Do you know if your skincare products are toxic or not? A product can be all-natural and still be harmful to you. If a lotion had a main ingredient of poison oak, it would certainly be “natural,” but you wouldn’t want to rub it all over yourself!
You’re working so hard to be careful about what you eat and drink, but you may not be aware that what you put on your skin can be just as important!
Because of labeling ambiguities for potentially toxic ingredients, plus the fact that we absolutely absorb chemicals into our bloodstream right through our skin, it is essential to know the whole 360 degree perspective of the skin care products you are using.
Our guest in this episode, Debbi Burnes, has written the book The Beauty Geek’s Guide to Skin Care that lists every skin care ingredient you can imagine and then some. Another resource Debbi shared is to send Sumbody an email with a product’s ingredients, and they will give you a “Good-Better-Best” rating for each to help you decide what to use and keep.
Debbi Burnes is a celebrity aesthetician who is the CEO and Co-Founder of Sumbody Skin Care Line. Debbi is regularly highlighted on TV (The Tyra Banks Show, Access Hollywood, and NBC’s Wine Country Living) and in print media, such as In Style, Lucky, Organic Style, W, and O, The Oprah Magazine.
We talk about:
- How Toxic Most Over The Counter Beauty Products Are
- Toxic Ingredients To Avoid
- An Insider View Of Cosmetics
- What To Avoid In Shampoos, Deodorants, And Soaps
- What To Look For When Buying Skincare Products
I’m so proud to announce that we now carry the Sumbody skin care line of products in my Wealthy Wellthy store! Click here to learn more, and save 10% off your first order with the coupon code FIRST10
Enjoy This Conversation With Debbi Burnes!
This transcription was made by using Otter.ai so it is not 100% accurate.
Krisstina Wise [0:00]
Hi, welcome back. Do you know if your skincare products are toxic or not? Did you know A product can be all natural and still be harmful to you. In this episode I interviewed Deborah burns Deborah is a celebrity aesthetician and is regularly highlighted on TV. The Tyra Banks show Access Hollywood and NBC is wine, country living and magazines including instyle, Lucky organic style W and o the Oprah Magazine. She’s the author of the beauty geeks guide to skincare that lists and explains every skincare ingredient you can imagine the good, the bad, the ugly. She’s also the founder of the somebody’s skincare line, somebody or beauty products that truly are all natural and non toxic. Promoting the natural beauty that comes from wellness within, we talk about how toxic most over the counter breathe beauty products are even those who claim otherwise, she gives a long list of tech toxic ingredients to look for and to avoid. She gives an insider view of cosmetics and how toxic most makeup is. And she gives the lowdown on the IQ and lists shampoos, deodorants and soaps and how to and what to replace them with. After interviewing Deborah, I switched my skincare line to somebody, if you’d like to do the same. Click the link in the show notes to check it out. Please enjoy my conversation with Deborah burns. Debbie, it’s so much fun to have you on the wealthy, wealthy podcast. Thank you for being here.
Debbi Burnes [1:18]
So excited to be here.
Krisstina Wise [1:20]
Well, I am really thrilled to have this conversation. And first of all, I want to say thank you your products are amazing. So get some cleanser here and this mask I haven’t tried yet. And some nice moisturizer and the some other moisturizer. Anyway, such good stuff. So thank you. And I’ve been looking for the reason why I’m excited about this is I’ve been really looking for a long time to find a really good skincare line that is toxic free. And it’s pretty hard these days. Because even you know, those that I found even claimed to be somewhat clean really aren’t. So what I’d love for you to do to introduce yourself to everybody listening, and then really what was the inspiration between behind creating somebody?
Debbi Burnes [2:12]
Yeah, before I introduce myself, I just have to say how you said one of the most important things in this industry, my stance has never been natural or all natural. Is it toxic free. And that’s a very important and very relevant piece of information. So we can talk about that later. But I just wanted to highlight it. So I’ve been in the industry for longer. Oh my gosh, for over we’ve had somebody for over 20 years, I had a background in chemistry and in herbal studies and medicinal studies. And I actually was a model. So I spent a lot of time in front of the camera. And as I aged, I had worked for Salvador Dali for many, many years, exclusively. And I thought I would be in modeling. But as I as I as I grew up, I didn’t grow and at that time to be a fashion model, you needed to be extremely tall, which I am not I went to cosmetology school never because I thought I would do anything with skin or hair nails. But because I absolutely was always curious, like, what are they doing to me? What are they doing to my hair. And it was there that I had that aha moment where I absolutely was infatuated and fell in love with skin. And my passion for skin has never waned. It’s just the most amazing thing. It literally is the protective layer covering your entire body. It’s our first line of defense against disease it so many diseases actually present themselves on our skin. And it really also interfaces with our emotions and how we feel about ourselves and how we judge each other. And so I just love skin. I’m so passionate about skin, I immediately started a practice and I was in Los Angeles at the time. So I’m originally from New York, moved to Los Angeles, the worst networker, but I ended up having a very large celebrity clientele. No, no, no magic of my own. And, and I wasn’t getting quite the results that I wanted. So I started formulating and making my own products with my background. And all of a sudden we just started seeing these dramatic results. And all these years later, I still have the same celebrity clients when you do something right and you make someone’s skin look good. And that’s what they have to do for living. They stick with it. So it was at that time I never thought of opening a brand with their encouragement, other encouragement. You know, I looked around on the market and I looked for all these places where I thought a non toxic brand would be you know health food stores, and all that Just it didn’t exist, it just did not exist. We’re going back 21 years ago, there was no such thing as an independent brand. There was nothing that was really non toxic. We did have Burt’s Bees, their ingredients were absolutely pure and clean, but they basically just did a lip balm at that time. And we had elita, one of my favorite brands, and they are pure and clean. But there just weren’t really any options. There just wasn’t again, a lot out there. So I did start this brand. We at because there was no such thing as an indie brand, we didn’t even have an option to have somebody else manufacture it. So we started manufacturing, our ingredients in house, we are the only brand that has what we call the full 360 perspectives. So that means that, you know, we manufacture all of our products, no one else does they go to, they go to outside companies. Because of that. They’re not aware of the practices, the ingredients, all of that good kind of stuff, we source each and every ingredient. So I can literally introduce you to the goats, where goat milk comes from, or show you the plot of land where we get our palm oil from and why we’ve chosen with the deforestation to continue to use palm oil and what they’re doing to re plant and reforest and reboring habitat. And so we intimately know every ingredient, we manufacture all of our products. I am a trained esthetician, so I still see skin, I know how things react on skin, and I’m the cosmetic formulator behind the brand. So having that complete 360 really makes our product stand out. We sometimes we see things in the lab, and