Category Archives: Reviews

My Experience With Everlywell Women’s Health Test

Read my honest review of Everlywell Women’s Health Test, and how I applied the results to improve my PMS symptoms, anxiety, sleep, and other hormonal health issues!

Everlywell Women's Health Test

Hey friends! So many of you appreciated my review of Everlywell’s at-home Food Sensitivity Test, and the results from it were so helpful in me pinpointing exactly what was causing my symptoms and alleviating them with an elimination diet.

To further improve my health after some recent issues I’ve been dealing with, I thought it would be wise to take another test to see how my hormones were doing. I ended up taking the Women’s Health Test and I want to share my experience with you, in case you were curious about doing something similar.

Why I Chose Everlywell Women’s Health Test

If you’ve been following me along on the blog for a while, you know I’ve gone through several hormonal health issues in the past and it’s one of the reasons why I’m so careful about the food I eat and the products I use on my skin. I had a long period recovering from adrenal fatigue, suffering from stress-induced hypothyroidism for a few years, and not having my period for several years after I went off of hormonal birth control.

I’ve been slowly recovering for the past several years by taking extra caution to take care of my health, but there are still some issues that linger that seem to be hormone-related, like:

  • not sleeping well at night,
  • being super sensitive to stress,
  • intolerance to cold at all times,
  • painful menstrual cramps,
  • anxiety,
  • and being easily fatigued.

It was time for me to tackle these issues and see where I currently stand, and the hormones measured by Everlywell Women’s Health Test seemed to be the ones that would be the most helpful to know. With the positive experience I had with Everlywell taking the Food Sensitivity Test, I decided to try out the Women’s Health Test as well.

Test Process

Everlywell does a really great job of making their at-home tests easy to take with simple step-by-step instructions, as well as a video tutorial, to help guide you through the entire process. Once you order the test through their website, you get it in in the mail and the kit has everything you need, as well as a prepaid shipping label to send it back to their lab.

The first thing you do is to register your kit online so you can receive updates about your shipping and test results. Then, I had to collect 2 blood samples and 4 saliva samples within 18 days of my cycle. I actually couldn’t take the test for a few weeks after receiving it because you have to wait until day 3 or 4 of your menstrual cycle to take the first blood collection. Here is the schedule for the samples you take:

  • Day 3-4 of menstrual cycle: take first blood sample
  • Day 19-21 of menstrual cycle: take 2nd blood sample + 4 saliva samples (in the morning, at noon before lunch, before dinner, and before bed)

Taking the blood sample

Everlywell Women's Health Test

The blood samples were actually easier for me to take because I’m not afraid of needles and I’ve gone through the same process with the Food Sensitivity Test. They provide alcohol swabs, a few lancets, bandaids, and a blood collection card that you have to fill with your blood samples. You pierce the end f your finger with the lancet provided and fill 6 circles on the collection card, and that’s it.

Taking the saliva sample

I found it a bit more challenging to provide saliva samples, especially the first sample of the day which you have to collect in the largest tube within 30 minutes of waking up before food and water. I honestly didn’t feel like I had enough saliva to fill up the large tube first thing in the morning so it was a bit of an effort for me. The samples for the rest of the day were a bit easier because the tubes were smaller and my mouth wasn’t as dry as it had been in the morning.

Once you label the tubes, you can keep them in the freezer until you ship them out. When you have all the samples collected, you fill out a form that they provide. You input your personal information on the form and then you ship it out, along with all the samples, in the prepaid envelope that they provide. They then reach out to you once the results are ready.

The Results

I couldn’t believe it but my results were ready just 2 days after the lab received my samples!

The Everlywell Women’s Health Test measure 11 different hormones that are known to be instrumental in women’s health:

  • Cortisol

For the women’s reproductive system, as well as our overall health, to be functioning properly, all these hormones need to work together in a harmonious balance.

