A clean swap, one step at a time.
Guest Post By: Andreina Aquique
I met Andreina via Instagram when I made one of my first posts about transitioning to clean beauty products. When we finally had a chance to sit down and chat, I was overwhelmed by her positive energy and her personal mission to help people make the transition to greener, cleaner living.
I asked if she'd share a little bit more about her clean beauty transition and why she decided to start selling BeautyCounter Products. I hope you enjoy her article as much as I dO!
I became a Beautycounter consultant almost one year ago, but my clean swap started a few years before that… and I’m still not done. The process takes time and that's okay.
Here are some of the obstacles I found along the way and why I'm still willing to work through them.
I am married and have two kids. I've always tried to live a healthy lifestyle, and it's important for me to set a good example for my kids. However, when it comes to transitioning to cleaner, non-toxic products, I know there are other competing priorities -- like my sanity (or my family’s).
If my spouse had been (initially) more onboard to make the transition to greener, cleaner lifestyle I think things would have been… say…smoother; sorry babe if you are reading this, but you know it's true!
It's not easy making the switch alone, and it took a long time to convince my husband it was the right thing to do.
Plus, there are so many different areas to make changes.
Transitioning to organic food, less toxic cleaning products, clean personal care products, and more natural remedy medications all come with their own obstacles; "What's my budget (is better, but more expensive?)", “Do I really need all this or is it just a trend?”, “Should I use up my old products, or make the switch now?” AND what are all these buzz words I keep reading? Natural, organic, non-toxic??? It is a serious information overload. Not to mention, so many contradicting articles on what's safe and what's not. It makes it hard to decipher what's real and what's fake news.
But I was determined to know the truth and spent a ton of time researching.
A HUGE turning point was when I realized the terms natural, organic, and non-toxic mean nothing, let me repeat it: nothing.
The cosmetic industry in the US has barely any FDA regulations. A billion dollar industry that uses over 80.000 potentially harmful ingredients is very profitable, especially when people are not informed.
The only thing the FDA can control is mislabeling and the use of 30 proven harmful ingredients. So as consumers, the responsibility lies on us to speak up about possible harmful reactions; but that really only includes what we can see, because it's much harder to note the potential long-term, or cumulative effect of hormone disruptors and/or organ toxic chemicals.
Once I read all this, how could I unlearn it? How could I not share it with my friends and family?
Even with all my new insights on clean beauty products, I knew that replacing all of the items in my home, all at once, with newer, safer, products was impractical. It was also a very expensive proposition and seemed very wasteful. So for me, the best approach has been one step, or one product, at a time.
A tipping point.
Flash-forward a few months.
My family and I were on spring break and we've been using cleaner personal care products for a few months. I had forgotten the BeautyCounter sunscreen we typically use, so my daughter ended up using the sunblock we used before our transition -- and she ended up having a very bad skin reaction on her face and body!
This was a very clear example for me (and my husband) that making the transition to cleaner products was the right path for us.
I know it's just one simple anecdote, but seeing all the changes people (and companies) are making because people are beginning to ask questions about the ingredients in their products, helps keep me motivated to share what I know about the industry and offer quality alternatives.
It has also helped to spark curiosity in my kids about better and healthier ways of life. And for me, that is one of the most reassuring elements that transitioning to cleaner, less toxic products really was the right thing to do -- even if it take awhile.
Andreina Aquique Lugo