Our skin is our biggest organ and what we come in contact with affects us. It's important to know what the skincare ingredients are in anything we're putting on our body, not only the ones that are harmful, but also the ones that are beneficial, and how they work with our bodies and skin.
No matter where you're at on your journey, but especially if you're just starting out on trying to use more natural ingredients and products, don't become overwhelmed and try to do it all. Just start small and move forward.
Many reasons most of us don't make a change is simply because we didn't even know we needed to.
This post was originally published back in 2016 (podcast episode #90 “5 Hidden Ingredients in Your Skincare”) where I interviewed Molly from Bloom Naturals. Since this interview, I have continued to experiment with my own homemade skincare products, as well as other products from other companies.
Today's podcast (episode #318) is with Emilie from Toups & Co. and we're discussing further in depth the ingredients found in skincare products, which ingredients to avoid, and why I have fallen in love with Toups & Co's natural and healthy skincare products.
Are Skincare Ingredients Really That Important?
Let's discuss why the ingredients in your skincare and makeup matter, the amazing health benefits of tallow, and so much more!
At a young age, Emilie's daughter developed horrible eczema which led them down the path of learning about the ingredients in their food, eliminating toxins in their cleaning supplies, and buying their own homestead, complete with a dairy cow and all.
There are many different areas of health, our skin, our food, the products we use to clean our home, the way we move our bodies because let's face it, we're complex beings and there's more to us than just one thing.
You can try out the natural products that I use from Toups & Co here. And if you use code “Pioneering” you can get free shipping on your order!
Why “Oil” Isn't the Issue
I had no idea that the soaps and scrubs I was using on my face were affecting the ph level of my skin and possibly aggravating my blemishes. By switching to oil cleansing, or oil-based products (that don't include the five hidden ingredients listed below), I've improved my skin and rarely ever have breakouts anymore.
For more information on oil cleansing, listen to episode #90 where we discuss exactly what this is and how to do it. But let me just tell you that after only two weeks of oil cleansing, I haven't had any new breakouts, and I haven't had those dry patches, even with the weather changing to fall.
Can You Eat Your Skincare Products?
It's my firm belief that you should never put on your skin what you wouldn't put in your mouth. I used to think everything you can buy in the store was healthy and safe and that cosmetic companies were looking out for me and my best interest.
From the time my two babies were newborns I used very common and popular products to bathe my kids, not realizing I was dousing them with toxic ingredients.
Here I was spending all this time making raw milk yogurt, our own cheese, butter, and soaking grains. I spent a lot of time doing all that but never took into consideration I was feeding my kids toxins through their skins.
Hidden Skincare Ingredients
This is a simple lotion formula (though you likely won't find any products that have this small of a list in the store): water, grapefruit seed extract, healthy plant oil, emulsifying wax, vitamin E.
Though this is a basic lotion or cream formula to make skincare products, and all the ingredients seem healthy, we need to understand this formula to see how it affects our skin.
If you look at the products in your home probably all of them have water as the first ingredient, which means it's the largest quantity. Water breeds mold and bacteria when it's introduced to other ingredients. The same way a grapefruit will mold on the countertop, but if you dehydrate it will last indefinitely.
If you add water to a product, the FDA requires a strong preservative to combat mold and bacteria. Most of us know to stay away from or have heard the term parabens and phthalates, but what about an ingredient that says “grapefruit seed extract”.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit seed extract sounds pretty healthy, right? You may think, “I could eat that!” Though grapefruit seed extract starts out natural, it goes through a 7 step process that involves an acid. I've yet to find one grapefruit seed extract that doesn't have a preservative added back in.
Healthy Plant Oil
The same goes for the healthy plant oils listed in the ingredients. Sure fractionated coconut oil sounds healthy. Except most plant-based oils found in cosmetics are not in their original state, so you're not getting the full nutrients.
Fractioned coconut oil is a fraction of coconut oil. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature and that causes a problem for formulators because it's not always a creamy consistency. They take it into a lab and remove the parts that solidify, so it's always liquid, which makes fractioned coconut oil.
There's also RBD coconut oil, which stands for refined, bleached, and deodorized. It's kind of what we did with the milk industry, we couldn't regulate it so we just pasteurized and homogenized everything so there wasn't anything left in it.
That's what happens with a lot of our plant oils, they really don't have the nutrients that you want in them by the time they're added into the skincare product.
Emulsifying wax is necessary in order to mix oil and water together. Many companies used to use whale blubber, but for obvious reasons not anymore.
One common emulsifier is cetyl alcohol, but cetyl alcohol is actually a cocktail of a bunch of toxins. The company isn't required to list all of the ingredients in this cocktail so we're left a bit in the dark.
Out of the four ingredients listed above, only one of them is actually beneficial to your skin. Water can be beneficial because it plumps your skin up but as the water dehydrates, your skin goes back, sometimes more dehydrated than before. You're basically buying and paying for a tiny fraction of actual beneficial ingredients.
