Switch 2 Pure for Brain Health, By Dr. Kristen Willeumier

By Estela Cockrell

Switch 2 Pure for Brain Health, By Dr. Kristen Willeumier


"Small upgrades in your beauty regimen can yield dividends to the health and longevity of your brain." - Kristen Willeumier, PhD, Neuroscientist, 2018


Switch2Pure Purist-in-Chief, Estela Cockrell, sat down Widely-Known Neuroscientist, Dr. Kristen Willeumier and she had some great insight on your trusted products, their effect on the brain & why switching to pure products is so essential to your health!


    "As a neuroscientist, I have spent the past 20 years dedicated to studying the brain and learning how diet, lifestyle, nutraceuticals, therapies and innovative technologies can be utilized to slow down and reverse cognitive aging. (1-3)   As a former model, I also have a love of all things related to beauty, hair and makeup, and given my understanding of how the chemicals in these products can impact our health and wellbeing, I have slowly and diligently made upgrades across all aspects of my beauty regimen which include soaps, toothpaste, deodorant, skin products, hair products and makeup. These changes were primarily done because of my understanding of how the buildup of toxic chemicals, including the heavy metals aluminum, mercury, copper and lead to the pathology underlying neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease. 

When you work with patients who would give anything to restore the health of their brain, it’s a powerful motivator to inspire lifestyle changes in support of this goal.

   The reason why it’s so important for us think about the impact of the chronic exposure of chemicals that are in our beauty products, whether we are in our 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s or even older, is that degenerative processes begin manifesting in the brain at the cellular level 20 to 30 years prior to having symptoms of cognitive impairment. Thankfully we have a renaissance of thinking in this domain, and we have mindful companies like Switch 2 Pure at the forefront of providing the education and guiding consumers to clean, non-toxic beauty products that do not increase the chemical burden in your system. It has been demonstrated that memory and cognition impairments begin to decline at a rate of approximately 10% per decade, starting as early as the 20’s2. (4) So if you need a compelling reason to make some shifts in your beauty regimen, I hope the long term preservation of your brain health is one of them! I wanted to share with you some of the changes I have made, with my rational behind them, with the hopes that it will inspire you to investigate making some shifts in your beauty regimen as well. 

     I started embracing a healthier, safer, non-toxic beauty regimen in my mid 20’s, beginning with my facial cleanser and moisturizer.  I made the conscious decision that I was only going to use products on my face and skin which could safely be ingested. This means no chemicals. The facial cleanser I use has no soap or artificial colors and is paraben free and the moisturizer I use contains only 4 ingredients: peanut oil, olive oil, lanolin oil and vitamin E. I am often asked what I use on my face and skin and I love that it is so simple and low cost.  Remember it does not have to be expensive to work well, it’s all about the ingredients {Switch2Pure's full line of cleansers that are safer and effective for every skin type}  I also use an eye makeup remover from Honey Belle that contains almond oil, vitamin E and lavender, which easily clears my mascara and helps to moisturize my skin while not irritating my eyes.  

     I next switched my deodorant to one with no petrochemicals, phthalate, propylene glycol, mineral oil, silicone, synthetic dye, sulfates or parabens. Aluminum is one of the most toxic heavy metals to the brain, and when oxidized, accelerates damage to your nervous system.  (In addition, given that the lymph nodes are under the arm pits, it’s important that these areas do not get congested with harmful chemicals in body care products, in order for waste and toxins to be easily excreted from the body.)  Reducing all exposure to heavy metals is highly advised if you wish to embrace a brain healthy lifestyle.  There are many brands to explore which are safe and non-toxic, so this should be an easy upgrade to do today.

    The next switch came with my dental protocol, given that oral hygiene is linked to brain health.  The condition of your gums and teeth may have a direct link to the brain given that the bi-products from pathogenic bacterium in the mouth can lead to inflammation in the brain.  The microorganisms connected with chronic inflammation of the gums have been detected in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and periodontitis is considered a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (5).  My protocol includes the use of an organic toothpaste and rinsewith aloe vera, peppermint, clove, lemon, eucalyptus, cinnamon and rosemary to clear bacteria from the mouth prior to brushing, followed by a fluoride free toothpaste. I then use a mouth rinse comprised of various essential oils with antibacterial properties.  The goal is to use fluoride free products with no artificial ingredients.  Given that the role of fluoride in toothpaste is to prevent tooth decay, I specifically use the pre-rinse prior to brushing followed by the mouth rinse after brushing which contain ingredients that will kill bacteria which cause tooth decay.  I also recommend flossing twice daily and the use of an electric toothbrush to help clean teeth in the back of the mouth that can be difficult to reach.

