Lately I have been thinking about why I became passionate about clean beauty. I can remember a time, years ago where I did not think about the ingredients in my makeup, skin care or hair care. I loved perfume, and never checked the label on things. I used to wonder why people “bothered“ buying organic food or products. I honestly thought it was a marketing gimmick.
Things really started to change for me about seven years ago. At the time I was dating someone who was extremely aware of the importance of clean products, and a healthy lifestyle. He was selective about what he ate and kept sending me articles about chemical additives beauty products, and foods. At first I was really resistant as I read the articles. I felt like it was a waste of my time, and I wished he would stop sending them. The more that I read though, the more I understood the importance of using healthier products, and I started to understand how harmful fragrance was, and many of the other additional chemicals in products. Links to cancer, skin conditions, lowered immunity and so much more were present in many of the things that we commonly use on our bodies.
I started experimenting with skin care and makeup products that were more natural and healthy, and sometimes I had great success… Other times I was so disappointed. It was a very slow change over for me as I was actually using more products in my daily routine than I thought. I probably tested four products for every one that I discovered that was effective
Strangely enough, during this time the apartment building which I was renting from had a terrible flood. I remember at the time, I was at work, but my husband was home and he said that there was so much water that it sounded like there was a waterfall going through the elevator. At the time, I didn’t think much of it. The building was really beautiful, and I just assumed that they would do the right thing and they would clean up the water damage and make it safe for all of us to live there Unfortunately, I was wrong. They did not remediate the building properly (basically, not at all....and my struggles began) That year I started getting many unexplained symptoms. I went from feeling healthy with no complaints, to having many different health problems. I had trouble sleeping, my face broke out with rosacea, I got hives, I was exhausted all day, I felt anxious, my stomach was extremely upset, I had trouble breathing, I got an pneumonia The list went on and on and I just couldn’t understand what was happening. I thought maybe it was a part of aging, but I couldn’t figure out why it was happening so quickly.
In the winter of 2019 my health had been compromised so much that I had to find out what was wrong. My dog Teddy died from an auto immune disease, and my other two dogs both had very strange (and bad) health check ups. By this time I was so tired and feeling so sick I was having trouble working, and I kept waking up with sleep apnea which was super strange for me. I knew something was terribly wrong, but I couldn't put my finger on it. When I went to the doctor, he said that my airways were partially closed and that’s why I was having so much trouble breathing. He suggested that I have my apartment checked for mold as well as to do some testing within my body to figure out if I was suffering from mold toxicity. Sure enough, I had toxic levels of mold in my body that were shutting down various organs little by little. The AC system in my apartment had been installed improperly, and it was pulling up air from the basement of the apartment building. Through the cavity of the building, through the area that the building had not bothered to fix. The actual closet which housed the aAC was lined in filthy insulation as well. I was breathing in fiberglass, filth, and mold. Not what I expected from a "luxury" building. I let the building know and I asked them to remediate my apartment and also alerted them to the fact that there was mold in the building. I was so shocked by the response. I assumed that they would be so happy to fix the problem and perhaps sorry? Instead, they offered to put an air filter in my apartment. The equivalent of putting a Band-Aid on a water dam that was about to break. The remediation inside my apartment itself would’ve cost less than a months rent. The molds that were present were heavily immunosuppressive, and were also known to cause birth defects. I shudder when I think of what may be happening to all of the people who still live there.
Many people who have been exposed to mold and have had toxicity become more sensitive to chemicals. One of the things that happened from my exposure, is that I get extremely sick when I spend time around many chemicals as well as fragrance. My throat starts to close, my stomach gets very upset, and I am usually sick for days. It was so lucky that I had started to do a transition in my life, as I already knew many of the things that would work for me. My body has become hyper sensitive at this point to so many products.
My passion for clean beauty started out of awareness… And became stronger out of necessity. I think many people use products, and assume that if they are on the shelves they must be safe… But unfortunately that is not the truth. I have spent the last few years testing, using in my home, and really getting to know the products that I sell on my website. It’s a refined, edited version of the things that I love, and there’s nothing on there that I don’t believe in.
if you have questions about anything on my site Shop Megan Graham Beauty, or would like a recommendation for something that you don’t see, I’m always happy to help. Please comment below with your questions, and your experiences about learning about clean beauty.
Stay healthy and beautiful!