I got my results via email, and was able to look at them through the Everlywell online portal that you can access when you register your kit. You also have the the option to download the PDF version that you can print out to look over and/or share with your doctor. Here’s what it looked like at a glance:

Just from looking at the color code next to each hormone, I was fairly within the normal range for most the most part. I was actually thrilled to see that my cortisol was at a normal range throughout the day, because I’ve had blood sugar issues in the past which now seem to have normalized. I was also very happy about my thyroid numbers (free T3, free T4, TSH, and TPO antibodies) being well within the normal range, because I suffered from hypothyroidism for a little over a year during my worst days of adrenal fatigue

However, the red dot next to Estradiol and yellow dot next to Progesterone/Estradiol Ratio gave me pause, although I wasn’t surprised by them.

I knew that because of my past of chronic stress and how sensitive I am to stress still, that my estrogen levels would be higher than normal. Estrodiol is one of the 4 main estrogens occurring in women and it is the most predominant one. Estrogen dominance is a common health issue in the modern world because of everyday stressors, environmental toxins, and the harmful chemicals prevalent in the personal care products we use.

Here’s what showed when I clicked on each of these hormones:

everlywell women's health testeverlywell women's health test

Beyond these explanations, Everlywell gave some basic tips to regain my hormonal health like making changes to my diet, and more importantly for me, managing my stress. It’s something I struggle with the most so I wasn’t surprised to see this recommendation:

everlywell women's health test

While the rest of the hormones were within the normal range, I still looked them over to see if they were within the high or low ranges of normal just to make sure. Thankfully, my levels looked really good for the rest.

In addition to the practical recommendations, Everlywell also suggested various articles that I may want to check out about different hormonal health conditions like thyroid disorders, testosterone levels in women, PCOS, and more, which I found interesting and helpful. Even if they didn’t directly apply to me, I loved learning a bit more about various conditions and it also kept me aware of how I can keep my hormones healthy and happy.

Lifestyle Changes I Made Since the Test

After learning that I am estrogen dominant from the Everlywell Women’s Health Test, I decided to take further action to help regulate my hormones. It became clear to me that my stress level was a huge contributor to a variety of health issues I was dealing with.

Here are some actions I’ve taken to reduce stress in my life:

  • Meditation at the end of the day for 10 minutes.
  • Trying to journal everyday. Writing down my thoughts like what’s giving me anxiety and what I’m thankful for each day has been such a game changer.
  • Working smarter. Instead of trying to multitasking or doing all the things at once, I’ve been better about breaking up my tasks and doing one thing at a time. I’ve also been putting away my phone when I work so I’m not distracted by social media and notifications.
  • Giving myself weekends. It’s difficult as a business owner and as someone with a type A personality to stop working when you have free time. This one is still hard for me, but I’ve been trying to put work aside and give myself time to do nothing when I need it.
  • Cleaning up my personal care products. I started doing this a long time ago and I’m so glad that I did. Turning to safer brands like Beautycounter who make amazing products without harmful chemicals that disrupt our hormones has been the best decision.
  • Taking chaste tree supplements. Chaste tree supplements are amazing for PMS symptoms, estrogen dominance, and hormonal imbalance. I’ve been taking this one for about 2 weeks now, and I’m excited to report that my latest period cramps and pain have been significantly diminished! I plan to keep taking it for 3 months. Please consult with your doctor before taking this, especially if you are taking exogenous hormones.

Take the Test Yourself!

If you are having hormonal issues like menstrual cramps, irregular periods, low sex drive, hair loss, infertility, depression, and/or insomnia, Everlywell Women’s Health Test is an easy-to-use and comprehensive test that lets you get a snapshot of your hormonal health by testing out the levels of your various hormones. The test is easy to take with well written instructions to help you guide you through the process.

I’m honestly so glad I was able to take this test and see how my hormonal health was doing. I knew that I needed to take action because I was going through several symptoms which I mentioned earlier in this post, but I didn’t know exactly what was wrong with me and what I specifically needed to do to improve my health. The test has been such a great tool, and I plan to take it again in the future to see if and how much my numbers improve.

Ready to take the test yourself?

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE EVERLYWELL WOMEN’S HEALTH TEST!
Take 15% Off Orders Up to $249 or 20% Off $250+ Orders with code GIVETHEGIFT! Ends 12/24.

