Episode 137 | Organic Skincare and Why Ingredients Matter | Emilie Toups of Toups and Co Organics

After facing skin issues with her young daughter, Emilie Toups set out to find a cleaner and safer alternative to over-the-counter and even prescription creams.  And thus, Toups and Co Organics was born.  Emilie discovered many alarming ingredients that were having negative effects, both seen and unseen, on her family’s health.  She is bringing her wealth of knowledge and research to the podcast today to share with us why conventional products can be harmful and how using animal fats and other natural ingredients actually nourish your skin while being extremely effective.  If you hope to replace some of the harmful chemicals in your wellness routine with beneficial products, I’m happy to introduce you to Emilie Toups and her amazing business!

In this episode, we cover:

  • The health issues that got Emilie started on her organic skincare journey
  • Why putting animal fat on our skin is preferable to plant oils
  • The biggest offenders to avoid in skincare products
  • Sneaky marketing tactics that make products appear healthy
  • Why we should care what products we put on our skin
  • Are natural skincare and makeup products effective?
  • How to adopt simple, minimal skincare and makeup routines
  • Can natural products still smell good without all the artificial fragrance?
  • How to protect your skin from the sun from the inside out
  • The top Toups products you should try

A special gift for my listeners!  Toups and Co Organics uses nourishing, organic ingredients to create simple and safe skincare products.  Toups and Co is offering my listeners 15% off any one purchase with the code FARMHOUSE15.  Visit ToupsandCo.com to order today.

Check out some of my current favorite products: activated charcoal face bar, seabuckthorn cleansing oil

About Emilie

Emilie Toups is the founder of Toups and Co Organics, a company dedicated to clean and natural skin care and makeup. She began Toups and Co right in her own kitchen with a passion for products with recognizable ingredients.  Emilie lives on a small farm in south Alabama with her husband and four children. She enjoys gardening, cooking nourishing food and baking sourdough bread.

Resources Mentioned

Three-step skincare routine

Glow serum

Sun balm

Emilie’s list of most popular products: tallow balms, frankincense balm, liquid foundation, mascara, rose gold luminizer

Connect

Emilie Toups of Toups and Co Organics | Website | Instagram | Facebook

Lisa Bass of Farmhouse on Boone | Blog | YouTube | Instagram | TikTok | Facebook | Pinterest

Join us in the Simple Farmhouse Life Facebook community!

https://youtu.be/VV4JYd8cP3o

Transcript

Lisa Bass Welcome to the Simple Farmhouse Life podcast. Today I’m going to be chatting with Emilie Toups from Toups and Co—a natural and organic skincare line—about skincare. So, natural ways to keep your skin clean and hydrated. Natural makeup. We’re going to deep dive into ingredients. I felt like before talking with her that I already knew everything there was to know about natural skincare because I’ve loved the topic for so long. I know that our skin is our body’s largest organ and that whatever you put on does make its way into your body. It’s the same reason why they can use progesterone cream or like nicotine patches. What you put on your skin does actually make its way in there. So it is interesting that usually whenever we are choosing a more natural lifestyle, one of the last things to go is our skin care products, our body washes, anything that we put on our body. A lot of times we have our tried and true favorites and it’s hard to move away from those. And so that’s we’re going to be chatting about. After chatting with Emilie, I asked her if she would be willing to offer Simple Farmhouse Life listeners and viewers a coupon code. And she was. So she is offering the code FARMHOUSE15 if you want to get 15% off your order. She said the code doesn’t expire, but it can only be used once. So you can head over to ToupsandCo.com and use the code FARMHOUSE15. But make sure to listen through this interview. She brought up so many things that I just did not know yet. I thought I knew, but I didn’t. And so you’ll learn something new and hopefully come away with more encouragement and inspiration to incorporate natural ingredients into your skincare routine. 

Lisa Bass All right. Well, thank you so much, Emilie, for joining me here. I’m really excited to talk about skincare and the ingredients that you use and then the bad ingredients that could be in skincare that maybe some of us aren’t even aware of. So welcome. And would you like to introduce yourself and your company? 

