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Dr. Sharon Stills is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor who helps perimenopausal and menopausal women to pause and evaluate life so they can live the second act of their story stronger, healthier, and sexier while aging backwards. Using her 20+ years of experience and extensive training and background in European Biological... Read More
Brian Vaszily has been a prominent leader, researcher, and advocate in natural health and wellness for over 20 years. He’s the founder of the popular health destination, TheArtofAntiAging.com, whose mission is to empower those in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond with the most effective evidence-based natural solutions to... Read More
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Sharon Stills, ND
Hello, ladies. Welcome back to the Mastering the Menopause Transition Summit. I am your host, Dr. Sharon Stills. I am thrilled to be here with you. You know how passionate I am about these interviews, bringing you information, and changing the conversation about what menopause is and what healthy aging looks like. Around here, we are all about having a red-hot, sexy menopause. We are going to have a great conversation today with Brian Vaszily, who rhymes with Paisley. I love that. He is one of today’s most renowned and respected natural health leaders, researchers, and advocates. He is the face and the brains behind the art of anti-aging, which is a huge movement. We are really lucky to have him here today. We were talking before we went live. He is the creator of Purity Woods, which are these really pure face care products. Because he wanted something and could not find it, he went and made it himself. He is a real mover and shaker, really gets things done, and is really passionate about this cause and about the aging process. We are very lucky to have him here today. We are going to dive into a lot of things, but we are definitely going to dive into chemicals and your skin and how to avoid them because, as he talks about, we always think about what we are eating in our mouth, but we have to think about what we are eating via our skin. I love that because that’s not something that we often think about. But what we put on our skin gets absorbed. I mean, that is a route for how to deliver. I deliver remedies and things via the skin. We really have to be thinking about what we are putting on our skin. Welcome, Brian. It is really awesome to have you. Thanks for being a part of the summit.
Well, I am excited to be here, even more so with your wonderful introduction of me, which made me feel really good about myself. By the way, how kind of you! I am kind of excited to be here and have a lot of great insights to share. Again, you are right. I want to start by saying, if you remember nothing else from this conversation, remember this, everybody: when you are pushing your grocery cart down the cosmetic and personal care products aisle, while you are pushing it down the food aisle, It is food. Just think of it the same way. That’s the real, brief summary of things we’ll dive deeper into here. But that’s one visual that I love. People do not forget.
Sharon Stills, ND
That is a great visual, if nothing else. That is a beautiful thing to take with you. Start thinking about what you are eating on your skin. What you are putting on is food, just like what you are chewing in your mouth. I have to ask. I always ask, but I am really curious as I am just getting to know you better, too. How did you get into the art of anti-aging, researching, and creating skin care? What is it, a personal story? Just an interest. How did this all unfold?
Yes, that is a great question, and there is a long answer that I am going to give. Try to make it as concise as possible. As you noted at the start, I have been in natural health, doing deep research, and working with other very well-known brands. Today, they are well known, and these and these others have helped a lot of people behind the scenes over the last 20 something years. I have been in front of the camera at various points to, as you noted over the last five or so years, really the Art of Anti-Aging and Purity, and both of these organizations have become my full-time job, if you will. But how did that all come about? Well, I am in my mid-fifties, and you can kind of roughly cut my life down the middle. The first half of my life, honestly, was really challenging; I will put it that way. To make a long story short, I grew up very poor in the inner city, almost joined gangs, lost friends to gangs, and things like that. But even rougher than that was the fact that my dad was a very good man. Still around the age of nine years old, he turned severely alcoholic and quite abusive—quite abusive to me, to my mother, and to my sister. that persisted for a long time. To his credit, he finally kicked the bottle. But what he did not do was deal with a lot of trauma inside himself. Now we are talking about a long time ago, and we are talking about trauma that he had experienced long before that.
