This week we are diving into a very important topic that is at the heart of our company, Why Clean Beauty? Well, we sat down with Jen Wojtaszek — the Founder & Chief Innovator of Spoil Me Beautiful — who dishes on what inspired her to start this amazing clean beauty brand. At Spoil Me Beautiful we are passionate about the health of our customers and the future and health of our beautiful planet.
It is very concerning most large corporations do not take our health into consideration when they are manufacturing skin care and cosmetic products. Many only care about making a profit. Most makeup and beauty products in the marketplace are riddled with toxic chemicals. Just check out the ingredients list on your face cream, shampoo, body wash, deodorant and makeup. It is scary to see what we have been putting on our bodies everyday. We put a lot of trust in these companies and it is a hard pill to swallow to realize most do not care about the long term negative effects their products can have on our health. Many companies are knowingly poisoning consumers for profit. We need to educate ourselves and become advocates for our own health, buying only from ethical companies that offer natural non-toxic products.
These are the three key benefits of clean beauty products: 1. Social and Environmental Responsibility Modern consumers have a growing global consciousness, and many care deeply about social and environmental responsibility. One of the main benefits of sustainable products is their kinder environmental impact. Every week, new stories surface about dangerous carbon outputs or vast beds of plastic floating in the ocean. Many petrochemicals in conventional cosmetics are toxic pollutants and degrade the environment as well as our bodies. As we become more ecologically aware, consumers demand natural, non-polluting products.
Something that most clean beauty brands are also conscious of is the labour involved in harvesting and processing of raw ingredients. What are the working conditions like? How are workers treated by their employers? Are all their rights being met in the work place? Are the of legal working age? These are important details that socially responsible companies take under consideration and in turn deems a product as ethical.
2. Increased Effectiveness Natural and oleochemical ingredients are less likely to cause skin irritation or allergic reactions. Without synthetic, toxic chemicals or artificial colors, clean beauty products rely on the healing properties found naturally in plants and animals — the ingredients humans have been using for centuries. The definition of clean beauty is having clean ingredients which are healthy for your body. An oleochemical that has all the power of synthetic chemicals without any of the toxicity.
3. Long-Term Health While petrochemicals may deliver short-term results, the long-term effects can be highly toxic to humans and the environment. Years of synthetic cosmetics use has been traced to headaches, eye damage, acne, hormonal imbalance, premature aging even cancerous tumours. What's the point of eating a healthy diet but slathering toxic chemicals on your skin that will be absorbed into your blood stream affecting all kinds of processes.
We sat down with our Founder: Jen Wojtaszek to ask her about all things clean beauty and why it's a pillar for Spoil Me Beautiful.
1. When did you become more conscious about what you were putting on your skin and how did that inspire you to start Spoil Me Beautiful?
JEN: To be honest, it wasn't until my mid-twenty's that I really started to look in depth at what self care products I was using. It was actually influenced from getting into health and fitness and becoming more aware of what food I was consuming. When you delve into reading food labels you start realizing how much unnecessary junk is added in there! It made me want to look into the ingredient labels in my skincare and makeup products too and then my bioscience background got me going down a black hole of research which I'm grateful for falling into. While floating through this research black hole, I quickly realized all the efforts I had spent on being health conscious, was being wasted by the countless toxic ingredients hiding in the beauty products I used daily. There were things in there such as butyl, methyl and propyl parabens, synthetic dyes and fragrances - all being studied for being carcinogenic. I had read that women on average consume 3.7 pounds of lip products in their lifetime, and many of the toxic ingredients found in lip products were also being found in breast cancer tumours! That's what really got me to start exploring making my own lip products because its the only beauty product we physically consume throughout the day, everyday...
2. Why do you think some beauty brands use these 'toxic' ingredients and why do you think clean beauty products gained popularity more recently?
JEN: Well many of these unhealthy ingredients are actually cheaper to use in the production of beauty products. It was crazy to me that many of these expensive, luxury beauty products that I was buying looked so beautiful in their outside packaging, but this was just a mask for the toxic, unnatural chemicals they were harbouring on the inside. When I wanted to make a switch to beauty products with cleaner ingredients I found that there weren't many options out there at the time. They just weren't as appealing. There were very limited colours of makeup with natural pigmentation and they also were branded in very plain or 'granola' looking packaging.
I think clean beauty has gained traction over the years for many reasons, firstly because we are more health conscious than ever. You shouldn't have to compromise health for beauty; you can have a product that works and is actually good for you. But also, plant-based technology has come a very long way! Plant derived ingredients are not only as effective as conventional product but they are more sustainable. So not only are we able to do something good for ourselves but for our environment too.
