Our very own FDA doesn’t require cosmetic products and ingredients to have FDA approval before they go into the market. So, if you thought that the products you purchase – and often pay premium dollars for – are vetted by the government for safety before they hit your favorite drug store, department store, or online shop – think again. Most skin care products DO contain ingredients that are known carcinogens. And, it’s not just chemicals in cosmetics; it’s allergens, too.
Hold on to your toxic tubes because in this episode we’re showing you how to Ensure the Safety of the Beauty Brands you buy. Our guest today, Dr. Liia Ramachandra, has over 30 years of pharmaceutical medicine development experience and is the founder and CEO of EpiLynx by Dr. Liia. EpiLynx was born from her struggle with a gluten allergy, psoriasis, and arthritis and realized that she wasn’t alone. Not being able to find skincare products that could guarantee to be allergen and gluten-free, she decided to create her own line of vegan, gluten-free, allergen-free, and clean skincare products to help patients and people struggling with autoimmune diseases and allergies.
- Ingredients you MUST avoid when shopping for cosmetics
- Some of the negative effects the harmful chemicals in cosmetics can have on our health
- Why products labeled “clean” may not actually be clean
- What beauty brands should be doing to reduce the harmful effects of their products
- Tools and apps to help determine whether a product is clean and safe
- Safe skincare swaps to replace the harmful ones
This episode of Healthy Home Hacks is brought to you by Aires Tech. Are you worried about electromagnetic fields in your environment? Do you want to rest easier knowing that you’re protecting yourself and your family from dangerous radiation emitted from wireless devices in and around your home and office? Try Lifetune products made by Aires Tech. Peer-reviewed and backed by science, Aires Tech patented EMF Modulation technology keeps you connected without the negative biological effects. Equip your phone, laptop, home, and even pet with their easy-to-use solutions. Co-exist with technology and visit Aires Tech to learn more. SPECIAL SAVINGS: Shop Lifetune products by Aires Tech. Use coupon RL30OFF to save 30% off any order (expires 7/31/22).
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How would you like to improve your health and keep your family safe? You're listening to the Healthy Home Hacks podcast where we firmly believe in joining optimal health shouldn't be a luxury. Healthy Home authorities and husband and wife team Ron and Lisa will help you create a home environment that will level up your health. It's time to hear from the experts. listen in on honest conversations and gain the best tips and advice. If you're ready to dive in and improve your well-being and increase your energy, you're in the right place. All right, here are your hosts, Building Biologists, authors, media darlings, vicarious vegans and avocado aficionados, Ron and Lisa Beres.
Lisa Beres 00:52
This episode of healthy home Hacks is brought to you by Aires Tech. Are you worried about electromagnetic fields in your environment? Do you want to rest easier knowing that you're protecting yourself and your family from dangerous radiation emitted from wireless devices in and around your home and office? Try life tune products made by Aires Tech, peer reviewed and backed by science Aires Tech patented EMF modulation technology keeps you connected without the negative biological effects. Equip your phone, laptop home and even your pet with their easy to use solutions coexist with technology and visit Aires Tech. That's AIRESTECH.com. To learn more, and use code RL30OFF. That's RL30OFF to save 30% of your entire purchase.
Ron Beres 01:47
We said it before and we'll say it again. Your skin is your largest organ and up to 60% of what goes on it and get absorbed into the body. Which brings us to today's show the safety of the skincare brands we finally trust. Turns out the personal care products you use matter a lot.
Lisa Beres 02:11
Have you made the switch to completely nontoxic makeup and skincare? If you're like most people, it can feel overwhelming and you may not know who to trust or where to start. And what's good reason. Turns out our very own FDA does not require cosmetic products and ingredients to have FDA approval before they go into the market. So, if you've thought about the products you purchase and often pay premium dollars for are vetted by the government for safety before they hit your favorite drugstore, department store or online shop. Think again.
Ron Beres 02:47
Truth bomb, you know most skin products actually do contain ingredients that are known carcinogens. Just to put things in perspective, the European Union bans 14,000 ingredients in skincare. The US only bans 14.
Lisa Beres 03:06
And it's not just chemicals in cosmetics. It's allergens too. Today, more than 3 million people in the US have celiac disease. More than 8 million have psoriasis. 31, 6 million have some form of eczema and over 50 million suffer from allergies. Hold on to your toxic tubes and stay with us guys because we're going to show you how to ensure the safety of the beauty brands you find.
Ron Beres 03:34
Our guest today Dr. Liia Ramachandra is the founder and CEO of EpiLynx. She has a doctorate in pharmacy and as a scientist with over 30 years of pharmaceutical medicine development experience. EpiLynx by Dr. Liia was born from her own struggle with a gluten allergy, psoriasis and arthritis. Realizing that she wasn't alone, a former executive at one of the top pharmaceutical companies in the world. Dr. Liia found herself sick. She was losing her lifelong battle with psoriasis. Her blood pressure was skyrocketing, and she had been diagnosed with preeclampsia.
Lisa Beres 04:15
Not being able to find skincare products that could guarantee being allergen and gluten free. She decided to create her own products to help patients and people struggling with autoimmune diseases and allergies per goal to develop gluten free allergen free, vegan and clean skincare that would be the best on the market. And she is here with us today.
Ron Beres 04:40
Dr. Liia, welcome to the show.
