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Clean Beauty 101 with Dr. Michele Burklund - Blog Puriya

January 03, 2019

Did you know that the average American woman is exposed to 126 chemicals each day from cosmetics, food, cleaning supplies, and pollution?

What does the definition of beauty mean? Here at Puriya, we define beauty as your true self: that which radiates from the inside out… and this how we choose our ingredients-clean, non-toxic, sources that enhance YOU. Listen to our chief science officer, Dr. Michele Burklund as she gives you the tools to become more mindful of what you put on your body.

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Right below, you will find the transcript of this video.


(00:01) – Dr. Michele Burklund: Hey, everyone. Thanks for joining me today. My name is Dr. Michele Burklund. I’m the Chief Science Officer here at Puriya. And this is the time every week where we sit down, I’m able to answer any questions you have and we also get to talk about great topics. So I wanna start with a statistic this week and what I found is kind of startling, and it is that the average American woman throughout the day is exposed to 126 different chemicals found in cosmetics, and foods, and cleaning supplies, and pollution. So this is incredibly important in today’s world to become mindful of not only what you put into your body, but what you put on it.

(00:45) – DB: So, for those of you joining now, this is our weekly series, I want to remind all of you before we really get started to sign up for our newsletter because you get this amazing e-book, in which I wrote and it’s a complete clean living guide. So it goes into a lot more detail not only on how to read a label, what to avoid in ingredients, different websites to have as resources but it goes into foods to the Clean 15 and the dirty dozen of what foods carry the most pesticides, what to look for an organic, a different cleaning product. So clean living guide literally everything that has to do with daily living and what you can be exposed to and different ways to minimize those exposures to, very, very important.

(01:37) – DB: So, just a quick reminder, you will have the link in our description so you can sign up and then you can download our e-book, and then look if you want some great information. And for those of you joining now, my name is Dr. Michele Burklund. I’m the Chief Science Officer here at Puriya, and most of what I do is actually behind the scenes, it has to do with formulations, sourcing ingredients and writing the medical literature, but I love these sessions because we really get to go into the details of things and I can tell you my own knowledge, and especially what I’ve learned in this industry to help you as a better consumer.

(02:15) – DB: So I want to go first into the actual definition of beauty because I feel like there’s a very dated definition of beauty. But here at Puriya, what we believe is that beauty radiates from the inside out. True beauty enhances you, it doesn’t cover yourself up. To us, beauty isn’t something that makes your skin softer and plumper and is loaded with toxins at the same time in chemicals. We look at the term beauty as something that enhances your natural self, something that brings out the best in you. And that’s what we’re going to be talking about today. Be mindful of the products you use on your skin, and how to find true products that are clean, non-toxic, and plant-based as well.

(03:05) – DB: So I thought this was something interesting to start with. As I was researching for this topic today, I found that the European Union actually bands more than 1300 different ingredients in cosmetics and beauty. But in America, it’s actually one of the least regulated industries in the US where only 30 ingredients are banned. The Federal Food and Drug and Cosmetic Act in America that monitors ingredients and cosmetics really hasn’t changed all that much since it passed its first law in 1938. And I think we know that a lot has changed in the beauty industry since that time.

(03:54) – DB: So to really be a mindful consumer, you need to take that into your own hands and start paying attention to ingredients and also us as companies have to put those regulations upon ourselves to give you the best products out there. So those are two very important things is how little it’s regulated and how companies really need to take accountability for what they put in their products and how they impact their environment. So there’s many different ways that chemicals can affect your bodies, but I would say the top two are the fact that a lot of these chemicals are carcinogenic, which means they can be toxic to the cells in your body or increase your risk of cancer. And the other way is that they can be called endocrine disruptors, and that means that they can affect the delicate hormone balancing systems in your body. A lot of these products are something that you call xenoestrogens, estrogens from outside of your body. So clearly, when you take those, it can disrupt that delicate estrogen balance in the body in men and women, and that’s just one small way.

(05:12) – DB: A lot of the ingredients that companies use are because they’re cheap filler ingredients, so something that’s often used, even still today, and I think it’s incredibly important to turn around the label and start recognizing some of these ingredients is mineral oil. Mineral oil is a cheap byproduct of crude oil, and it can clog your pores, and you don’t know the purity of it or so much about it. So that’s one is mineral oil. Something definitely to avoid. And the term fragrance. And we definitely go into this quite a bit more in the e-book. The term fragrance means many different things. Just that name alone could mean the product has hundreds of additional chemicals to create that fragrance in the ingredient. So that is a very sneaky term you need to look into is if it has the word fragrance, because you don’t know what’s in there and there can be a lot of additional chemicals just for that one word.