Emilie Toups Yes. So I’m Emilie. I am the founder of Toups and Co Organics, and I’m just excited to be on the podcast today. 

Lisa Bass Yeah. Okay, so what’s your story? What made you get into natural skincare? Was there some eye-opening moment where you learned about something and that triggered you to start researching into it further? 

Emilie Toups Well, our daughter had really severe skin issues when she was young almost from infancy. And so that is really what led me down the path of doing a ton of research and seeing, you know, is she reacting to something? Is it products that we’re using on her? And what products can we use on her? Like what ingredients are going to help not just not irritate her skin but heal it? Or are anti-inflammatory things that she can put on her skin that will help her condition? 

Lisa Bass Yeah, I actually was reading around on your website. I noticed that theme throughout was not just like, okay, this is just not bad for your skin. This will actually help your skin. So what did you discover back then when your daughter was having those issues? Did you figure out any particular thing that was causing the problem? 

Emilie Toups So we were eating the standard American diet at the time and using pretty standard products. And it was a combination of a lot of things. We started taking out scented laundry detergent and starting with the really big things and just washing her with water. And the more research I did and I came across tallow, I was like, oh tallow seems super nourishing. I’ve read a lot of great things about it. So I called up someone locally and got some tallow and decided that I was going to render it in our kitchen and see what I could make. And it was so incredibly nourishing to her skin and just anti-inflammatory. She had red behind her elbows and behind her knees. And when I was starting to see that inflammation go away, that was that was it. I was kind of hooked at that point and really interested. And I was like, this is the way that I want to go, especially when we had tried the conventional route of steroids and other over-the-counter creams that were petroleum based. And not only were we not seeing improvement, but we were seeing it just even be worse. 

Lisa Bass Yeah, I actually had some of that whenever my first daughter was a baby. We had a few skin issues that I didn’t know how to treat at the time, and now I’m a lot more confident in that like I know which essential oils will work for that, but at the time, yeah, it just kept getting worse and worse. So you mentioned tallow. For someone who knows nothing about making their own skincare or what tallow even is, can you explain the process of how you got the tallow and then what kind of balms you made with it? 

Emilie Toups Yeah. So I mean, tallow is rendered beef fat. There is ten times more vitamin E in grass-fed tallow than conventional tallow. So obviously we use 100% grass-fed tallow. And it’s so different than plant oils because tallow is like 98% bioidentical to our own skin’s oils and sebum. And so it just really makes sense as humans who are animals to use animal fat on our skin. It was what our ancestors used. I like to call it ancestral skincare. It is what our ancestors would have used and what our skin wants or needs. And it has a lot of fat soluble vitamins, different than plant oils. And so when we first started, we used a lot of coconut oil, and I still love coconut oil, but it just wasn’t doing what we’ve seen tallow do. And tallow and lard both are saturated fats and full of fat soluble vitamins. And so that is essentially like feeding the skin. And so if you’re not familiar with using animal fat on your skin and your perception may be that it’s strange or weird or maybe that it smells bad, we do a really great job, at Toups and Co, of making a tallow that is easy for everyone to use. It smells amazing and at the same time, super nourishing and beneficial. 

Lisa Bass Yeah, I will say that for a long time I was making body butters with plant oils, like you said. And it wasn’t until I tried tallow that it actually— I’ve been able to cut some of my homemade body butters to make them absorb better. But the tallow definitely goes in. Like it seems like it actually absorbs in my skin and doesn’t sit on it and really nourishes it deeply. So, yeah, I totally know what you’re saying. So what are some of the products or ingredients in conventional makeup and skincare that made you want to consider other options. So what are some like specific things that are— you mentioned petroleum, I believe. What are some of the other big ones? 