We live in a wonderful time, and we are open about addressing and dealing with trauma. We have many resources. Back in his day, you had to be a crazy person if you were going to talk to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or anybody in that field. There was a lot of resistance. We do not often see that, but we live in a wonderful time where many things are accessible to us that were not back then, including mentally. With that said, he ended up dying a very long, painful, horrible death where he was in and out of the hospital for years. We were right there with him. There is a lot to this story to engage with. But I will put it this way: I would not be sitting here, probably alive today, if it weren’t for certain powerful women in my life. This certainly includes an angel of a mother, my sister in later years, my wife today, and other certain teachers I had who really held me up and helped me push through a lot of the challenges that I now hold on to from a lot of the abuse and other things that I had faced earlier on. It is a powerful woman. That plus the fact that I witnessed it inside with my mother leading the way how—frankly, I am not going to sugarcoat it. How inept today’s medical system was back then and still today is. I saw it from the inside because I saw how inept they were with, say, my mom having to take the reins with all of these doctors, basically, who were caring for my father after making mistakes with drugs that can cause far more serious damage than was already there. I mean, it goes on and on. A lot of people know this story from their own versions. Then, out of school and out of college, which I went to even as a young man who had gotten married way too young, we had a wonderful new child. My very first son, who’s grown today—I mentioned him to you before, and he is my best friend today. But it was rough in those years. I was very, very poor. But nonetheless, my wife at the time and I still pushed through. We went to school. I am out of school. I got a job associated with—we’ll just say the pharmaceutical industry was my very first real job out of college—and I saw things on the inside here that we should do a whole other interview about. But I won’t. But whatever one suspects about the pharmacy industry, there are no bad people inside. There are a lot of great human beings inside that. But as that system as a whole is everything people think it is and worse, that is all I will say. I found my way out of that and got into natural health, and I am really shortening the story here. For years, I again helped other very prominent individuals and organizations become far more prominent in a lot of natural health research. I was at a crossroads about five or six years ago where I thought, Wow, I could do anything here. Here’s what I had been seeing: These powerful women who were there for me were being impacted.
Even these very strong of will and strong of power women were getting negatively impacted by a message out there in society that says that getting older equals becoming doomed. That message says that getting older equals becoming undesirable, incapable, and doomed to suffering, disease, and pain. It is all a joke that goes downhill from here. I am, and this does not jibe at all with all of the knowledge that I have gained from all of these amazing experts that I have worked closely with over the decades. That is not true. The years of 40, 50, 60, 70, and even beyond ought to be the time of life when you strive physically, mentally, and emotionally. I said, I know what I am going to do. I am going to bring all of these straight, research-based facts forward and just show people that this is the truth. This is what you need to do because you are at a time in your life where you can thrive, even if you are suffering now. Many people will leave; this, of course, is a switch to get on that thriving track. That’s the art of anti-aging, and that’s how it was born. I will give you the Midland version of the answer.
Sharon Stills, ND
I love that. I love that we are in the right place because it just makes me want to bang my head against the wall when I see it. I always say women are told, They go through menopause, and now you are a big fat cow and just go out to pasture, and no one cares about you anymore. The truth is, and why I do this and why you do what you do, is that we have gone through our twenties and our thirties, and by the time we hit our forties, we are in our fifties. We are taking it in stride. We know who we are; we are comfortable with ourselves, and it is then that we can really share our gifts and have deeper, meaningful relationships and shifts. We are not addicted to drama and all of that. It is important to change the conversation because I have been doing it for 21 years in my practice with patients, just seeing them get younger, get healthier, and be more active. I have patients who are in their eighties and on tour in the country on motorcycles and boats, dancing and just stuff, having great sex. It is such a fallacy. You said it does not have to be hard when you do the right things and embrace the right things that change, and gaining that vitality can happen quicker than you really realize. It does not have to be a ten-year journey. It can really happen faster than that.
Yes, absolutely. I mean, I really appreciate and respect what you do. I can tell you, as a man, that myth has its teeth, and it bites men too. But it is clear as a bell that it is far worse, frankly, for women in every respect. This myth of aging—this myth that aging equals going downhill—is just such utter nonsense. Because, as you eloquently pointed out, this really is the time—the time where you have your S-H blank, blank together more than ever. For the most part, and it ought to be the time that you are physically thriving. Of course, you are going to have experiences that are setbacks. But there is an answer to those. I love what you and I are both doing. As you can tell, I am passionate about it, too.
Sharon Stills, ND
I love it. I love that you are a man and that you are standing up for women. I think that’s really important. I just want to dive in because let us talk about shopping down the cosmetics aisle and then think about eating. Obviously, this is an area of expertise for you. There are a lot of listeners from the US; not all women are listening from all over, but that factoid that there are 1600 chemicals banned or deeply limited in the European Union and then in the U.S. there are only 11.
It is crazy.
Sharon Stills, ND
That is, let us just talk about what the women need to know when they are pushing that cart and when they are making decisions. What stands out to me as tips that they could jot down right now and start improving their health?
Absolutely. Aside from the toxin, there is this mindset that getting older equals doom. I have spent decades studying toxins in general. Again, there are many mental and emotional toxins. We briefly covered that on the physical side. I now call them the toxins that are incredibly prevalent in cosmetics and personal care products. The worst source of toxins, and there are a lot, is indoor air, which, as many people know, is worst and at worst worse than others for several reasons. The first reason is because people are unaware of how toxic these products are. We have this implicit trust that someone must be watching out to some extent for us with these products that people squirt and rub all over their bodies, whether it is moisturizers, creams, or soaps. Soaps that you are scrubbing into your face—hair shampoo, deodorant—are terrible one. There is this implicit trust that, okay, maybe there is something a little bad in there, but somebody’s watching out. No, they are not. No, they are not. I am going to start this way.
