Briana Richardson

Briana Richardson - How To Radiate Vibrant Clear Skin from the Inside Out
A Day for M.E., Mom Empowerment Conference was created for moms to learn how to be the
healthiest version of themselves and see what authentic health could be like. We are
continuing today discussing how we can continue our beauty routine without sacrificing our
We are joined by a very qualified woman to speak to these issues. She is the Lead Esthetician at
one of the most prestigious spas in the world: the Spa Montage in Laguna beach and has over
11 years of experience, including ASTECC Certified, with vast knowledge in skincare ingredients,
nutrition, aromatherapy, connective tissue massage, manual lymph drainage, reflexology,
Chinese face mapping and body typing.
She is actively involved in leading wellness programs where she acts as a champion for overall
wellness and is changing the shape of the future by empowering and inspiring Montage
associates and others about small changes they can make to live healthier lives.
***Most people have a “why” to make healthier choices in their life and move us to change.
What was your “why” that made you change?
It came with starting to educate myself. I was tired of feeling sick and in pain in my life every
day. I started researching natural ways of healing myself and listening to my body.
***We watched the cute yet bothersome reality of “The story of cosmetics” by Anne Leonard.
Can you tell us what we are dealing with the cosmetic industry and the clever marketing and
what is and isn't in our products.
People are drawn to what will provide results and if it says you will get results and often times,
we don’t know how one ingredient is different than another. Personal care product ingredients
are not regulated. We have to do our own research, learn our ingredients, and find resources
that can help find healthy products. We cannot trust the cosmetic industry to provide safe
products. Products do not have to be tested unless it is a drug or in large quantities. I found the
statistic you shared that 80 percent of the 10,500 ingredients used have NOT BEEN EVALUATED
for safety by the cosmetic ingredient review, the FDA or any public accountable institution.
***Why would these ingredients be allowed in our products if they are harmful in any way?
Cosmetics are not regulated the way other industrial chemicals are. People think that because
they are used in minimal amounts they won’t be toxic, but they don’t think about the
cumulative effect of products that we put on our skin every day.
Any ingredient or raw material may be used in cosmetics except color additives and a few
prohibited substances without government review or approval which was approved by the FDA.
***Are they only testing them for safety in tiny doses and not taking into consideration the fact
that most of these common harmful ingredients you shared with us are being used in multiple
products most of us use together on a daily basis?
Most of these haven’t been tested and why do we need to wait until the Government tells us to
stop using these products? With the industrial boom, our bodies and environment took the hit
because our products are coming from petroleum and oils and plastics. Instead of taking things
from nature, companies found it much cheaper to produce it with synthetic chemicals. Now
products last longer because of the preservatives and they are adding fragrances because it is
cheaper than essential oils. They did this because it was a large profit, without thinking about
the effect on our health. The FDA does not review or approve products or ingredients before
putting them on the market. When it comes to ingredients and cosmetics, one of the best
resources is the Environmental Working Group. We need to educated and empowered about
the ingredients in our products.
***Can you list these "Nasty's" as you called the products to avoid when we read the labels?
Mineral oil
Propylene & Butylene Glycol
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
We live in a very toxic world and are exposed every day all day long to toxins. When we look at
ways in our life to start eliminating, look at what you can do tht can make the biggest impact,
like the things that you use on a daily basis that can affect your health. As you start to change
your day to day products, learn the big “nasty’s” to avoid. People are exposed by breathing in
sprays and powders, swallowing chemicals on our lips and hands or absorbing through the skin.
That is just what we are putting on. Then we have our food, environmental toxins and our own
metabolic weight. There are tests that you can do to test the levels of toxins in your body.
***The study you sited by the environmental working group in 2004 that stated they identified
287 industrial chemicals in babies' umbilical cords with 180 of them that cause cancer and 217
toxic to the brain and nervous system is mind blowing. Why isn't there an outcry about this?
Many moms aren’t aware of the toxic chemicals in the baby products they are given to take
home from the hospital. It is frightening that there is not more done about it. On average, a
woman applies about 168 chemicals onto their bodies every day. Women are carrying purses
full of toxic chemicals. There are studies, in 2005 the Center for Disease Control and Prevention
had their third National report on human exposure to environmental chemicals, it stated trace
elements of industrial chemicals were detected in the bodies of all the 2,400 people and
researchers are discovering even small amount of toxins can cause major problems.
There’s a great book, Not just a pretty face, the ugly side of the cosmetic industry, has answers
to a lot of these questions. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the Environmental Working
Group are good resources and are trying to make a change. It has to do with lobbyists and the
Government and the Boards who make the rules.
***Is it possible to just use our favorite one or two toxic products and be safe?
Yes, it is possible. I want to share this quote, “One decision alone probably won’t change your
life radically, a series of them can have an amazing effect, every decision we make, no matter
how small, leaves us in some way either closer to our goals and wishes or farther away from
them.” You have to look at what you are willing to give up, and what things are you not willing
to give up. If you can make a difference in one way, that’s still huge at the end of your lifetime.
You start making little changes and products that you use every day. You have to find what
makes sense for you, your lifestyle and your family.
***Can you give us practical tips on the best way to START to make the transition and are there
specific products that should ALWAYS be non-toxic?
Deoderant and Antiperspirent is extremely important because it absorbs so easily into our
body, body wash can negatively affect our health, pH levels and chemicals can cause yeast
infections and bladder infections, perfumes are one of the most toxic, detergents, air
fresheners, candles, and toothpaste. Find alternatives and as you lessen your toxic load, your
body starts to detox these chemicals and you can become more sensitive to chemicals. As you
run out of products, replace them with better, safer products. We didn’t get into this mess
overnight, we can’t expect to change things overnight.
***How do you think we can shift this tide for mainstream moms and women in general to
understand HOW IMPORTANT this issue is to their overall health and begin to CHANGE and
TRANSITION to clean, organic products?
We can’t try to measure up to this idea of being “perfect”. It is about how we can make
ourselves feel healthier and nourishing our bodies through food and water to help the aging
process. Our skin is a reflection of the health of our diet and our body. There are two great
books on your skin and aging, Eating for Beauty and The Beauty Detox Solution. We can make
the shift by purchasing products that are organic and safe and do research on your products
and ingredients. Walking the walk and starting by transforming our own lives and people will
notice. A great reference for safety in products is:
***I loved the quote you shared with us that said " Sharing Knowledge is like a drop of water
that ripples infinitely outwards, affecting the lives of all it touches." Can you share ONE
EMPOWERING THOUGHT we can take with us through our day?
“There are two primary choices in life, to accept conditions as they exist or to accept the
responsibility for changing them.” –Dennis Whaetly
Contact Information:
Montage Spa Laguna Beach
Email: [email protected]
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