Dr. Liia 04:42
Thank you for having you. Wow, what an introduction.
Lisa Beres 04:46
Welcome Dr. Liia. We're so excited to have you, our fellow Southern Californians so this is great and I know our listeners are just ready to learn so much today about skincare so I want to just get started as He said at the top of the show, the FTC has very scarce regulations on cosmetic products. Why is this? And why is it up to consumers to take on the responsibility of ensuring their own cosmetic products are safe? I mean, this seems a little. No, this seems a lot backwards.
Dr. Liia 05:19
Yes, I agree. And that's actually a very good question. That's the question. I'm always asking myself. Why is that? Right? So, I don't have an answer why? I think really, FDA and FD&C needs to have much more stringent regulation. You're absolutely right. And FD&C, which is the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act, only requires that you have an appropriate labeling, right? So, the ingredients are there, Wait, is there what's inside the name and where it is made. But obviously, nothing is vetted ingredients are not vetted. And whether it is true or not, is also not worth it. So, you can also submit all your ingredients and your products to FDA. Oh, wow, they submitted but you will not get an approval. Basically, they say okay, thanks for submitting.
Lisa Beres 06:07
Okay, so you can put together your list of ingredients. And that doesn't even have to be accurate. You're saying? Correct. Oh, my gosh,
Ron Beres 06:14
Alice in Wonderland crazy. It is?
Lisa Beres 06:17
Oh, I didn't know that. We've talked about this on the show before with when it comes to so many different categories, whether it be food, or whether it be household cleaning products, or personal care that we really have to rely on these third-party certifications nowadays, right? Because if the FDA isn't doing that safety testing, and they're not even vetting whether you see what's in there as accurate. Who do we trust? I mean, we have to actually go to brands that we know and trust, but a lot of consumers don't know, they literally don't know. So, this is a huge, huge problem. We obviously have so much illness in the world today. We talked about the allergy issues, but obviously we've got cancer and respiratory issues and reproductive problems and so many ailments that this is a huge problem. And I really hope guys, if you're listening that you stay till the end, because we're really going to dive in Dr. Liia is going to show you what to avoid what to buy how to vet these products, because we can't rely on this government agencies anymore. Sadly,
Ron Beres 07:15
That's a great point. Lisa, you know, Dr. Liia, for example, how does EpiLynx use this philosophy? When formulating products?
Dr. Liia 07:24
Well, for us, or especially for me, I would say maybe it is easier, or it was easier, maybe for others since I've spent my entire previous life in the pharmaceutical industry, which is highly, highly regulated, as we all know. Yes. And obviously FDA does regulate and FDA regulates pharmaceutical industry and the medicines that are put on the market even more than EMA, which is the European agency, which is, right, yeah, we're safe was medicines, but not with beauty and skincare. So, when I started this, and I so that there's not much regulation, and also many brands claim, things that they should never claim. And the ingredients that are put in some products are just really not good for you, I decided that it was my knowledge was the allergies and autoimmune conditions that I have. And being a pharmacist, I should formulate all the products myself, and only put ingredients in those products that really will interact with the cells on our skin. And if they absorbed into the body, they won't do much harm. Of course, you know, everything can do harm, but at least we know that they will be as safe as possible. And then my husband, who is the co-founder is the immune oncologist. So, we always talk about ingredients and what they do to our skin. And also, to people who have various conditions like you mentioned, cancer, or when we grow older, you know, all kinds of things come up.
Lisa Beres 08:57
It's hard enough battling wrinkles and adding more browse through the products. It's crazy. Well, you guys are a power couple, by the way. I read your bio on your website and very impressive that you're both he's an immunologist?
Dr. Liia 09:13
He's the immuno-oncology. So, he's a he's a he's a doctor and then he has a PhD in immunology.
Lisa Beres 09:21
I can always say that's a powerhouse right there.
Dr. Liia 09:22
I said during the conversation.
Lisa Beres 09:28
Do you talk about work the whole time? That's what our conversations probably aren't as intellectual as yours, but.
Ron Beres 09:37
What are the ingredients you have that are free of gluten, dairy, nuts? Can you get into that a little bit too?
Lisa Beres 09:43
There's like 14. Yeah. What are the allergens that you don't use?
Dr. Liia 09:48
Yeah, you know, and let's start I think in the last 10 years, we've seen the beauty switch from wild west to really more regulated by the beauty industry. Fried salad because no one else doesn't. Right? So, we really start talking about clean beauty. We still don't know what that is, but still like nontoxic. So many companies are switching to chemically cleaner ingredients, right? So, we said, okay, let's build on that chemically clean is great. But we really need to think about also being medically cleared you know, and medically clean for me means for us means it really also free of products that can give you any kind of rash, especially if you have any autoimmune or skin conditions. Any other allergies, especially if you have allergies. So, for us that was medicated, so no toxic ingredients, chemical ingredients, and also allergies. And we talk about autoimmune conditions such as psoriasis, celiac, right, which is, yeah. And then you have many others. Yeah. And of course, there was see like, especially even small digestion of gluten can be very problematic for personal celiac disease. And people always tell me we have a gluten who cares? It doesn't pass your skin barrier. I said, Yeah, but we eat our lipstick. And we eat the whole day long. So yeah, so.
Ron Beres 11:16
So, what's the stats again? Like how much lipstick is eaten by a woman per year? Wasn't there something crazy? A tube. Something crazy. I remember hearing that.