(06:22) – DB: Now, something that I’m highly aware of and I take very seriously is something that a lot of companies are doing especially in the last decade for marketing purposes and it’s called green washing. And what it basically is, it’s the practice of large companies that offer their services or products that are very misleading about what they claim the environmental benefit or how they are more environmentally friendly than they really are.

(06:56) – DB: So, here at Puriya, we have not only do we need to be aware of the production and the environmental impact of the production of our products, we use many amazing botanicals in our formulations, and that really makes us take a step further on what is environmentally friendly because we have to look at the farming, the harvesting, is it organic, is it wild crafted? Another very important thing for companies that I think is often overlooked is, is this product sustainably harvested and could it be endangered? Because a lot of these trendy ingredients that come out and they’re great for marketing purposes, they’re new, they’re exciting, they might not be sustainably harvested or they can be endangering the plant so you can be doing a lot more damage even though it is a natural product with marketing these plants that are endangered. So, we want to take care of our products and our plants together, meaning that we pay attention to all of those different practices, because in the end, everything matters and we are a plant-based company and we wanna take care of the nature too. We value that and we celebrate that.

(08:25) – DB: So that’s another thing. What I like is I feel like a lot of companies are starting to take more accountability, so you might find more information about the farms of their suppliers or how they take care of their botanicals or the different techniques that they use. And I think that is incredibly important to start paying attention to.

(08:50) – DB: Now, another thing that’s incredibly important and highly misleading is the term natural. So natural has zero regulations behind it, and what a lot of companies do is they have chemically-laden products and then they’re throwing a plant and use the word natural. And this is another time where turning around the label and really seeing what’s in there will decipher if this product is actually plant-based, clean, non-toxic, or if they’re just using it for marketing terms.

(09:31) – DB: So, my all-time favorite website that I highly recommend everybody go to is called the Environmental Working Group, and what I want all of you to do today is to round up all the products you use throughout the day. Your shampoo, your lotion, your soaps, all these different things, your makeup, put them on the table and go to this website and look each one up, and this will really help you become mindful of what is in your products or what you thought was natural and what actually is natural. Because what the Environmental Working Group does is it briefs down every single ingredient and at present has thousands upon thousands of the products, so most likely the products you’re using are going to be on at that website. And you can look it up and then it’ll rank each ingredient whether it’s safe to use, whether it could be carcinogenic, what chemicals it could have in there that can increase different risk for other things. So, that is a great practice to become more mindful of the products you’re using and if they’re good products to continue using or switching to something else.

(10:48) – DB: So, that is your homework for this weekend for everyone is to go to that website, the Environmental Working Group and look up the products you’re currently using. So a lot of the top offenders that we talked about are synthetic fragrances: Parabens, PEGs, SLL, sodium.. going to this website I think will really help get you in tune with the products you’re using on a deeper level and see if they are good for you.

(11:29) – DB: So some other things that some products still contain, this was a really big issue several decades ago, but it still happens today where lipsticks contain lead and heavy metals. A lot of companies are not using this, but still a lot of companies are. And everything you put on your body, especially what you put on your lips, you can easily ingest and these are things that you do not want to have a toxin buildup for things that you put on your body to make you feel better because in the end it’ll make you feel worse. So, start being aware of these different things. So the make-up that you use and the products you put on your face and also animal testing. No, I won’t go too deep into this but look at the companies you’re using and see how they treat animals, see if they test on animals or if the animals are harmed. Because here at Puriya, we do not do that, we will never harm an animal in testing a new fragrance or product, and we think that’s incredibly important, and I highly recommend that you go on the websites of any product you’re using and look at that too.

(12:37) – DB: So for us here at Puriya and for many companies, we need to set a new standard. We need to take charge of the ingredients we use, the practices we have, and the sustainability. And we are doing that here, but we recommend that any product you use starts taking on those responsibilities themselves, of course, because the FDA is not regulating that, but it’s incredibly important.

(13:05) – DB: So I hope all of you have an amazing weekend and do your homework, check your products on the Environmental Working Group websites, and I will see you next time. Take care.

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