The last time that there was any substantial legislation about this was in 1938, when the FDA mandated that the personal care products industry be on its own. This is this. I am not, and this is not hype. This is not an exaggeration on my part. You are on your own to self-regulate what you do. Here is the fact: Of course, these companies that create these anti-aging creams, moisturizers, deodorants, and on and forth, they are not typically going to put anything in these products that can be immediately be traced to them as negative. In other words, they are not going to put anything in there that causes you a rash or something right away. They are careful about that. Because of what lawsuits? Of course, that’s easy to trace, but since World War II, there have been over 84,000 chemicals created, many of which are used in cosmetics and personal care. 84,000; 1% of these have been tested. 1% of these—as you pointed out in another statistic here in the U.S.—only 11 chemicals have been banned from cosmetics and personal care. You said that in the European Union, over 1600 people have now been banned. There are many more on the docket that are being investigated for being banned. What is going on here?
Another statistic I want to throw your way while we are on data: In the US, the average woman uses 12 personal care products a day, which contain 168 different chemicals. It is the Wild West. These chemicals, the ones that have others outside of the beauty industry that have been investigated by great organizations like the Environmental Working Group and others, those that have been investigated, and again, you are talking thousands of chemicals that they use. Those that have been investigated because, in my cases, they are very prevalent. We used phthalates, for example, which have been shown to be either potentially or be flat-out dangerous. There are really five classes of dangerous chemicals that are widely used. They are direct carcinogens. In other words, it is known that they cause cancer.
Then there is an even more nefarious category of hidden carcinogens, which means they are all known to cause cancer. But it is all the combinations that occur. Remember, in chemistry class back in high school, when you added one chemical to another, it was not too different now. It has become something else. There are so many chemicals used that they have no clue what is going on. It is a strange synthetic concoction. All right. There are hidden carcinogens. Now, the one that is of most immediate importance to anyone going through, about to go through, or post-menopause is our endocrine disruptors. I think many people understand the endocrine system in, real layman’s terms as your hormones. These chemicals cause disruption by acting as hormones these chemicals.
Then there are allergens that really prompt or exasperate allergies in people. Then there are penetrators, a really nasty class of chemicals that are added that take all these other ingredients and drive them even deeper into your body, where they work their so-called synthetic magic. Here is the thing: Let us use aging Creams as an example. I could talk about this a little more in a more clear way. Most aging creams turn it around. You can see all kinds of ingredients there that you cannot even pronounce. All right. They are loaded with these artificial ingredients in many cases, and they make claims. The fact is, it is fast food. I believe the claims are true, meaning they will moisturize your skin short term while they do immense damage. Ironically, to your skin and, sadly, to your health in many other ways, as we just discussed. Again, there is no real body watching over any of this. They want to cover their buttocks. Short-term, again, they are not to put anything in there immediately; typically, it is traced to them. But again, almost none of these gazillion different chemicals that they add have been tested in and of themselves, much less in combination with one another. But it is known again that they cause cancer and can potentially cause cancer. They screwed up big time with hormones, which is not something you want during menopause, or really at any time, but certainly not during menopause. That is what these chemicals in these cosmetics and personal care products do.
Sharon Stills, ND
Could I just ask? Maybe this is a naive question, but I understand they are monitoring themselves. But is it just that these chemicals are cheaper? I am sitting here thinking, Why use harmful stuff? Why not use herbs or something natural? Why are they using such harmful stuff?
Well, you nailed it. At the end of the day, it is profitable for them. I mean, it is a shortcut for them. Again, I mean, I am researching this, and I am more than ever a natural. I guess we’ll call it, after 20 years of going deep on this, that I was not to start because nature has the answer for every single aspect, for example, in skincare, much less in medicine, but in skincare itself, nature’s offering me amazing solutions like red maple leaf extract. Back in 2018, they found nothing that matched it for boosting the elastin in your skin because it got me. Nature has these answers for all this, but they are more expensive to extract. It does not last as long on the shelf. Here is a really important one. It does not smell as pretty as the fake smells that people have now become associated with its effectiveness. I am kind of jumping around here, but people always ask me, Well, can you tell us what ingredients are especially bad to watch out for? I say, if you have about 3 hours and you can listen to a thousand different ingredients, Yes. But nonetheless, for convenience’s sake, I will give you a few. The worst, because it is telling of something even more simple to look for on the back of any product. Fragrance: look for fragrance on the back of a product. What I do when I see it is put it right back on the shelf and move on. Well, by the way, sometimes they get fancy on you and they instead call it parfum because they want to sound French, and sometimes they are really basic and generic and they simply call it scent. They are all the same thing. Well, the problem is, first of all, that many of these chemicals are added to products. One of several answers to your question is to make them smell really pretty. We think that they are working, and somehow, we have been brainwashed into believing that if something smells like fake musk, fake strawberries, or fake whatever, it must be good. We have been programmed to associate these truly fake smells with effectiveness.