they’re like amazing. And we put it on skin and skin. It’s like ah, or vice versa, we see something the lab and it goes that looks promising. And then we put it on skin and skin is like Yes, I love it. So having that complete combination is really important. Most people are hiring an outside chemist. And so back to your question. They don’t know if it’s natural or not. The chemist says, Oh, this comes from coconut. And while that sounds great, we can take coconut and we can pull it apart molecularly. Structurally and put it back together and literally have nothing that resembles coconut we can make a toxic ingredient out of it. So for someone who’s not trained and doesn’t understand, that sounds fantastic. I had this lovely young woman who started a vegan brand and was like your first book 20 years ago got me excited and wanted me to be in this industry. Would you look at my brand. And I was like where does your steric acid come from? Like co Packer? Right, but like, where does it come from my co Packer. Okay, what’s the source of it. So when we finally got down to it, and I called her co Packer for it, it wasn’t vegan, and she had no idea that stair casting could come from animal or plant. So really the amount of knowledge and the breadth of information you need to have a quality, sustainable, ethical, you know, non toxic product is much more and we just have so many people popping up who are like, I’m a mom, you know, I’m concerned about chemicals, or I’m a farmer or I’m a chemist. And it’s that whole package that you need to be able to get these products effective and non toxic and do the job that you want them to do. And I think you know, we aren’t beholden on a co Packer gives you a list of ingredients you can use. And then it’s just marketing different brands or marketing them in different ways where we can literally purchase any ingredient we want in any quantity we want. So every single product we put out is high octane value going to do the job that we set it out to do. We are not beholden by any pre existing list, we literally get to buy each and every ingredient, we want to make a difference for your skin. So all of these things make somebody stand out and having me you know as well. I’ve also been the keynote speaker more times than anyone at the Society of cosmetic chemists on what does it mean to be natural? Where is this industry going things of that nature. I’ve written three books on the topic. I have one that is for di wires. So if you want to make your own stuff at home, I want to encourage you to but I want it to come from a cosmetic chemist so we’re not making crazy things at home. We’re making things that are effective. And my first book was like the Omnivore’s Dilemma of the beauty industry. It was a sneak peek of everything we know. You know so that that you have an insight to what you’re putting on your skin and your body because literally being your largest organ, what you put on here
affects here, my phone magnet just fell off. Let’s see if we can fix this. What you put on your skin absolutely affects your overall health. So, you know this becomes extremely important as we look at our health and we start to care more about it. Get that Karen bearskin is part of our whole overall wellness program. So I yeah, so I think that’s probably enough about me and the brand.
Krisstina Wise [10:11]
I love it. Well, and you say so many things that are important there that even some of these may be smaller homemade brands that are closer to home, we may think they’re healthy, but they may not just because the intention behind the product is pure, but maybe there’s not enough, just like to your point to use wrong co Packer or something is, is really diluting the efficacy or just the safety or, or how clean it really is, without knowing
Debbi Burnes [10:43]
whether or not they know steric acid could come from animal or vegetable or you know what is good, what is toxic, but there’s just so much and, you know, I have yet to meet someone who hasn’t had integrity, who started one of these small, independent beauty brands, I think everybody comes with a really sincere heart. And they really bring their motivation to the table, whether it be some people who have survived cancer someone in their family has, and now they’re understanding the toxic ingredients in skincare, or they have children, and they’re concerned about what they’re putting on. Or they were a model and they just love the beauty field, or they’re a chemist, or they’re an aesthetician, so all of those pieces are important. But you need the complete picture to really understand, you know, I kind of liken it to if you have children, and you you know are away from them for six months, and all of a sudden, they come back and they’re a new creature, and you don’t know all their little habits and you don’t know what they’re, you know, especially a little one, you said, what you’re walking, you’re doing like all these little milestones you miss and you’re not part of and you don’t know, because you’re not in the trenches. And so this is something where you really need to be in the trenches, and you need to have, Oh, my gosh, I cannot believe my magnet is not working. So we’re gonna just go with this because the universe is giving it to us. So you know, you really need to be in the trenches. And we’ve had some tape handy in the trenches and know all of these individual components in order to really be able to make that final product. That is that encompasses all this because it encompasses chemistry and company’s skin. From an aesthetician standpoint, it encompasses, you know, sourcing, it encompasses all of these different, you know, components. So the last book that I wrote, was kind of really helping people in the industry, and then consumers and it’s become the Bible. And this was like, what my publisher came to me, I said, Absolutely not, I am not writing this book, find someone else to write it. It’s just too much. And so they came back three weeks later and said, but everybody we asked in the industry said, you got to get Deborah burns to write this book. And I was like, Well tell them to find a second, a second backup player because I’m not doing it. But then I started hearing from so many people and that young woman who started her vegan brand, who again, so much integrity and was heartbroken when she found out her product wasn’t vegan. I was like, Alright, I’ve got to do it. So this is literally 1000 essential definitions of common ingredients in skincare. So really breaks it down for you. So you know, what you’re putting on your skin. I’m a big believer in not being judgmental. So the book isn’t, you know, you should use this, you shouldn’t use this, again, if somebody wants to smoke cigarettes, they’re an adult, I’m not going to judge them if they I just want them to have all the information of what smoking cigarettes can do. And as long as they’re armed with that information, I trust them to make a decision that works in their life. So my whole platform has been arming people to be able to make informed decisions that fit within the context of their life and their, their willingness to, you know, include or not include toxic chemicals because the beauty industry has had backdoor access to our health for way too many years. And you know it has these chemicals are going in our bloodstream that transdermal penetration has already been proven through urine tests and biopsies, and all different things where we’ve seen these ingredients and we know they have transdermal penetration. So now the question is, what do you feel comfortable with? And if you don’t have the information, how do you know what you feel comfortable with? Again, it’s that backdoor access to our health. So you know all of my books have been really educating and teaching in some aspect. You know what we know So non judgmental not, don’t use this do use this just what is the scientific evidence? We know, you know, where does this come from? And what is the toxicity level so that you get to make your own choice? And I think it’s really?