Emilie Toups Well the average person is exposed to like 85,000 harmful chemicals per day. People will argue like anything is a chemical or everything is a chemical. But specifically hormone and endocrine disruptors, like silicones and fragrance, which could be any number of chemicals. I think now is like up to 1200 different chemicals could be under the term “fragrance”. Parabens—which you know, are hormone and endocrine disruptors—talc, phthalates, aluminum. I mean, there’s just a lot of things, in my research and the longer that I’ve been learning about conventional skincare, because in an over-the-counter product, they’re going to make it literally as cheaply as possible. Nourishing is probably the least on the top of things that they want this product to be. They want people to use it and buy it. But it’s not nourishing the skin and it’s full of these harmful chemicals. And so to me, the top three chemicals that really cause adverse skin reactions is fragrances is number one. I mean, every product in the market is full of fragrance, and because of trade secrets, they can put up to 1200—it might be 1800 now—different chemicals together call it “fragrance”, and they don’t have to disclose it on the label because it’s a trade secret. And people will have adverse reactions to products. And really, if they’re going on the label and they’re trying to see what ingredient they’re having this reaction to, it may not even be on the label. And so with that, you know, anything that has a fragrance, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t smell. It needs to be unscented. But like the actual term “fragrance” is hiding so many chemicals. Parabens are probably the next because they’re so hormone disruptive. And there’s an epidemic of hormone disruption in women across America. You know, we have autoimmune disorders and infertility and all of these things are linked to the endocrine system. And so parabens are things like preservatives and stabilizers and other products—or other ingredients, rather—in these products. I like to talk about phenoxyethanol a lot because it in a lot of things that are natural and organic. And it’s really like the new kid on the block as far as preservatives go. And it’s still an ethylated compound, and all ethylated compounds are known to have like 1,4-Dioxane, which is just a byproduct. Same thing with formaldehyde. It’s a byproduct left over from the reaction that makes that ethylated compound. So I just like to tell people, like when they’re looking on a product, like, is this good? A lot of people like to send me photos of ingredient lists, and I like to just equip and educate people so that they can just turn that around, look at it themselves, see that it has a paraben or a phthalate or an ethylated compound in it and say, “No. I’m going to put that down. It has fragrance in it. No.” And just try to make better choices. 

Lisa Bass Yeah, there’s so much— I think it’s referred to as greenwashing of products these days. And we get these things that we know about. Like we know aluminum is bad. We know when it comes to like cookware and stuff that BPA is bad. But then I think a lot of companies, because they need that long shelf life, because they need to mass produce something, they have to put in something. So they end up swapping it out for something that maybe we haven’t heard of yet. So then we read the ingredients and we’re like, well, I don’t see any of those offenders that I’m positive or bad. And then, like you said, there’s like a new kid on the block that they haven’t— people don’t yet know about so that they can kind of slide under the radar. Have you found that to be the case? 

Emilie Toups Oh, for sure. Any time there’s something that goes across the media and it’s this big offender and no one wants to use this ingredient, the first thing that skincare companies do is just swap it out for something else. And sometimes that swap can even be an even worse offender. But we’ve never heard of it. We might trust it. Immediately there’s articles that pop up on the Internet about this ingredient that are saying that it’s great, it’s been tested. And any ingredient that you haven’t heard of or that you don’t know is safe, the best thing to do is just avoid it. And so I think it’s really important to have transparent ingredient lists— things that you can read, things that are ingredients that you recognize. And then there is no guessing game. Because greenwashing is rampant. You can go now into any big box store, go down any aisle—skincare, hair care, even food—and there’s like the terms “natural” or “non-GMO” or things like that. And that doesn’t always necessarily mean that it’s good, but they do a really good job of making it seem like it’s a healthier option. 

Lisa Bass Yeah, maybe they’ll throw an essential oil in there or an herb and put like a little herb on the packaging with some brown paper bag looking packaging. And you can you can spot it. But yeah, you have to know what you’re looking for. 

Emilie Toups Or even the word “organic”. Like, there’s one organic ingredient in there. 

Lisa Bass Right? Yeah, totally. So why is it so important? I think we tend to sometimes think that if we’re not eating it, that it doesn’t actually matter or it’s not actually making its way in or affecting our hormones, like you mentioned. Why is that a problem? 