Many of these products do have fragrance, but they are not normal, healthy, essential oils, or anything like that. They might add a few of those. There can be anywhere from dozens to hundreds of different chemicals hiding behind that word. Here is the thing: They do not have to even disclose all the chemicals that go into what the fragrance is. I mentioned the EWG; they did some studies and found that typically, behind that little shield of a word that sounds so innocent, there are plenty of dangerous ingredients. The suggestion is, and again, I won’t name names, that a lot of companies even hide some of the worst chemicals in that. The reason that they do not have to tell you: Why do they not have to tell you? Because it is a trade secret, how they get their special fancy scent. They are not required to even disclose a lot of the ingredients that you are feeding your body through your skin. When I see that on a note, I will take something that smells good, is pretty good, or has an essential oil that is just fine, or something that has a neutral scent or no scent.
Another reason is lather. You asked me why they had these ingredients; they have a shelf life. They are things called plasticizers that make the different chemicals mix more smoothly. I said they are there for smell, but they are also there for foam: sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. Again, I will say those again, because those are two I watch out for: sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. These are agents and chemicals added just for foaming. We have become associated with foaming with effectiveness. Foaming does not change a thing in a product, be it a hand soap, a face soap, or a shampoo. But psychologically, they got us to believe it must be better because it is foaming. Those are fake chemicals doing that. chemicals, by the way, that you do not want to feed your body. Those are potentially carcinogenic, for example, sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. I can go on. You see, I am passionate about this, but I am
Sharon Stills, ND
I am loving this because, when you were talking about fragrance, I was thinking it was kind of the same thing in food. You see natural flavors, and you think, Oh, that is natural; that’s a flavor. But it is the same thing. They hide all this garbage in there, and it is the same thing. Then, going back to what we said in the beginning about what you are feeding yourself, we need to be just as focused on what you are feeding your skin and what is being absorbed systemically. keep going. I am loving this.
On that point. I mean, I do challenge everyone to really step back and think about how they think about their skin, because we are in a society and in an age where we do not even think about it, and sometimes it is part of our body. If you consider what we do to it, we experiment with it constantly, and we are raised at a young age. Is it okay to do that? But the fact of the matter is that this is one of the organs in your body. It happens to be the largest organ in your body. Not only that, it happens to be part of your immune system. Not only that, it happens to be arguably one of the least important components of your immune system because it is doing the hard work; it is the front line, and it is doing the hard job of keeping a lot of stuff out. Even in a world where we weren’t overloaded with chemicals on stuff, in stuff in the air, and everywhere, even in a normal, healthy world where we are exposed to many chemicals, the job is tough all day long. It is fighting off pathogens, etc., and keeping them out of your body. Now, we have decided that it is more of a piece of clothing than an organ on our body. I always challenge people to listen. Would you just blindly take it because my company told you it was effective? Would you take a product and spray it on your brain, your heart, your liver, or any other organ?
I do not think anybody in their right mind says yes. They are. Well, of course I would not do that. But you are doing that with your skin, and you are taxing its ability to protect your health and your immunity. It is already a hard enough job when you add on all of these products that are loaded with these toxic and potentially toxic chemicals. You are making its regular job much harder, and you are basically compromising your immune system on top of it. Not to mention the fact that, as we have discovered in recent decades, the whole microbiome on your skin is part of the whole process and part of your immunity. They shared that all those helpful little bacteria do not want all of these fake chemicals. They are not cheering when that happens; they are dying. You are ruining a part of your microbiome when you are feeding your body these chemicals. As you can tell, this is why I say, This is one of the worst sources of toxins today, because the knowledge on this is a good for ten to fifteen years—the collective knowledge behind where we are with the food that we put in our mouths. Most people say, There are all these chemicals; I can name some for you; there are phthalates; there is formaldehyde, which is regularly and routinely allowed. It is in many cosmetics; triclosan is all over the place.
