How to replace your toxic personal care products
Our bodies are designed to detoxify themselves. They know how to identify and eliminate the unfamiliar substances that are introduced to our personal ecosystems. Unfortunately, if your body’s detox pathways are not optimized, the build-up of a hefty toxic load can become such a burden that it leads to severe illness.
We are bombarded with toxins from all directions every day—the air you breathe, the water you drink, the food you eat, the products used to treat/clean/protect household items. While it may feel overwhelming to tackle this part of your wellness regimen, small steps in the right direction can make a huge impact.
Personal care and beauty products are an easy place to start minimizing your toxin exposure which is why I want to introduce you to my friend Bethany McDaniel from Primally Pure. I met her while speaking at a conference a few years ago and have been a fan of Primally Pure’s beauty and personal care products ever since.
I do want to let you know that the team at terrywahls.com does receive a small affiliate commission for any product ordered through Primally Pure. This is part of how we are able to produce so many informational resources at no cost to you. If you’re not comfortable with an affiliate link—no worries, I hope that you do find the information shared to be beneficial!
Read the transcript below:
Dr. Terry Wahls: Welcome, everyone. We’re going to be talking with Bethany McDaniel, who is the CEO of Primally Pure. She’s going to tell us her story of how she discovered the inside-out and the outside-in approach to skincare and how she got her company started. Bethany, you’ve got a great story. I’d love to have you share it with our audience.
Bethany McDaniel: Thank you, I’d love to. Growing up, starting in junior high and then also in high school and college, I dealt with acne. Looking back, I don’t think my acne was as bad as I felt like it was at the time, but at the time when you’re that age and you’re dealing with that, you just want to fix it. To do that, I looked to the commercials that I was seeing on TV and these big brands that promised clear skin, and I also had a dermatologist that I was seeing. Looking back, I think I did a lot more damage to my skin than I realized by trying to treat it and by trying to fix the problem. Ultimately, I wish I had known what I know now about diet and lifestyle and the role that those things play in skin health and overall health. That’s what I really want to do with Primally Pure is just educate. I mean, I want everyone to use our products obviously, but I also want people to know that there’s so much more to caring for your skin than just the products that you apply.
It wasn’t until a little bit after college that my husband and his brothers and dad started a regenerative livestock farm, with no prior farming experience. They were just looking for better raised meat and couldn’t find it so decided to start raising it in my in-law’s backyard. They had two and a half acres, so they started there. Just through that experience, my eyes were really opened to the importance of eating real food and eating quality food. I totally changed my diet and that made more of a difference in my skin health than any prescription cream or pill that I had ever taken in the past.
I started thinking like, “Gosh, I’ve been misled about what foods I should be eating for my entire life. I’ve listened to the standard recommendations and six to seven servings of grains or whatever that amount is.” That’s how I grew up. Once I realized that all of that was basically a lie, I started considering, what else have we been wrong about, what else have I been wrong about? The products I was using was really the next place that I looked and that I started uncovering that the ingredients that were in the products I’d used for my entire life were not doing my skin any favors. Maybe I experienced short-term results occasionally, but ultimately, they weren’t things that were contributing to the overall health of me as a person, and because our skin is an organ, it’s a reflection of what’s happening inside.
I made the decision to little by little start swapping out all of my conventional skincare products with more natural replacements. There weren’t a whole lot of options on the market back then, that was back in 2012. I started using ingredients in my kitchen and making really simple swaps. From there, I just got really into it and excited about it and started formulating a little bit more complex products. At the time, the farm was just really starting to take off. My husband and I quit our full-time jobs, we moved in with his family. It was his parents, it was his sister, her husband, their one-year-old son, and then his other sister, we all moved in together in this 1,700-square-foot house to get the farm up and running.
None of us were taking a pay from the farm and I was making these products and my husband was like, “Okay, you might as well just start selling them. You have these formulas, they’re great,” and so eventually I did that. I started selling them on the Primal Pastures website. From there, everything just kind of started taking off.
Dr. Terry Wahls: Now, let’s talk about some of these products. I know a lot of the conventional skincare products are actually fairly toxic. If you look at the ingredients, they are filled with problem compounds that increase our toxic load. Can you comment about that, Bethany?
Bethany McDaniel: Yeah. I mean, there’s so many ingredients out there. There’s tens of thousands of ingredients on the market and a very, very small percentage of those, I think it’s less than 10%, have ever been tested for safety. Then you’re combining these products, the average woman uses 168 unique chemicals on her body every single day, so not only-
Dr. Terry Wahls: Everyone, listen to that. Say that number again?