This is another ingredient that many of us would think is beneficial, however, most vitamin E oils are isolated in a lab. Even worse, some oils are actually synthetic versions of the real thing.
Why Ingredients Matter
It's an issue of health. When you detox your body you feed your body good healthy ingredients and your body is able to process that food really quickly so it can take the rest of its time to go in and heal your body. It's not necessarily the food that's helping, it's just your body doesn't need to spend the time to process the junk and can focus on healing.
The same happens with your skin. When you just feed it beneficial ingredients, it doesn't have to process out the dyes, perfumes, cetyl alcohol, emulsifying wax, etc. It can then just go about the work of healing your skin and not flushing out all that other stuff.
There are more and more people who are dealing with eczema, psoriasis, acne and other skin issues who are finding relief because they're removing toxic products and even cleaning up the food they eat and their skin is able to heal itself.
Organic vs. Non-organic
When sourcing our food, we all know that growing your own is best, but if you can't buy it (or source it grown locally) then organic is the next best thing.
The same goes for our skincare ingredients. You don't want to source amazing grass-fed tallow and organic olive oil just to ruin it by adding non-organic essential oils. Be sure when making or buying skincare products that all the ingredients are sourced well.
Why You Shouldn't Use Soap on Your Face
Lauryl Sulphate (which is the ingredient used in soaps that gives it that foaminess) is found in heavy-duty cleaners, engine degreasers, shampoos, and soaps, but hardly any of us get truly dirty enough to use a heavy-duty cleanser like that all over our bodies.
What happens is the caustic cleanser (even Castile soap) strips your skin of its naturally occurring oils that help to protect it and it changes the ph level of your skin.
Once you strip your skin the body starts producing more oil to replace what has been stripped away. So your face feels oily again, causing this roller coaster of dry, oily, dry, oily skin. This alone can cause breakouts and irritation to your skin.
To enhance what's already there you want to keep it balanced and what's already there. A lot of the reason our skin feels dry is our skin is confused because you're stripping it.
Oil cleansing is using oil to cleanse the skin instead of soap.
Know Your Skincare Ingredients
My best tip if you're unsure of your skincare ingredients is to go to EWG.org and go to the Skindeep section. You can search a number of different products for their score (A-F), or you can search individual ingredients.
Top Ingredients to Avoid
- Propylene glycol
- Polyethelene glycol
These ingredients are in so many of our personal care products, but I think fragrance is among the most dangerous because it can be made up of a combination of 3,000+ stock chemical ingredients that include hormone disrupters and allergens.
These fragrance formulas are protected under federal laws classification of a trade secret. So these companies can put “fragrance” on the label, without disclosing the ingredients used to create that fragrance.
What Toxins Do To Our Body
These toxic ingredients can be so harmful to our bodies, and this is why we're seeing more and more people with auto-immune diseases, disrupted hormones, and so many other skin issues.
We can't change what we don't know, so I'm hopeful that these podcasts and this blog post are a stepping stone to helping you and your family make the healthy changes necessary to keep you and your family safe.
Natural Skincare Products
You can try out the natural products that I use from Toups & Co here. And if you use code “Pioneering” you can get free shipping on your order!
I currently love their foundation, concealer, eyeliner, blush, and lipgloss, along with their tallow balms that both me and my daughter use and love.
Visit the website for a full list of products!
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- How to Make Soap at Home- Beginner’s Guide to Soap Making
- 3 Ingredient Homemade Lip Balm Recipe
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Melissa K Norris: Hey, pioneers. Welcome to episode number 318. On today's episode, we are going to be talking about the topic of toxins in your personal care products, especially why your skin care and makeup ingredients matter, some of the top ingredients to avoid when purchasing products as well as the fascinating benefits of tallow. Yes, tallow, which is rendered fat from cattle and a whole lot more in this episode. I'm really excited share today's interview with you because very much like my story and many of yours from those of you who have emailed in and shared with me is you first started turning to home setting because you were experiencing health issues and changing your diet or changing your food or making a change to something more natural was the catalyst and allowing you to heal. And then it led into other areas of your life. And what I find fascinating about so many of us who have came to home setting and natural living, is many of us though, what we were dealing with may not be the exact same health issue.
A lot of us have this in common, or maybe it wasn't so much a health issue, but for other reasons, but once you really started implementing home setting, you did notice a change in your health. So I love hearing other people's stories, the things that they have learned and done so that we can also apply this to our own journey. Welcome to the Pioneering Today Podcast. I'm your host, Melissa K Norris, I'm a fifth generation home setter as well as bestselling author of multiple books, including The Family Garden Plan and The Made-from-Scratch Life. I help hundreds of thousands of people every single month to use easy, simple, modern home setting for a more self-sufficient and healthy life. And I am excited to do the same with you, and also introduce you to today's guest. Now, I have to tell you that I actually started using their products about a full year before I actually got to meet Emily.