That is a nasty endocrine disruptor. Many of the creams that people use all over their faces contain parabens. I think a lot of folks have heard of that. When polyethylene glycol is used, I can go on. But the point is that these are prevalent. If I said those are in your food that you are putting in your mouth, I think a lot of people would be like, Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute. Really? Especially health-conscious people. They are going to be—no, I am not. I am not going to put that in my mouth. Yet we freely feed it to our bodies, as you said, through our skin. Please make no mistake; most of what you apply has numbers. There is 60% plus, which is a figure that I have most recently heard of. What you apply to your skin goes into your body; it penetrates to the deeper levels of your skin at the very least. In many cases, it penetrates all the way to your bloodstream. When it goes into your bloodstream, the problem with many of these carcinogenic ingredients, these endocrine disrupting ingredients, and so forth, is that many of them have a long, long half life, which basically means they last a long time and they get stored in your body. Not all of them are water-soluble. Even those that are water-soluble are so overloaded that our body is having a hard time getting rid of them. But some of them get stored in the fat, and then they really start to harm you over time.
I have had many conversations with people over the years where I have said, Listen, there are great, great products out there. But try this. If you do not believe me, try this. Just do not use anything for two weeks. I know it is a little rough because women can be very religious about certain brands of products that they use and makeup, and nobody wants to smell bad with the deodorant thing. But, people who have for two weeks just not used anything all of a sudden, all of a sudden, quote unquote, around that a lot of issues that they called mystery symptoms where they never quite nail what was going on disappeared, things like sinus issues, dizziness, you can go on weird skin rashes and skin bumps, and many different things, all of a sudden they cleared up, and I am, well, bingo. Because now you basically detox your body by not giving it a ton of toxins. You stopped feeding it all this crap. I will pause there. But if you have a very good question.
Sharon Stills, ND
You bring up many good points. I think about the skin, and from a traditional Chinese medicine perspective, your Wei Qi, which is your protective system, your immune system, runs right there below your skin. Not only are you affecting the microbiome and the more tangible things, but you are also affecting the energetic systems. The skin has much information. I do computerized regulation thermography from Germany. I am using and taking temperature readings on the skin because there is a neuroreflex through the autonomic nervous system where the skin can report it to you and tell you the health of your organs. I like what you said. We just think it’s a piece of clothing now. We actually think it is this one organ. We cannot see our livers, but we can feel symptoms, deduce what is going on, and do testing. But our skin is saying, Hello, I am here, and it is giving you feedback. Instead of wanting to suppress that feedback, we need to look at it. Why is my skin dry? Why is my lymph not moving? Why am I getting puffy? What’s going on? It is just that we do not think about it as much. You are making me really think about it right now. But with our skin, it is the same. We talk about not suppressing symptoms and listening to symptoms, and we need to start listening to our skin, being kinder, and the things you are saying about what is in it.
You made me think about how you see the guy with the pesticides coming, and, as I am always aware, you are not spraying anywhere near me or my property. But where I live, someone came to spray, and I was like, Oh, no, no, no, no. You are not doing that. You can just move along. He said, No, no, it is totally fine. I am. No, we do not do that around here. He’s saying, No, it is not dangerous. I am. Says who? When you think about not eating organic, I always say to my patients, If you were to go to the supermarket, it is very easy to go to all the non-organic; it looks pretty; the organic maybe is a little bruised; but if you were to go to the farm where they were spraying the pesticides, and then they were, let us have a picnic. Right. You’d probably be, No, thank you; I will pass. I do not need all the cross-bone chemicals in my body. But because we do not see it, because there is this disconnect, and because we are, as you said, and I totally agree, brainwashed, We think nothing of just saying, Well, it makes my skin softer, and it smells nice. We really need to step up and have more respect for our skin and our bodies. Because I can tell you, when I work with patients who have been given a cancer diagnosis, one of the first things I have to do is detox them and start taking away all the things that they have been putting in or being exposed to that contributed to that diagnosis. Why not start and prevent? It is a lot easier to prevent than to take it out, and really take this seriously. I always say to patients that if it is advertised on TV or in a commercial, do not even think about buying it; it is not going to be good for you.
I mean, that’s just pretty accurate, actually, on some good points, and then, of course, I mean, a lot of people probably right now are wondering, Well, what am I supposed to do? What am I supposed to do? I do not want to smell bad in my underarms. I do not want or love these wrinkles necessarily. I want to have lipstick on me, or whatever it may be. Again, I am going to go back and say that this cosmetic personal care products industry is where food was with consciousness as well as revolution maybe 20 years ago. That is where it is today. It is good news because the knowledge that I am sharing today, for example, is getting out there. There is increasing pushback. The industry is responding by creating a lot of junk that they position as good, but then there are actually some really good products out there. I do want to note that you should be careful. I will just say it straight about getting greenwashed. I mentioned, for example, that one of the many ingredients you want to be careful about is parabens, which is the latest craze. If I go look at cosmetics and personal care products that are paraben-free, I am okay; that’s greenwashing in most cases. What does greenwashing mean? These companies that create these products are well aware that people are becoming conscious of this, but instead of going through the full journey and what you can do, I am a testament to that because we do it.