Lisa Beres 11:27
Whatever's not on your glasses. Oh my god, I'm sure. So, the medically clean term. Did you guys come up with that? Or is that actually yes. Okay. Yeah, medically clean. I like that. And it's interesting, because it's like a vicious cycle. Because people like I know, in college, I had really bad acne that happened out of nowhere. I was using a department store brand that was really popular at the time. And the more I use it, the worse my face was getting. And I kept thinking I need to use more; I need to use more. It's getting worse, it's getting worse. I was creating the problem. And it wasn't until I finally ditched that brand that was pricey to for college student was a department store brand. And it literally was causing the problem. So, I think you must see that a lot where people are self-perpetuating, they don't realize that the product they're trusting is probably the root of the issue. Yes, yes. Correct.
Dr. Liia 12:19
I have we have a lot of actually customers who either have, you know, their kids have, you know, because it's kind of it can be early, but it also can come later in life. Yeah, or can like reoccur later in life. And they also say I use this $200 product, and my skin is still dry and my skin oily and it's like I have still this rash or rosacea or acne coming up. Yeah. And it is because of all the additives that I always say talking about ingredients. If you see more than 20-30 ingredients. 20 I would say don't buy it because yeah, no more than 20 Yeah, because everything else is to make the product better, smell better, feel better. Silicones all these additives, that make it look and feel better, but is not good for your skin. Right? Do you think that's the main reason why these non-clean ingredients are put in to other people's brands? You know, what is it to save money? Is it just to make it seem like it's better or preservatives? It's all of it. Yeah, I sound good. Yeah, I think like we don't use any fragrances because we know I would say if you don't have celiac or you don't have any other allergies, you know, just eliminate all the products was fragrances was any perfumes because that's the subject chemicals and usually a mixture of chemicals. That gives you that allergic reaction and redness. But what do we do when we look at the cream? We often the cream and the smell and it feels good? It's good? No, it's not good. Right?
Lisa Beres 13:50
Yeah, same with candles, I mean, people that's the first thing they do. You can't walk into a candle store and everyone's not sniffing the candles. But those are synthetic fragrances unless they're essential oils, which most of them aren't because essential oils are expensive. So, I think like you said, getting used to paying more for quality products, you know, not that you have to people are paying a lot for junky products, you may still be paying for quality products. And that takes knowledge.
Dr. Liia 14:17
And you sorry for interruption. I don't even think like when we started this. And many people come to me and say, Oh, I was buying this brand they were mentioned was $1,000 I know it's crazy. And yours and it's 60 Why is it what's wrong with it? And I'm like, yeah, it's just we don't have that markup because I feel that medicament needs to be accessible to everyone. Yeah. And if you really don't need to pay more for like a clean beauty. You don't Yeah. And that's why I always say like you said, it's preservatives, fragrance it's all these fillers, it's parabens, you know, so it is to preserve it longer to make it look nicer. But obviously not needed at all yeah. Like that phthalate even can keep the fragrance lingering right? Speaking of phthalate, share with our listeners some ingredients that they must avoid when shopping for makeup or skincare give us a look a few big no no's. right so fragrances or perfumes and even sometimes when you see oils you know even natural oils there are some good natural oils some that I know that will like some oils that are used for massage you know they give redness and allergic reaction they also used in some of the of the products of fragrances for
Lisa Beres 15:37
synthetic fragrances right that says it all it has to say and listeners we've talked about this in past podcast but all it has to say is fragrance or perfume. That one word can hide hundreds of chemicals that are concocted for that fragrance so it looks like the simple little innocent ingredient that can be really toxic and that's not the same as natural fragrance
Dr. Liia 16:00
Yeah, so I'm actually act like we use lingonberry extract or raspberry extract. It still smells great. Yeah, usually you would not have a reaction. Okay, yeah phthalates are definitely a no no for me even though FDA is not outspoken about it. They still say more research is needed this year.
Lisa Beres 16:19
Like, like how much I have I do research?
Dr. Liia 16:24
Yes, so phthalate, parabens even though I do speak with a lot of dermatologists who swear by parabens, they say in one sense if you have mascara right? And you don't have any preservatives in that mascara, use it all over on your eyelashes. So, you take it out, it can get contaminated and then you can have an infection in your eyes which is this a paraben; use of parabens is not good, but it's better than not having any preservatives. But there are worse parabens and better parabens.
Lisa Beres 16:58
Yeah, let's talk about some of those because I think some people you know it's confusing to look at the label and know what to look for. So, parabens, they're types of parabens, right?
Dr. Liia 17:08
Yeah, and people can look up because some of them are completely banned in Europe or Dubai.
Ron Beres 17:14
Well that's probably a good rule of thumb if it's banned in Europe.
Lisa Beres 17:17
Well I'm given that 14,000 chemicals. Well 14 we said the top 14,000 that we still allow here, we only banned 14.
Dr. Liia 17:28
And it doesn't even you know still even if it's banned in Europe like I grew up in Europe and have used all kinds of French skincare and pay it's so much 1000s of dollars and I still got rash on my face and allergy allergies right so again the fillers are still there like silicones and everything else that's not and so yes fragrances phthalates, parabens and another big one which especially was the summer is coming and I think it's been also a lot in the news is the chemical sunscreens are clean ingredient in the sunscreen. Even if they came out a few months ago saying that before they said everything is relatively safe now, they saying we only deem natural or mineral sunscreen ingredients such as zinc oxide into titanium dioxide as safe, other ingredients more research is needed.