Krisstina Wise [15:15]
Yeah, that’s so awesome. And we’ll put a link in the show notes to your books for those that really want to delve into this and become really knowledgeable. What would you say if you were to pick out maybe a handful of these very, let’s say toxic ingredients that we’re not aware of that are in a good, you know, maybe in the majority of a lot of these over the counter skincare products, because I know, what I used to believe is that if I went to Nordstrom and bought something, it must be really healthy, right. And it must be very effective if I’m paying these types of price tags. And I’m getting it from like these types of stores. And what I found after, you know, I got so sick from toxicity, you had to become very clean and aware of clean products for my own health, and had to change everything. I mean, I was just blown away by learning what was in these different products I’ve been using and then to your point learning that, oh, my skin’s my number one or organ and then to learning that as opposed to things with our gi where we really have this detoxification system built in if we eat bad food, there’s nothing I just this stuff can go straight to our bloodstream transdermal aid just the chemicals just go straight in without any type of filter system. So I was blown away to learn these things thinking never even considering for a moment that I was really just hurting my body you know even buy lotions just not even just face and skin, you know face care skincare, but just the lotions and the perfumes and the shampoos. I mean, it’s like oh my god. So anyway, can you share with us a little bit? Like what are some of the what are some ingredients that one could be listening here look at their products at home and be like, Oh my gosh, all right, I might need to do a little clean house.
Debbi Burnes [17:01]
Yeah, so one of the things I suggest is I’m a big believer in like my first book, I coined a phrase that I call the 85 15% lifestyle so 85% of the time, I live a very healthy life and always have so you know, I eat clean foods, I you know, try to have clean emotions, you know, deal with my, my, my physical self, you know, Workout, all of that. And 15% of the time I have my version of vitamin j or junk. So you know, I do eat french fries. Occasionally, I’ll have my glutinous pizza every once in a while. You know, you’ll see me sometimes wearing nail polish, it is our nail polish, which is 10 free, which is as natural as nail polish can get but it’s still toxic.
And I mean any nail polishes, right? So, you know, I think it’s important when we look at like what products you should keep and what you should eliminate, I’m just going to keep pressing my phone so it doesn’t fall again. So you know, I think it’s really important that we look at like coverage, and, you know, and and how much exposure we’re getting from it. So if you think of what you mentioned a lotion, you’re putting that all over your body, that’s a large coverage area, if you’re looking at a bath salt, or a bubble bath or something, you’re soaking in that for a period of time, that’s going to have a lot more toxicity, and passageway and a lotion as opposed to if you were a little bit of an eye shadow that is unnatural. So I suggested everybody find their own at 515. Maybe you’re at 20 maybe you’re 5050 But whatever it is, I think we need to design our lives, what works for us and what fits into our lifestyle and then when saying that and we’re looking at what we want to change how we want to create our overall you know, personal care system. If there’s some things you feel like you can’t live without, let’s look at him in terms of least exposure to most exposure. So least exposure would be a little bit of an eye shadow or a little bit of a blush. I would switch this out if you have any breakouts or anything like that on your skin and most exposure would be things you’re applying all over soaking in and things of that nature. The other thing I want to bring up is even if you don’t care about exposure to toxins or chemicals, these very products that you’re spending $100 for nordstroms $200 that are filled with all these chemicals are actually counterproductive for skin health. So you’re paying $200 for your favorite anti aging cream and guess what it’s doing it’s aging your skin. You’re paying all this money to clear your mask me right now and guess what it’s doing it’s aggravating your skin. So from just a standpoint of having youthful, beautiful skin, you want to live these toxins from your skincare routine and you will absolutely I mean, I think one of the reasons I had such a huge following so fast is people got results. And they started saying I was psychic and a guru and the skin master and all of this stuff. And I was like, I’ll take it. But you know, 90% of this is really knowing what ingredients to put in a product. The other 10% is my little magic. But you know, really, when you pull the toxins out, and you have the proper formulations, and you know how to formulate, that does a lot of the work for you. So just by changing and getting toxins out, you’re gonna see a huge difference. The other piece of that is what you use. So most soaps are actually detergent, and they’re just drying out your skin. And without spending a whole hour on soap, which I could, I’ll just tell you before World War Two, all soap was made in this old fashioned kettle method. And it was really great handmade soap and they realized they could extract all the glycerides out and what was left was a detergent bar and sell the glycerides off to the weapons industry. Now that doesn’t mean that glycerides impure glycerin soap is good for you because it’s not what you see in the stores goes through an ethyl alcohol process and it’s just trust me on don’t use glycerin so so you want to look for an old fashioned super fat ID, you know your kettle method bar of soap, I always say our soaps are $6 a bar, I think it is the best beauty bargain you will ever buy. If you wash your body and that soap, you will use less lotion, you will need less. So it just makes a huge difference. So it’s not only the ingredients, but it’s also what you use where how you use it. And using less is always my goal for everybody. So as far as like some of the common ingredients, we hear a lot about para pins and preservatives. And what’s interesting to me is they’re actually in there at the very lowest percentage of anything else in your whole formulation. So they’re in they’re very small, and they do do their job. We do need preservatives. We don’t know that parabens cause breast cancer, but we do know that it has been found in breast tumors and we need to do more research. So my, my thought is always the opposite of how our judicial system works was let’s prove let’s keep it guilty until we prove it innocent, because why would we have an unproven ingredient used on our body until we know and we have the scientific evidence and studies and research to know that it’s safe to use. So we hear a lot about preservatives. And one thing that people need to be very careful of is that just because they pulled a pair of pins out and it’s become a big marketing ploy pair pin free pair pin free, you can put something like phenoxyethanol in there, which is actually a cousin to the paraffin and, you know, equally as toxic because there’s no parabens in there. I feel safe. This is great. So we really need to be able to understand all of the kind of greenwashing that happens in this industry. And how do we identify? You know, what do we look for in a preservative? How do we know if it’s natural or not? Well, there’s another trick we have with preservatives to make can put an essential oil in there, or we can put a floral water in there. And that can be preserved with
