How Erica #redefinedcourage

My name is Erica Willis...I married my college sweetheart 20 years ago, this year.  We have 3 children, Max is 18, Halli is 16, and Sadie is 12 years old. Two years ago, I was looking for something to help my very dry skin. My sisters and I would complain about our skin, try different products and to no avail, found NOTHING that worked. At the time,  I was 37 years old and searching for products that actually worked and an opportunity to do something bigger than myself, something that would make a lasting impact. I had no idea that Beautycounter existed and I feel like this company fell in my lap! I was scrolling thru Facebook and there it was...after using the products for 3 days, I knew I was in love! What I found, was a company I wanted to partner with and joined the next week! Its been two years and I'm thrilled to be helping spread our mission of safer.

Would you believe that many of our everyday products contain toxic, harmful chemicals and ingredients such as formaldehyde, phthalates, and lead?! I was floored when I learned that these toxins can cause hormone disruption, skin irritation, damage to the immune system, trigger cancer and lead to other adverse health effects! There are more than over 80,000 chemicals that have been introduced into commerce and many have NOT been tested for human safety...particularly those used in the skin care and beauty industry. 

Beautycounter is a mission-based company and a wellness brand with a bold ambition to get safer products into the hands of everyone.  Beautycounter was the most googled beauty brand of 2018...we are here to educate and change the unregulated laws! Did you know that there has not been a law passed in this industry since 1938?! Crazy, right?! My passion is to educate others by sharing information that will help them make healthier introducing them to this brand. Beautycounter is committed to a health and safety standard that goes well beyond what is required by U.S. law. We believe cleaner, better beauty begins with telling you what's in our products.  By educating customers about harmful chemicals in beauty products and recommending safer alternatives whenever possible, we want to empower you to demand better from the beauty industry.

Beautycounter is proud to support two incredible organizations. The Breast Cancer Prevention Partners is a science-based advocacy organization that works to prevent breast cancer by eliminating exposure to toxic chemicals and radiation. Keep-A-Breast Foundation empowers young people around the world with breast health education and support. Did you know that 85% of breast cancer cases in women have no family history of breast cancer... what is causing this?  Environmental factors, the foods we eat and what we are putting on our bodies. Let's focus on what we are putting on our bodies.

Here are 4 simple ways to help you determine what products to use:

1) Read ingredient labels.  Its perfectly legal for companies to use ingredients linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, and reproductive harm in cosmetics and personal care products we use every day.

2) Be in the know...Don't be fooled by short and incomplete ingredient lists or "natural" or "organic" claims.  Only buy and use products which disclose ALL ingredients on the product label to avoid possible exposures to harmful chemicals.

3) Avoid fragrance!  The word Fragrance is a cocktail of ingredients, can mask countless carcinogens and hormone-disrupting chemicals, and can be found in nearly half of all personal care products.  Avoid purchasing and using products with the word "fragrance" or "parfum" on the label.  Be especially vigilant of children's products!

4) Use online tools and official seals.  Ditch your old daily routine and replace it with safer beauty products.  Apps and websites like EWG's Skin Deep will rate your personal care products for safety and toxicity and MADE SAFE plus EWG verified are helping to make it easier to find safer products by labeling them with a specific seal.  Visit them often and stay up to date. 

Women use an average of 12 personal care products a day and men use about six.  Teen girls average 17 products a day. This can mean exposure to hundreds of dangerous chemicals just in the course of a morning routine.  Children are far more vulnerable than adults, to the effect of toxic chemicals. Today, girls are entering puberty earlier than they were a generation ago in part due to childhood and likely in-utero exposures to endocrine disruptors (substances that can alter the body's hormonal responses).  Early puberty puts girls at a higher risk for later-life breast cancer, and the shortened childhood undoubtedly has larger implications, including an increased risk of depression.  Something has to change!

It's a new year...start by switching to safer products! Your health should come first, and at Beautycounter, we take pride in the fact that ladies who are pregnant, nursing or whether you are going thru cancer or a cancer survivor...our products are safe to use! You deserve better...for decades, we've trusted the beauty industry to have our best interests in mind.  It doesn't.  Every day American families are exposed to harmful ingredients commonly found in the products they use on their skin.  Beautycounter is working to change that.  We are on a mission to get safer products into the hands of everyone.

If you're like me, you know somebody who has cancer, struggled with a disease, an autoimmune issue or lost somebody close to you. I have lost several family members to cancer and some were hereditary causes and another was environmental.  Just this past year, a friend of mine who was in her late 20's, was diagnosed with cancer and passed away 7 months later.  She left behind 3 small children. The reason I chose their mission, advocacy work and their focus on health. What ignites my passion...working with a company who creates safer products and who is changing the scope of this industry! Switch to safer in 2019...

Cheers to Better Beauty,

Erica Willis