"We should feel good about using products that we purchased and feel confident that they are safe for us and our families to enjoy" — Jen W. the Founder & Chief Innovator of Spoil Me Beautiful
3. Can you tell us a little about your previous work in sustainability?
JEN: My formal educational background was in biological and environmental sciences. Since graduating, I spent over 10 years advising, developing and managing environmental, sustainability and corporate social responsibility initiatives for global corporate clients in various sectors ranging from start-up to billions in annual spending. I specialized in optimizing projects using sustainability initiatives and positive community partnerships - this way I was able to deliver beneficial economic outcomes for my international clients, while staying true to my core principles. These experiences allowed me to also consult various brands from restaurants to cosmetics on ways they can take responsibility and contribute to change for the greater good. In 2020 I also co-founded a sustainable plant-based cheese company of which I am currently President. Amazingly, it was acquired in 2021 in a transaction valued over $5 million by a public grocery chain! I see spreading the mission of sustainability throughout various industries in my future.
4. Why is it important to build a sustainable beauty company and how does Spoil Me Beautiful integrate this?
JEN: Politics, religion, race - nothing else matters if we do not have a healthy planet to reside on. We have been made aware that our atmosphere, oceans and rainforests are suffering. All our actions on this planet, as an individual and more importantly as a company, are linked and affect the lives on this planet. The beauty industry has played a role in attributing to our environmental crisis with its heavy use of petroleum products, water consumption, non-recyclable materials, animal ingredients, etc. It's overdue for a change. Sustainability is one of my largest passions and a pillar of our brand. Our approach to sustainable beauty is to utilize plant-based technologies that are ethically harvested, manufactured and packaged. We also give back by donating a percentage of profits to organizations that aid in the rehabilitation of animals that have been victims of cruelty.
5. What is your vision for the future? Do you hope that more companies will follow in your footsteps?
JEN: My vision is that the beauty industry steps away from using conventional toxic chemical ingredients and that healthy products become the norm. My goal is to help inspire a change by questioning the way we are use to doing things in this industry. Consumers must realize that their purchases are equivalent to voting. We are voting on our health and the health of our environment with every purchase we make. If we work together, we will make a difference!
Yes, I hope that one day healthy beauty companies will become the norm and I see that we are heading in that direction. I truly hope that 'greenwashing' is weeded out and that large conventional beauty companies will use their power and resources for the good of humanity and the planet. We should feel good about using products that we purchased and feel confident that they are safe for us and our families to enjoy. This is really a minimal ask!
Thank you Jen for sharing your insights and knowledge, I can see how passionate you are about helping people and our environment. You truly are leading by example and have created a very special company. The world needs more people like you!
If you are interested to go deeper into learning about the hidden secrets of the beauty industry this documentary “Toxic Beauty” is extremely eye opening.
"Toxic Beauty" reveals the truth about harmful health consequences of chemicals found in everyday cosmetic and beauty products, the huge corporations that knowingly use them and the lack of governmental regulations to protect consumers. Each morning we spritz and slather ourselves in over 100 different chemicals – yet the cosmetics and personal care industry in North America is not required to prove an ingredient is safe for human health before it is on the shelves. So when we run a bath, lather cream for a shave, carefully apply our makeup or deodorize our underarms, we could be exposing our bodies to myriad toxic chemicals. Hormonal disruption in baby boys, developmental delays, ADHD, low sperm count in men – the cosmetic industry isn’t pretty. "Toxic Beauty" is a documentary feature that follows the class action lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and the plaintiffs; women fighting for justice in a race against time. Directed by Phyllis Ellis
Toxic Beauty Trailer link on YouTube
Watch the full movie here: https://geni.us/ToxicBeauty
To change our course, to make a real difference in the world, we need to adopt a new mindset. One similar to that which is expressed in the following:
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” — Mother Theresa
Whatever you choose to do in your day to day life has an outsized impact in humanity’s fight against climate change. Your actions not only determine how many GHGs you physically put in the atmosphere, but also, perhaps more importantly, your words and actions influence others. The products you buy and the companies you support do make a difference. Like Jen said, it's like a vote.
You can choose to be a part of the solution or do nothing and be a part of the problem. Unfortunately, those are the only two options. You have to pick one or the other because doing nothing is a decision in itself.
Your actions do matter.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
By Valerie Maltman & Jen Wojtaszek • April 15, 2021