with a pair of pin and now we don’t need to list the paraffin on the ingredients, but it’s actually preserving our product because it’s in the flora water. So if there’s no preservation system in a product, it would really make me skeptical of where is this preservation coming from. Anytime you have water in a project, it’s gonna grow and you’ve got to preserve it. So preservatives can be hidden in other ingredients. preservatives can be you know, equally as bad as parabens which we don’t even know if they’re bad. We just need more evidence and more Davina more scientific studies. So just don’t be fooled by something that doesn’t have anything in there preserving it and something that says periban free. So I think you know, claims like that are very misleading. And there’s other things where people are like, okay, like, I don’t want formaldehyde in my products like I’m not feeling you know, comfortable with formaldehyde, I get that that’s a bad ingredient and I’m going to stay away from formaldehyde. But what they don’t understand is we have things called formaldehyde donors. So what that means is you’re not going to see formaldehyde on the label, you’re going to see something like you’re like a propylene glycol. And what it does is it doesn’t propylene glycol isn’t one but but what What it does is it actually, it actually is a is a formaldehyde donor, which means it cooks it off gases, the formaldehyde, for lack of a, you know, whole explanation and the formaldehyde is in your product, but it’s not on your label. And then we have things like propylene glycol, which is actually antifreeze and used to clean tanks of, you know, vehicles in the army. I mean, this is really strong stuff, it’s been outlawed in other, you know, countries from being used in, in skincare. And it’s also what we call a penetration enhancer. So what that means is it takes all the other chemicals in that product, and helps give them a more viable transdermal penetration. So goes in, in a higher concentration, and it just gives it more access, you know, to, to penetration. So we need to look for penetration enhancers, and what you know, what does that mean? There’s all these other things about ingredients that are kind of more in the background than just the common, you know, and I think the biggest thing is get intimate with your label, I did this class in, I consult for many doctors, many big celebrity doctors, you’d know. And I did a huge class in New York, before the shut down. And you know, one of the women was like, I’ve been so moved by your books, and I’ve been so moved by you know, I’ve been following you and I love everything you know about your your products, and I’ve been using them. And I haven’t switched my makeup yet. And I’m going to go home and I’m going to throw up all my makeup. And I’m going to go by and I don’t want to say the name of the brand, because it’s a beautiful makeup brand, but it’s definitely not non toxic. And I after this whole lecture about getting intimate with your labels and not being fooled by what the front of the label says that’s where they sell you not tell you. So that’s where they say all natural periban free. Those are the sales ploys that get you excited, the truth is on the back of the label, that’s where the truth is in that ingredient list. I was like, well, don’t forget, get intimate with your ingredients, read that list, you shouldn’t need to be a chemist to understand what’s in your products. So I think really getting intimate and building a relationship, just the same type of intimacy A lot of people have made with food, you know, at first, we didn’t understand what, you know, good fats, bad fats, you know, we’ll all you know, be intimate because it’s really more toxic soaking in a toxic bubble bath soup. For you know, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 45 minutes, however long you paid for then eating a non organic apple. So really, you know, build this relationship with what you’re putting on your body?
Krisstina Wise [27:52]
Absolutely. Well, let’s still let’s delve into just a few things here. One question I have to start with is can one get clean products at their local Walgreens? I mean is there is this meaning? Do some research find really natural clean products like yours and then it would be that type of relationship with your products as opposed to the convenience of Oh yeah, I’m just putting find something that says it’s all natural off the whole foods or Walgreens or CVS shelves.
Debbi Burnes [28:29]
So my first book called Live great live green in the back, I did, and I need to update this list called good better best list. And I list products and brands good was mean they had, you know, some toxic ingredients. But you know, it was good, better obviously meant it was better, they have less toxic ingredients. And best was like the cleanest invest you can buy. This was now oh my gosh, my daughter was just going off to Stanford, and she’s a doctor now. So that was what for a very long time ago, I have to do the math to figure it out. But it’s it’s you know, it’s been a long time and I can’t vet for any of these these brands or you know, or the ingredients are still accurate. At the time, I cannot believe this magnet broke today at the time. You know, they were all clean? Because I do believe the question you asked is really important. It’s not just all about somebody and building my brand. It’s about having access to clean and healthy products for everybody, wherever they are. And however they choose to shop. If they want to shop online on somebody that’s fantastic if they want to go to their local, you know, so my daughter’s and I actually sat and there’s pictures in the book. And we set up it was hilarious. We set up offices in like CVS and Walgreens and it was summer at the time so they have their summer furniture out and we would just sit there and we pull off Products off the shelf and we go through the ingredients. One by one, it was super fun before my daughter left for college and my other daughter was in high school at the time. And and they were so nice in the stores, I could not believe they let us do this. So I think it’s a very valuable and important question. Unfortunately, at this time, I haven’t updated that. I’ve just been writing so many books and doing so much. But that is something that’s on my list, because I think it’s very important. We do have, we do have a program here where you’re welcome to email us any product you’re using, and the ingredients. And you know, we’ll give it a good better best rating. I was going through each ingredient and telling people where it came from what the origin was, like, what and I just, it’s so time consuming. It can take an hour on each product. So now we just do a good better or best. And, yeah, unfortunately, that’s that’s the best I can do. There are you know, believe it or not the last I looked Clorox after they bought out Burt’s Bees, the ingredients were still intact, and they were still pretty pure. I spoke to the team, when they were taking it over. They had called me and consulted. And they said that one of their things were they wanted to keep it intact, and they wanted to keep the integrity of the ingredients. And the last I looked they had still done that I can’t vet for that now. What else is available at those stores? Yeah, so I mean, it’s something that I need to update my good, better best list. And I’m happy to you know, if they email us, we’re always willing to look at an ingredient list.