Lisa Beres 18:24
Yeah, now that we've had, oh, you know, we have a blog post on our website on the six sunscreen shockers. And it's crazy what's in the sun. There's literally ingredients and some sunscreens that actually enhance cancer causing chemicals to penetrate. Right. Alright, so there was a Consumer Reports, they raided all these sunscreens and they rated all the name brands, all the really toxic brands, the highest. And because the study only looked at the efficacy of does it keep you from a sunburn, it had nothing to do with toxicity. And so, I had written an article to educating consumers Hey, yeah, maybe you don't get a sunburn. But what about all the health effects of these other chemicals in there? How can you give that high rating when these are linked to cancer and all kinds of issues? And not just in the short term, not just short term, but these long term? It's just that you might not know in 15 years? If you get a cancer diagnosis was it from that sunscreen you use every day you like it's hard to connect these dots with these chemicals for people so it's easy to say out of sight out of mind. Oh, you know, I use it and I'm fine. Right? You hear that all the time? I'm fine. Well, let's check back 15 years and see what all these toxic chemicals are doing. So, it's always better to be on the side of caution right the precautionary principle and Ron and I use mineral sunscreen ourselves. I mean it is a little picky. I'm not going to lie. You got to use some elbow grease to get it rubbed in. It is going to do that.
Ron Beres 19:55
Like a frosty snowman for sure.
Lisa Beres 19:57
Yeah, but you just have to rub it in and you'll get it in there. I mean, that's the only drawback but you know, there's so many great brands now that make really good mineral. Yeah, yeah.
Dr. Liia 20:09
And you know, I would suggest like I use on my kid�s sunscreen was only zinc oxide 50. And it's very hard to get single oxides in. Right so that's why it's so flaky and white and yeah, they look like a ghost when they go Yeah, for sure. But you know, I always suggest if you go to like, we make sun blocks that SPF 30 and tinted.
Lisa Beres 20:33
Like slightly tinted. I have attempted makeup and mineral tinted makeup. Yeah.
Dr. Liia 20:38
So then if you don't see the whiteness and it's not escaped, you just need to reapply. So, I just reapply every few hours, especially when I go out. But I'm so happy that I meet someone who is knowledgeable because it's explained like sunblock is mineral it sits on your skin reflects the light doesn't go doesn't penetrate your skin sunscreen, and we'll use it always. Wrong, it goes inside your skin. Chemical ingredients, reacts with the UV rays, right? And yeah, it makes it becomes heat. But it still goes inside your skin. So, sunblock versus sunscreen. Yeah, right? Yeah.
Ron Beres 21:18
That�s because we need some sun. Right? So how do you get by that? You need? What, 15 minutes of sunlight a day?
Lisa Beres 21:23
Dr. Liia 21:24
Yeah. So you know, with even I think SPF 30 covers you 97% SPF 75% You know, so that difference is so small, and you still get some coming in for your mental health through your eyes, you know, and then of course, for your skin as well. So, you still make vitamin D in your body. So, it's not like. So, sun is good. I said go and be in the sun just walk along and put SPF.
Lisa Beres 21:55
And also like if you're putting sunscreen just on your say your face in your arms. I mean, obviously your legs aren't in, you're out for a while your legs are still getting this right. I mean other parts of your body. So, I mean, I don't think most people are covering head to toe. It's just time consuming.
Ron Beres 22:12
Longer than being at the beach to put it on. Right?
Lisa Beres 22:14
Yeah, exactly. And the SPF, they're really based. Aren't they on the time they last and not the strength? Is that right? Or do I have that backwards?
Dr. Liia 22:24
Yeah, so it was it's also like it's the time and the strength. Yeah. Okay, but we think that SPF 90 is better than SPF 30. And it's not,
Lisa Beres 22:32
You know, it's so tiny. You're saying the increments Oh, okay.
Dr. Liia 22:35
Yeah. And was the higher SPF, you know, last year so we went crazy with all the sprays because they're so easy. Yeah, but they contain nanoparticles. Yeah. Skin so if you have acne or anything like I don't know, it clogs your skin and then you'll be fine against the sun. And then, number one, you'll have all these molecules absorbed into your body and then also, probably others just a lot for you. All over. Yeah, right.
Lisa Beres 23:02
That's a really good point. The nanoparticles now today, I guess they don't really have to tell you if they use nanoparticles because it doesn't sound like there's any legal ramifications if they use nanoparticles? Do they have to reveal that? I don't think so. I don't think they have to reveal it. Yeah, I was wondering because that's a tricky one to find out. I mean, who's going to yell at them themselves, since they're self-policing? themselves? Yeah, it's crazy.
Ron Beres 23:26
So, we started with the nanoparticles. And we talked about some of the negative effects. What are other negative effects that these harmful chemicals in cosmetics? What can they have on our health? What are some other ones? Because I'm hearing nanoparticles right now. And what does that mean? We don't breathe it in you it goes into the pores of your skin. What's the ramification of some of these toxic ingredients? And what else should we look for outside of nanoparticles?
