Hi! I’m Rebecca Mockaitis, PR Manager and model, and I am proud to be a member of the Inner Beauty Cosmetics team. I found this brand—or you could say this brand found me in an unconventional way—when I was working as an elementary school art teacher and model. I heard a new clean cosmetics line was looking for models, and while that was nothing I hadn’t heard before, this brand was different: They were looking for models that were cancer survivors, had autoimmune disease, fertility struggles and/or pregnant. I checked every box!
Sure, many cosmetic lines pride themselves on being clean, but this one was developed by a woman whose background in cosmetic product development and MS diagnosis challenged her to create a line that not only performed, but was safe for sensitive bodies, like hers. This line is for everyone, but she wanted women to represent it who prioritized the safest formulas to put on their skin. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have qualified. But a few life-altering events have led me to make very careful decisions about what products I choose for my body.
After being married for a couple of years, I still was struggling with infertility. I didn’t understand why someone young and perfectly healthy would have this issue, so I kept it to myself and was disappointed month after month with each negative test. When I thought I finally became pregnant, my doctor said those symptoms I was feeling were actually due to a rare and rapidly growing cancer that she discovered in my thyroid and surrounding lymph nodes. Ultrasound and biopsy confirmation also revealed an autoimmune disorder. This would be enough of a whirlwind on its own, but it was being told to put my baby plans on hold that hurt the most.
I felt scared knowing there was something toxic in my body. I wanted to carry a baby, not cancer. It was important to me to get it out as soon as possible. A few months later, I underwent a total thyroidectomy to remove the lump, my thyroid, and lymph nodes but it didn’t guarantee that everything cancerous was gone. My oncologist also recommended that I receive radiation to kill any remaining cancer cells.
The treatment for my specific type of cancer involved ingesting radioactive iodine. To prepare, I had to stick to a diet to deprive my body of iodine, which caused me to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks. It turns out there is iodine in everything. After receiving the radioactive iodine, I was quarantined for a week due to being physically radioactive. Again—not the ideal time for a baby. I was told again to wait to try to conceive.
During this time I committed myself to rehabilitation and a healthy lifestyle. I already exercised regularly and ate well and mostly stuck to clean products, but I always seemed stumped by makeup. Either they performed but the ingredients list was miles long and questionable, or the products were “all natural” but chalky, flaky, poorly pigmented and did not look good on my skin. I decided to give up on makeup for a while and just focus on fertility. Eventually I became pregnant!
This is when I met Julie. Julie is more than just the brand founder; she is someone who deeply cares about this population of sensitive bodies because she lives it.
To say I also have a sensitive body is an understatement! From struggling to conceive, to cancer, autoimmune disorder, pregnancy, and now being a nursing mother of an infant… my need for clean products has only increased. We shared our stories over the phone and she visited me in my home with some samples (and a gift for my baby). The rest is history!
Julie works with a team of doctors, chemists and toxicologists to develop each of the formulas for Inner Beauty, so not only am I confident that the formulas are safe, but I actually feel confident that the products look good on me, too. It’s amazing that something so beautiful can be born of such challenges, and it’s an honor to be a part of something so transformative as Inner Beauty Cosmetics.
Share your story to be featured on the blog by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.