One look at beautiful Candy Killebrew and her gorgeous daughter Presh Ashe and you want to know their beauty routines. Do they order special ointments from Europe or have they not eaten processed foods in months? Do they have those new hydrofacials regularly, or chemical peels every week, or what? Their skin glows. Their clear skin glows. Their younger-than-their-age clear skin glows.
So, when I heard Presh was the senior director of Beautycounter, a skin care line that uses only certified clean ingredients in its cosmetics, I dropped in on her at her parents’ house when she was visiting from Austin, Texas. (She’s since moved to the Chattanooga area.)
“I want it all! Sign me up,” I said, but she didn’t. Instead, she explained the company’s philosophy and mission, which is basically to get safe products in the hands of everyone. We live in America, you might think. The FDA regulates every tiny thing we come in contact with. That may or may not be, but the fact is that the cosmetic industry has not been “re-regulated” since the 1930s. I’m guessing I don’t have to reiterate the increase of cancer and autoimmune diseases that is rampant in our country. Do the chemicals and additives and unpronounceable ingredients in cosmetics affect our health?
Turns out, Presh, who looks like a model, did not get involved in Beautycounter for, well, beauty. Her then 3-year-old son was covered in eczema from head to toe, and she was desperate to find relief for him. Weary and wary of doctors’ prescribing steroids and PDE4 inhibitors and topical calcineurin inhibitors (none of them sound very safe!), Presh began her extensive research. Determined to find a holistic solution for her son’s skin problem, she quickly realized the labels touting a product as “pure” and “natural” are not necessarily telling the truth. One quick look at the ingredients usually does tell the truth, though.
In her research, she kept coming back to Beautycounter. There are over 1,800 ingredients that are never used in the company’s formulations. Every single ingredient the company uses is screened and assessed against 23 safety endpoints. In comparison, the U.S. government restricts only 30 ingredients, while Canada restricts more than 600 and the E.U. restricts 1,400. Yikes!
Presh began representing Beautycounter about three years ago. But her journey in health began long before that. A certified health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, her commitment to health actually began as her personal journey to heal herself. Diagnosed with a genetic skin condition in her late 20s, she ultimately took her health in her own hands after countless dermatologists, specialists and internists prescribed antibiotics, supplements and elimination diets, none of which helped. Convinced food could prove a better medicine than the drugs that were failing her and her son, she believes being healthy is a gift that is within everyone’s reach. “We just have to be committed and stay the course!” she says. And she can help us do just that.
She offers health packages in which she teaches you how to begin this important journey, from cooking healthy meals despite a busy schedule to using cleaning products that don’t poison your family. She does this in person, vial the telephone and/or via Skype. Learn more at freshbypresh.com.
Oh, after Presh and Candy advised me to “start slow and see if I liked the product before jumping in with both feet,” I chose a little vial of facial oil. It’s one of the few things that feels good on my skin, and even if it doesn’t do miracles, I know it’s not harming me in any way. I like that. A lot.
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Ferris Robinson is the author of two children's books, "The Queen Who Banished Bugs" and "The Queen Who Accidentally Banished Birds," in her pollinator series, with "Call Me Arthropod" coming soon. "Making Arrangements" is her first novel, and "Dogs and Love - Stories of Fidelity" is a collection of true tales about man's best friend. Her website is ferrisrobinson.com. She is the editor of The Lookout Mountain Mirror and The Signal Mountain Mirror.