And then of course, now you're going to listen to that exchange in just a few minutes here on this episode. But one of the really great things is today's podcast is sponsored by Toups and Co, which is the name of the company and the founder that I have on here. But what's really exciting is they are a small family company. And I love introducing you to those companies, even if they're not local to us, because oftentimes we can't find someone extremely local, but we can support small companies with the beautifulness of the internet, which I choose to focus on the great attributes of the internet and not the negative. And Emily, if you use coupon code pioneering, you can get free shipping on any order.
You could go to melissakaorris.com/skincare and use the coupon code pioneering, and you can get free shipping. You'll also be able to go, we'll be talking about a lot of things, so if you want to be able to see them or check out other things that we are referencing and talking about in today's episode, you can always check out the blog posts at accompanies, the episode, melissaknorris.com/318, that's just the number 318, because this is episode number 318. Okay. Without any further ado, let's jump straight into this interview. I am very excited for today's guest, Emily, welcome to the Pioneering Today Podcast.
Emily Toups: Hey, Melissa, thanks so much for having me on today.
Melissa K Norris: Yeah, so it's really funny because I started using your product way before I met you. And I don't think I even realized that you were a fellow home setter when I placed my first couple of orders. So then when I found out that you were also a home setter and were one of my new favorite skin came and makeup companies, I was like, this is just perfect. She's a fellow home setter. So I'm really excited to introduce people to you, to your guys' story, but also the amazingness of your guys' skincare. So let's start at the beginning, so to speak about how you guys got started home setting and how that home setting journey actually led you to starting your company, which please tell me if I mispronouncing as Toups and Co, did I say it right?
Emily Toups: Yes, that's exactly right. Toups as they like soup, but with a T.
Melissa K Norris: Okay, good. I'm feeling very proud of myself for pronouncing correctly.
Emily Toups: So when our daughter was a baby, she had horrible eczema and this was before I knew anything about food or even about products, just we were living a very standard American life. And I just wasn't satisfied with the answer that all I could do was buy a drug store petroleum product. And on the worst days use steroids on her. And so I dug my heels in and started researching and I was going to figure out what to do. At that time my husband and I had just moved away from Louisiana, which we were both born and raised there to Alabama for his job. And he was having chronic migraines and it really just got to a peak where I was like, I want our health back. And so at that time, there really wasn't a lot of access to clean pasture meat, pesticides for your vegetables.
And we were watching all these documentaries, throwing away everything in our house. And then we're like, "Okay, now what? What are we gonna eat now? There's nothing left in here. We pretty much watched a documentary and then got a garbage bag and threw away everything in our house. And we were like, from now on we're starting over a clean slate. And so we saved every penny we had and bought this 20 acre a farm. And a funny story before we even closed, I went out on a limb and purchased a dairy cow. And my husband was like, "Did you buy the cow?" And I was like, "Oh yeah, I've done paid for it." He's like, "We haven't even close in the house yet." I know we said we were going to get one, but oh, I hope we close.
Anyway, I was just so ready to homestead and just take our health back into our own hands. And the first day we went out to milk, we just did it together. We hope for the best and the rest is history and has put us on this trajectory from then to now.
Melissa K Norris: One, I love you are a woman of action because there's a lot of people, myself included that you'll watch documentaries or different things. And like, "Oh man, like we really need to make some changes." But most people don't go in and just literally throw everything out of the kitchen and, or buy a milk cow before they have even closed and have the land to do it. So I have to say, I really admire that. And that is really awesome. But when you guys made the changes in your diet, I'm assuming it was going from standard American diet, which most people are [inaudible 00:07:31] with to grass fed and organic non GMO foods as close to their whole state as possible. I'm assuming that I'm kind of on the right track there.
Emily Toups: Yeah, exactly right.
Melissa K Norris: How long then I'm curious after making that, how long was it before you started to notice noticeable improvement, both with your husband's headaches as you mentioned, but also your daughter's eczema?
Emily Toups: I mean, obvious it was all of the things combined, getting off of city water onto well water and changing our diet, being outside in the sun and also just working like we just changed our whole entire lifestyle. And so at that time I started also making tallow balm in our farmhouse kitchen and it worked miracles for her skin and we were just so blown away and I mean, crying tears of joy, that both I was feeling better, my husband's migraines were less frequent and our daughter's skin which was just the pinnacle of our health issues was getting so much better. I mean, she was cracking and bleeding and every crease and crevice that she had. And so a lot of people say it was so crazy. I'll just picked up and just moved to a farm.
