The European Union has spent the last two decades banning or restricting more than 1,300 harmful ingredients in beauty and skincare products,

The US has only banned 11.

But that’s not initially why I wanted to tell you about a brand I’m loving called Beautycounter. I am not promoting Beautycounter because they are paying me or giving me anything for free. I am telling you about it because these products are now favorites of mine and oh, by the way, they happen to be safe for you and your family. Here’s my story, sprinkled with some of the products that I have found to be my go-to choices. My skin has never been happier.  I’ll caption them with how I love to use them or what I like.

BC oil

I first met Maria Puleo when visiting my friend Eileen in Boston.  Eileen was going through cancer treatment and Maria was her oncology nurse.

Maria turned out to be a woman of great care and compassion for Eileen and her other patients but also passionate about the health of her family and friends as it relates to toxins and chemicals in our environment.  Facing cancer everyday, her job does kind of drive home the need to reduce toxins.

As a mom and a nurse, Maria chose to buy organic foods for her family based on studies that showed that food additives and preservatives are harmful to our systems.  She had always supported companies like 7th generation who were trying to offer safe household products.  She even detoxed before getting pregnant to be sure she didn’t pass anything harmful on to her baby.

BC shadow makeup

The Dew skin tube is a pump and holds a tinted sunscreen. The dual eyeshadows are pretty warm colors and the box has a good magnetic close so it packs without getting messy. The eye pencils feel and work like my other brands and I like the violet and copper brown colors.


But, when she watched a video sent to her by another nurse friend about Beautycounter and toxins in our daily skin and body products, she was shocked.

“I had no idea that there was a complete lack of regulation in our country related to beauty and skin care products.  Many of the products we were using everyday were full of toxins and I knew, as a nurse, we were absorbing harmful ingredients and over a long period of time, a lifetime, they were really harmful,” said Puleo.

Founder of the brand Beautycounter, Gregg Renfrew had the same reaction after figuring out that she was using about 12 products daily which added up to approximately 100 chemicals a day on her skin!  She decided this was a major public health problem that was going to need public pressure and consumer power to affect change.

A little background on Renfrew, she owned a wedding registry company called The Wedding List and sold it to Martha Stewart Living and was more recently the CEO of Best & Co. children’s retail company.

BC Gregg Renfro

Renfrew found her solution in partnering with industry specialists to create a safe line of beauty products for consumers and to make it her mission to convince Congress to pass legislation to regulate the personal care product industry.   While Renfrew has continued to create a coalition of women (and men)  for safer products, she has also made it a priority to inform and empower people to begin to ask about their own products.

My dry, itchy winter legs LOVE this hydration moisturizer so much that I started getting heartbeats of panic when it got low. It smells divine. Body wash is a cross between a gel and cream and smells great too if you like mild citrus.

My dry, itchy winter legs LOVE this hydration moisturizer so much that I started getting heartbeats of panic when it got low. It smells divine. The body wash is a cross between a gel and cream and smells great too if you like a mild citrus scent.

Maria Puleo wanted to be a part of this and signed on as a Beautycounter consultant.

“Here was this brave woman deciding to do something about it.  She was trying to find a solution.  She was willing to take on the big cosmetic companies by lobbying for regulation in Washington and she also created an alternative product that was safe and that performed well,” said Puleo, “I wanted to be involved.  I’m the kind of person that just doesn’t want to waste a minute. I want to help people and I want to LIVE everyday and when I learned this, I just wanted to share it.  I believe the consumer has power in the marketplace and we can say by our purchases that safety is important.”

Puleo’s story got my attention.  I decided to check out my own family’s toothpaste, sunscreens, make up, deodorants and shower products for toxicity.  You can too, just go to Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep project  launched in 2004 to enter your own personal care brands to see how they rate based on 50 standard toxicity and regulatory databases.

It turns out, based on what I saw, WE were also using LOTS of consumer popular products full of toxic ingredients and dyes.  Let’s just say that Axe shower gel got the big thumbs down!

I decided to give Beauty Counter products a try….last September……and I can honestly say, that I’ve been using them now for 8 months and love them.

BC kid bottles

My teenagers are not crazy about the KID word on the bottle, I didn’t anticipate that reaction but they like these products and I know they are “clean and safe” ….next time I might order the adult shampoo and conditioner which I love but didn’t take a picture of for you….but these make momma feel a lot better about whats all over my kids’ skin.


BC tint

This…I use everyday. It literally beats my Chanel foundation now. Its a base in a tube that is sheer but covers and looks great. Ask for Maria Puleo if you want to talk to a consultant on colors for your skin if you decide to try this.

BC pencils

Eye pencils…..

Beautycounter consultants and staff went to Washington in November to start the process of conversations with Congress and will be going back with a larger presence this May.  You can read more about these meetings on the Beautycounter website.  You will also find some informative videos like this one;,

Just starting the thought process at home will start the conversation in our country to make changes according to Renfrew. “Our mission is to let Washington know that safety does matter to us and we want to make this a priority. ”

When I called Maria to order more products and ask her if I could interview her for Ivy and Sprig, she effused with her passion for this mission. I signed up on their website to send a a letter to my Senators about regulation. Maybe if we share this story with our friends and let our own politicians know that we care, we can make a change.

Do you have a product you want to share with us that works for you and is healthy and safe?  Put it in the Leave a reply comment box below for all of us to read.  We have the power to support brands that are making safe choices for us.  Tell your friends about Beautycounter by sharing this post on Facebook or mentioning it to them when discussing make up.  We can spread the word!

Oh and if you decide to order anything, ask for Maria Puleo.






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