Emilie Toups So I like to tell people, well, first of all, your skin is your biggest organ. And I think it’s like 30 seconds to a minute when you put something on your skin, it’s directly into your bloodstream. And I like to use this example of, you know, there are like transdermal patches for medications and different things like that. And so you think about this patch, and you can put it on and like literally take this medicine as if you were ingesting it, but it’s through a patch, and it’s working and it’s in your bloodstream in a couple of minutes. You know, our lotions, our makeup, our shampoos, our body washes, soaps— they’re all doing that exact same thing. And it is kind of an eye opener. People are like, you know, you’re right because they think, oh, it’s not actually going in. I’m just putting on the outside. And what I’ve found most often is when people start cleaning up their diet and kind of start on this wellness journey, the last thing to go is that makeup bag. Those things they’ve been using since high school, or this mascara that they really love and they’ve always used it; it’s what their mom used or their sister or something like that. And it’s hard to think, you know, how many products— I’ll say, “How many products are in your makeup bag?” I think we have— in America, we have an average of like 12. So we’re putting 12 individual products on our bodies, and that’s not even including our other skincare and hair and body care. Each one of those has a chemical, and in that individual product, it might not be enough to be harmful. But when we’re applying 20 products a day to our bodies every day, 365 days a year, those toxins really add up. And, you know, it’s amazing whenever you remove all of those offenders and the fragrances how sensitive you are going back. So I hear from a lot of customers, “I’ve quit using all these products for a year. And I was at a wedding, and I didn’t have my mascara, so I used the same one that I used to use for years, and it affected me really badly. I couldn’t use it. It burned my eyes, made my eyelids swell up.” You know, just an example of how that we can build this tolerance to these products, and so it helps us think that they’re not really affecting us or they’re not disrupting us or our lives too much. But then when we’re removing those offenders and we might introduce them in back later, we realize how toxic that product might be. Same with laundry detergent. If you’re unscented and you’re using natural stuff, but you go into a house or an Airbnb that’s like using dryer sheets and scented— you’re immediately when you walk in the door, you’re like, whew. It’s so strong, you can smell it, but while you’re living there, you don’t smell it at all. And so that’s another example that I like to use so that people understand that they can kind of get sensitized to things over time. 

Lisa Bass Yeah, I definitely agree. I think the hesitation people have is, one, when these products are mass produced, they’re really cheap. And so they can just get them, they can get them easily, they can get them at any store. But the other is I think that because using natural skincare products is still relatively new in the marketplace, that a lot of them aren’t going to actually work. So they’re not going to actually cover up the blemish that you really want to cover up or even out your skin tone. What would you say to this? Do you find that that was an issue where you were trying to come in and make skincare products that were both natural and actually worked really well? 

Emilie Toups Yeah, effectiveness is always number one priority. And when we were expanding Toups and Co, we had tallow balms, deodorants, and I guess our daughter was getting a little bit older. She was like seven or eight and she’s like digging in my makeup bag and asking to borrow things. And I’m looking in my makeup bag and it’s not the cleanest. And I’m like, we have cleaned out every other part of our lives, and I’m still sitting here with this makeup bag full of junk. And now my daughter’s like, “Hey, Mom, can I use some lip gloss?” And I’m like, “No.” But I have no problem using it on myself, and I don’t want it on her. So that was kind of like that light bulb moment, like, okay, you know, what are we going to do? How can we change it and have products I actually want to use that are effective? And so it was just trial and error and creating a product with nourishing ingredients that was effective, highly pigmented. And I found that it was really easy, whenever you’re removing all these fillers and you’re just replacing them with nourishing ingredients and pigments, that they work really well, which is what these big box brands do. Their products are highly pigmented, and then their formula is just the cheapest oils that they can get. And so we were like, well, we can do the same thing— be highly pigmented, but just use nourishing organic oils. And those formulas, they work really well. We have got great reviews and I love using them. I feel safe letting my daughter play in them, and have her friends over, and I’m like, “Yeah, you can use anything in that bag.” And it’s a great feeling that it’s safe but also effective. 