It wasn't crazy because we were so determined to heal her and heal her skin. It was a big deal for us. And we just were not satisfied with what the standard American diet and healthcare could provide for us. And that is what brought us on our journey to home setting. And so when we started selling the tallow balm, and it was really just, because we were genuinely so excited to share with other people. People that knew us personally couldn't believe the improvement in her skin. And we had no plans to grow into a company. We just genuinely wanted to share the skin healing benefits of tallow that we had discovered. And it was like this for brand new discovery to us. And we were just really excited because it had made such a huge impact on our family.
Melissa K Norris: It's amazing. It's funny though I didn't have eczema issues. A lot of our progression to where we are today was because of my own health issues and how changing, just like you guys saw changing diet first, it took about six months for me to get completely off of all the prescription medications and where I would say I was healed. But really six months is such a short period of time because I battled with it for years using prescription medications and all these different things. And it's interesting though, because I started first with food, but then it was the same thing. I'm like, okay, well if just switching my food made this much of a difference on my health, then what about the cleaning products? And what about the stuff I'm putting on my skin? And were you guys did both at the same time?
When it comes to skincare and make up a good ingredients, because I think a lot of us do think about our food now and I think there's a lot more awareness out there. I think in this day and age than there even was 10 years ago on how your food and how it's raised.
Emily Toups: Oh yeah, absolutely.
Melissa K Norris: And all of that, and I think there is also the movement of people beginning to become more aware of also what you're putting on your skin and what you're creating within stuff. But I think that there's more, or I should say in what I have seen, there's more of an emphasis on food, which I think it's great that there's that emphasis. But why on your skincare and makeup, should we be paying more attention to that or as much attention to that as we are our food?
Emily Toups: Well, I like to tell people that if I had to call poison control because I ingested a skincare product, then I absolutely will not be putting on my skin plain and simple. But I think it took a little bit longer for me to actually get to the skincare. We started with diet. Then we, laundry detergent was a huge one. We switched out laundry detergent. We raided our house off fragrance and cleaning products, but something about my makeup bag, that was just for me and I just kept with the same things, because I don't know if this thought process of a mom, but you want to take care of everyone else, but you're going to take care of yourself last. So the makeup bag just kind of stayed the same for a [inaudible 00:12:01] for a while. And it wasn't until my daughter got a little older, and she would ask for things like a spike of lip gloss while I was getting ready that it really made me think, what the heck are in these products?
Why is this the last place in my life that I'm cleaning out? And at that time we were already making the tallow balm and already using it. At the same time I'm putting drugstore makeup on my face. And when I saw it through the eyes of what I wanted to be on my daughter's skin, I was like, "OH no, no, no, you, you can't use that. I can use that. You can't use that." That's when I was like, okay, like I always do, I'm going to start researching, what are these ingredients? I would purchase things without a thought of what the ingredients would be. And then when of course I started doing the research, I was like, "Why I'm putting this on my skin?" Just because we've been conditioned to think that it's safe. If a skincare company makes it, then it must be safe. Or that it's regulated by the FDA. And a lot of people don't know that skincare products are not regulated by the FDA at all, until there are enough complaints and enough problems that customers are complaining about, that it triggers an investigation into what the products are.
Melissa K Norris: I guess I did not realize that they weren't governed by the FDA, which sometimes being governed by the FDA doesn't mean a lot. And sometimes it does. But I honestly didn't even know that, but that is really fascinating. And I was laughing because I walked the exact same path as you, it was my daughter coming in and she was like three, four. And when mom's getting ready was one and I was looking at stuff and I actually was a independent contractor for a very large beauty company that has reps. And you order your makeup from them. And I liked their makeup, the way that it worked, and looked on my skin. But then it got to the point where I'm like, "I can't in good conscious use this myself anymore because of the ingredients. And therefore I cannot sell it to someone else."
Emily Toups: Absolutely right.
Melissa K Norris: And so I completely stopped and I've never went back to it. So I'm just finding this really fascinating, but I will also [crosstalk 00:14:20].
Emily Toups: For a lot of people, go ahead.
Melissa K Norris: Oh no, no, go ahead. Yeah, no, no, go ahead.
Emily Toups: A lot of people talk so much about the gut microbiome and it's so important gut microbiome. And so as we are drinking a lot of broth and doing these things to heal our gut microbiome, when we have skin issues, we're dealing with the skin microbiome. And so we want to also take care of that. So when we're using harsh soaps and sulfates and fallates on our skin, we're disrupting that microbiome of our skin. And I think a lot of people don't take that into consideration, "How can we restore the microbiome of our skin?" And that is with tallow because it has vitamins, A, D, E and K. So it's super nourishing, omega-3 fatty acids, CLA, which is conjugated leinolic acid. Those things sound like foods, something that we would want in our foods. Because tallow it basically is a food, but it also can be nourishing and healing to the skin.
Melissa K Norris: Okay. That is fascinating because I actually suffered from acne, even as an adult. I still get acne breakouts, not as much as I did earlier. And I think actually, as you were saying that with the gut microbiome and that I has definitely helped, but I do still have adult acne and battle with that. And I think part of when you're a teenager, they're like, "Oh, well, use non-comedogenic oils and you have to be really careful on moisturizers because you're going to clog your pores." And so I think some people when you would tell them to put towel on their face, I think they would natural be like, "Oh my gosh, but isn't that going to make me break out?"
