So I recently wrote this interview for iVillage, and I thought it was totally relevant to share with you guys what is on my mind at this exact moment! Here goes…

iVillage: Why is natural skincare important in terms of health and putting less toxins on the body?
Kimberly: 70% of what you put on your skin, the largest organ, is absorbed into your bloodstream and into your liver. Toxins in cosmetics and skincare products can lead to problems with the endocrine system (especially the thyroid), the reproductive organs and the brain.

When you consider that products sit on the skin 24 hours a day, constantly being absorbed, you realize how significant this is! Think about it…that is why more and more medications are administered through the skin, such as the nicotine patch.”

iVillage: Since you are a raw foodist, do you recommend using raw product? As in cold-pressed oils?
It’s great to be natural, but…we still want to see results.  As a raw foodist myself, I am familiar with the benefits of ingesting raw olive oil, coconut oil, etc. as well as raw aloe. However, as far as facial skincare products go, I would NEVER be so literal as to only use raw ingredients!! If you want to see results, it is essential to include the potent scientific ingredients. There is no such thing as “raw” DMAE or “raw” Alpha Lipoic Acid or “raw” dipeptides, etc., which are powerful lab ingredients.

Please be sure to check the ingredient list for any skincare claiming to be “raw”- it will be made primarily of aloe as its main ingredient, and some other botanicals. I’m all about natural and chemical-free…but remember that if you want your skin to glow, be youthful and smooth, you need to use a whole lot more than aloe!

iVillage: Can you ever make a product 100% natural – why or why not (the need for preservatives, especially)?

Kimberly: Well you do need to have preservatives in products, as well as anti-microbials. It is important to read the safety profile for each such ingredient and determine which one is best. Parabens, which mimic the endocrine system and are carcinogenic, are not necessary. It’s really scary when certain products have parabens listed high up in the ingredient list! However, an anti-microbial called phenoxyethanol has a good safety profile comparatively, and is considered safe in very tiny quantities. Plus, it is illegal to sell products in certain countries, such as Japan, without this specific ingredient.

iVillage: Do many of the products that claim to be natural not live up to the fact?
Kimberly: Unfortunately, I think a lot of companies label themselves as “natural,” when in fact they are using different technicalities to use that term. For instance, some companies say they are paraben-free, but use grapeseed extract stabilized with parabens in the product, to get around the labeling! However, I am optimistic that more and more people are getting educated, and will be able to identify the truly beneficial companies out there.

This is the same with using products that you think are vegan or not created with animal cruelty. For example, “natural, organic” Hyaluronic Acid is usually derived from rooster feathers, and is not as stable as the lab form of HLA. Using the absolute most natural form of all ingredients whenever possible- for example, the active form of Vitamin A as Retinyl Palmitate, but without the potential side effects of Rentinoic Acid, and Phosphatidylcholine (PPC), in its natural form of lecithin is important.

iVillage: Can you ever be sure what’s going into your cosmetics? How?
Well you can check out the ingredient label first, and look out for mineral oils, which can sit on the skin’s surface, clogging it, hindering its respiration and oxidizing into free radicals.  Other ingredients I avoid are sulfates, urea, glycol, ethyl-alcohols and parabens.

But for the reasons that I mentioned in Question #2, you really CAN NOT be sure what is in your products just from looking at the label. You really have to trust the brand, the formulators behind it, and the ethos of that particular brand and what they stand for.

iVillage: What should people be careful of when buying products from large established cosmetics lines?
Well… (LOL) this is a funny question for me because I worked at one of the largest beauty companies in the world and I know how good they are at getting around labels and identifications in order to cut costs.

So yes, I would always be careful. Large companies have a lot of infrastructure and people’s salaries to pay, so profits and the bottom line are the top of the priority list, NOT making sure you have as few toxins as possible going into your body.

When looking for organic makeup brands, always do your research!

Well I think I have spoken on that topic! :) I hope you guys have a great week.

xx Kimberly