This month’s Do-Good Dozen winner, Lindsay Dahl, is a self-proclaimed rabble-rouser, and we’re ready to rumble and fight for safer beauty right alongside her. Lindsay takes her passion, frustration, and knowledge in the personal care and beauty industry and uses her skills to create change on a large scale. Through her writing, campaigning on Capitol Hill, and her work as SVP of Social Mission at Beautycounter, Lindsay advocates for toxin-free, better ingredients for our homes, baby products, skin care, and more. Read on to learn about who she is, her current inspirations, what surprised her about motherhood, and how we can be a part of this #betterbeauty movement by just sending a text on our phones.
Tell us a little about the journey that led you to who you are today.
I grew up in Minnesota from your run-of-the-mill Midwestern family. I was a quirky and precocious kid who wanted to do things differently. My parents taught me that if you want to achieve something big, you need to play the long game. That mindset has helped me channel the patience needed to navigate the legislative process.
Passing laws to protect the health of American families takes a long time, but when you win, you win big.
What does your role at Beautycounter as SVP of Social Mission entail? What are some of the biggest issues you are currently working on at Capitol Hill, as well as internally with BC products?
I head up the safety, sustainability, advocacy, and giving programs at Beautycounter – dream job! We are actively working to pass legislation that will clean up the beauty industry, increase transparency, and make sure the ingredients used in beauty products are safe. At Beautycounter, we’re working on increasing the sustainability of our packaging and searching for new preservatives. Our goal has always been to bring beautiful, high-performing products (aka – they work!) to market using only the safest ingredients possible. I have the benefit of working with our best in class team to help make that happen.
Was there someone in your life making bold and positive actions that exemplified what it means to be an activist for you?
My grandma taught me that it’s okay to ruffle some feathers if it means doing what’s right. She divorced her husband and took over his construction company in a time and era where none of that was possible. I also respected how my grandma was bold and ahead of her time, but she didn’t come across as tough.
I learned that how you present yourself directly impacts how people will hear your message.
Are you righteous and angry in your activism? Or do you bring a down to earth, softer side to advocating? Everyone has their own style, but I channel her when I’m advocating for clean beauty.
What are two things you wish people knew about when it comes to toxic chemicals in personal care products?
Stop wearing perfume – they are loaded with toxic chemicals that are known allergens and disrupt our hormone system. And that finding clean beauty products doesn’t need to be complicated. You can see how your products rank by using EWG’s Skin Deep database.
What are the first steps you would suggest a brand take when trying to not only improve their product, but get involved in making change on a larger scale?
I love this question because Beautycounter has always been about inspiring other brands to do better, because we believe all beauty should be clean beauty. Top five tips for companies seeking change:
- Acknowledge that the beauty industry needs to use safer ingredients.
- Fully disclose all fragrance ingredients.
- Screen color cosmetics for heavy metals.
- Be honest about how hard it is to make safer products.
- And join Beautycounter in Washington as we ask Congress for better beauty laws!
What brand, organization, or individual are you currently inspired by and why?
Patagonia gets it. I love how they are always thinking ahead of their industry and they are unafraid to be outspoken on issues that are much bigger than their business.
What was one of the biggest surprises to you about motherhood?
How much joy I feel! Everyone talks about the sleep deprivation, your postpartum body, or how you’re giving up your life. I was preparing myself for battle and I’m actually overwhelmed with how much joy and happiness I feel raising and watching my daughter grow. I haven’t given up my life as I knew it, I just have a sweet little nugget to join me in my daily adventures.
What is a self-limiting belief that you’ve realized is untrue? How did you move past it?
I’ve spent years thinking that the harder you work, the more value you have as a person.
This mindset makes for a good employee, but it can be highly toxic. I love my career, but I’m also more than an advocate for better beauty. I’m a friend, yogi, writer, surfer, adventurer, I enjoy talking with friends over a long dinner, and I’m a mother, sister, and wife.
What is something that gives you hope?
Seeing people engage in the political process in a meaningful way. I have the benefit of seeing first-hand how our phone calls, emails, and meetings move Congress to act. I think so many people assume that their voice, their call, their vote doesn’t matter. Having worked on well over a dozen state and federal laws, I have seen how people like you and I can effect change. Ten years ago, barely anyone knew about the toxic plastic BPA, and now it’s hard to find a water bottle that doesn’t have a “BPA free” sticker on it. Our future doesn’t look like the status quo.
What steps can we take today to help advocate for better beauty and personal care?
You can text Congress from your phone and have your voice heard in less than two minutes. Simply text BETTERBEAUTY to 52886, and Beautycounter will text you a link to email your Members of Congress directly. Click on that link and hit send! Members of Congress are required to tally and track how many calls and emails they receive on issues, so join the movement and text Congress today. Then tell all your friends to as well :).