Emily Toups: Right. Or, "I have oily skin. I definitely can't use oil." But I had very oily skin all the time. You wake up in the morning, it's like oil slick on your face. And I was just like, oh, well, my heritage is Italian. We are just naturally, mediterranean, very oily, and that's what my mom has just always said, "We're oily." But when I started using oil on my face, specifically tallow, it stopped the overproduction of oil and I don't consider myself to have oily skin anymore. And so when I tell people that I feel like sometimes the light bulb goes off and they're like, "Well, that makes sense." Just like people who stop using shampoos. If you use a really harsh shampoo, you have to wash your hair every day or every other day. But when you stop those harsh shampoos and your body readjust how much sebum it makes, then you can go longer and longer. And that's how you wean off of the using a shampoo.
Melissa K Norris: Yeah. In fact, that's funny because I did the same thing with shampoo and I'm like, oh yeah, I only washed my hair once or twice a week now where before, it would be so oily. You'd had to wash it every day at the roots. Yeah. So with the tallow, what are some more of the benefits besides the vitamins and the CLE? Are there other things that it can help with the skin?
Emily Toups: Tallow is just uniquely compatible with the biology of our cells, it's about 80% similar to our own cell membrane. So the sebum that our skin makes, when it's compared to tallow, it's about 80% of the same molecules. And so that makes it almost exactly the same as if we were moisturizing with our own oil. It absorbs very well. It's not greasy. And it's saturated fat, which we know that most of our cells are made of saturated fat. And so it's absorbed very well. The omega-3 fatty acids just support the cell membrane structure and therefore it just helps your skin hold in moisture better. And customers tell me all the time. "I've dealt with chronic dry skin forever. And I can't believe I've never used another product that holds in moisture in my skin."
And we've just been sold this lie that vegan in skin care is what is the best that plant extracts and plant oils are the gold standard in skincare. And look, I love coconut oil just as much as the next person. So I don't knock plant oils, but you can't replace what tallow` does to your skin. And it's biocompatibility with your skin.
Melissa K Norris: Yeah. It's actually really fascinating. So my daughter is a preteen she's 12 and she has some really dry patches. And part of it is because she is just like a fish and is outside in the sun and in the swimming pool and in the creeks and in the rivers, like all summer long. And so every summer, her skin, especially on her face will get really dry in patches. And so she was complaining. She's like, "Oh mom, it's kind of burning. It's so dry in certain areas." And so I hoarded my tallow balm from you guys so I'm like, okay, well I'm almost out of this jar. So here, you could take this one and use it, and then I'll just open a new one for me. And so I gave it to her and it's actually been really amazing because she just came to me two days ago and it's like, "Mom, I'm out, but my skin it's like not dry anymore. So I need more."
And I'm like, "Oh," because every summer we battle with this and she'll try different things like coconut oil and different moisturizers and it'll help a little bit, but it never really completely heals just till we move into fall. And she's not in the water all the time and in the direct sunlight. And so that there is a testimony because we've tried a lot of other things and it really did make a big difference for her. So I now need to order more as soon as we get off of here, but...
Emily Toups: I just love to hear that. I love to hear that.
Melissa K Norris: And I feel good about her using it especially at '12 because I want her to be set up from the get go when it took me to be in my '30s to learn a lot of this. And so I want her to have it for her whole life. So she doesn't have which one is that you have a couple other ingredients in your tallow that I would love for you to talk to us about, and their benefits in that, in your guys' tallow balm that you put in there. But then also about ingredients that you should be looking to avoid when you are purchasing products. So if you could start with what your other awesome benefits are, because I actually have a question, okay, I'm just going to spill the beans. So you guys have frankincense in there, which I love. But on the label, it looks like it's two different kinds of frankincense and actually don't know what the difference between the two is. So can you tell me about that?
Emily Toups: We mix all our tallow balms with organic, fresh pressed olive oil, and then we mix them with organic essential oils. And I don't think everyone understands the importance of the essential oils being organic. We go through all this trouble to get this grassfed towel, and then we source this amazing olive oil. And then when it comes to at essential oils, if they're not organic, that means that the farms that they were grown on can use anything they want on the plants before they're extracted. And so we purchase USDA certified organic oils for our tallow bams. And so the frankincense oil, frankincense is actually a resin and the frankincense oil is extracted from the resin and there are different kinds of frankincense trees. And so to get the resin, they will pierce the tree with a knife or something like that.