This post contains affiliate links. In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

How My Skin Changed Dramatically with Beautycounter’s Overnight Resurfacing Peel

Learn all about Beautycounter’s Overnight Resurfacing Peel and the amazing results I gained from using it for a month (includes before and after photos)!

Holy moly, guys. I don’t usually write reviews on a single product but I’m honestly floored by the results I got from Beautycounter’s new Overnight Resurfacing Peel. It’s a gentle and safe peel that’s made with 15 botanically-derived acids (from plants!) to smooth the texture and reduce the appearance of pores and dark spots.

My Skin Type

I have dark and chronic dry skin that easily scars with acne and too much sun, and I’ve always had uneven skin tone that would worsen with stress or lack of sleep. My past teenage years and early 20s of sunbathing without sunscreen and frequenting tanning beds definitely have taken a toll on my skin.

Additionally, I have really dark and big pores, especially around my nose (with frequent blackheads) that I always hated and try to cover up with a concealer. Truthfully, I never really felt comfortable without some kind of makeup to cover up my blemishes and dark spots.

I’ve tried a bunch of methods to improve my skin texture in the past, from facials to chemical peels, and they would work for a little while then my skin would go back to how it was before: dry, uneven in color, and dead looking without the dewy glow that I was striving for.

My Initial Doubts

So when I first heard about the Overnight Resurfacing Peel, I was a bit skeptical, especially coming from a company that only uses safer ingredients. How powerful can this product be? I’m always a bit slow to try out new products, especially when there’s a huge hype about it, thinking that it’s just a fad that’ll pass.

However, I kept hearing and seeing rave reviews with almost a cult-like following from social media and my fellow bloggers, and I decided to give it a full month to try it out.

How I Use the Peel

Overnight Resurfacing Peel

After reading the directions for the Overnight Resurfacing Peel, I decided to use it for 3 nights a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

  1. I began by using the Cleansing Balm to remove my face of all makeup and give it a deep clean. You can learn more about why I love the Cleansing Balm in this post.
  2. Then, I would apply the peel in a thin layer (only 1-2 pumps) and wait 5 minutes for it to absorb.
  3. Lastly, I followed each time with Countermatch Recovery Sleeping Cream, which gave my skin plenty of hydration and recovery while it “healed” after the peel each night.

The Results

The good part! I actually saw my skin glow the morning after the first time I used it which made me so excited. However, I know it’s difficult to see changes over a long period of time so I decided to take a before and after photo to see if there will really be a dramatic difference.

And guys? I almost cried happy tears after seeing these photos:

Beautycounter's Overnight Resurfacing Peel

These photos were taken only a month apart with ZERO MAKEUP, except for my lash extensions. And I promise, there’s NO FILTER or any kind of editing done. The lighting may slightly affect the appearance (I moved to a new house between these 2 photos so I couldn’t photograph at the same exact spot), but you can visibly see how much my skin has improved in just a month.

Some huge differences to note:

  • My skin tone is so much more even in the second photo.
  • You can see how much my pores have reduced and are less visible, especially on and around my nose area.
  • The acne scars on my chin are dramatically reduced.
  • Can you tell how much the texture of my skin improved? SO MUCH SMOOTHER.

There’s no doubt I will continuously use this product for further improvements. And the best part? I haven’t felt this great in my skin in a while. I’ve even been going makeup free recently because I feel so confident about my skin, which hasn’t been true for a very long time.

FAQs

As with anything that promises this great of a result, I know I’ll get several questions about this product so I’m going to answer several of them here. If you have any more that I didn’t answer below, leave me a comment below!

What is in the Overnight Resurfacing Peel?

There are 15 acids derived from plants, including resurfacing acids, which gently remove the top layer of your skin. This layer is typically the most damaged with dead cells (making our skin look gray with more pigmentation and finer lines), and are the most stubborn to come off.  There are also soothing and hydrating acids in the peel so your skin doesn’t dry out while using the peel, which is necessary for someone with dry skin like me.

