Sidenote: Martha and I started following each other via Instagram (of course), and I enjoyed watching her grow into her own business, as a Holistic Nurse Practitioner, developing her brand and teaching me about safer skincare. I use the products that Martha is talking about and truly love what it has done for my skin. FYI: I don’t wear makeup much but when I do, I look like a superstar! I present to you Martha’s chat about safer skin care. 

As athletes, we tend to pay a lot of attention to our workout schedules and the way we fuel our bodies. But something that often gets missed is the things that we put on our bodies. We work hard to eat clean-burning fuel, but then we slather our skin lotions and potions full of stuff that’s probably not good for us.

Our skin is our largest organ and up to 70% of the chemicals we put on it are absorbed into our bloodstream within 26 seconds. [1], [2] The average woman uses 12 products on her skin daily which can contain more than 100 different chemicals, most of which have little to no safety testing or they have known harmful effects such as toxicity to your immune system, disruption of hormones, and have been linked to cancer. As athletes, we want our bodies functioning optimally, not struggling to detoxify the chemicals in our moisturizer.

My goal is not to scare you, but rather to educate you and help you to make better choices. Over 80% of Americans report that they had no idea that their personal care products might contain ingredients that could be harmful to their health.


Any brand can make any claim they want about any personal care product without being required to test or prove it. Natural, organic, BPA-free, non-toxic, etc. There are no standards. There’s also no testing required to prove that what you say is on the label is in fact what is in the product. Does that scare you? Because it scared me when I learned this information.

There are so many possible contaminants with personal care products and cosmetics. The seemingly harmless act of picking the plant and putting it in a plastic bag can leave measurable BPA levels in the final product, but if no one is testing them, you’ll never know. This is why labels on products mean nothing.

After searching high and low for a brand of products that not only performed well (because slathering coconut oil on my face after getting out of the pool, while “all-natural” wasn’t doing my skin any favors) but that I could also trust not to fill my body with toxic junk. Enter Beautycounter. Beautycounter is the only brand I’m aware of who both their ingredients and the finish products for safety (they test for heavy metals and hormone-disrupting chemicals).


Without a testing process in place, even organic and high-end brands can’t claim a product is truly safe. It’s not just about avoiding the cheap stuff, unfortunately. Here’s what I look for:

  • Are the ingredients clearly displayed?
  • Does the brand work to improve the industry (such as being a Certified B Corp)
  • What is backing up the claims they are making?
  • What is the safety rating on the EWG Skin Deep database?
  • Are the products evaluated by a 3rd party?


Beautycounter has become my go-to brand for safer skincare and cosmetics. I have a few others that I love too (such as Primally Pure and Fat Co.). Here’s a list of my must-have safer skincare solutions for triathletes:

  • Cleansing Balm: This has many uses, but my favorite is as a post-swim facial moisturizer. It’s also great for soothing sunburn and any spots that may get chafed.
  • Charcoal Cleansing Bar: This was my gateway product. Perfect for acne prone skin, or to help your skin detox the chlorine from the pool. If you don’t want to lug around a bar of soap, try the Counterman Energizing Charcoal Washinstead.
  • Countersun Sunscreen Stick: Safer sunscreen is essential for anyone who spends a lot of time outside training. It comes in a spray or a lotion, but I find that this stick is easy to carry and fast to put on.
  • No. 1 Brightening Face Oil: If you are tired of that tight feeling after you wash your face (especially if you shower more than once a day; double workouts anyone?) this stuff will make sure you face is moisturized and bright and happy looking.
  • One Step Makeup Remover Wipes: I rarely use these actually to remove my makeup…more often than not, I use them for a quick post-workout wipe down when a shower isn’t convenient. The wipes are huge and compostable!
  • Citrus Mimosa Body Butter: Whether it’s the sun, chlorine, or multiple showers, dry skin is a drag. This stuff smells subtly citrusy and makes your skin feel soft and moisturized.
  • Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer: Tinted moisturizer with SPF for those times when you are rushing from one thing to the next and need to look at least a little put together.
  • Counterman Clarifying Toner Pads: Toner is one of the most underutilized skin health products. It’s necessary to restore the slightly acidic pH of your skin after washing.

Interested in grabbing a couple of these FABULOUS items? Click HERE and order today!


AUTHOR: Jen Rulon

I am Jen Rulon, a Coach, Kona Finisher and a Public Speaker. I’ve been coaching triathletes for 18+ years and I received my Masters in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science. I train triathletes to reach their potential and coach triathlon coaches to successfully grow their businesses using my own proven methods. I currently work with women on finding their own voice and journey to finding their "Champion Status" in their own eyes! My knowledge has been featured in Triathlete Magazine, Runners World, on the TEDx Stage, the Health and Wellness Expo in San Antonio, TX, Men’s Journal Online, and the New York Times. I also practice what I preach — I’m a 15x Ironman Triathlete who participated in the World Championship in Kona, Hawaii on October 14, 2017.

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