Lisa Bass Yeah, I’ve loved your products. I actually just got in the mail—right before this interview, I mean, like, 30 minutes ago—my samples. Because I want to try the foundation, and so I had to make sure that I got the right one. So what does natural skincare routine look like? I’ve been experimenting around with the oil cleanser and then the tallow bomb for moisturizing. What would you give as like a sample? If somebody has really poor skin and they want to improve it, what would be a natural routine for them? 

Emilie Toups So I really believe in simplicity. So you see all these brands and they’ve got like a million skincare products, and there’s like 12- and 15-step routines. 

Lisa Bass Yeah, it’s so confusing. 

Emilie Toups All these things. And so it’s just not necessary. Especially like— I like to use eye cream as an example. Like what is in the regular face cream that’s so bad that we can’t use it around our eyes that we have to have this like special eye cream? Like with the tallow, you could use it on your whole face. We get so many emails, they’re like, “Is it safe to use it on the eye area?” And it’s like because we’ve been conditioned to think that it needs a special something, you know? And I’m like, “Absolutely. Eyelids, around your eyes. It’s great for everywhere.” So a really simple skincare routine would be our essential facial kit, which is the charcoal bar, a tallow balm, and the toner. That’s like our little three step. I like to recommend the charcoal bar if you have acne prone skin or younger skin. But like me, I am mid-thirties, getting a little older, and I really don’t deal with a lot of like acne blemishes. I like to do oil cleansing.

Lisa Bass Yeah. The moisture is the bigger problem at this age. 

Emilie Toups Yes, yes. Especially as we age and our skin’s not— the cell turnover is slower. We don’t really need to be like stripping off the oil in our skin. So oil cleansing with the seabuckthorn cleansing oil, a tonic—which is like a toner—is a great second option to make sure any residual dirt or anything on our face is off. And then moisturizer. It’s three steps. It’s really simple. It’s something that you can do. I like to tell people, start with one time a day at night because you’re going to want to take the day off. Whether you’re wearing makeup or not, we’re going outside, we’re getting environmental toxins and things that are in the earth. We want to strip that off at the end of the day and cleanse our face. In the morning, a hot towel is something that I do on most days. A warm towel, just a light cleanser just with water, and then a moisturizer, and ready for the day. Some people need twice a day. But I like to tell people, start with once a day. Let your skin get used to any new product that you use—whether my brand, another brand, doesn’t matter—and just kind of introduce a product slowly. Something that I found that people will do is they’ll get the charcoal bar in, and they’ll want to use it like every single day, twice a day, and their skin is like, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Like, that’s a big change, a big difference. It can upset the balance of the pH of your skin, and that can cause breakouts. So just slowly introducing something really simple—like a three step skincare routine—is easy, and it’s something that I can actually keep up as a mom with a lot of kids. And as you know, there’s always something going on. My skincare routine is probably least on my priority list, so I want to just have something that was really simple and quick. 

Lisa Bass Yeah, that’s exactly what I was looking for. Just like a simple routine because I’m not— I don’t know. I’ve never grown up a person who was super into skincare. And so all of the different things that are marketed to me, I’m very confused by them. I’m like, okay, which do we need? Which ones first? We have to first do the cleanser, then the toner, then— you know. So I like the simplicity. Now do you have any herbs or essential oils in your products? What are some of those kind of things that support healthy skin? 