But instead of going the full journey and creating truly safe, toxin-free products that will do the things you want them to do on their own, going a short distance is a part of the journey because it is expensive, a lot of work, and on and forth. What they are doing is basically grabbing your attention with something that feels good to you and hoping you do not turn the bottle around and look at the rest of the ingredients. But if you do, you will see that there are often ten, 20, 30, or 40 other ingredients in there that you still do not want to put in your body. You do not get greenwashed. They will say things contain organic ingredients. Food does this too. If this is a trick or unless it is truly independently certified organic by an independent organization, be super cautious because it contains organic ingredients. When you are looking at a moisturizer, for example, it often means it has two organic or three organic ingredients and, again, ten synthetic ones. They simply do not want you to think about or draw your attention to greenwashing. Be careful of that. People then say, All right, well, there are 1600 chemicals banned in Europe and elsewhere in over 40 countries; there are actually thousands, 80,000 chemicals out there that could be used. What can we possibly do? Nobody’s going to be able to. There is not, and I will say this first, a perfect solution, but there are very good solutions.
Solution number one: You can always make your own, but I realize not everybody is into that. But there is a growing movement and body of people out there who are showing you how to create your own. You fill in the blank, meaning your own moisturizers, your own toothpaste, your own deodorants, and your own this and that. Some of them look pretty darn good out there. The DIYers are the do-it-yourselfers, and they are where you choose and buy organic ingredients as the base and create them yourself. It is a growing movement because some of these things can actually work really well. Most people are not into that understanding of normal. We live again, as I started this whole conversation saying from my perspective, in a very good time, because increasingly, even in the big box stores now, there are USDA-certified organic versions of many, if not all, of our essential or not-essential cosmetics and personal care products. They are companies. Conscientious companies really care about this. I will be blunt. You are going to pay a few bucks more. You are paying more because of what is going into it. Truly toxin-free natural products, whether it is a deodorant, toothpaste, or Purity Woods, are our company’s case with skincare products. It is hard work, but it is worth it. I will put it this way: please patronize and look for USDA-certified organic cosmetics and personal care products. It does not have to be Purity Woods; it could be our competitors, and there are a small handful of them out there who are all doing it right. But please patronize those organizations.
Number one, that’s the closest thing you have when you see that independent certification that it does not contain any of these toxic chemicals and that even the natural ingredients used were grown organically, meaning not sprayed with pesticides, as you noted, herbicides, and so forth. In other words, the government does things well, and I do things poorly. I give them credit in this area. They decided, and this is interesting in telling, and I always found this interesting sharing, that USDA certified organic was originally and still is for food that we put in our mouths. Why is it that they decided to extend it only to cosmetics and personal care products? It is an acknowledgment that that is a form of food. It is, wow, the government. You got that one right. Impressive, actually, on that. look for you as if you are in the U.S. I must stress this. Look for USDA-certified organic. Other than the cosmetic and personal care products, Maybe there is even a harder thing to do with makeup, but they are out there, and some of them, I hear, are pretty good. You have got to do your homework. USDA-certified organics show up on Google in such phrases. Try them; patronize them.
Again, you can be sure because it used to be certified organic, which means zero toxins allowed. Technically, 95% or more of the ingredients have to be organic. The reason there is a 5% margin and a list of all acceptable ingredients beyond that is because many of them are minerals. Minerals, by their nature, are grown. They cannot be organic because they are minerals. But 95% plus must be pure and clean, and even the ingredients included must be grown organically, free of pesticides, herbicides, and so forth. There are equivalents since you’ve got people listening all over the world; they’re not quite as strict and stringent, but close. EquuSearch, which is in Europe and elsewhere, is pretty prominent. Then there are all the states that have pretty trustable and vigilant designations as well for organics. But if nothing else, You are here in the US; look for those USDA-certified organic products. It is kind of cheap to get past trying to hunt ingredients and say, Is that bad for me? Is that bad for me? You can be sure it is truly natural—not greenwashing or fake natural.
Sharon Stills, ND
We are going to all be Googling after this year. I am going to go because I have never heard the term greenwashing, but I am very familiar with that deceiving, deceitful way of doing it with food; they will say grass-fed beef, but it will be grass-finished. They know people know about grass-fed, but you can stretch the truth if you feed the cows some grass but also gave it all the antibiotics, grains, and stuff. Well, you do not have to, but you can lead by omission. That is why I love that term. Yes, it is totally happening. You see, gluten-free is a big thing in food, right? They put gluten-free on your yogurt, and, oh, this is healthy to eat. You are right—well, there was no gluten in there to begin with.