Dr. Liia 23:47
All right, well, I think we all want to eat healthier, right? That we all said, Okay, we're going to be this. So, we're going to do keto we're going to be vegan. So, we all want to live longer, we want to eat healthy, we want to not pollute our bodies and mind, right? And I always say that skincare or beauty always follows the diet and kind of lifestyle. And we always think we put it on our skin, it won't get absorbed. So, ramification to your point is that it will get absorbed maybe in a smaller dose than if you eat it, obviously. But you won't eat phenoxyethanol right? You won't eat those preservatives usually no.
Lisa Beres 24:25
Right? You're not going to eat order a plate of Phthalates, but you don't put it on your skin and it gets absorbed in your body. So then even small concentration, like we were talking cancer, fertility, autoimmune conditions, they're crazy, crazy list of conditions and even talk about early puberty and in kids. We now more research is coming out saying it's because we warm up every single plastic container style it's leaking our food, right? We use sunscreen we use skincare for the kids are like your themes. And all of parabens phthalates are endocrine disruptors. We know that. Yeah, so it does change our hormonal levels. Yeah. And for listeners, we've talked about endocrine disrupting chemicals a lot. But if you're new to the show, or just tuning in, these are hormone disrupting chemicals, endocrine disrupting chemicals. That generally right Dr. Liia, they mimic estrogen in our body. So, they're xenoestrogens. And they basically our body mistakes them for actual hormones. And then we end up with this surplus of hormones and typically can lead to estrogen dominance, and all kinds of reproductive issues and fertility and all these kinds of pre perimenopause and menopausal symptoms, and all of this, and it's so prevalent now in our society, these types of issues. But a lot of people don't connect the dots to what they're putting on their skin. And of course, we get that in our food, too, right? We get some of that in our food. But a lot of people don't connect the dots to their skincare, linked to their hormonal issues. That was a big issue for me when I got sick from my home, but it was really my lifestyle. And when I was using traditional conventional skincare, and I had to get rid of everything and change to like completely clean living, which is my, you know, my business now teaching others to do that, because I had hormonal habit, as so many do. And they just go in a perpetual cycle of not knowing how to fix that. So, I think it's a really important part of skincare, is the endocrine disrupting chemicals. Yeah. And speaking of one, PFAS, per floral alkyl substances, which everybody knows from nonstick cookware, they're also called the Forever chemical. And we did episode 33 on that, but they're a large family of fluorinated chemicals. And they've been linked to cancer, reproductive harm, immune system damage and other serious health problems. And they are found in cosmetics and personal care products to not just nonstick and steamed grease and water-resistant products. Do you want to shed any light on that?
Dr. Liia 26:59
Definitely. Yes. So, I think you guys follow the news. But last year, right, they did some analysis, they found quite a lot of PFAS in various beauty products, shampoos, conditioners, etc. And like you said they are forever chemicals, meaning that they do not break down, they will forever be stored. They also do the lecture on this they stored in your body and specific organs like liver and kidney, and then don't go away. And they're just and that's again, it's coming from. I don't think anyone puts them in there specifically on purpose. Right? From like, the cleaning solutions, right? When you clean your machinery before you make skincare the right.
Ron Beres 27:41
You know, I wonder about that? Because like, you know, the whole idea of PFAS was for the nonstick, obviously cookware, right? It's almost the opposite concept, because you want it to stick on your face for your skin, or at least it's on the makeup. So, I was like, why is that in there? Why you know what's so it's really the machinery and the process? They cause the PFAS to get inside these skincare products. Right? Yeah, it's
Dr. Liia 27:59
To be honest. So contaminated water. Obviously, they didn't do research how they came in. So, it's only like speculating, of course. But yes, there was quite a lot of it in there. And some people say, Well, who cares? It's also in our water system. It's everywhere. So, we get it anyhow.
Lisa Beres 28:15
Who are these people? We need to bring them on the show.
Dr. Liia 28:21
I know exactly what you need to carry. If you can eliminate at least even parts of it, then you should just like was last year this whole benzene contamination, right? Yeah. And the sunscreen, right? That was in the sunscreen? Yeah. Yes. It was in sunscreen. And later in the year valid shirts independence, and like you were saying, who is taking care of us? And unfortunately, we need to look at all this certifications or independent labs like valid share. And I was also connecting with them who just do random analysis of different products. And then they found benzene and like you said, very prominent brands.
Lisa Beres 28:59
Yes. Major, every major brand. Yeah. And you
Dr. Liia 29:03
know, they recall that but I mean, I found some of it in my back that I was using on the kids before.
Lisa Beres 29:09
Wow. Yeah, cuz you even as a doctor are prey to a little trusting, right? Yes.
Dr. Liia 29:17
Oh, yeah. Oh, it's a great brand. Yeah.
Lisa Beres 29:20
Brands that have been around for a long time, right? Because we won't name names you can look up the article, I put a link to it in the show notes. But you know, it's every name brand that you can think of these are brands have been around for decades that are trusted Heck, they say it on their commercial, you know, and so just because they're older, just because they're big doesn't mean that they're not using, you know, toxic ingredients. And in fact, most of them really are I find that it's the smaller boutique companies that really go above and beyond that are really making a difference and actually influencing the bigger companies. Let's be honest, the little companies are paving the way so I'm a big believer in shop small, support your local businesses support the small companies. cuz they're the ones that are actually, you know, they've got your house in mind, typically, and they are influencing the larger manufacturers to say, hey, you know, people are now smart, and they're demanding this, I guess we better change our formulations, too. So that's a good thing.