Emilie Toups So I love lavender. I love frankincense. We use blue tansy, rose, and magnolia. They are excellent for the skin. They also smell amazing. We use calendula and chamomile a lot. Our glow serum is steeped with calendula for like thirty days, and then we do like a double strain on that. And we’re getting more into growing a lot of the herbs that we use in our products so they can— I know that the quality is best. But all of those are in the different products. They support healthy skin. Especially blue tansy has been shown to repair damaged skin. Same thing with rose. So I like to use those in the skincare products in a really light concentration, 1% or less. Because I’ve gotten a lot of questions and they’re like, “I do love those ingredients, but I’m really sensitive. How do the products smell? Are they strong?” And while they do— I think they smell really great. It’s really light and it dissipates quickly. So it’s not something that lingers well, even in the deodorant. The essential oils are used in a really light way so that it’s not disrupting the skin and at the same time can smell good and we can still get those beneficial properties. Because in things like herbs and essential oils, they have—like same thing with homeopathy—they have like a certain vibration and you don’t need a lot to get those benefits to the skin. It doesn’t have to be a super high concentration or super strong smelling. Just a little bit is even more beneficial for the skin, and you’re still getting those beneficial properties. 

Lisa Bass Yeah, I think a lot of times we’re just so used to these strong smelling products, and it really makes me think about just marketing in general and how much you can take something that’s really pretty gross and maybe not even that effective or good for you, but put it in a pretty package and then that’s what we buy into as something that’s going to be beneficial to us. I don’t know. I’m just like thinking about how much this cosmetic and skincare industry is just marketing. 

Emilie Toups Yeah, I mean, they can sell you junk in a pretty package that smells good. 

Lisa Bass Right. Exactly. That’s what I’m thinking. I’m like, okay, the fragrance is what makes—especially with like laundry detergent—that’s what makes people think that their laundry is clean, by having the certain fragrance. But really, clean does not have a smell. It just means the absence of a smell in reality. But so much of this is just steeped in marketing that we have to sort of break out of in order to really be able to use natural skincare products because they’re so different from what we’re used to if we haven’t branched out into that. I talked about the lineup for a cleansing routine. What would you recommend for a simple, natural put-together makeup look? 

Emilie Toups So like a really simple makeup look, which would be like if I’m leaving the house today and I’ve got 7 minutes, I’m going to cleanse my face and then use a toner and primer. And then use some mineral foundation. Really simple. Probably a little bit mascara, either lip gloss or lipstick. I prefer lip gloss. And maybe a little blush or bronzer if I’m feeling a little pale. And that’s it. It’s really simple. So what is that? Mineral makeup, some mascara, and lip gloss, maybe some blush or bronzer if you’re feeling extra. 

Lisa Bass Yeah, feeling fancy. Yeah. That’s pretty basic. On your Instagram—I believe it was a few days ago—you had something about mineral makeup and maybe what we think about some of the misconceptions of it and it being healthier. 

Emilie Toups Yeah. So there’s an ingredient in mineral foundations called bismuth oxychloride, and it’s a skin irritant and it’s a filler. It gives like a little dewy sheen, and it’s in— I mean, you can go online and look at mineral foundations. It’s like in every single one. And so when mineral makeup first came out, the brand that kind of introduced mineral makeup to us did not include bismuth oxychloride initially. People loved it. They loved this mineral makeup. And then the formula changed to include that. It cheapened the product. And so people were like, “I used to love mineral makeup, but it irritates my skin. Is your mineral makeup going to do the same thing?” There’s no talc, there’s no bismuth oxychloride. It’s basically just pigment. So you need less of it and it’s not irritating. So I like to just talk about that because people are like, “Oh, I don’t like mineral foundation. It makes my skin itchy.” Or “I don’t like it. I don’t like the way it goes on.” And so if you just give a different mineral— a real mineral foundation a try, you might really love it. It’s got, I think, a really great coverage. Better than a lot of the ones that are full of fillers that maybe you need more of to get good coverage. 

Lisa Bass Okay, maybe this is a dumb question, but what is the pigment? Is it just various things that you use? 

Emilie Toups So the pigments are iron oxides and micas. And they can be mined all over the world, mostly with child labor in third world countries. So we source our micas and our iron oxide in the U.S. and Canada so that we can just make sure that they are produced in a sustainable and ethical way. That’s a great question. 

Lisa Bass Okay. Yeah, no, I never really thought about it. So I’m assuming the liquid foundations— you said are oils with pigment and then the mineral one is a powder, right? 