And then the tree will produce this resin and it kind of like flows out and it hardens, and then they cut that off. And that is frankincense, it's just a hard end resin from a tree. And it's anti-inflammatory, it's antiseptic and it's also kind of used as an astringent. And so it's so wonderful for the skin. And the reason that we use two different kinds of frankincense is that both of them are beneficial to the skin, but in different ways. And when we were formulating the frankincense, I was trying to decide which frankincense are we going to use? I love the skin benefits of this frankincense, but it doesn't smell as great as the other one.
And then I love the Frankincense Serrata and the skin benefits and it smells amazing. So we just decide to combine both. And we use exact amounts of both since not more of one than the other. We use the same amount of each one, and I feel like it just makes it a really potent frankincense based balm. It's the top seller on our website. I mean, I love it so much. And part of the reason why I think that everyone else loves it is because I formulated it until I absolutely loved it. And I had to have both of the frankincense oils in it.
Melissa K Norris: Yeah. It does smell really good. Ad research I had done on frankincense, prior to getting your guys' tallow balm, was as you begin to age, frankincense can really help support the skin and slow down some of the aging process. I'm trying to talk all like kosher and not make any medical claims.
Emily Toups: It helps to repair the skin cells and just the skin turnover is quicker when using frankincense. And so a lot of times that's something that you might hear when someone talks about like a retinol product, something that we don't use retinol in any of our products. And I avoid, but I like to use frankincense because I don't want to say that it works as a retinol because it doesn't, but it makes the skin turnover quicker, which is what you're trying to achieve when you're using a retinol product. And the skin benefits are anti-aging is a strong word because everyone uses that. So I don't use the word anti-aging, but it improves skin's like elasticity and can visibly reduce the amount of wrinkles on your face if you're using it in the skin, cell turnover is happening at a quicker rate than what it was.
Melissa K Norris: Yeah. But as we get older, our skin turnover does slow down. But also if you're getting, especially for myself, because I've been looking into is it a hormonal balance? Why, and when I'm still getting breakouts and where I'm getting up, what is this a sign of? You do dig into the research. And part of the acne that I have is from lack of cell turn over. They're not turning over quick enough. And so there's stuff that's getting trapped. Anyway, I'm really excited that you guys use the frankincense in there, but I wasn't sure what the two different types were. And so I'm like, oh, I'm going to be able to talk to you actually in person over Zoom as we're recording this. So I'm like, I can just ask Emily then at that time, but in it does. And it has a very, almost silky feel when you're putting it on both on your fingertips and then when you're putting it on the skin, I really love the texture of it.
Emily Toups: I love the texture too, and that's not something you're going to get with every tallow balm. Our tallow balm is whipped. So as we add in the... A lot of people to understand tallow is actually hard. So if you've ever rendered tallow or lad, you put it in a jar when it hardens, it's not easy ton dip your finger in and take some out. And so the olive oil is softening the tallow, but at the same time we're whipping it and big wicks, that whip air into it as well. And it just it this beautiful silky texture that a lot of companies are going to get by using silicons and other additives in their products. And we do it manually and it makes it easier to apply and it feels so great.
Melissa K Norris: It does, it feels very luxurious. It sounds so weird, but I look forward to it, in the evening. I'm like, oh, it feels like a little bit of pampering, honestly. And I think it's...
Emily Toups: A skincare that the pioneers used, ancestral skincare.
Melissa K Norris: Yeah. Which is really amazing as I feel like the more we discover in this modern age, the more we learn, the more we return back to old ways in certain aspects and just like this, like yes, tallow was amazing for the skin and we got away from using it. And now we're rediscovering it's benefits. And some of the things that the pioneers did with the help of modern, because we're able to put in that frankincense resin, which a lot of the pioneers did not have frankincense trees. And weren't able to put that in. So we're getting to marry the two together, which that's the aspect of modern home setting that I really love. So what are some top ingredients though? Because we have talked a lot about tallow balm which I'm excited about because it's great. But if you're looking at purchasing other skincare products, what are some of the top ingredients that we should avoid? If it's on the label step away.
Emily Toups: Yes. So if it's a [inaudible 00:27:39], [FLA 00:27:39], propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol, any EBTDAs and then the top one is fragrance because those ingredients are in so many of our personal care products, but I always like to point out fragrance as a top because it seems harmless, it's not a word that we can't pronounce, but fragrance is, it could be any combination of 3,000 plus stock could chemical ingredients that include hormone disruptors and allergens. And these fragrance formulas that are produced by these companies are protected under federal laws, classification of a trade secret. And therefore they can put the word fragrance on their ingredient list and not disclose any of the array ingredients that make up that fragrance. And synthetic fragrance is one of the top air contaminants in homes. And so when you do a survey of homes and what are the top contaminants in your inside air, fragrance comes up as one of the top ones every time.