Bethany McDaniel: 168 unique different chemicals, and that stat was from a few years ago so I’m sure-
Dr. Terry Wahls: It’s more now.
Bethany McDaniel: I’m sure that number has grown.
Dr. Terry Wahls: It’s probably more now.
Bethany McDaniel: Yeah.
Dr. Terry Wahls: These compounds are not good for us, particularly if you have a chronic health problem. Now, back to you, Bethany.
Bethany McDaniel: Definitely. Absolutely. Those things are being absorbed and we don’t know, for the most part, if they’re safe or not by themselves, let alone when we combine them with other untested ingredients. We’re really part of this big experiment that’s going on and I would say it’s not going very well, if you look at the health of most people in the US today. Just when I started learning all of this, I was really motivated to start making these swaps.
Dr. Terry Wahls:
Let’s talk about deodorant. I know that’s an area that you have a lot of passion about, in terms of the health challenges posed by conventional deodorants. Bethany, what do you have to say about that?
Bethany McDaniel: Yeah. I would encourage anyone who is new to the world of natural skincare and who maybe is just learning about all of this to start with deodorant. I know it’s overwhelming. I know there’s so many products we use that we could probably swap out, but deodorant is a great place to start because we apply deodorant to such a sensitive area of the bodies. It’s near lymph nodes, it’s near breast tissue. Studies have found parabens, one study found parabens in 99% of breast tissue that was sampled from breast cancer tumors. This stuff is, it’s ending up in our system.
For deodorant in particular, conventional deodorant contains a slew of toxic chemicals, the worst of which being aluminum. We’re putting these chemicals into our body and then the worst part is we’re keeping them up there. Aluminum blocks your sweat, which may sound great, most people don’t necessarily want to sweat, but it’s actually a really good thing. It’s a natural process, it’s one of the most important ways that our body gets rid of toxins. When we use conventional deodorant, we’re putting really junky ingredients up there and we’re not letting those ingredients out and we’re also not letting other toxins out that we accumulate throughout the day that that should be being released through our sweat.
Yeah, I’m super passionate about people making that swap. Even if you’re not ready to pull the trigger on a deodorant like ours yet, and pay for a natural deodorant, I always say just use coconut oil and baking soda. It works great.
Dr. Terry Wahls: Soap and water followed by some, as you said, coconut oil, very helpful.
Bethany McDaniel: And wash your arms.
Dr. Terry Wahls: Now, let’s talk about cleansers. A lot of people put cleansers on their skins that are actually harmful to the skin. Can we talk about what your approach is?
Bethany McDaniel: Yeah. Back when I was struggling with acne, I just thought that I needed to use the most harsh cleanser available that would balance out my skin, get rid of the extra oil. I was actually doing myself a disservice by thinking about it that way, because when we use really harsh cleansers, we are stripping the skin of its natural moisture barrier and then the skin thinks it needs to overproduce oil to compensate.
I have since taken on a different approach. I use the oil cleansing method. We have a line of cleansing oils at Primally Pure formulated for different skin types. But the oil cleansing method is really incredible. It’s based on the scientific principle that like dissolves like. You’re using oil to dissolve the unwanted oils in your skin, the grime, the dirt, the buildup that accumulates throughout the day. You’re dissolving that with really natural, beneficial, healthy oils. You massage the cleansing oil into your face. You wet a washcloth with warm water and then hold it up to your skin and gently remove the oil. Then you’re left with just this really, really amazing deep clean. Your skin, over time, will really start to normalize and balance out. Whether it’s more dry, whether it’s more oily, this way of cleansing seems to be a really great way to really normalize your skin for most people.
Dr. Terry Wahls: Excellent, excellent. Another area that I know that’s really fun are the masks that you guys have. Let’s talk about masks, because people have heard me talk about why clay masks can be so healing, but you have a slightly different take on how you do your masks.
Bethany McDaniel: Yeah. Yeah, we’re definitely fans of clay in skincare. Our mask is clay-based and it’s also honey-based. A lot of times with masks that are just clay or clay and water, they can really dry out the skin if you aren’t careful about how long they’ve been on your face for and things like that. You can feel it when they harden, your skin just gets really crackly and hard. With our masks having clay and the honey, you get the detoxification benefits of the clay and then the honey also keeps your skin moist, it keeps it plump. I leave mine on for an hour plus sometimes and have never had that dry feeling that you get from just the simple clay and water masks. Our masks are great, and they have lots of other ingredients like spirulina and other things like that.