Emilie Toups It’s a powder. Yeah. And then so there’s squalane in the liquid foundation, which is olive oil based. And it’s kind of like— if I could explain it, it’s kind of like a glycerin. So it’s not a liquid and it’s not an oil, but it gives it a really like even, smooth application. But squalanes could be soy-based. So when you see that ingredient, if you don’t know about it and you want to avoid soy, but you see, “Oh squalane. That’s a good ingredient.” You know, it’s a good practice to maybe ask the brand, like “Is it sunflower-based? Is it soy-based? Is it olive-based? You know, how do you source your squalane?” 

Lisa Bass Ooh, that’s something I’ve never thought about. Soy being in the foundation. Interesting. So what got you— this is again, what got you into— or how did you figure all this out? I’m sure just lots of research. 

Emilie Toups You know, a lot of research. And a lot of it, too, is that customers will ask questions about an ingredient that they’ve heard of. And sometimes it’s something that I’ve not— I didn’t know or I have not heard about before. And so then myself and our team, I’m like, okay, we’ve got to research this. I want to know every single thing about this ingredient. How is it processed? Where does it come from? Other places it can come from. You know, what countries is it produced in and how can we get the best version of this ingredient? And so basically that’s how a lot of our research is done. Sometimes we already know or sometimes a customer will bring it to our attention because things are always changing. There’s always new ingredients on the market. My sister is a chemical engineer and she has been very helpful in a lot of the process of like formulating. I rely heavily on her to just help me with different pieces of the equation, like zinc oxide, nano versus non-nano, and how to figure out concentrations of that. So yeah, it’s a process. It’s one that I really enjoy. My favorite part of Toups and Co is formulating new products. It’s a lot of fun. We have a lot of fun in our shop, putting together new things and getting to try them. 

Lisa Bass That does sound interesting. Now what does the non— or what is the nano— I know that nano means that it’s too small and it can go into your skin. What are you using that kind of ingredient in? I know you use it in sunscreen, but maybe you have lots of other ways that you use it as well. 

Emilie Toups Yeah. So it’s actually in both of the foundations—the zinc oxide—because it does provide a little bit of sun protection. A light amount of sun protection. And then we have a product releasing next week; it’s our sun balm. And it’s a tallow-based sunscreen with non-nano zinc oxide in it. And as you know, zinc oxide is just not a sunscreen, it’s just a UV blocker. And so it just kind of forms a barrier on the skin. 

Lisa Bass Yeah, it’s like a barrier. 

Emilie Toups And I mean, I’m a big advocate for sun exposure. I think that we need sun exposure probably—as Americans—more than we’re definitely getting. So I like to practice safe sun exposure, but in those instances where you’re bringing your kids to the beach or you know you’re going to have more sun exposure than you can handle, then I think a zinc-based mineral sunscreen comes into play and it can be beneficial. 

Lisa Bass Oh yeah, I like to have one. We usually have one that lasts us all summer for our whole family because like you, I don’t lather everybody up before we go anywhere. It’s just if we’re going to be outside from like noon to four the entire time, then you need a tiny bit on your cheeks, basically. Because we do the swim shirts and the hats and we do a lot of sun exposure where we are exposed just throughout the day. But if you’re going for all day long, we don’t want sunburns. And so I love having a zinc oxide mineral barrier type of sunscreen on hand. So you’re doing a tallow one. I bet that goes on smooth. Does the tallow provide a little bit of— since it’s oily, maybe it doesn’t come off? Like it’s a little bit waterproof? 

Emilie Toups It is a little bit. I still recommend after, you know, an hour or so of like rigorous water playing that you reapply. Everyone is different. Yeah, our skin can react to the sun differently based on even how we eat. So we do a lot of eat your sunscreen, healthy fats, and make sure that we’re not eating seed oils and things like that to protect our skin from UV rays, but definitely after 45 minutes to an hour of some rigorous water play at the beach— and we live 20 minutes from the Gulf, so we go often in the summer. Although my kids are still acclimated to sun, definitely use a little bit of sunscreen if we’re going to be out there all day. 