And it's because it's in every product that we purchase, everything has some kind of scent to the point where we are so scented in America that we can't smell it. But I'm sure you know, once you go unscented in your home and in your products, you smell everything, especially on other people. And then you're like, "Whoa, I've used to be one of those people who walked around with the top name brand, clothing detergent, smell, whacking through the air as I walked by." And so I just like to talk about ingredients because no matter what you're purchasing, skin care, makeup or detergent, dish washing detergent, home cleaning supplies, those ingredients are going to be in those things. And that's some of the top things that we want to take out of our homes because they're hormone disruptors.
And when your hormones are disrupted, the body starts to degrade. We are seeing all kinds of illnesses and allergies in both adults and children. And so it makes you think about all of these toxic products that are in our home and fragrances and making those changes can be really hard. The reason I used a lot of the products in our home is because some of mom used them. And so I was like, "Oh, she uses this detergent." When I got married, I went to the store and I bought that detergent. And it could just be ingrained as we grow and what we've seen without us even realizing that those products can be toxic to ourselves and our children.
Melissa K Norris: Yeah. And another thing that I found in my research too, that I had no idea is a lot of those fragrances, not only the hormone disruptors, which is a huge thing, but they have carcinogenic properties to them. And those two alone are really huge, big things. And it is so true though, because now my daughter, as I said, she's a preteen. And so she'll get gifted at Christmas, from her birthdays and stuff, people will give her those little body sprays and perfumes, and I don't wear perfume. I've never actually been able to wear perfume. It's given me a headache that now I know why, but back then I couldn't figure out it. My girlfriends could always wear perfume, but anytime I tried to wear perfume within a half an hour of putting it on, I would have this horrible headache and I'd have to go wash it off.
So thankfully I guess the Lord gave me a trigger so that I didn't wear it and wasn't exposed to it a lot. But I can smell it, she'll do it in her bedroom, come out. And I am like a blood hound. I'm like, "Stop using that," poor kid. I'm like, "Stop it, you're giving me a headache." I said, "I don't want you using that stuff." And it's a balance because at their age I feel like-
Emily Toups: It is a balance.
Melissa K Norris: It is a balance. I'd like if everything else that I can give her to put on skin and she uses perfume every now and then, then I'm like that I have to be okay with that at this point because otherwise if she's using all other good stuff then, we'll just go with that. But I'm actually really happy that you guys branched out into other products. And the reason for that is because for years, and I think this was the thing when I met you in person, I was totally gushing and so excited about I'm glad I didn't freak you out and make you be like, "Okay."
Emily Toups: I loved it so much. I ran away to my husband and I was like, " [Tre 00:32:14] I just met this lady. She is the sweetest. And she was like full face of Toups." I was like, I've never had anybody walk up to me and say that before, I felt like that's amazing.
Melissa K Norris: Okay, good.
Emily Toups: No, I wasn't at all turned off. I was actually super excited in doing a little happy dance inside.
Melissa K Norris: Okay, good. And that is because I want natural, good for my skin. Good for the environment, all the things makeup. But I have to tell you, I have really struggled to find natural products that actually worked as well as the junkie ones or that have the junkie ingredients. And yours has been the first and I mean first ever foundation, that when I could get a good color match on. Natural, it's not cakey. But honestly, and that didn't come off on my phone or my clothes all the time. That's another thing for me. But that actually covered up because I did have acne worse when I was younger. And I have scars from it that actually would cover up the acne scars and blend well without looking like I have a ton of makeup on. And so after I discovered the foundation, I'm like, "Okay, let's try all the other stuff."
Emily Toups: What else does she have?
Melissa K Norris: What else does she have? And so now I'm like hooked on I'm using the eyeshadow. And I love the lip gloss because the color on, and it's not like tacky, sticky, but it has a really pretty shine.
Emily Toups: Yeah. One of the things I hate is your hair touches your lips and gets stuck to your lip gloss I was like, there'll be none of that in this lip gloss.
Melissa K Norris: I love that. So tell me though, how did you branch out into that? Because from doing tallow balm to then actually formulating makeup, that seems like a re really big steps. So I'm super curious how you guys did that.
Emily Toups: Whenever I was interested first in adding some more products, we did deodorant and then we did the mineral foundation and I took some classes on color blending and things like that. But my sister actually was still in college. I think it was either her junior or senior year. And she and I are 18 months apart and she is a chemical engineer and she was in school, learning all the stuff. So I would call her up and ask her all about these ingredients and the molecular weight of this and that and all these things. And she was just able to test it out in the lab for me. And so we actually worked with a company and with her and me, and we were like, "These are the ingredients we want in the products." And we want it to work like this. How many times do we have to go back until it is perfect?
And so that's just what we did. I can't take all of the credit for that. I knew the ingredient I wanted to use and I knew the ingredients I didn't want to use. And so a slogan that we use all the time is if it's not good enough for me and my family, then it's not good enough for us to sell. And as we added products, we just went one by one until I loved them and then we would release them and they were all received really well. So a lot of kudos to my sister, a lot of late nights in LSU's chemistry lab. And this is what we got.