Krisstina Wise [31:45]
Yeah. Would it be your I mean, the probability that most of the products or products that that would it contain ingredients that if we knew what they were, we would probably make the choice not to use them anymore? Absolutely.
Debbi Burnes [32:01]
Yes. Yeah, we made a very big in one of the stores. Well, I don’t know why we didn’t get kicked out for this either. But we made a little video, it’s on YouTube. But you know, we said to this woman, like how and how important are natural ingredients to you? Or remind you this is you know, now going back? 15? You know, some odd years ago? Well, no, my daughter’s 30. So I would so yeah. When so 14 years ago. And, you know, she was like very important. I’m very aware of it. I absolutely won’t use anything that has I said, Well, what is your will not use and she said I will not use anything with sodium lauryl sulfate. That was a big one at the time, right? And I was and she was holding a Toms toothpaste in her hand. And I was like, Really? I was like, Can I have your toothpaste. And she goes, sure. And I go second ingredient. She oh my gosh, she’s and she said and I’m studying them educated. And I know all this and she was shocked, you know, and then she had the Tom’s deodorant, and I was like, and the second ingredient on there is going to be propylene glycol, and that’s always in my top 10 list of ingredients to avoid, which is interesting. Over the years, my top 10 list has not changed. So you know, it’s still pretty much consistent what it is, and propylene glycol is always right up and on there. So um, so yeah, you know, I think that that getting intimate with your ingredients, and not just assuming because the brand is perceived as a natural brand, or, you know it there was another thing when we did this video where the company name was called truly organic. And there wasn’t one organic ingredient in the products. And then on top of it, it was completely toxic. It was like it kept but you can call it you can name yourself simply organic. And it sounds fantastic. I think it was simply organic. It was organic, something I hope there’s not a Oh no, there’s a food company called simply organic. So it was organic naturals or whatever it was. So yeah, I mean, you would be surprised you would be shocked. And I think you know, the best advice I can get is being intimate with the back label. If you have any questions, you can either buy my book, it’s probably in here or email us and we’ll give you you know, a rating. But you again, you shouldn’t need to take a chemistry class to understand what you’re putting on your skin. And I think, you know, one of the biggest misconceptions is if you pay more, it’s going to be better, and it’s going to do better things and that’s just simply not true. And that if you know that nature doesn’t have what you need to transform your skin. You need chemicals. And you know, I tell this to people all the time and I’m like, has anybody you know when I’m doing classes? Has anybody ever just drank a little bit too much and gotten a little a little buzz from alcohol, which everybody’s like, Yes, I have announced like well wait, alcohol is all now But yet it altered you, you know? And then I’ll say, does anybody here want to try cyanide? And probably like, No, I’m like, why it’s all natural, you know, but you know that it can affect you that it’s toxic, right? So, you know, just because it’s a natural product does not mean that it’s not viable, that it’s not powerful that it’s not potent. You need to know how to extract what level that you need to put ingredients in what ingredients work with each other. But when I tell you nature is a powerful source, we see it, we know it, we live it, we experience it, nature is very powerful.
Krisstina Wise [35:37]
You know, that’s a really good point, actually, now that you mentioned it, because we do I think this that was my mindset. At the beginning, it’s like, oh, the chemicals, the the patents, you know, these high end over the counter face products or skincare products must be really good, because they’ve done all the science and all this manipulation to make the efficacy really, really strong, especially, you know, like the anti aging, and then but the way you put it, that no nature is actually highly effective. So much so that nature’s deadly, I mean, just like chemicals, that the there’s nature is very powerful, and we don’t need to be manipulating it to to get the results we want.
Debbi Burnes [36:19]
Yeah, and like I said earlier, too, it’s like, you know, those very chemicals that you think are, you know, anti aging or actually accelerating aging. So, you know, it’s counterintuitive. It can exasperate breakouts and acne and rosacea and redness and aging any skin ailment you’re you’re having chemicals or just been exasperated. So yeah, nature is powerful. We see it with food if somebody gave you a you know, completely scientific bait like I personally won’t eat any of those lab fake meat products. And I’ve I’ve been a vegetarian for very, mostly my entire life. But I’m not going to eat manufactured food that I don’t you know, I’m just not going to eat manufactured food, right? So, you know, I eat whole food. And that is to you know, healing and you know, process the more process, the more toxic it is for our body. So why don’t we see this when it comes to skincare? Yes, we can process it in a lab. But you know, processing can make things more toxic, not less toxic. And these whole ingredients, they actually have better molecular structure to be absorbable uptake, for our body for skin to utilize it to metabolize it. There’s so many benefits to you know, Whole Foods, whole skincare products, and that’s you know what we are? We’re whole skincare products.
Krisstina Wise [37:43]
I love it. All right, well, let’s just go through a few things here. And so when people are buying, I don’t know Irish spring soap or something just very quickly, like what is in so why wouldn’t people buy an over the counter? soap that we mean very prevalent on those shelves?
Debbi Burnes [38:02]
Yeah, so I think one is convenience. Two is price. And three is we we we have this nostalgia for what we grow up with Why do women use tide? Because their mother used it and their grandmother used it? Why do people wear Chanel number five, because their minds of their mom or their grandmother, there’s nostalgia there’s price, there’s convenience, right? And it’s much more expensive to make the type of soap we do. So you know, these soaps are mass manufactured, they’re out there. But yes, they are a complete detergent bar and I always say just take the somebody tests for me, I can tell you anything and don’t listen to me. Listen to your in tells the truth. Um, you know, skin speaks. So if you listen, your skin will tell you the truth wash half of your body with Irish spring and half of your body with a bar somebody soap and you will feel the difference like literally that fast that dramatic. So, you know, skin tells the truth, no matter what somebody tells you always listen to your skin. And, and again, you know, they extract all the goodness out of the soap because it’s much less expensive to make that detergent bar than it is a real bar of super fat. It’s so it’s very expensive to make the real old fashioned kettle method as opposed to mass producing detergent. But the problem is, you know, again, we have full body coverage on his soap. And the other issue is, is that you may think you’re saving money because it’s less expensive. But in the long run, you’re spending more money because that detergent is drying out your skin. And I say we are always in this you know conundrum of being perpetually parched with skin and it’s because first we’re using detergents to wash with. And then next we’re using these lotions that are filled with alcohols and chemicals. So we’re just drying and drying out our skin and we’re constantly changing. To put moisture on but yet we’re never feeling moisturize. So if you just use a real barf so and I love having people exfoliate in the shower three times a week with a real scrub that has, you know, shea butter is in cocoa butters and things of that nature in it, and then you’re moisturizing with a really great moisturizer you’re going to see that you end up saving money because you use so much less product because your skin isn’t just parched and trying to get hydrated. It’s like okay, thank you like I don’t need that much.
