Before moving back to North America, my partner and I rid ourselves of most of our belongings and in that process I came to realize how silly it is to have so much stuff.
On a beauty level I used the rest of what I had and converted from a many bottles by many brands to a simplified beauty routine both myself and my partner could share, which consisted of washing my hair with banking soda and apple cider vinegar, using natural soap for my body and face, and moisturising with coconut oil. Simple. Travels well. Good for mama earth.
A few weeks ago, however, an old friend from my first Euro trippin' in my late teens got in touch with me offering to send samples of products from a new company she was working for. Surprisingly, it was a company I had heard of called Beauty Counter, which exists in response to the fact that beauty companies in the US are allowed to use known toxins, ingredients that have been linked to cancer, reproductive issues, hormone disruption ect ... without informing their customers of the health risks (you likely have products by these badboi brands)
In the past two decades, the EU has banned or restricted more than 1,300 ingredients where the US has only banned 11 to date. Beauty counter has banned more than 1,500, making them both activist and lobbyist for your health and beauty needs. To add to their already good gal grin, portions of their sales are donated to three amazing not for profits: Environmental Working Group, Breast Cancer Fund, and Healthy Child Healthy World.
The average woman uses 12 beauty products in the morning, which adds up to 100s of chemicals every single day, many of these ingredients are potentially harmful. Though what I was using was completely natural, I had been feeling my skin lacked luster - so with the company ethos and curiosity in mind, I agreed to give these goodies a go.
Most facial cleansers use sodium larueth sulfate contaminated with 1,4-dioxane - a known carcinogen. This cleanser uses sugar-derived cleanserdecyl glucoside instead, which in all honesty feels like any other cream cleanser, only this one won't hurt ya.
GENTLE EXFOLIATOR Polishing Cream
Most facial scrubs exfoliate the skin with tiny plastic beads, which can sneak past waste water treatment facilities and end up in waterways, affecting wildlife. Beauty Counter's gentle exfoliator uses natural, biodegradable jojoba beads, so that rivers and oceans stay clean. On top of being green, this exfoliator doesn't feel abrasive, yet leaves you feeling like you've revealed a new layer of fresh new skin.
EVERY DAY AM Hydrating Cream
Free of parabens (which can mimic estrogen and disrupt hormone signals) found in most day creams, this light unscented face cream was an awesome thing to have on the skin, it absorbed almost immediately and left the skin feeling silky smooth, a bit like after applying makeup primer, all day long.
EVERY NIGHT PM Hydrating Cream
Normally I use a heavy dose of Organic Coconut Oil which is lovely, but this cream includes that plus vitamin and amino acid-packed aloe, bit of a bonus. Both the day and night cream absorbed brilliantly into my skin. I've never described my skin as feeling supple, but the night cream made it feel thus.
ANYTIME Eye Cream
I didn't notice the eye cream, it's unscented and feels lovely on the skin but sort of goes un noticed. Around my eyes is where I have aged the most and where I saw the most difference. I went without mascara or any other makeup for most of the week because my eyes weren't puffy or squinted as they seem to have become, they looked like my early 20s eyes. This eye cream is free of the ethoxylated ingredients, often found in eye creams, which are often contaminated with carcinogens.
LUSTRO FACE OIL 1
Probably my favourite of the lot, this face oil has an intoxicating herbal scent and makes your skin feel cared for. I do an ayurvedic massage on my face while I moisterize and did it with the face oil morning and night - I'd probably chalk the overall radiance and clarity of my skin up to this oil specifically. It's magic.
ROSEWATER Uplifting Spray
Scented with organic rosewater instead of synthetic fragrances (which contain phthalates, chemicals that interfere with the body's endocrine system), my skin was left with a dewy glow and was, as the bottle suggests, uplifting.
I used the products religiously, twice a day for two weeks. During this time I spent some time in the sun, which always makes me look a bit younger and more radiant and conversely relapsed in my non-smoking by ... smoking a few cigarettes, which usually does the opposite. I also started swimming again in chlorine which usually doesn't add to ones appearance, but might.
My partner went to Paris for 11 days while I was using the products, unaware of my change in facial routine, during the time he was gone I received an abnormal number of compliments on my skin and appearance, but chalked it up to the slight suntan. When he returned, he accused me of having gotten botox ... which I eventually took as a compliment.
Now I'm not entirely sure, and I guess we'll never know, if the product is owed thanks for the compliments I received or not. But it sure did feel nice on my skin and I sure did feel radiant and look lovely while using them and I'd happily recommend them to anyone who wants to try something different that makes a difference.