Lisa Bass Yeah. So you just kind of glazed by that whole eat your sunscreen thing. For people who don’t know what that is. Just briefly, what are you talking about here? 

Emilie Toups That’s a whole ‘nother podcast. 

Lisa Bass Yeah. It is. But we can touch on it. 

Emilie Toups So to me, eating your sunscreen is avoiding seed oils, right? Because they oxidize and cause you to burn even more. And eating your sunscreen means like cod liver oil, healthy fats, avocados, and grass-fed butter, and things like that. Help protect our skin, give our skin and our body the antioxidants and things that we need to combat excess UV exposure.

Lisa Bass Yeah, I’ve definitely noticed that. 

Emilie Toups And we can definitely tell a difference. 

Lisa Bass Yeah. Pretty much all of my— and obviously, this will vary because some people are so fair that they burn probably no matter what they do. We all have— in my family, we have skin that tans really nicely, and so we definitely don’t burn very easily. But I will say that in the last several years, as we’ve known about healthy fats, that it’s even been less of a problem. So for people who haven’t heard of that, you can actually eat certain things for your body for you to be protected from the sun or to not get sunburn. So that’s, like you said, that’s another whole podcast episode probably. 

Emilie Toups Yeah. 

Lisa Bass So what are some of your most popular products that people rave about, that we should all know about? 

Emilie Toups Our most popular products are the tallow balms, hands down. We sell more frankincense balm than anything else on the entire website. And for really good reason. We love them, our customers love them. And people will order like the two ounce size, and they’re like, “My only regret is not buying more.” The tallow balms are just up there, number one. For like makeup products, our liquid foundation and our mascara— number one makeup products. And behind that, oddly enough, is— we make this little rose gold highlighter. It comes in a cute little glass pot, and you can kind of put your finger in there and give you a little shimmer. And we sell so much of that. And it’s funny because I never really use it a ton myself. We had kind of developed that as like a need when people were asking for it. And I’m like, we are selling a ton of these little highlighters. And so I started using them myself and I’m like, oh, for good reason, because you can kind of like use them on your cheeks, you can use it as eyeshadow, you can put it on your lips. It’s kind of like a—I don’t know—a roundabout product that a lot of people love. 

Lisa Bass Yeah. I have the tallow balm, and I love that stuff, so I can see why that’s so popular. My podcast manager, who set up this interview, she was raving about the foundation, which is why I got the samples because I’m in the market for finding a really good natural foundation. So I can’t wait to check that out as well. I’m going to have both of your most populars. 

Emilie Toups Yeah. 

Lisa Bass So tell us where to find you. Best place to check out all of this and follow along with you and your information about skincare. And there’s lots of good info over on your Instagram. 

Emilie Toups Yeah. So our website is ToupsandCo.com. Obviously on Instagram, we share a little bit more of the behind the scenes things— us at the shop and packing and just a little bit more about the products. And definitely sign up for our newsletter. We send four or five emails a month and really try to highlight our blog posts and just give a lot of education around the products and the ingredients. And yeah, that’s where we are. 

Lisa Bass Awesome. Well, thank you so much for sharing all of your knowledge. This is a great topic to continue to explore. So thank you so much. 

Emilie Toups Thank you, Lisa. 

Lisa Bass All right. Well, thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Simple Farmhouse Life podcast. Again, make sure to use the code FARMHOUSE15 to get 15% off anything over at ToupsandCo.com. The code does not expire, but you can only use it once. So head over there. I know I am looking forward to using all of their makeup products. I’ve already been a big fan of their skincare. So the charcoal bar, the seabuckthorn cleansing oil. I have the tallow balm moisturizer. Loving those. Now I’m ready to start using all the makeup. And I really loved chatting with Emilie. I feel like there was so much to learn and so much more to learn over on her Instagram. So go check it out. And as always, thank you so much for listening and I will see you in the next episode of The Simple Farmhouse Life podcast. 

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