Do you think you’re winning at eating organic? Well, have you ever wondered what lurking chemicals are going into your largest organ? Stephanie had been working as a certified nutritionist for years when she realized the gaping inadequacies in the field of skin care.
Our current day immersion in chemicals was plaguing Stephanie’s clients, even after they had transitioned their diets. She began a search for non toxic and non synthetic skin products to ease their suffering... but she found there were not many.
Synthetic fragrances and preservatives are two of the worst things for your body, Stephanie tells me, and they’re everywhere. These chemicals can cause hormone disruption and even cancer. Removing them as much as possible allows us healthier, happier, and longer lives.
But what if clean skin and beauty products simply do not exist?
Well, Stephanie decided to begin crafting them herself. Her training and background had taught her how to mix organic ingredients with natural oils for healing. Quickly she was creating products her clients loved.
Her favorite palette of essential oils includes orange, grapefruit, lime, and lemon. Stephanie creates with the purpose of healing in mind. Everything is organic and there are no synthetic fragrances at all. Her first few products included lotions and lip balm. Her clients loved the textures and smells, not to mention their effectiveness. And then it caught on like wildfire.
I was immediately impacted by Stephanie’s vision and decided to test this out. I glanced into my shower and grabbed the first bath product I saw - my conditioner. The white and purple label boasted “beauty & planet” and was scented with argan oil and lavender. “Smooth and serene,” it told me, “Calming definition for frizzy hair & acts of love for our planet.”
Per the packaging I thought I was using a clean, eco friendly conditioner. But there is one little word on the back that can disguise a boatload of chemicals … “fragrance.” This seemingly harmless word is the way the big companies hide a lot of scary chemicals. There is no regulation for companies to disclose the ingredients under the title of fragrance.
Things that terrify me:
· The word “fragrance” on our skin care and home cleaning products is legally a descriptor for 4,000 different ingredients.
· Acetaldehyde is one “fragrance” which tests reveal is a likely cause of cancer.
· Benzophenone is another “fragrance” which studies show can lead to several kinds of tumors.
· Fragrance allergies affect 2% to 11% percent of the general population. Safe Cosmetics reports, “This translates into tens of millions of people who are globally affected by fragrance and studies suggest that this chemical sensitivity is on the rise.” [Find out more at Breast Cancer Prevention Partners and Campaign for Safe Cosmetics]
What makes me really freaking angry:
· European countries have stricter labelling and additives regulations for food and household products. Multinational companies like Unilever abide by these laws in creating their Europe-bound products.
· These companies don’t have to follow the same laws here in the US. And so they don’t. They keep these additives hidden on their labels in a sad attempt to lead us consumers into thinking that by using their product, we are helping ourselves and our planet (case in point: my conditioner). Why? Profit margins.
What I’m doing to find healthier options:
· The Red List - Safe Cosmetics put together a list of top chemicals to avoid in shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, sunscreen, make-up, hair color, and other everyday products.
· The Stink Movie - An award-winning documentary uncovering the truth about how many chemicals hide in all of the products we use today - and what they’re doing to us. See the trailer here.
· The Think Dirty App - This is awesome. This app has a barcode scanner that rates the safety of a product, explains confusing chemical ingredient names, and helps you find cleaner options. This is a game-changer.
Stephanie’s passion for helping others turned into a vocation to provide clean, quality living. After her first products were so well-received she dove in further. Soon, she was making larger and larger batches. She began researching clean and minimal packaging. And then… she began opening stores.
Stephanie now focuses her time on her flagship store in Brookside right here in KC. To create the perfect space, Stephanie (with help from friends and family) gutted and rebuilt the store to look and feel (and be) clean and welcoming. Stephanie’s own tried and true products are on the shelves, and she carries a few other well-researched brands for clean and effective pampering. And of course, you can also find her products online at skinkc.com.
Stephanie has now crafted over thirty products, and the majority of these are the ones she created at the very start. “If people really loved it, I continued,” she tells me. Slowly as the products spread, so did their popularity. “The best thing,” she says, “is that I have a very high repeat clientele which is always growing.”
*Stephanie’s products are PETA-approved, EWG Verified, and approved by the Truth in Labeling Campaign
STEPHANIE'S TOP 3 FAVORITE SKIN PRODUCTS:
This is a moisturizer which combines green tea and argan oil to hydrate skin, as well as sets a base for applying foundation. Stephanie tells me this is her most popular product, and one jar will last you a couple of months.
This all-over body moisturizer includes a touch of orange for extra calming… and I love the ingredients list for once! Mango butter, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil… (smile).
Tingly and shiny… includes castor oil, pure filtered beeswax, vitamin E oil, peppermint essential oil.
It's not surprising that Stephanie's top can show some shoulder. Take her lead and love your skin in this cozy long sleeve perfect for a picnic or a place in the boardroom. Celebrate self-care and treat yourself to something natural (like lotion) and something that empowers workers... and fits perfectly. Think NOVAA.
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