Krisstina Wise [40:34]
Right so soap just has these traditional sets have lots of detergents dries out the skin, probably a lot of fragrance chemicals, that’s just more toxic, toxic toxicity that we’re adding. What about deodorants?
Debbi Burnes [40:50]
So deodorants have gotten a big buzz and they are actually one of the most toxic products they’re you know, they they they have gotten a lot of press and a lot of play aluminum some of the other ingredients in there. So yes, I would say they usually have propylene glycol they usually have you know aluminum, they definitely have their they’re like a chemical soup. So there’s two issues with deodorants. Some of them encourage your body to not perspire, we need to perspire. This mechanism was made for a reason. So I don’t believe in antiperspirants. I get it. I go to meetings, I teach classes I’m, you know, in front of speeches that you know all the time and the last thing you want is a ring of sweat. So I understand the reason behind it, but it’s not good for your body. Not only that, when it’s clogging your pores, and your body can’t perspire, it causes all kinds of other health issues. The other issue is how do we get rid of smell. So there are some natural ingredients by the way that will help you to perspire less. They’re not going to clog your pores and be a complete antiperspirant, but they will help you to perspire less. And then we have you know, how do you smell less. So this is something I would absolutely stay away from traditional deodorants I mentioned earlier that one of the very, you know known to be natural brands had propylene glycol is the second ingredient. So just because you think it’s natural, I would look at the ingredients, and then also isn’t going to work. So what makes us smell is actually a colony of bacteria. So what you need to really help with a deodorant is something that will you know, basically kill the bacteria that causes the odor to keep you from from smelling. So you will notice when you switch from a chemical based deodorant to a natural deodorant that you may kind of detox a little bit and smell more. It would happen if you weren’t using any deodorant also because your body is detoxing. The pores are cleansing itself, you’re opening up your pores again, you’re really getting your body functioning properly and then it’s it’s it’s going to you know, take a little bit, but then after that if you’re using a good deodorant, it should absolutely take care of the odor 100% the press for the perspiring not 100% and if it is I would wonder why and what’s in there. So we have two deodorants. One is a white because it’s just very easy to use, and one is a spray. And I think we have a role on you know as well also. So it’s a great question. It is something to be mindful of because I think when people think of cosmetics they think of face creams and face oils and bubble baths and things of that nature but we have toothpaste and we have you know deodorant and things that a lot most people are using every day. So we want to look at this holistically as a whole all products being used.
Krisstina Wise [43:59]
Yeah, exactly. So just very, very quickly when we go down so that’s soap deodorant has a lot of nasty stuff in it. shampoos, conditioners very quickly like what I mean most of these shampoos and conditioners same, correct?
Debbi Burnes [44:13]
Absolutely. And you know definitely and one of the ingredients in them that’s not toxic, is they have a high level of silicone ingredients in them, especially conditioners because that’s how you get a nice brush through and not having been to the hairstyles in quite some time. You can see how crazy My hair is today. And those silicones really do help. And while they might not be toxic, they clog your pores in your face in your body. They can cause back knee acne breakouts, I mean clogged pores are so unhealthy for your skin, but we don’t have time to get into that. And yes, they have a lot of toxic ingredients in them. There is you know a surfactant which is what makes it lather and we’ve heard a lot about sodium lauryl sulfate being harsh and people have allergies to it. So there’s some other surfactants, but that’s one of the areas where you’ll see what I spoke a little bit about earlier, it’ll have the name of the surfactant, like glucose cocamide, or something. And in parentheses, it’ll say derived from coconut, or, you know, will be derived from corn. So we think, Oh, that’s great. It comes from coconut. But you know, the problem is, again, when it’s incarnated into this planet, it was a coconut, if we pull that apart in the lab and put it back together in a new molecular structure, we can make something that has no resemblance of a coconut, we can make toxic chemicals from corn from coconut. So one of the tricks that you can look at when you’re looking at the surfactants, to know if you’re getting a cleaner one or not, because there is nothing perfect, right? Anybody who tells you that, you know, it’s only coconut, you use any form of coconut, the milk, the meat, the butter, the oil, and you try to lather and you tell me if you get a lather, it does not have surfactant, it does not lather, that’s just not true. And I’ve seen a lot of brands that say that. But if it has the derive from or made from in the parentheses, what you want to look at is how much of the original word is left. So if there’s a lot of the word coconut in that ingredient, it means it’s been, it’s been altered less than if coconut no longer exists in the name. So the more you see coconut, you know, in there, the less manipulated it would be, but it’s a very difficult one because there’s no such thing as 100% pure clean. You know, lathering, surfactin product.
Krisstina Wise [46:35]
And then you’d mentioned nail polish and nail polishes. I mean, I don’t wear nail polish. Again, I’d be very careful with any adding any toxins to my body. But are there any healthy nail polishes? Or is it basically use it sparingly? Or if you’re going to do nail polish? This is better than that?
