In 1969, my mother was pregnant with her eighth child. She began having complications early on in the pregnancy, and her obstetrician prescribed a synthetic hormone called Diethylstilbestrol, or DES. DES was being given to women in the mistaken belief that it would reduce the risk of pregnancy complications and losses. I was born in June of 1970, eight weeks early and weighing 3 1/2 pounds.
In 1971, DES was shown to cause a rare vaginal tumor in girls and women who had been exposed to DES in-utero, and research was beginning to show that the daughters and sons of women who took DES were at increased risk for reproductive abnormalities and cancers. The drug was pulled from the market immediately. Unfortunately for many, including myself, the damage was done. Subsequent studies have shown an approximate 40-fold increased risk of vaginal/cervical clear cell adenocarcinoma in women exposed in utero to DES. As a consequence of this evidence, DES is considered an established human carcinogen. Daughters exposed to DES in utero may also have an increased risk of moderate to severe cervical squamous cell dysplasia and an increased risk of breast cancer. I was diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells of the vaginal wall when I was 18, and struggled in my adult life with fertility issues. Luckily, I was blessed with two boys, but suffered at least two miscarriages during the time I was trying to conceive.
Enter Beautycounter. Because of this early exposure to synthetic hormones (which have the potential to have lasting negative effects on my health), I was hyper-aware of my exposure to hormones, including hormone disruptors found in our everyday products. I was thrilled to find a company that is formulating effective products using safe, non-toxic ingredients, without links to cancer and reproductive issues, along with ADD, asthma, and allergies in children - just to name a few.Beautycounter is a relatively young company, founded in March of 2013 and based in Santa Monica, California - now with around 4000 independent consultants (and counting). Yet their amazing growth (23% average monthly revenue growth and 424% sales growth since January 2014) speaks to the fact that we are ready for a change, and are less and less willing to compromise our health in the name of beauty.
Only about 10% of the 10,000 chemicals commonly found in personal care products have safety data.
Did you know that the government regulations governing personal care and cosmetics have not been updated since 1938? Worse yet, the U.S. currently bans only 11 ingredients (the European Union bans 1300), and allows thousands of known carcinogens and hormone disruptors to be used in our personal care and skin care products - products we use every day. Beautycounter is setting a new safety standard, because we deserve better.
At Beautycounter, we've banned more than 1,500 ingredients setting a new health and safety standard—
The statistics are sobering: 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. The incidence of breast cancer, infertility, ADD, asthma, and allergies have all increased startlingly in the last twenty years. Genetics aren’t changing, so what’s going on? The evidence points to our environment as the culprit - “environment” defined as the world around us: the water we drink, the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the products we put on our skin each and every day. As Oprah says, “When you know better, you do better”, and Beautycounter was an easy change for me and for my family.
I am so thankful for Beautycounter - for its founder and CEO, Gregg Renfrew, its leadership, its mission, and for the opportunity it has given me to not only provide my family and loved ones with safe products, but to educate others and spread this important mission of "Getting safe products into the hands of everyone".
check out Jen's site here.
check out Jen's site here.
Thank you so much Jen for opening up and sharing your story.