I would say.
Sharon Stills, ND
Metallic-free is a big one. That is true. You cannot just see one thing. They do it on cookware. They do it on everything. Google USDA-certified, or make up any other tips or solutions you’d like to share.
If you Google USDA-certified on the internet: make-up and cosmetics, if you Google USDA-certified for any anti-aging cream, for example, I would hope Purity Woods comes up. I do not even know. Yes, I really just want to remind you, and a couple of things actually come to mind. It is interesting because the name of our information organization is The Art of Anti-Aging. There is a little bit of tension with the word anti-aging. Well, in our sense, what it means is that Anti, the false myth that aging equals doom. In other words, it is really pro-aging because this is a time, as I mentioned at the start, to thrive. But there are also two camps developing where many people want to try to look younger, in the sense that they may be 52 and they want to look 22. There is something a little unhealthy about that because, at age 52, you can look your very best and be beautiful, handsome, or whatever at age 52. Then there is the other camp, which said all this nonsense about being against wrinkles and age spots. It is terrible. The truth is, there is actually something in between.
Let me explain this before we go, because this is really important. I will be blunt, and I will say that I did fathom to say, that most people today look considerably older than they ought to. That is good news. It is not bad. It is now the culprit. The reason I just spent time with you discussing one of the big culprits, which is all these toxins we are feeding our body, and then all the other usual suspects, is that your skin is an organ. You said it is pretty much a billboard, in a sense, for our health. All the other culprits that poor diets, the sad diets, the typical American diet, for example, lack of exercise, not drinking enough water, all the usual culprits that are causing health issues for us on other fronts, chronic diabetes, chronic cancer cases, etc., etc., etc. There are the same things to blame for the fact that most people look considerably older than they ought to. When you look in the mirror, you should not feel guilty for thinking, I do not want those wrinkles; I do not want older age spots, because you are right. In most cases, the beautiful thing is that when you reduce, it is just about continually reducing.
You do not have to get paranoid and throw every single product away; just keep moving toward reducing. But when you reduce this toxic exposure and when you take steps instead do the right things for your health, many of which you have certainly shared with people, a beautiful thing happens. I said that your skin is probably your largest organ and is also probably always check myself, but it is probably the fastest to respond positively to change. It is a beautiful thing. Because when you do, reduce, reduce, reduce all these toxic affronts to your health and well-being while you feed your body good stuff both through your mouth and through your skin and do other right things, the more right things you do, the skin is faster to responds positively than other organs in your body, typically. In other words, the brain is pretty fast too, but your skin quickly does start to look younger, and by younger, I mean as it is supposed to look. If you are 52, it starts to look quickly like a 52-year old skin you ought to looked. You are amazed at that thing. It is a beautiful thing. These toxins, they cause far worse things than just wrinkles and fine lines. But people are bothered by those aspects of things.
I wanted to address that. It is a wonderful thing. Reduce these toxics. Do not over worry this and throw everything out tomorrow. I have a little rule for people if they are going to take steps, and I can conclude with it. If you are going to take steps to reduce the cosmetics and personal care products in your life, that that they are causing damage. Again, if you are in the US, look for USDA-certified organic as much as possible. There are other worthwhile certificate issues out there. If you must take it step by step, think about the products you are using that sit on your skin all day or for a long period of time and start there because they are sitting on your body for a long time.They are feeding your body what is in them for a long time. I am not saying that shampoo is not something to be cautious of, but if it is a choice between a moisturizer or an aging cream and a deodorant versus a shampoo that you rub in and most of which you rub off, wash off, and some residue remains, you have to choose one or the other because of your budget. Choose the one that is sitting on your skin all day or all night. Make the change there first. Make the change under your arm first, because it has been sitting there in a very sensitive spot all day. Sometimes all night, choose those first. It is kind of common sense in that sense. But of course, we need to draw awareness to make things, or common sense, apparent to us. That’s the little rule I have for people on that.
