Best Friend Handbook: Best in Clean Skin Care

Best Friend Handbook: Best in Clean Skin Care

My friend Katherine Stuart writes a wonderful blog,”Best Friend Handbook,” everything from fashion and beauty tips to nutrition and recipes – including recipes for success in life – which she feels is aided and abetted by practicing gratitude every single day.

If you missed her blogs, that is because Katherine had to take 11 months off to heal from cancer. But now she is healthy and back on the job. This week the subject is a skin care regimen. Beyond beauty, why is this information so important? Because all too many potions and lotions include harmful additives that can mess with our hormones.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always assumed that the FDA has my back when it comes to the products that I put on my face and body. I mean, it can take decades for a new cancer treatment or a procedure that can take away my wrinkles without surgery to get approved. Yet when it comes to personal care products, it turns out that there is basically NO regulation. And that’s a pretty scary fact given how many “lotions & potions” most of us use every single day.

Why Clean Skin Care is Important

The United States only bans 11 chemicals from use in personal care products. This means that there are about 80,000 synthetic chemicals that are used regularly in our face creams, body lotions and serums that haven’t yet been tested by the FDA. Since Canada bans 650 of these and the European Union bans 1,300, this does not fill me with a warm and fuzzy feeling. Who knows. Maybe these suspect chemicals don’t cause cancer. But maybe they do. In fact, more and more research is coming out about the potentially harmful effects of parabens, sulfates, phalates, and synthetic fragrances. Not only can they mess with your hormones, but they’ve even been tied to infertility.

Natural & Organic Don’t Mean a Thing

So, right about now, you are probably ready to run out to the closest Whole Foods and buy anything with the term “natural” or “organic” right? Wrong. Turns out that there is no legal definition for either term when it comes to cosmetics and personal care products. What’s a girl to do then?

Well, there are a couple of really great websites that can give you the low down on the products that you use. I am a fan of the Environmental Working Group ( I have also recently downloaded the app ThinkDirty (get it here). But if you live in New York or Los Angeles, my FAVORITE resource is the store Credo. Basically, they’ve done the research for you. Every product carried in the store or online adheres to the strict European principals which means that they’re the safest products out there. Also, the products are packaged responsibly meaning that they’re better for our environment. And as we all know, every little bit helps when it comes to saving Mother Earth. If you don’t live in either city, here’s the link to their website. And if you are looking for a truly concise edit, here’s my clean skin care plan.

BFH Clean Skin Care Plan: Cleanser…

Continue reading here to learn about Katherine’s carefully vetted options for squeaky clean skin care.

More about Katherine Stuart:

Katherine is a former movie executive and screenwriter who now runs her own content company, Content by Katherine. Her blog, the Best Friend Handbook, was born out of a desire to help other women feel better about themselves. As a lifelong best friend, fashion aficionado, former Pilates instructor, and amateur cook as well as the person that everyone comes to for advice, Katherine decided to take her opinions global, and create a virtual best friend. You know, someone who loves you no matter what. Who never judges you for eating, say, a quart of ice cream, always knows the best recipe for an impromptu dinner party and who can tell you exactly which eye cream will make you look like less of a hag the morning after one glass too many.

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