and community.

I love them for:

1) the quality of their products: they provide a solution to an issue with products that people love

2) their strong desire to educate

3) their advocacy for safe, cleaner women’s skin care and make up: Last year alone, Beautycounter consultants had 120 meetings on Capitol Hill with all 50 states represented to make the Personal Care Product Beauty Act pass.