Major key ingredients and their benefits:

  • Glycolic acid: improves skin texture, resurfaces, exfoliates
  • Lactic acid: stimulates cell renewal promoting smoother, brighter, younger-looking skin
  • Malic acid: decreases the appearance of fine lines
  • Citric Acid: evens skin tone and reduces the appearance of dark spots
  • Hyaluronic acid: hydrates skin and helps it retain moisture
  • Fatty acids: including omegas 3 & 6, maintain skin’s barrier to prevent moisture loss, smooth skin, and provide antioxidant benefits

Most peel products only have one or just a few acids in them, but with 15 in the Overnight Resurfacing Peel that work together to deliver the best results, you’ll be amazed at how quickly your skin sees improvement!

How do I use it?

You’ll want to use this peel at night 3 times a week after you cleansed your face of makeup and oil. You then add 1-2 pumps to your hand and gently apply a thin layer to your face and neck, then wait 4-5 minutes for it to absorb into your skin. You then follow up with a nourishing and hydrating cream moisturizer, such as the Rejuvenating Night Cream or the Countermatch Recovery Sleeping Cream (my personal favorite!).

This isn’t a product you have to wash off until the next morning. Make sure to use it at night because it works best while you are sleeping. You also don’t want the acids to react with UV rays, which can damage the skin.

Does it burn?

No, this is not a typical chemical peel. It’s very gentle on the skin while being extremely effective. It may tingle slightly when you put it on, but this shouldn’t last long.

For me, it tingled the very first time I used it, but I haven’t felt that ever since.

How long is the recovery time?

There’s no recovery time! This is a no-peel peel. The acids gently exfoliate the skin to slough off the top layer of skin without being visible.

I remember being on a house arrest for a week after getting a chemical peel done and I’m so happy I don’t have to deal with that again. It works even better than the harsh peels that I used to do without the pain which makes me so dang excited and happy.

Will it dry out my skin?

I have chronic dry skin and I haven’t found that it does for me. It contains hydrating acids to combat the dryness, and the nourishing creams you use afterwards also helps your skin lock in the moisture. I think it may dry out your skin if you use it more than 3 times a week, and if you don’t moisturize afterwards.

In the long run, you’ll find that your skin is much more dewy and hydrated after using the peel for a while because moisturizers will penetrate better into the skin and you’ll have better cell turnover. My skin has seriously changed after using this and I don’t think I can even say that I have dry skin anymore.

Do I need to use sunscreen while using it?

Yes, I highly recommend you do. The peel makes your skin more sensitive to UV rays so I use a sunscreen everyday. I love the Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Stick because it’s safe and so easy to use daily.

What skin issues is it good for?

Almost everyone can benefit from this peel, but it’s especially great for:

  • acne scars
  • dark spots
  • uneven pigmentation
  • large pores and blackheads
  • fine lines and wrinkes

Can you use it with rosacea or eczema?

Yes! Because it’s so gentle, people with these skin issues actually found improvements in their skin after using it. The peel contains raspberry oil which is extremely soothing and great for reducing inflammation.

I do recommend you use a hydrating night cream afterwards if you suffer from rosacea or eczema, like the Rejuvenating Night Cream or the Countermatch Recovery Sleeping Cream.

Is it safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women?

Yes, but I would talk to your ob-gyn to see how they feel about it. All Beautycounter products have been thoroughly tested and ensure safety, but it’s always better to double check with a professional during more sensitive times.

I would also do a spot test before putting it on your skin. Just put a little bit behind the ears then sleep with it on. A little bit of pink and tingling is fine, but if you begin to see some swelling, I would stay away from using it for the time being.

Who shouldn’t use the Overnight Resurfacing Peel?

  • Anyone with a super sensitive skin. I would first do a spot test that I mentioned in the answer to the previous question. However, many people who do have sensitive skin have reported that they are able to use the peel with no issues.
  • Anyone with sunburns or cuts
  • Anyone who’s done a professional chemical peel recently. I would wait full 60 days before using this peel.
  • Anyone currently using exfoliating or harsher products that are prescribed by a dermatologist. Talk to your dermatologist first before using it.

Is it vegan?

Sure is.

How long does a bottle last?

Depending how often you use it and how much (some people also use it on their hands and their shoulders to reduce dark spots), it should last about 3-6 months.

Overnight Resurfacing Peel

How much is it?