Dr. Liia 30:14
I agree. I agree. And also, you know, when I look at our customers who come to us and say, I have such severe nut allergy that I cannot have any like almond oils, or anything was not oil in my skincare, or like, we're talking about wheat or gluten, large manufacturers, because they make so much of so many skews, right? There are so many products, they cannot guarantee that it won't be contaminated with one of those allergens. Oh, yeah. Right. Smaller. Companies usually focus on a vegan, or I'm this or that. And of course, I always say to my customers who go and ask me about some other companies, I say, write to them and ask questions. You asking me about what is this ingredient? If they answer they gain your trust. You by you know, yeah, that's
Lisa Beres 31:07
a good yeah.
Dr. Liia 31:09
Yeah, they should be able to answer you, and they should have the personalized service. Otherwise, why would you trust?
Lisa Beres 31:15
Why would you trust them? Yeah, I think that's what and also like transparency ingredient. Transparency is obviously coming to the forefront. And it's still not perfect, as we know, but at least a lot of the big companies are paving the way with that too. Well, actually, now, by law, they have to write they have to actually list their ingredients, at least on their website, which is what a lot of them are doing. So, you can go to the website and get the ingredients. If you can't find the ingredients on the label. That's questionable to me, because it does feel like they have something to hide unless, like you said, it's so many ingredients, they can't fit it. And then that's another�
Ron Beres 31:49
Break the over 20 rule.
Dr. Liia 31:52
Yeah, and you know, just to talk about ingredients, sometimes it's when people ask me, like, Oh, do you think there's gluten in here? It's not. I'm just going back to gluten because maybe it's easier. Sometimes. It's a derivative of a derivative that had gluten. And oh, yeah. Yeah, any ingredient. You don't necessarily see the word wheat? Or corn right, or any of the nut oil. So, I feel that's all like red wine. I was just talking with somebody was accompany this magazine. We're talking about red wine, as it was red wine is always used and free, right? I mean, it's distilled alcohol. And they said, well, all this what they store here, which is yes, but you know, they use to blue like, if they store it is in stainless steel. Yeah, fine. But if it's endorsed French orch, they usually use to kind of build the glue. The glues and glue. Yeah. Like celiacs did that use. Oh, wow. Very small concentration. I can't even like probably detected.
Lisa Beres 32:59
So Oh, my gosh, that's crazy. Celiac. I've heard that too. You can't cheat. You can't have any you got to go. Cold Turkey. That's interesting. Wine. know we're going on a tangent here. But I did an article on all the labels for wine and what they mean clean wine, vegan wine, sustainable, biodynamic, you know all of that vegan and we're vegan. And I was like vegan wine. It's a thing. What the heck is vegan wine it has to do with the filtration process of the wine. And they use there's a name for it, but it's fish eggs. One of them uses fish. So, there's a lot of weird terms. So, when you hear things like so if you're really vegan there's a name for it. It can't be something glass. They call it something glass, but it's actually physics. It's so weird. So, you know, if you're really diehard, you don't want that wine unless it's actually vegan or biodynamic wine, I think is vegan anyway. But that's a whole other crazy concept. There are so many labels to wine, people have no idea. They're just like, oh, grab my wine and they have no idea there's sulfates and allergens and pesticides if it's not organic, and all of these things can be in there too. Anyways, I wanted to talk because you were talking about the mascara and it made me think of your line is cruelty free, which I love. It brought up the horrible you know, monkey testing and things that these poor animals undergo with eye makeup and things like that. Can you tell us a little on why you decided to make your line cruelty free and why that's important for people to support?
Dr. Liia 34:24
Well, you know, for me, and we also vegan as well. We started this like it's just gluten that ologists and we became vegan? Yes, definitely. Because we have a lot of vegan customers as well who just want a healthier life and have allergies and have other stuff right? Yeah, you know, it was a no brainer for me to be honest. Like when I start doing this, I'm like this is not an I don't support this but it's like some of the cancer medicine you need to think okay, you need to do some research, but I was saying we know the ingredients. We know how to work, there's no need to ever test on animals. And now with all our technologies that we have now, and in this century, there are so many other different tests that we can do. There are, you know, in vitro tests, there are tests that just with the simple HPLC method that you can do, you can identify different allergens. You can also test, like patch tests to see if there's any redness or not. There's no need anymore, ever, any country in the world to ever, ever, ever test on animals. So that's cruelty free. I love my dogs. Amen. Amen to that. Thanks for that. Yeah, no, thank you. Exactly. Thank you for doing that. And being a part of that movement. Because I think, you know, everybody loves their dog. Everybody loves their cat. But we don't think about all these animals, they all have feelings, they have families, they matter. They should not be in labs, they should not be undergoing painful, horrible experiments. It's heart wrenching, and until you've actually seen it, and if you brave going to see the video and watching them, it will change your life, you will never want to promote brands that tests on animals, you really won't. It's so inhumane. And like you said, it feels so archaic at this point, right?
Lisa Beres 35:36
For sure. Yeah, about PETA actually is good. You mentioned I always advise people who want to become vegan or hardcore vegan and want real their skincare to be fully vegan to go from PETA website and they have a list of ingredients. not vegan. And of course, you know it. And many ingredients, even colors like red color. You know, right? Yes. non vegan. So, there are now some synthetic methods. But many people don't know that.
