“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” — Maya Angelou
Did you know your skin absorbs 60% of whatever you put on it, into your bloodstream, within 26 seconds?
When I started my wellness journey about 15 years ago, my initial focus was on what was happening inside of my body. I was lucky not to have struggled with classic teenage “bad skin,” but my complexion was highly sensitive. I had eczema at times, dryness, got hives easily. Over the years, I tried all different products, but what I chose was based on an appealing scent or what the packaging claimed it could do. I didn’t pay a lot of attention to ingredients. Even when I saw a dermatologist at a young age, I flippantly used topical creams to combat even minor issues and never thought about the danger of putting toxic chemicals on, and in, my body.
In the early 2000s, “green” or “eco” beauty brands started to emerge, but, in those early days, they were still more “hippie” identified lines found at health food stores—Dr. Hauschka, Burt’s Bees, Dr. Bronner’s. One of my early experiences learning about the possibilities of clean beauty was when I happened to meet pioneer Josie Maran. She hadn’t yet launched her line, but everything she told me made so much sense. I wondered, “Is the market ready?”
Look at her now! I’m so impressed by what she has built, not just in terms of her own collection, but also by inspiring the creation of so many other brands. Josie questioned the system, birthing something accessible and good for the body without sacrificing efficacy or style.
Soon after that, I was introduced to my now friend, facialist and healer, Negin Niknejad from handcrafted organic beauty line, JustBe. She was magical and helped me through the skin issues I had in my late 20s, mostly hormonal breakouts, tiredness and dryness. I went to see her religiously and she really changed my skin. To this day, her Rose Water Spray is my most favorite product—I couldn’t live without it!
These experiences piqued a real curiosity in me, as I tend to want to know everything I possibly can about these things. If clean beauty could be so effective, why wasn’t it more mainstream? What actually worked? So, I went a bit crazy as the clean beauty world blossomed and grew and, today, I have tried so much and seen and experienced so many different lines and types of lotions and potions.
This month, I’d like to “pay it forward,” highlighting all of these wonderful brands who are bringing clean beauty to the forefront—some pioneers and some newbies with whom I’ve recently fallen in love (like Symbiome, for example). Although not an expert, I am pretty particular about what I use on my body and you should be too, as there are so many amazing clean beauty options for everyone right now. I believe that whatever I put on the outside of my body is just as important as what I consume for the inside, as they work together, seamlessly.
Beauty is health; it’s self-care; and, in its best form, it’s self-love.
Figuring out what works and what doesn’t can be a process, as everyone is different. In addition to giving you recommendations, we wanted to be able to support you on your journey, so we’re hosting an incredible giveaway this month too! Some lucky person will win, in my mind, the most amazing slew of products from brands I truly respect and believe in.
Good luck in your beauty evolution! It’s worth the work!