not un-knowing (+ an announcement!)

Like many of you, over the last few years I've grown more conscious of what's in the meat, eggs, dairy, and produce I eat. I've written on our aims to eat more free-range, local, and organic food, and how we have attempted to do so while staying on a tight grocery budget. You just can't un-read those labels or ignore the facts about hormones and chemicals, once you've digested them.

We weren't in a super comfortable financial situation when we decided to switch our eggs to free-range, organic. We have always been very strict with our budget, so we literally had to stop buying certain things to accommodate the increased cost that the eggs brought. We were suddenly spending $6 more each week on groceries, and we take that seriously, so we stopped buying juice (probably a good idea anyway!) to even things out again. Instead of assuming that these safe choices are only available to the wealthy, we set out to find room in our budget by cutting other things out - it was that important to us.

That was two years ago, and now it's second nature to our family that we always buy our eggs free-range and organic, and we never have juice. But it was an adjustment, and we are finding ourselves in a season of adjustment once more. This time, its the data on hormones and chemicals in beauty and skin care that we can't un-know.

With rising rates of allergies, developmental and learning disorders, infertility, hormonal imbalances, and early puberty all around us, we somehow managed to live in ignorant bliss for quite a while. We managed to care a great deal about what went into our bodies via food and yet remain completely unaware about what we were putting into our bodies via our largest organ - our skin. Well, no longer.

I was recently introduced to the incredibly thorough app, Skin Deep by third party, non-profit Environmental Working Group and I've been using it non stop. You enter in your cosmetics, your facial cleansers, your shampoos, and they give you an ingredient by ingredient breakdown of how harmful or safe the product is. They have a glossary and you can cross reference the ingredient with side effects to get a really clear idea of the safety of each product. Sounds great, right? Except the truth hurts.

Almost ALL of my products are moderately or highly toxic (5-10 on EWG's scale) with possible side effects like endocrine disruption (hormones!), cancer, infertility, increased allergies, and skin irritation. After sharing this information with Brad and looking at the sites together, we were both convinced that we needed to buy better, safer products for our family. But where to start?

While we were sifting through all of this information, I went to a party for a natural skincare line and was really interested. I had even used their products before and liked them. Except even this company only had a few products that were rated "low hazard" by Skin Deep, and the rest are moderate and even high, including a baby product that we used for all three of our kids! This is supposedly one of the safest companies around. So discouraging and scary!

And then came along Beautycounter. After hours and hours of research, and asking everyone even remotely health and safety minded, I came across a true unicorn. A company with safe, clean, and high performing products for my whole family. Everything I've learned about Beautycounter tells me this is the company I wanted, but thought didn't exist. Skin Deep rates all Beautycounter products as 1-3 on EWG's scale, and the company bans 1,500 ingredients from their products. To give you an idea of how impressive that is, the European Union bans 1,400 ingredients from beauty and skin care products, Canada bans less than half of that, and the United States only bans ELEVEN. Yikes.

Beautycounter is a network marketing company, which almost ended my journey right there. I am so not into network marketing. As a pastor's wife, I take my leadership role seriously, and I would never want to use my influence in my church to sell things. Oh, and the idea of hosting parties kind of makes my stomach turn. I gladly support my friends who are in network marketing, and I always buy things from their parties, but I've felt for many years that it wasn't for me. But a friend of mine recently became a consultant with Beautycounter and she assured me that I could become a consultant without ever hosting a party and without relying heavily on my local contacts. I was listening.

The company is based almost entirely online, and honestly, I only really considered becoming a consultant so I could buy my family safe products at a discounted rate. If, along the way, I could use my platform here to share that there are safer options out there, all the better. So this is me, eating my words, and doing something I never thought I'd do - because I can't un-know these facts and safety for my family is that important.

Drum roll....I've decided to dive in and become a Beautycounter consultant! Which means you can learn about Beautycounter's awesome products from me, and purchase them through my site and my socials, if you like.

I'm not doing this because I wanted to start a business, though I know many people have enjoyed success in that way. Buying safer beauty and skin care products will naturally cost me more than my old toxic toiletries, and this is one way to supplement our family's choice to buy Beautycounter. Just like we stopped buying juice when we started buying free-range, organic eggs, I'm selling Beautycounter, so I can buy Beautycounter. It's that simple - budgets matter, but so does our health, so this is our solution.

But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited! This is an amazing company and I'm glad to be teaming up with them to help others make safer, healthier decisions for their families. Over the next few months I'll be sharing bits and pieces of my journey with Beautycounter - what products I love, which ones I chose not to buy, how you can get deals, and special giveaways, too. I promise this won't become a beauty blog or a business blog! This is one small part of me and the blog will reflect the larger whole - food, travel, Montreal, minimalism, and everything in between. Thanks for listening to me spill my heart in this super long post! And yay for there finally being a safe, high performing option out there!


  1. Oh wow I'm so glad to hear there's somewhere that has even higher standards than the EU! I've known they had much higher standards than North America for awhile but it's not like I can just whip over to Paris to get my makeup.

    1. It's super impressive! Let me know if you have any questions or want to put in an order! xo

  2. Anonymous4.7.16

    So lovely to hear your journey to this place, Em! Who knows what free-range eggs can do, huh? For our family it started more than 10 years ago with a friend who cared enough to take the Pam cooking spray out of our cupboard, hand us a small jar of coconut oil (before coconut oil was a thang!) and say - please use this instead. Of course, I asked all of the why's and how come's and I learned so much. From there we changed all of our household products, made changes in our food where we could afford and sad to say - thought about what we put on our bodies very last. Better late than never though!

  3. Do you know if this brand is available in Europe/UK?

    1. Hey Sally! Not yet, unfortunately. Do you have anyone in the USA or Canada that you can ship to?

  4. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your experience!

    Sweet Spontaneity

    1. I'll be sharing! Thanks for coming along for the ride!