Melissa K Norris: Oh, well, I'm so glad that you did because when my daughter turned '12, I ordered her, her very first foundation. I had very strict rules at '12 on what she is allowed to wear and what she's not as far as makeup goes, because I wanted to be very minimal. I don't want her to... that could be a whole nother podcast episode. But I got her, her very first foundation and her blush and it's scrub Toup. So I was like soup and a little light, very light in color lip gloss. But I was very excited to be able to hand that to her on her birthday, which consequently was the day before I met you at the conference. Her birthday was actually while we were on the trip. And so it was really funny because I like the makeup. I just got you. Like I could point you out. It was funny anyway, so that was really fun. Just little side story. But as we wrap up, if you could only make one change tomorrow, what would you swap out
Emily Toups: People ask me this question all the time and my answer will always be deodorant is something that we use every single day, sometimes multiple times a day. It's the most applied product to our body. And most often the most toxic. Toxic chemicals in deodorant, triclosan, parabins, valets, fragrance. But at the top and a lot of people know this is aluminum and aluminum is a metal, but it's a common ingredient in antiperspirants, which is a little different than a deodorant. So there's a difference between antiperspirants and deodorants in an antiperspirants works by plugging your sweat ducts to stop you from sweating, which one in itself is bad. But then two aluminum causes instability on the cell level, meaning that it increases our cells, tendency to mutate. And those mutations can increase the chance of tumor growth. And we know one of the number one cancers in women is breast cancer.
And where do we apply our deodorant basically on the sides of our breasts. And it's just crazy to me that one it's still sold on the drugstore shelf, all these deodorants that have aluminum, and two and the fragrance and all the other toxic chemicals that are in them. And a lot of people will come at me and say, "Well, everything in the world is a chemical." But not everything in the world is a toxic chemical.
Melissa K Norris: Very true
Emily Toups: And so if I could have someone... especially someone I love make once swap, it would be deodorant.
Melissa K Norris: Okay. I love that one. And that's funny. I have used a natural deodorant now for 10 years, but I have had a harder time getting other members of my family to swap out two natural deodorants. But get this, I have not tried the Taupe's and Co's deodorant yet. So I'm just going to go place a big old order now and try all. That I need to reorder and restock some stuff anyways. So I'm now going to try out the deodorant and see if I can get them to swap over too. So Emily, I'm so glad that you followed your gut and your instinct and not only made changes for your family, but then decided we need to share this and make this available to the rest of the world. So thank you for that. And I'm so glad that you came on the podcast. I had a lot of fun and I actually learned quite a few things that I did not know before. So thank you.
Emily Toups: Thanks so much.
Melissa K Norris: I hope that you enjoyed that interview as much as I did and learned some valuable tips about what you'll be looking for in your own skincare and makeup routine. I have to say some of my favorite products that I have been using from Toups and Organics is of course the tallow balm, we covered that quite well, but I really also like their liquid foundation and the concealer and their eyeliner. Now you might not be a makeup girl and that's completely fine. You may be just focused on the skin care aspect, but for those of us who do like to wear makeup every now and then, I really like the eyeliner because it goes on well, and it doesn't smudge.
You know what I'm talking about? I naturally have dark circles under my eyes. I have, since the time I was a little girl and even a teenager. And I can't stand when I have an eyeliner that ends up smudging off. And I only use eyeliner on my top eyelid, but oftentimes with other brands, it will smudge off. And then it makes the circles underneath my eyes look even darker by the end of the day. So I really like that the eyeliner is creamy, so it goes on easy, but it doesn't smudge. It stays in place, which is a really big key for me. I also really like their lip gloss. I know I'm talking like a walking advertisement, but I literally had searched for years since I started going towards natural skincare and makeup and had a very hard time finding anything that I really did like.
I like their lip gloss because it's not super tacky and sticky. You know what I'm talking about? My lip gloss wears and it has really good color though, and it's very moisturizing. So my favorite color that I use in the lip gloss is the berry marvelous, but they've got several shades. I also get a very light and natural one for my daughter and she really enjoys that as well. Thank you so much for joining me on today's episode. And remember you can use that coupon code pioneering for free shipping at melissaknorris.com/skincare. I can't wait to be back here with you next week. We have a really fun episode. Last week if you didn't listen to that episode where we were exploring meat rabbits, we are exploring different types of animals and livestocks to increase our self sufficiency.
And some of those animals give us meat as well as other benefits, you can get the fur, obviously with the rabbits, some are dual purpose where you're going to get dairy as well as meat. And then we've also got some other episodes coming up that are really fun talking about, fiber animals. But next week's episode, I can't wait for you to tune into. We are going to be talking all about dairy goats. So if you have been thinking about getting a dairy animal and you're thinking about going goats, because you don't have as much space or acreage as would be required for a dairy cow, you are going to love next week's episode. I can't wait to see you then, for now blessings in mason jars.
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