A few months before I got pregnant with Owen, I read a book that rocked my world, in a good way. Woman Code by Alissa Vitti, which I talked more about here, was a serious game changer for me and one of the biggest motivators to get my health in check. It’s led me down a path of self-love, self-care and an active pursuit to take care of myself so that I feel my best.
When I first read it, I had one goal, get my body as ready as it could be to get pregnant. I have several friends who dealt with unexplained infertility issues and it was heartbreaking. I knew that I wouldn’t know until we tried, but doing everything in my power to set myself up to conceive when we wanted and then for a healthy pregnancy made me feel like I had a little more control.
In the months before we started “trying”, I made huge diet and lifestyle changes in my efforts to get my hormones balanced so that when we were ready, my body would be too.
Another surprise from the book? Learning that the beauty and skincare products we use have such a big impact on our body’s delicate balance. I’ll be honest, when I first read that the toxic ingredients in my beauty products could be potentially dangerous, I didn’t believe it. Or rather, I didn’t want to believe it. I’d been using these things for years! How many toxic substances had I unintentionally ingested or absorbed?
By the time I’d finished the book, my skepticism has disappeared. Rob walked in and I was sitting on the floor with a basket full of every product I owned, and two piles. I’m sure he thought I was crazy. One, for having that many beauty products in the first place. And two for sitting on the bathroom floor reading through the ingredient lists. I had one pile for products that I would keep, and another that was for products that were full of toxic ingredients. I bought a few new, safer items like deodorant (I wrote a whole post about that swap here!), skincare and foundation to get started. Since then I’ve been slowly converting all my products to safer ones. It was another small step towards safeguarding my longterm health, but tossing out those bad products felt like a big step in the right direction!
But, back to the point at hand! Does this really matter during pregnancy? The short answer—yes. Here’s a few stats, because even though I’m really a creative, I love a good statistic to get the point across.
Did You Know?
In a recent Red Cross study, more than 200 chemicals were found in a newborn baby’s umbilical cord.
Europe has banned 1,400 potentially harmful chemicals and ingredients. The U.S. has only banned or restricted 30 ingredients.
Difficulty in conceiving and maintaining a pregnancy affected 40% more women in 2002 than in 1982.
One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime; 40 years ago, it was one in 20.
Children are far more vulnerable than adults to the effects of toxic chemicals.
Pretty eye-opening, right? After reading these, I decided that I would do just about anything to insure the health of the baby growing in my belly. Switching out some of my products for safe ones was easy too.
How cute is his bedhead?! He’d just woken up from his nap!
Now, I won’t try to convince you that all of these problems are solely due to the skincare products we’re using. That’s just one factor.
The bigger issue at play is our American lifestyle—poor diets, chronic stress, lack of sleep and a lack of regular physical activity.
If you’re like me, you’ve felt the effects—adrenal fatigue, exhaustion, weird sleeping patterns, fogginess, low energy, trouble focusing, oily skin and breakouts. It’s clear to me that I’ve put my body through the ringer, unintentionally of course, but I’m working hard to heal it from within. If I can do anything to help it heal, I’ll do it! By using safer products, I’m putting less stress on my body in my efforts to reach my health goals faster.
It might seem like a big hurdle, but honestly, it’s easy! If you’re trying to make better choices, starting with skincare and beauty products is the easiest place to start! Why? Well, if you’re like me, you already use several skincare or beauty products every day! Making a few swaps here and there can make a big difference.
But, where to start!? It can be overwhelming and expensive, I get it, and I’m not suggesting you toss everything you own out and start fresh, though if you want to do that you surely can! Start with the products that you use the most and stay on you skin the longest. Things like moisturizer or night cream, deodorant, sunscreen and foundation. Just making those swaps can go a long way in cleaning up your beauty act.
After you’ve made those big swaps, continue to slowly pick safer products when you run out of your old version. Before you know it, you’ll have a shelf full of safe products that you love.
After Owen arrived, I thought I’d go back to using some of my old favorites, but I just can’t. I know too much now! And frankly, my cleaner products work just as well, if not better! When I’m not putting those toxic chemicals on my body, I’m allowing my body to work more how it was designed to and things are just starting to click. My skin has cleared up a lot (but no, it’s not perfect). I sleep better and generally I’m just excited every day knowing that I’m making better choices for myself and for my family.
It’s become something that I’m so passionate about, and was a big reason I finally joined Beautycounter. It’s been cool to see this passion pour over into other areas of my life too.
Rob now uses all clean products. He was an easy convert. I basically just said, here use this cream now, haha! Owen has super sensitive skin and only gets safe products! We use this All-Over wash every single night. Owen has really dry skin (thanks to Rob!). Having baby oil and balm on hand is essential! Unfortunately, sometimes his skin gets so dry that we do have to use a thin layer of Aquaphor, but the humid summer weather is helping!
We also have safer dish soap and next on my list is laundry! Any favorites?
It seems like every time I scroll Instagram, I’m finding that more and more bloggers and friends have made the switch to safer products. It’s cool to see that this information is becoming mainstream. More people are demanding more of their skincare products. Hopefully in a few years we won’t have to worry about reading our labels because everything will be safe!
In honor of summer, I thought I’d give you guys an extra special reason to start making clean beauty swaps! This month only (June 2018). All pre-tax orders over $150 will receive a full size Protect All Over Sunscreen free of charge! A heads up, I’ll be shipping these out separately, so when it doesn’t come in your order, that’s why!
Lastly, if you have any questions about which products are safe for pregnancy, search for your products in the Skin Deep website to see where they rank! And, of course, consult your doctor if you’re still unsure!