Ron Beres 36:45
again. What is the red color made from? You know, often? I do.
Dr. Liia 36:49
It's called mean Carmi.
Lisa Beres 36:52
isn't made for almost Beatles. Yeah. Yeah, he's a Beatles is Yeah. But it's the blood. Right? And there's, um, we had someone on the show, who talked about all of these weird things that were in skincare cosmetics, and I forget the name of it, but it's whale poop. Do you know that ingredient? Yeah. That's a popular one in fragrances. Right. And
Ron Beres 37:13
evidently, it's very expensive, right? It's very expensive.
Dr. Liia 37:17
Lisa Beres 37:18
a lot of weird stuff. So, they could say Could they call it cruelty free and they're using that kind of, to ask to be vegan, right? It has to be vegan and cruelty free.
Dr. Liia 37:27
I think they call it cruelty free. I know, when you make it yourself. And I don't know if everyone makes it themselves or not. Or they source from manufacturers that they have a certificate that is cruelty free, because many manufacturers should provide that. I think they can call cruelty free, but they can't call it obviously being vegan. No animal products, maybe reasons. That's why I'm saying some brands call themselves vegan, but I'm like, well, that's not vegan. You have to go and look even like see till alcohol, just normal. Waxes right now be bad, but normal that you think is not from bees. So, it's normal synthetic wax, but a lot of waxes are not synthetic. They also coming from some kind of animal. Oh, is that true? Oh, really? Yeah. So, you have a word synthetic in front of it, which doesn't sound too good, but it has.
Ron Beres 38:14
A term wax not vax, right? Like bee wax. Okay, good.
Lisa Beres 38:21
That's just it. Well, I remember when we went to one of those IV therapy places, we were both under the weather and we were getting vitamin D and vitamin C infusions. I think we got the D shot and the C infusion or whatever. But I said to the lady, oh, is that vegan? You know, I mean, it's a vitamin, but I figured I'd better asked and she's like, I don't know, gosh, let me check. And she had to go back and find all the shit. So, the doctor was the nurse and that she didn't know. And so, it's not something a lot of people think about with their medications either or their supplements. Medication is like all the capsules, right? Johnathan, yeah, yeah. Tell us about that. That's gelatin. What's that made from? Yeah, gelatin.
Dr. Liia 39:04
So, it's not even that a lot of tablets because we just see the whole thing on gluten in your medicine. But when you look at the medicine, it's like Heparin, for example. If you Okay, right. Yeah, that's also made from pig.
Lisa Beres 39:20
pregnant cow, right? Yeah. And pigs, pigs, pigs. Yeah.
Dr. Liia 39:24
And then the question is, can we do something else about it? Because if you are truly vegan, you won't necessarily want to take that. Yeah, right. Yeah. What do you do? Right? So that's like a whole different thing.
Lisa Beres 39:37
I'll come back on and we'll talk about creepy products and supplements. Absolutely, that would be interesting. So, because there's so much oh my god and like you said, if you don't ask so it really comes back to knowledge is power. Being an empowered consumer? Knowing the questions to ask for knowing the certifications to look for knowing what brands to trust? This is the world we live in today. We have to be our own detectives. I say it all the time.
Ron Beres 40:02
But for sure, I think it's really important that we're talking about cruelty free. But looking back to the safety of products, can you share some safe products that you recommend to replace the harmful ones?
Dr. Liia 40:13
Well, they're actually quite a lot on the market, you know, so, obviously, I haven't told and advertise my own brand. But you know, I'm only switched to my own products, my husband and all my friends. And of course, we have a lot of customers, as we've grown. And it is really because I feel being a pharmacist, I really look at like, okay, is this good for you? You know, can I stand by it and make it and give it and then we focus really on makeup for makeup, but also, of course, skincare, mainly for sensitive skin, normal skin, acne, psoriasis, eczema, all kinds of skin, so and we have customers who are 18 years old, and I have customers who are 85. So that's why I say my, my skin is glowing. I'm like, Oh, that's so great. So, in the best compliment. But I think also when you look at like we work with the think dirty, you probably heard of it. And you know, I think now more than half of all collection is on their app.
Lisa Beres 41:14
Oh, that's great. Okay. Clean.
Ron Beres 41:19
Tell our listeners how that works. They may not know.
Dr. Liia 41:21
Yeah, so it's great. So, think dirty are the basically the either like they just go and you can scan an ingredient and say Whole Foods, and it will pop up on the think dirty app. I know it's a fun name. And then you will see how clean it is. If it is everything below three is considered clean. Zero, of course is the best. Yeah. And if it's everything below three, it's not clean. And unfortunately, you'll see a lot of established brands being eight or nine or 10. Yeah. And that's of course something then the customer can decide, okay, I'm well informed. I know, I can still buy it, or I decide to buy something else. Yeah. I mean, I love working with them because they're really what you do when they work with us. They ask a list of all ingredients, and then the vet each ingredient and not just on toxicity but also on allergens on whether it's vegan or not cruelty free, how ethically sources kind of all around. So that's I think a good source if you want to find a skincare or makeup.
Ron Beres 42:26
It's under three, it's for me. Nine, it's not fine. It's amazing. I can twiddle my thumbs too.