$58 per bottle, which is AN AMAZING DEAL compared to what you would spend on professional peels. I used to spend hundreds of dollars on glycolic acid peels and I can tell you the Overnight Resurfacing Peel works way better without me having to hide my face for a week every time I do it!

Have any more questions? Leave me a comment below.

If you are ready to try it out yourself, click on the link below. And if the peel doesn’t perform the way you hoped it would, Beautycounter has an amazing return policy: Even if you opened the packaging, you can return the unused portion within 60 days from the ship date!

Click here to buy the
Overnight Resurfacing Peel

Also, if you want to save on Beautycounter product purchases, you can join the Band of Beauty membership which is $29/year, and you’ll get awesome perks like:

  • Free ground shipping on all orders over $100
  • 15% BACK IN PRODUCT CREDIT on all orders for a year. For example, a product order of $100 will earn you $15 to spend on your next order (and gets you free shipping)!
  • Exclusive members-only offers delivered directly to your inbox throughout the year
  • A welcome gift when you spend $50+

Many times, the welcome gift is worth more than the $29 membership fee itself, so it’s totally worth joining because you end up getting your money back with the free gift! JOIN HERE.

Want More Safer Skincare?

Make sure to join my Safer Skincare Facebook group, for deals, discounts, video tutorials, and more education around why I choose safer skincare. I also send out free samples occasionally so COME JOIN IN ON THE FUN!

Lastly, I’m also sending a free gift to my Safer Skincare mailing list subscribers the first time they shop Beatycounter with me so make sure to sign up. I send out occasional emails about updates and news worth sharing, so don’t miss out! SIGN UP FOR THE SAFER SKINCARE NEWSLETTER.

My Experience With Everlywell At-Home Food Sensitivity Test

Read on for my review of Everlywell at-home food sensitivity test, along with why I chose it, my results, and how it changed my diet!

Holiday Everlywell discount!: Take 15% Off Orders Up to $249 or 20% Off $250+ Orders with code GIVETHEGIFT! Ends 12/24. Check out tests HERE.

For a few months now, I’ve been experiencing some unexpected digestive discomfort and bloating and I couldn’t figure out exactly why. With my IBS history, these things come and go depending on my stress level, but it felt more acute and longer lasting than usual. I immediately suspected some kind of a food sensitivity, so after doing some research, I decided to try out an at-home food sensitivity test called Everlywell.

Why Everlywell?

I wanted to choose a comprehensive at-home food sensitivity test that’s accurate, affordable, and provides detailed and easy to understand results. Everlywell checked all those boxes for me and I loved how quick their turnaround time is once you send in your sample.

Their test measures your body’s IgG immune response to 96 foods that are commonly found in western diets. Most traditional allergy tests measure just the IgE response, which only tests for an immediate response your body has to a food or a substance (typical allergy responses such as hives, swelling, difficulty breathing), missing out on subtle sensitivities your body may respond to long term.

This is why measuring the IgG response is much more accurate and comprehensive, since it can capture the less obvious and much delayed and long term reactions your body may have such as:

  • headaches and migraines
  • anxiety
  • digestive issues
  • autoimmune diseases
  • skin conditions
  • bloating
  • fatigue
  • joint pain

What is the process?

The process is actually surprisingly simple. Once you order your test, the kit is mailed to you and you can take the test right away. The instructions inside are easy to follow, but if there’s any confusion, they direct you to their site where they have detailed video tutorials on how to take the test.At-Home Food Sensitivity Test

First step is to register your kit online so you can receive updates about your shipping and test results. Then, to take the test, you clean your hand with an alcohol swab, prick your finger with the lancet in the kit, and squeeze out the blood on the blood collection card. It took about 5-7 drops to fill up the required amount. If you can’t handle the sight of blood, you may want someone to help with this process.

After the blood drops have dried completely, all you have to do is send it back in the prepaid and pre-labeled envelope that’s in the kit. Then you just wait for your results! I was honestly surprised at how easy the entire process is. Everything you need to do the test is in the kit, from alcohol pad, bandaids, gauze pad, biohazard bag, and more.

What were my results?