Dr. Terry Wahls: And because the face has so much blood flow, using the clay mask is a wonderful, gentle, and really fun way to boost your detox strategy. I love those clay masks a lot. Now, what would you say if someone was going to begin to explore your products, what would you have encourage them to start with?
Bethany McDaniel: I think a good place to start for most people, if you’re looking for just a simple three-step skincare routine, are cleansing oil, I would highly recommend as a cleanser, and then our Everything Spray is an amazing toner, and our serums. I really love our serums, we have three of them for different skin types. Skin type can change, by the way, depending on the season and the place of life that you’re in and even the region that you live in. Skin type isn’t something that’s always the same, it’s something that needs to constantly be evaluated. Right now, it’s a little bit drier here in Southern California so I’m using our dry skin cleansing oil and I’m using our plumping serum and those types of products. Then in the summer, I might go back to the cleansing oil for normal skin. I just think it’s important to always reevaluate that stuff since our bodies are always changing.
Dr. Terry Wahls: We did not discuss serum. For people who are not familiar with serum, why would anyone add a serum to their skin routine?
Bethany McDaniel: It’s a great way to target any specific skin needs that you may have at the time. Like I mentioned, we have three different types. It’ll add a quick boost of moisture to your skin, with the oils that we formulate our serums with, as well as target any specific skin needs with the different essential oils and carrier oils that are in our blends. Quick routine, cleansing oil, Everything Spray, and a skin-specific serum, and you’ll be good to go.
Dr. Terry Wahls: All of you watching, I encourage you to swap out your deodorant. Deodorant’s a very toxic routine, so either a just ditch it, use soap and water and coconut oil, or try the, again, your deodorant products, Bethany?
Bethany McDaniel: Yeah. Our deodorants, that’s kind of what we’re known for. They’re our best-selling products. Our charcoal deodorant is our hero product. So yeah, I totally agree, deodorant is a really important swap to make.
Dr. Terry Wahls: Yeah, I think that would be a fabulous, fabulous product to pick up. Now, where do people find you, Bethany?
Bethany McDaniel: Our website is primallypure.com. You can find us on Instagram, and we are @primallypure on Instagram.
Dr. Terry Wahls: Any special ways that we spell Primally?
Bethany McDaniel: P-R-I-M-A-L-L-Y. Thanks for asking.
Dr. Terry Wahls: Okay, all right. For everyone watching, the key message is a lot of our conventional self personal care products are actually fairly toxic, with fragrances, heavy metals, and other solvents that are not good for our skin, that add to our toxic burden. I encourage you to check Primally Pure. I encourage you to ditch some of those personal care products and look for more natural options. Skincare, it’s about the inside out, but it’s also a little bit about the outside in. Stop using those toxic conventional products that are so harmful to us.
Once again, Bethany, thank you so much for joining us. You want to give us your website and your Instagram handle one more time?
Bethany McDaniel: Yep. Primarilypure.com, and you can also sign up for our newsletter there. Then on Instagram, we’re @primallypure.
Dr. Terry Wahls: Okay. Now, if you’ve enjoyed this video, please give us the comments below. Tell us what you learned and what is the next step in your healing journey. Now, much love to all of you. Bye bye now.
About Primally Pure:
Spring is in the air—literally at the Primally Pure headquarters! The just launched their spring scent collection: Organic, wild-harvested and sustainably sourced essential oils of Pink Grapefruit, Wild Lavender, White Sage and Palo Santo offer powerful plant medicine and metaphysical benefits along with antibacterial + antimicrobial properties to detoxify, refresh and promote a sense of lightness in your space and your spirit. The collection includes a Room Spray, Hand Soap, and Essential Oil Diffuser Blend.
As a Wahls Warrior you can save 10% at check out using TW10 visit primallypure.com and find your new favorite, clean personal care products.
About CEO / Founder Bethany McDaniel:
Bethany is the Founder of Primally Pure and lives in Southern California with her husband and two daughters. Having used all sorts of harsh prescription creams and pills to treat her acne as a teenager and young adult (and dealing with red, raw, irritated skin as a result), Bethany was blown away by the effects she eventually experienced after ditching the harsh chemicals and replacing them with simple + natural ingredients. Bethany’s journey inspired her to start Primally Pure (with an initial $250 order for ingredients + supplies) to help others experience the benefits of using clean products. In addition to spending time at the PP Workshop and Spa envisioning new product ideas, Bethany is passionate about all things biohacking + clean living related and loves sharing the knowledge she has gained with others – as well as taking regular tropical vacations with her family to reset + refresh.