Lisa Beres 42:38
He is our resident comedian poet.
Dr. Liia 42:46
Think there's since I started using it, maybe it's your claim.
Ron Beres 42:52
You can take it you can take it I'm not I'm not trademark that you
Lisa Beres 42:56
I'll put a link to that to download that guy's there's becoming a lot of great tools. Whether you have skin deep database and Environmental Working Group. There's clear. Yeah, I don't know if it's rollers clear. Yeah, we have a great interview with them on our website and the great. They're not everywhere yet. They do I think Amazon Walmart, Sephora, and iherb, so they have a few but that's great, too. And so, the tools are there guys to help you so that you don't have to be a detective. And you don't have to get your PhD to read an ingredient label. But what regulations would you say Dr. Liia should be put in place by the FTC to reduce the production of harmful products?
Dr. Liia 43:34
Well, I think we'll start and I know it will require a lot of manpower, I think just some kind of approval would be great and approval not just by me supplying ingredients, know what's in my in my project, but sending the ingredient and then possibly testing it, or FDC could require you to present all the test as many other brands or many other key beauty websites do like submit all of this. You save or proof, but I know that utopia, right? That's the best scenario and maybe 50 years. Yeah, everything you see OTC over the counter, right? That will be also kind of stamped by FDA saying this is good. Just don't even be there because I don't think when it's so many dirty brands out there doing crazy and so that will be ideal. I think halfway would be done. FTC will require them to submit a list of ingredients and then review it and say yes, go ahead. It's not necessarily like we approved it but we deem it safe enough for everything we know now, but that's what's happening. So I think that we'll be halfway and against the means oldest specifications like there are so many certifications, or analysis you can do like even if you claim that you don't have nuts you can go, there are so many labs said your sample of your product and they will analyze for a possible concentration of specific nuts in. That's all on the manufacturer, the brand to do that. That's yeah. And I know, of course it will require, again, more funds, especially if it's a young starting brand. Where do you get those funds? So, I think that all considering it just, it is a little bit harder to do this. But I think maybe there are some subsidies that are possible for the new brands. And I think that's kind of will be a good.
Lisa Beres 45:40
Yeah, that's great. But at the FDA could do like a rating, even if it was just the three good, better best, or, you know, something like bad, better best, where they got some kind of rating that they had to put like just a number on their bottle, like a one, two or three, something really simple where people could look and go right away, oh, this is a toxic or this is middle of the road, or this one's really clean. It's shocking to me how many self-policing industries there are. And there's so many that blows my mind. And then we have greenwashing. Right, which is a problem of greenwashing. So, because brands who know their ingredients aren't clean, want you to buy their products, they will use terms and colors and icons, maybe leaves, or green, or things like that to make you what's our natural, right, the word natural is not regulated. I mean, even nontoxic is not regulated, these aren't regulated by any industry. So, you know, sustainable, all of that, that doesn't really mean anything. So, when you're the consumer buying, it doesn't mean anything. So I would say look for those third party certifications as a good rule of thumb, or, you know, brands that you know, right brands that you know, have proven track record that show you the ingredients that show you those test results that reveal and don't have anything to hide, they're generally going to be good brands until they sell to a big huge company, and then the company.
Dr. Liia 47:04
We've seen that happen. I won't. Yeah, we found out. But I love what you said the I think the transparency and being ethical is very important. You know, that's why I always say if you see a brand, or you got a test from someone test, or you love it, right to the customer service, if they reply to you, and it's satisfactory, then you know, you can trust them. If there is wishy washy, or they don't reply, then you know you it's just something that's so I always say that trust building trust and having transparency about everything, even the concentration of people coming and saying, Oh, I don't like this ingredient. But I said yes, that's true. Too much water is bad, too much of this is bad. This is such a small concentration. And I give them what it is. And we have a dialogue about it. They feel safe about it. And that's very important.
Lisa Beres 47:56
Yeah, right. It's a two-way street. Because the brands improve to when they learn things from our customers. And now with social media. I mean, there's such a connection between brands and customers like we've never seen before. So, it's not like six degrees of separation, like in the old days where you could contact a company like now you really can. And so, I think that's really good advice. Thank you for sharing that. Well, Dr. Liia, thank you so much for being with us today. Is there anything you want to leave our listeners with?
Dr. Liia 48:24
Well, number one, thank you so much for having me. It was really so much fun. And also thank you for doing what you do. It's so important. I think health education is just on a new stance, whether it's food or skincare or everything in our environment is extremely important. So, I just want to say thank you for everything you guys do. And thank you for having me here.
Lisa Beres 48:45
Oh, thank you. This is a treat. And thank you for creating a line of skincare that's gluten free, vegan, hypoallergenic and medically clean. And by offering solutions to safer skincare for everyone that focuses on those with gluten sensitivities, allergies, autoimmune conditions, and sensitive skin with natural ingredients and no parabens, or phthalates. That's cruelty free.
Ron Beres 49:09
Well, friends if you'd like to learn more about EpiLynx by Dr. Liia, and their wider array of products head now to EpiLynx .com. And that's EpiLynx to shop for makeup, skincare and body care for women and men. By the way, the link will be down in the show notes in case you missed it here. And also stay tuned next week friends and get ready to up level your health. See you then.
Lisa Beres 49:40
Bye. I everyone.
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