Sharon Stills, ND
That is great advice and really helpful; it does not become overwhelming. Yes, I am going to echo the statement that you cannot be putting antiperspirants with aluminum and toxins. That is one of the biggest issues I see when I run thermography scans, and women have issues with their breasts. It is always in the lymph. We’ve always got to clean out and move that area. I just want to appreciate what you said because I was just having this conversation with a friend the other day. I am 55, and my hair is red. My hair is going blond. We do not really go gray. We were blond at first. I was saying, I have always looked younger than my age. I was saying, I notice lately that when I tell people I have grandbabies, they are not as shocked as they used to be. Or when I would tell people I had kids, they would always think my kids were my brothers or my husband if I was alone with one of them. I said, It is just something I have always been used to, and I am stepping into it because, as you said, I am 55 and I own that, and I am glad my hair is changing colors. I have earned that. I have earned the gray, the smile lines, the laugh lines, and my wrinkles. I have overcome a lot. It really is. It is a mindset. You have to change with that. Okay, maybe I do look like a grandma now, and that’s okay. Being a grandma is my favorite thing in the world. I think for you ladies listening, you really have to get real with yourself and see what is really going on. If you look in the mirror and it is ruining your day and ruining everything, you probably want to explore what is underneath that.
But also take some natural steps to alleviate it. You have to see. What do you feel good about? What do you do? Yes, heck, I earned this, and it is different for everyone, but it is something I am glad you brought up because it is just a conversation we need to start having internally, first of all, and then we can have it outwardly with our friends, our partners, and so forth. But it is something to start thinking about because I started saying I practice pro-aging medicine, and I love what you said because it is anti-aging about the way we think about aging. I am very against that. I love that you defined that. We really are all, and if you are listening and you are human, you are getting older. That is inevitable. When can you come to this peace within yourself that this is just the human condition and we are all marching that way? How are we going to march there? What’s our mindset going to be? How are we going to embrace it? Because it truly is a privilege to age. Not everyone gets that honor. How are we going to fill our days and times, and how are we going to be present with the beauty, the knowledge, and the wisdom we have? Who cares if my hair is blond or fire engine red the way it used to be?
I am me. I have all my experience and knowledge, and that is what I am grateful for. Thank you for bringing that up. I hope this opens up for everyone listening. Just a window to contemplate, journal, meditate on, or start discussing and thinking about because that is part of the conversation I want to have about change and the experience of aging. There is nothing wrong with aging. It is inevitable. Let us rock it while we are doing it. Where can people learn more about you and your Purity Woods, which I was telling Brian before he came live? He sent me samples graciously, and I said how much I loved them and how I had a little bit of congestion under my eyes. The ice cream is just magical. Where can people find out more?
Yes, well, I would like to take full credit for how amazing you look, but I will take a little credit and go out there. Yes. We get that feedback for the Age-Defying Eye Cream and the Age-Defying Dream Cream. It really does tend to work wonders around; everyone’s got different bio, chemistry, etc., but it really does work fast with round eyes. I hear a lot. Anyway, thank you for asking that question. The answer is puritywoods.com. Simple as that. We do not have 40 different products; instead, we have five or six that are really the best products because I am passionate about them, as you can see. I mean, I am. I geek out on this, and you can tell I can talk with you for probably an hour or two and a half hours here. I geek out on why it is important to try to leave out of our bodies a lot of the toxins we talked about, including a lot of the emotional and mental toxins that we have already covered here and there. I get out and see what really works best for putting into your body. When you go to Purity Woods and check out the Age-Defying Eye Cream, you will see very cool and different ingredients than you are probably used to, even in natural products. That is not just to be cool.
That is because they work. I mean, again, I have been studying this stuff for ever. I brought up red meat and maple leaf extracts, for example. That is the Age-Defying Dream Cream. Second, I’ll just talk all day with you. But I will say will by saying something very specific for people. There are multiple aspects, but really three: you want a heavy-duty focus on making sure any product, if you are trying to eliminate wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots, you want to make sure that you got real, I mean, truly natural ingredients that help your collagen, the other protein called elastin, which does not get the attention it deserves. Actually, if I were going to choose one, that would be the one. But we do not have to choose one. But collagen and elastin, what a lot of people are familiar with, which are hydration and moisture, hit those three areas, and you are going to do a lot for your skin. The Age-Defying Dream Cream and the Age-Defying Night Cream are all about me and the very cool ingredients that do that, including red maple leaf extracts, of which I told you I have seen nothing out there. I go down to the chemistry level, and nothing out of that contains such powerful compounds for the elastin. In our next discussion, I can geek out for another hour and have a couple ingredients, but I won’t
Sharon Stills, ND
I would love that. Well, thank you. Thank you. Thank you for being here. Your passion is infectious, and I love it. just really, really important topics. I am just pleased to know you, and I thank you for all the amazing work you do in the world. I told you this was going to be a good conversation, ladies. There are so many little nuggets that if you were not taking notes, I highly recommend listening again and going back and taking notes. By sharing this information, you may not have all your friends, colleagues, or family members listening to the summit with you, but start talking to them about this. We need to change and open up the conversation. This is one that is not being had enough. I appreciate you being here for the conversation and helping to spread the word.