Clean Beauty Interview with Devan Jesmer

My doctors wanted me to do genetic testing because I got “an old lady tumor” at such a young age, but when I got my results back and found that my cancer was from environmental causes I started reading up on the food I’m eating and the products I’m using. I decided to make the switch to clean beauty and went into Follain to start changing over some of my products— That’s where I met Devan! She spent at least an hour answering all of my questions and testing what felt like every product in the store. We exchanged information and I asked her if I could interview her. Here are her answers to my questions:

Hilary: Why clean beauty? Does it really make a difference?

Devan: Clean beauty means a lot of different things to different people. Clean, natural, organic are all words that get thrown around, especially now by big beauty brands who want to join in on the trend, but they aren't regulated. From my perspective, clean beauty consists of non-toxic ingredients that are either from natural or synthetic origin, but are not known carcinogens or endocrine disruptors. Clean beauty could mean something different to you.

To answer why clean beauty, I have to talk about the state of cosmetic regulations in the US. Cosmetics fall under the Food & Drug Administration, and are very lightly regulated. In 1938, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act was passed, and from that point cosmetics were regulated by the FDA. But for the last 81 years, there have been no further changes. Cosmetics don't need FDA approval, but are largely self regulated. The US has only banned 11 ingredients, while the European Union has banned over 1,300. This leaves consumers to fend for themselves in terms of figuring out what is safe, and non-toxic to use.

 I've never loved the fear-mongering, and don't believe in scaring people into using clean beauty. They are truly some of the most effective products in routine, and I feel great knowing that what I am putting on my body is safe and healthy for me.

Hilary: Is a clean beauty regimen more expensive than the toxic alternative?

Devan: This is something that I hear a lot, but I do not think that clean beauty is more expensive than toxic alternatives, and let me explain why. There are a wide range of clean products and brands at a wide variety of price points. Cocokind, Mad Hippie, Acure, and Juice Beauty are some of my favorite more affordable clean beauty brands, but there are tons more out there. I also like to think about clean beauty like I think about a healthy diet or gym membership-- it may seem cheaper in the short-term to forego that gym membership, and buy products filled with chemicals and junk than it is to buy fresh veggies, but in the long-term, you could potentially be dealing with costly health issues as a result.

Hilary: What are some of your favorite non toxic brands?

Devan: Keep in mind that this is so subjective, and if you ask other bloggers or store educators, we will all have very different answers! The brands that have really changed my skin, and thus my life are May Lindstrom, Josh Rosebrook, OSEA, Indie Lee, Cocokind, Kjaer Weis, and ILIA (although I honestly could go on forever). I've met several of the people behind these brands and not only do they have amazing products and do not sacrifice quality for ANYTHING, they are amazing, kind people who want to change the world through clean, sustainable beauty.

Hilary: I’m making the switch to clean beauty but I can’t afford to switch everything at once. What products should I switch first and why?

Devan: If you're looking to make the switch to clean beauty, I always recommend swapping out products as you use up the non-clean versions. There is no reason to completely toss everything you own. Not only is this going to be SUPER expensive, but you also want to slowly incorporate products into your routine. This way, if you have a reaction or something is causing a breakout, you know why. But also, if something is really working for you, you also want to be able to know which product is working so well for you. This will help you pinpoint any ingredient that your skin dislikes or loves.

With that being said, I always tell people that deodorant and body care are easy first switches, followed by skincare, then makeup. The reason I always tell people that deodorant is the most important, is that because most antiperspirants contain aluminum, which according to many scientific studies, are linked to endocrine disruption, breast cancer, and even Alzheimers. Aluminum eliminates our detoxification function, blocking our pores from releasing sweat and other toxins from our lymph nodes. No, thank you!

I hope you enjoyed the interview! I’m new to the non-toxic movement but I will continue to post as I read about and test new non-toxic products.

Beautyhilary schleier