Debbi Burnes [46:54]
Yeah. So the answer is no. Again, that’s another greenwashing where people say non toxic safe nail polish, it’s paint, it’s lacquer. So just think about it, it’s definitely even somebody nail polish, I would not put it in the best category in my book if I was writing products, because it’s not, you know, there is no such thing that I’ve seen. So someone can prove me wrong and send it to me. And then I want to try it on and see how it how it paints and how it last. So there’s nothing that’s 100% non toxic, I know there’s some water based out there the ingredients I’ve looked at the water base still had a lot of you know, chemicals in there, but maybe there’s one out there that doesn’t. But there there are better ones and others so at this point 10 free, is the best you can get somebody is 10 free so it means it’s free, the top 10 offenders we know for being toxic, like formaldehyde, and two lane and all those, you know goodie things that are in a lot of nail polishes. And I have to say there’s some huge brands like OPI that didn’t do a lot of marketing around it. But they were five, free back when five free was a big deal. And I love them. Their colors are so fantastic. I haven’t kept up on it. I don’t know if they’re still 10 free, but 10 free is the best that you’re going to find right now. So if somebody isn’t marketing it, you know, that’s another thing. It shouldn’t be a secret, you should be able to get to somebody at a company who will answer these questions for you. So if you call somebody and say, Are you 10? Free, you should be able to get an answer or someone says yes, we are 10 free, or I don’t know, let me speak to the formulator. And, you know, get back to you. When I was researching for my first book for my good, better best list. I had people hang up the phone on me all the time. And I was so heartbroken and disappointed because if your ingredients are healthy and safe, you should be shouting it from the rooftops and like, What are you hiding? It’s like Why will you not talk to me about this? So there should be full disclosure and full transparency from where the ingredients come from? Is it at a co Packer? You know, what do you know about your ingredients? what’s in them everything like you should be able to open up your beauty brand and have full transparency and view of what’s inside. Awesome.
Krisstina Wise [49:12]
All right, well, we are bumping up against our time together. And clearly we could just go deep dive into each individual product and all these ingredients. So I think the big takeaway here is most of these products are pretty toxic. There’s a lot of ingredients in there. Just like we’ve been schooled with our food we want as healthy as possible whole ingredients know what we’re putting on our bodies, read the labels. I’m happy to go to brands like somebody where it’s already been vetted, like the promise there is you don’t have to worry about these things because I’m doing that for you. But so thank you for all of that. I do want to do more with you. You and I have talked about we might do some Instagram lives where we can do some some real beauty fun conversations or masks or any different things. So we’ll do later. And for everybody listening, I’ll have links to the show notes for some coupon codes and some things to be able to try somebody Deborah’s somebody products. And I’ve been using them. They’re fabulous. I’m just so excited to have this brand. So thank you. So what to wrap up, but just a few final questions. Tell me something that if you said, Christina, if you really, really knew me, you would know that tell me something about you that most people don’t know.
Debbi Burnes [50:28]
Oh, my gosh, um, I could have said that a model from Salvador Dali, but now that one is out of the bag. Okay, one, one thing that most people don’t know about me, is that I’m actually on top of everything else, a licensed hypnotherapist. And I think one reason why this, you know, comes into the brand and make sense is I think of everything. You know, I’m always like about the wholeness of everything. So when we created somebody, we created a brand, we have things, stress zappers, it was all about the whole lifestyle, the whole wellness lifestyle. So I look at intention, I look at like, how do we create relaxation, because being more relaxed helps your skin, you know, age, better stress ages, our skin. So our brand is a holistic, we have things for stress things for you know, everything. And I think it’s my background in hypnotherapy. And, you know, so I do, I do skin therapy, because a lot of times when we don’t have a breakthrough with our skin, we can go back in and use therapy as a means to really help somebody get a breakthrough, it can be blockage in all different kinds of ways. So that’s probably something that I love that.
Krisstina Wise [51:45]
I love that that just kind of makes more sense out of everything in a way. All right, tell me something you’re really proud of.
Debbi Burnes [51:53]
raising my daughters raising two amazing, incredible contributors, I think this year has been extremely stressful for our family, one of my daughters is a doctor on the front line. And so sir boyfriend, and my other daughter is a nurse and she actually had the very first COVID patient has been on the COVID ward in California in February and just watching their commitment to their community. Through the years with the fires we’ve had here, and they didn’t evacuate, they stay, they were the last doctors and they got to work together, which was amazing. They don’t work at the same facility. So there was only one open and they wouldn’t leave until all the patients left. So just seeing the contribution that they’re making and their fierce braveness and commitment to humanity and who they are as people in their personal lives. And, you know, just really, really seeing all your diligent hard work that you spend in love and devotion, just absolutely having this profound gift back of seeing these amazing two young, incredible human beings who are finding their way in this world and doing it in a very moral, cohesive, and thoughtful way. And they’re just incredible human beings. So that would be my proudest accomplishment.
Krisstina Wise [53:14]
I love that Olivia proud Mama, what would be you’re an entrepreneur clearly and have had a lot of success. What would you What would you say would be one of your biggest failures? What’s something looking back? You’re like, that was a good lesson.
Debbi Burnes [53:30]
You know? That’s a good question. I mean, I really don’t look at this as a failure. Having say that being a mom was my proudest moment. My devotion was always to my my children first and not my company. So it wasn’t until they were really launched that I started really spending the amount of time it takes to be an entrepreneur. I was like, this was my side, hobby. And my kids were really my my main focus. And because of that, I turned away a lot of opportunities. Early on, we were offered to launch in all of wholefoods as long before Amazon, then we had a lot of opportunities that I didn’t take, because I didn’t want my time to be so, you know, so divided. And, you know, I think that I would talk to young moms and young entrepreneurs and talk about opportunities, because they don’t always come and they’re not always there and doors open and close. And, you know, I was the pioneering indie beauty brand and it was, you know, a good 10 years before people even started entering this category. So it seemed like time was forever and I could take my time. But that wasn’t true. All of a sudden, it became the hottest, most popular thing to do to start a beauty brand the market got flooded. And you know, I didn’t take advantage of the position that we had, you know, when I had it so I don’t know so much as it’s a mistake because I’m still really I mean, again, my proudest thing is my children. And I think I would do it all over again. But I would do it probably in another way. And I would advise someone a little bit differently than how I did things. I think we can have both. It’s only in retrospect how you see you can have it both right. So now all mom entrepreneurs talk to me, because I think you can have it both except for and just so you know, I did homeschool for a couple years so I can feel your pain with what’s happening right now with homeschooling, and COVID. So did that started a school started a business and was with my kids. So I think I have some really good advice to offer for how you can stay sane. Have it all and not, you know, give up a portion of that for something else.
