Nine Naturals Founder Grace Lee featured on 9Bliss!

Nine Naturals Founder, Grace Lee, sat down with pregnancy website, 9Bliss, to share her thoughts on parabens, pregnancy and how to make changes to your beauty routine. Read the interview below!

 With more and more research proving that harmful chemicals can cross the placenta during pregnancy, we are reminded how important it is to use natural beauty products when you’re expecting. And, with the polar vortex wreaking havoc on our hair again, we are also reminded how important it is that those products actually work. (No matter what they say, apple cider vinegar just isn’t a good substitute for conditioner.)

Thankfully, there is Nine Naturals, the paraben-free beauty line designed especially for expectant mothers that can tame flyaways, too.

We sat down with Nine Naturals founder, Grace Lee, to discuss her inspiration for the creation of a line of products that are proven safe for moms-to-be and their babies. Here’s what she had to say:

Many of our readers are concerned about harmful chemicals in their beauty products. We hear about damaging “parabens” and “sulfates” all the time…so, let’s start with this: what IS a paraben? Why are they scary for pregnant women?

Parabens are artificial, chemical preservatives used pervasively in cosmetic and some food products to inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold and yeast; as many as 75%-95% of cosmetic products contain parabens.

Women should be cautious about exposures to parabens as scientific studies have shown that parabens act as hormone disruptors. That means, they mimic estrogen in the body and can thus interfere with normal hormone functions. During pregnancy, there is the potential for a pregnant woman’s exposures to parabens, ingested through cosmetic products, to be passed on to her unborn baby and therefore affect a baby’s health and development at one of the most critical stages in the baby’s life.

This is why parabens and other artificial preservatives are among the many toxins that Nine Naturals wants to help all pregnant women remove from their beauty regimens. Nine Naturals products are completely free from parabens and other chemicals that can be potentially harmful to a baby and mother.

If you take out the harmful ingredients in beauty products, do you take out everything that usually does the “beauty” work? What can you substitute for them?

It is one of the fundamental tenets of Nine Naturals that our products meet a high standard for performance as well as health and purity. We use natural ingredients like broccoli seed oil as a replacement for silicone in our conditioners and organic cupuaçu butter – a butter rich in fatty acids and vitamins – as the base for our body cream, which moisturizes just as well as, if not better, than, synthetic lotions.

There are a few areas of beauty where a healthy change to natural products should be accompanied by a healthy change in expectations. For instance, women may need to embrace their naturally wavy or curly hair and minimize the chemical treatments that keep their hair straight for months on end. A good rule of thumb: if it goes against the natural, genetic code of your hair, it’s probably not good for you.

My recommendation is to start by looking for brands that have high standards of integrity for using the best and most natural ingredients possible. Once you find brands you trust, you can begin to test out the products and select the ones that you like the best.

The ACOG (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) just came out with an interesting report about toxins during pregnancy…how should this report change the way readers shop for beauty products while pregnant?

In September of last year, ACOG made a groundbreaking announcement, This organization, which represents 90% of U.S. Board-certified OBGYNs,publicly recognized the risks environmental toxins pose to pregnant women and their fetuses. ACOG made an official recommendation to OBGYNS to caution their patients to avoid these toxins during pregnancy.

Doctors are now acknowledging that there is sufficient scientific evidence that chemicals commonly found in products we use everyday have adverse effects on the health of our babies, particularly during pregnancy. We hope women and men will heed the advice of this respected organization and start educating themselves on chemicals, start learning to read labels and begin to shop smarter for products they use on themselves and their families.

On the Nine Naturals blog, we provide great tips for shopping smarter and provide educational articles about ingredients in beauty products. It’s a great starting point for any woman looking to become better informed.

Since the beginning of Nine Naturals, how has your relationship with beauty products changed? If you were pregnant today, how would your beauty regimen be different?

Developing Nine Naturals products has been as much a personal education as it has been a professional one. Once I learned how potentially harmful the chemicals from common beauty products are to the health of babies and moms, my switch to natural products during pregnancy became a permanent lifestyle change. It was impossible for me to imagine reverting back to my pre-pregnancy beauty products.

Though I am no longer pregnant or breastfeeding, my daughter is constantly in contact with me and the products I use on myself. If I give her a kiss on the cheek, I’m exposing her to the chemicals in my lipstick and if I hold her close to my chest, I’m exposing her to the fragrances I wear and the lotions on my skin.

For women who are coming to natural products during pregnancy for the first time, I recommend making small, simple changes to start. For maximum impact with the least amount of effort, begin by switching out the products you use most frequently. Imagine if you substituted the shampoo you use everyday for one without toxins. With no major effort, expense, or sacrifice, you’ve just eliminated one regular source of exposure.

I created Nine Naturals to facilitate these simple, impactful changes. Our haircare and bodycare products were developed to be natural, safe replacements for the products you use everyday – designed with performance, as well as purity, in mind.