My Body

Beth Hooper on the Stuff That Makes Toothpaste Bubble and Moderation in All Things

Beth Hooper is a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist with a private practice in New York City. She is also one of the founders of Shē Essential Beauty.

The big fear I hear from people all the time is, "I don’t like needles." Of course that’s the first thing that comes to mind. You have this horrible memory of when you were a child, and you had a shot and you cried, and you think, "Why would someone subject themselve to that?" Acupuncture needles aren’t the same. The needles are about the width of one hair. You may feel a little prick or some energy moving toward the needle, but it’s not a painful sensation. That’s the hurdle you have to get over. I used to get migraines, but I knew that I didn’t want to depend on taking modern medicine every time I got a headache for the rest of my life — I was only in my 20s. So I tried acupuncture, and sure enough my migraines went away. It inspired me to go to graduate school to study chinese medicine.

Laura Kaufmann, my partner in Shē, is also a Chinese herbalist, and as we became moms we both became aware of ingredients in products, the impact they can have on hormones, and particularly female cancers like breast cancer. We wanted to make products that we felt comfortable and confident using on ourselves and our children. We really just wanted to keep things pure and simple, use things that are organic or natural, no synthetic ingredients. The same prinicples we apply with the beauty care line, I really try to apply in my day to day life. 

If we go out to dinner at a restaurant or we’re traveling, I’m not going to kill myself over making sure everything is organic. And I’m not going to say my kids can’t have cake at a birthday party. But I’m going to make sure that what they’re getting at home is pure and simple. Once you start digging into stuff, it’s amazing what you find out. Most shampoos and toothpastes have harsh detergents in them. Sodium lauryl sulfate makes your toothpaste bubble up, but it isn’t good if you want to avoid periodontal disease. 

The other thing that’s really important is all things in moderation. If I put a defined limit on something, all the sudden that’s what I want. I always look forward to the Labor Day Picnic hot dog. I may not have another one that year, but I always look forward to that one. If you make it so you can never have anything, it’s just hard. Start with exercise, then a leaner more organic diet, then go through purging the personal care products you don't use or need and replacing them with synthetic-free ones. If you can make small changes and build on them, it isn't so overwhelming. All things in moderation makes life livable and fun without making taking care of yourself a chore.

Beth Hooper


I like what she had to say....

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