Krisstina Wise [55:46]
I love that. Maybe that will be our follow up conversation. Thank you. All right, one final, one final question just to do that final myth bust? Is there a big myth that you would like to like just to kind of a public lie, I’d like to call out and put some truth to it.
Debbi Burnes [56:02]
Yeah, I’m here. I’m gonna parlay on your non toxic comment at the beginning. Because I feel like that was so important. And I really want people to take that away, which is, it’s all about is it not, you know, non toxic, not. So the biggest myth is, if it’s all natural, it’s good for me. And if it’s synthetic, it’s bad. So that is just not true. There are many natural things that are caustic, I often will in my class, say, you know, I have this amazing lotion, and my celebrities are paying $2,000 for this, and it’ll turn back that, you know, whatever my active ingredient in, there’s poison oak, like who wants to try it. And you know, first I’m like, who wants to try it, everybody raised their hands. And I say there’s poison oak in it. And like people are like, wait a minute, you know. So that’s just my example of poison oak is completely natural, but who wants to slather that all over their bodies. So I do want to say everything natural is not good for us right down to essential oils, I do not believe in using essential oils in your air constantly. It’s absolutely toxic, they’re medicinal, and should be used like an antibiotic or medicine, like when you need them. They are powerful allies. They’re amazing. But they are caustic, they shouldn’t be used all the time. So everything natural is not good for you. And everything synthetic isn’t bad. There are some synthetic ingredients that are not toxic. So what we want to focus on, is it bad for me, is it bad for my health isn’t bad for the environment. And there are natural things that are worse for the environment than synthetic things. So I think my takeaway would be that let’s not be fooled by you know, it’s natural, it’s good. It’s synthetic, it’s bad. And let’s look at is this toxic? For me? Is it toxic for the planet? You know, is it toxic for our environment. And I think that’s just such an important, you know, that’s always been my platform. And it’s not what we hear in this industry. And I just really want to keep that alive. And just one last quick little thing I would say on a myth is that because our you know, grandma’s great grandma’s great, great, great grandma’s whoever started using Pons, cold cream, it was the very first you know, real product that that took effect and women started using, we think that we need to use a cream on our skin from the neck up. And what I want to tell you is you actually a face oil is more profound and has the right molecular structure, you’re going to get more usage out of the active ingredients, you actually want an oil from the neck up, and those richer butters from the neck down. And we can talk next time. If you feel like you’re dry when you’re using an oil, why what it might be, what the solutions are and how to remedy that. But trust me when I tell you, it’s more profound your skin from the neck up in oil neck down of butter. And there you go.
Krisstina Wise [58:47]
All right, Deborah, thank you so much for your time today being with us, we’re gonna have a lot of fun together again, I’m going to be putting links to your products into your books in the notes I really encourage everyone to get your book to is to have that Bible of the different ingredients, we can be more informed and educated and tierpoint just to make our own decisions, and to know what we’re choosing and why we’re choosing it. So thank you very much. And I look forward to you really be in our go to for our wealthy wealthy products. And skincare. Go to, I think two twice. But anyway, thank you very much.
Debbi Burnes [59:23]
Thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure to be here and next time I will have my magnet replaced.
Krisstina Wise [59:29]
Daisuke Jelena. We’re just
Unknown Speaker [59:33]
just keep going. Just keep going.
Debbi Burnes [59:35]
Keep going. Yeah. Well, we’ll talk another time about when I was on QVC. And the camera went off and they’re like, what you just you got this? Yeah. so used to it. Technical difficulties happened all the time. But thank you so much. I so enjoyed being here. And I love spreading the word and I love what you’re doing. And I love how you see that this encompasses the whole and it’s important to end embracing it as part as your wealthy wealthy lifestyle. Thank you. You
Krisstina Wise [1:00:03]
if you enjoyed today’s show, there are a few things you can do as a way to say thanks. First, simply hit the subscribe button to the wealthy, wealthy podcast. By doing so it helps both of us, you’ll never miss an episode and it helps me and my radians. Second, if you’re so ambitious, please leave a review while you’re at it. Third, just keep doing what you’re doing and continue to share the wealthy wealthy podcast with your tribe of friends and colleagues. On another note, although you likely listen to the podcast one remote, keep in mind that there are links to the guests and their work in the show notes that you can find at WWE podcast comm You can also find a ww podcast calm the latest information on my upcoming events and other things I’m creating to serve you in our mutual quest to live a wealthy wealthy life. Thank you so much for listening. See you next time.
What We Covered
[2:05] Who is Debbi Burnes?
[10:12] So let’s talk about the efficacy and being very intentional about creating non-toxic products.
[15:10] Can you name the top toxic ingredients that we need to be aware of.
[31:47] would you say the probability is high that if we knew what was in the majority of products we wouldn’t use them?
[35:40] Nature can be a powerful force. So why are we usually only thinking that chemicals will harm us?
[37:44] Let’s look at soap. Why shouldn’t a person buy a particular soap?
[40:45] Let’s talk about deodorants.
[44:00] How about shampoo and conditioners?
[46:36] How about nail polishes?
[50:18] Krisstina if you really really knew me you would know that.
[51:46] Tell us something that you are really proud of.
[53:17] What would be one of your biggest failures?
[55:50] What is a myth you would like to bust?
“They’re not aware of the practices, the ingredients, all of that good kind of stuff, we source each and every ingredient.”
“So my whole platform has been arming people to be able to make informed decisions that fit within the context of their life and their, their willingness to, you know, include or not include toxic chemicals because the beauty industry has had backdoor access to our health for way too many years.”
“I think we need to design our lives, what works for us and what fits into our lifestyle and then when saying that and we’re looking at what we want to change how we want to create our overall you know, personal care system.”
Share The Show
Did you enjoy the show? We would love it if you subscribed today and left us a 5-star review!
Click this link – Wealthy Wellthy Podcast
Click on the ‘Subscribe’ button below the artwork
Go to the ‘Ratings and Reviews’ section
Click on ‘Write a Review’