Its me, Doris.

Most of my friends would say that I definitely do not need another thing on my plate. And they’d be right. Except that when I feel something, I can’t help myself. I invest. Welcome to the newest piece of the pie.

At 26, I’m a wife, mother to a precious 9-month old, Judaic Studies teacher of middle school girls, a Master of Arts in English Literature, an occasional makeup artist, a wannabe matchmaker.

So where does Junk Free Beauty play in?

Last summer, a very awesome, gorgeous, and hilarious family friend, regaled me and my mom about the time she got a Brazilian wax and brought her own talc-free powder, explaining to the waxer that she didn’t want any toxic talcum in her “coochie”.

The conversation evolved, and I left that night with my brain spinning. Neurotoxins in my moisturizer? Carcinogens in my shampoo? Deodorant clogging my lymph nodes? It was too much. I looked down at my growing belly and knew that something had to change.

Now, I’m no dummy when it comes to health. I never drank from plastic water bottles left in a car, I refuse to microwave food in plastic tupperwares, hell, I’ve even been a vegan once! (Not to mention, I’ve been to every nutritionist in the tri-state area, and have heard every food philosophy, including but not limited to keto, paleo, plant-based, weight watchers… until I realized that dieting, for me, is just too psychologically involved). But this was news. natural-advantage-recipes-cosmetic-toxin-highlights-480x405My husband has always accused me of being a consumer. I love infomercials, I watch QVC for fun, and I’m a pretty easy sell in general. When I came home with my newest shpiel about the toxic chemicals rampant in our beauty and skincare, he rolled his eyes sighing “here we go again, another way for Doris to spend more money.” I spent my final weeks with-child researching clean baby products, cross-checking them on several blogs. Lucky for me, My talc-free coochie friend, AKA Katie at The Green Product Junkie katie-green-product-junkie, gifted me the perfect box of junk-free baby goods, most of which I still use to this day. Since Sophia’s birth, I haven’t placed a thing on her skin that didn’t meet the standards of blogs like Gimme the Good Stuff, or rate low on EWG’s Skin Deep safe product score (more on that in another post).

So, about a year goes by while I’m spending a couple extra bucks on these products— baby wash, wipes, dish soap and detergent— which eventually begins to include things for myself as well— face and hair oils, shampoo, hand soap, body wash. All the while my husband tries to turn a blind eye, although begrudgingly. According to him (and the rest of America): they couldn’t sell it if it wasn’t safe.. The FDA handles these things..people just want to scare you into spending more money.. and on and on. His list of doubts knew no bounds. It wasn’t until, on advice of a good friend (thank you, Alexis), we watched a documentary called The Human Experiment, an excellent expose on the criminal actions of large manufacturers who saturate our household and skincare products with bona fide toxic chemicals, the corruption of the FDA in their defense of the manufacturers, and their in-cahoots with our government, making the many attempts to reform our skincare and beauty industry moot.

While the documentary mainly focused on the production and use of toxins such as Bisphenol A (BPA), PolyVinyl Chloride (PVC) and Flame Retardants, it was enough to turn my skeptic husband into a believer. Turns out, the FDA is practically entitled to fool us, allowing the use of deceptive tag words: “natural,” “100%”, while giving large enough margins for manufacturers to sneak harmful ingredients into products under the guise of names like “fragrance” or “parfum.”

labels
So much work goes into making us think we are safe and protected. Marketing strategies: catchy jingles, shiny colorful bottles, and teark-jerking commercials all aimed at convincing the general public of this fabricated truth.

Well, who’s the consumer now?

So. Take all of this, add my big mouth, my passionate nature, my mom (see previous post) , plus my knack for spreading myself too thin, and you’ve got…

Junk Free Beauty.

What’s our goal?

I haven’t quite nailed our 30-second pitch yet, but since you’re still here, it goes something like this:

I want to help educate my small, brooklyn-based community on the matter of toxic chemicals in our skinwear, in an approachable and relatable way. No, I am not a raw-gluten free-vegan, I don’t make my own almond milk, I’m about as Yogi as an elm tree, and I still get a weekly manicure. But I’m trying to better my health, one product at a time. And I want to help you with yours, too.

bad-yogame, pretty much.

So on top of posting here, we plan to open up a retail space that will offer baby product consultations, where we’ll help you create a basket of the essentials, while teaching you all that we know. We’ll have some stuff for you too, to introduce into your day-to-day as slowly as you need. Plus, we’ll create a department-store-like makeup bar, with tons of junk free goodies stuff to test and try.

Together, my mom and I hope to influence, educate and affect change in the lives of the women around us. We hope you join us for the ride.

Thanks for reading!

Doris Cohen

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