I received an email and a text alert that my test results were ready, about 1 week after the date I mailed out the completed kit. The results break down the 96 most commonly consumed foods in the western diet into 4 categories: Very High Reactivity, Moderate Reactivity, Mild Reactivity, and Low Reactivity. I didn’t have any foods that were in the Very High Reactivity group, probably because I actually do not consume many allergens in my everyday diet.

Keep in mind that if you don’t consume a specific food (gluten and dairy, for me), it won’t reveal in this test that you have a sensitivity to that food, because the antibodies that react to that food in your body won’t be present. This is why neither gluten nor dairy came up as highly reactive food for me.

If you want to make sure you are reacting to a certain type of food and you want it to show up on this test, make sure to consume that food within the week before you take the test. I already know that I feel crappy eating gluten and dairy, so I didn’t feel the need to test those foods and kept it out of my diet leading up to the test. So it’s really up to you if you want to test those foods out or not.

Now, the heartbreaking part:

I found out that the food I was most sensitive to in my current diet is eggs. If you’ve been following for a while, you know I’m obsessed with eggs and I eat it almost everyday. Honestly, this didn’t surprise me too much because if you consume one type of food on an everyday basis, it’s likely that you will become sensitive to that food. I just didn’t want it to be true.

This is especially true for anyone with a compromised immune system, and honestly, that’s most of us today living in this modern world surrounded by toxins in our food, cleaning products, and environment. So I highly recommend adding a variety of food into your diet and rotating them so you don’t consume one food every single day.

Now, for the mild reactivity foods:

As you can see, gluten and dairy are in this category even though I know I’m highly sensitive to them, because I haven’t consumed these foods (intentionally) in months. Had I eaten these foods in the recent weeks, they would have showed up in the Very High Reactivity group.

For the foods in this category, I think I’ll be reducing the amount that I consume instead of eliminating them altogether. For example, I eat quite of bit of almonds in milk and butter form, but I can start substituting with coconut milk and sunflower seed butter. I also eat ALOT of green beans (basically my favorite veggie), so I’ll probably reduce the amount that I eat them to once every 2 weeks or so. I will, however, do a complete elimination of eggs for several weeks to build up my tolerance to them.

It’s important to note that just because you are reactive to a certain type of food, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t eat it for the rest of your life. It may take a few weeks, months, or even years, but once your gut heals enough after not being exposed to an offending food for a long time, you may be able to reintroduce it back into your diet with success.

Things you should know before taking the Everlywell Food Sensitivities Test

At-Home Food Sensitivity Test

  • Just because you aren’t experiencing digestive issues, doesn’t mean you do not have food sensitivities. Symptoms can vary from: headaches, joint pain, fatigue, and skin problems. If you are experiencing any of these, it’s a great idea to take this test to find out how you can reduce those symptoms.
  • This is a blood sample test. You need to be comfortable with pricking your own finger then squeezing out the blood. Have someone help you if you have hard time seeing or dealing with blood in any way.
  • If you suspect that you have a sensitivity to a food, but you still want to be sure that you are, you have to eat that food several times within the week leading up to taking the test in order for it to show up. Your body needs to create the antibodies to that food, or the results won’t indicate that you are reactive to that food.
  • If the results come back showing that you are reactive to a food, the best course of action is to eliminate that food from your diet for several weeks.

Take the test yourself!

I hope this breakdown of my experience helped you. I’m honestly so glad that I took the test, because I would have never given up eggs on my own without being 100% sure that I was intolerant to them (I just love them TOO much!). It’s been several days without eggs and I actually feel less bloated than I have been for the past several months.

I also loved knowing about “Mild Reactivity” food items because I can start reducing those in my diet. If I keep eating those foods frequently without knowing, there’s a chance that I’ll become highly reactive to those foods as well. The test is such a great way to take control over your health, and it’s so empowering when you start feeling better with the choices you make in your diet.

Ready to take the test yourself?

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE EVERLYWELL FOOD SENSITIVITY TEST!
Take 15% Off Orders Up to $249 or 20% Off $250+ Orders with code GIVETHEGIFT! Ends 12/24.

This post contains affiliate links. In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.