      I then moved onto hair care, given that the vascular circulation around the scalp can transport nutrients or toxins from outside of the skull into the brain.  Thankfully we have the lymphatic system which essentially is a network of lymphatic vessels responsible for removing toxins in the brain.  Therefore, the shampoos, conditioners, peroxide and hair dye that we place on the scalp is a direct portal to delivering harmful chemicals to our brain.  This is where I made the conscious choice to transition to healthy products for the hair, starting with sulfate free brands.  Switch 2 Pure has an incredible hair oil called Laritelle, which is loaded with nutrient-dense oils including pumpkin seed oil, camellia seed oil, castor oil and pomegranate oil to name a few and has an array of essential oils including rosemary, clary sage, sweet orange and thyme that I use as a prior to washing my hair.  The phytonutrients within these botanical essential oils confer antioxidant properties which support the health of your brain.  For example, castor oil has been used for centuries as a natural healing elixir because of its rich source of fatty acids and anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant properties and the consistent use of this product will not only stimulate hair growth, but it also stimulates the immune system and lymphatic system.  It also supports keratin in the hair, causing it to be thinking, smoother and shinier.  Remember, anything you put on the scalp gets absorbed into your cerebral vasculature and will go directly to the brain or will circulate throughout the body so be mindful of what products including hair dyes, hair spray, shampoo and conditions you place on the scalp.  Use natural, safe, non-toxic products as often as possible and include essential oils that are nutrient dense with healing properties.

    The most recent transition of my beauty regimen was around makeup, even with my knowledge of the toxic mercury, lead and parabens found in most makeup products today.  These chemicals, when applied on our face, enter the deeper layers of our skin and into bloodstream, and chronic exposure can lead to health concerns as we age.  Thankfully, there are now safer, non-toxic options available, so if you choose to use makeup, here are a few recommendations I have.  Given the importance of wearing sunscreen for UVB protection, I use the tinted moisturizer face sunscreen by Suntegrity for the summer months which contains green tea, red algae and pomegranate that provide antioxidant protection for the skin.  I have also switched to a Switch2pure.com, natural, non-toxic line by au Naturale for my foundation, concealer and lips.  I must admit that I am quite impressed with the au Naturale lip line which is vegan and made without lead, parabens or toxins.  Admittedly, my makeup has been the last transition in my beauty regimen given that I have a love of certain brands.  It takes some exploration to go out and try new things, but I love the fact that I have found clean, safe, non-toxic brands that I can trust to put on my skin at the Switch2Pure and I encourage you to do the same as well. 

   What I wish to convey is that the long-term exposure to toxic chemicals through the products we put on our body, to the chemicals that we ingest through our food or breathe from the air can accumulate over time, contributing to accelerated brain aging.  There are a variety of ways in which we can reduce this toxic exposure, and I have shared with you some of the simple steps you can make today which will preserve the health of your skin, hair, body and most importantly, your precious brain. 

Wishing all of you great brain health!"

- Dr. Kristen Willeumier

* Be sure that your hair care is up to par (Pure, Clean, & All Natural!) Any products that are being used THAT close to the brain must be non-toxic! You'll thank us later! 


  1. See website for all publications: http://www.drwilleumier.com/


  1. Amen DG, Wu JC, Taylor DV, Willeumier KC. (2011) Reversing Brain Damage in Former NFL Players: Implications for TBI and Substance Abuse Rehabilitation. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 43 (1):1-5.


  1. Amen DG, Taylor DV, Ojala K, Kaur J, Willeumier K. (2013) Effects of brain-directed nutrients on cerebral blood flow and neuropsychological testing: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. Advances In Mind Body Medicine. Spring; 27 (2):24-33.


  1. Park DC, Reuter-Lorenz P. The adaptive brain: aging and neurocognitive scaffolding. Annu Rev Psychol. 2009; 60:173-196.


  1. Abbayya K, Puthanakar NY, Naduwinmani S, Chidambar YS. (2015) Association between Periodontitis and Alzheimer’s Disease. N Am J Med Sci. Jun; 7(6):241-246.