I have always been drawn to potion making, herbalism, folklore and such. As soon as I had any money of my own, I wanted to spend it on “natural” skin care products full of enticing botanical ingredients and fancy extracts. Essentially, I was looking for the right magical potions to fix my daily woes. Often, I ended up wasting my money. It took many years and long hours of research and trial and error to find my way to a truly beneficial natural beauty routine. It’s actually much simpler and much cheaper than I ever expected, but the road to get here was long.
The problem is that the market for “natural” products is huge and everybody is trying to sell you something.
*Pause* Let us be completely transparent- this is a blog post on a website that sells holistic makeup and skincare. So, you know I am selling something too. Why should you keep reading though? Because I believe in full disclosure, transparency, and honesty. I want to tell you my story because I think it’s helpful. If you choose to buy Blinking Owl products, I hope you will love them and become a regular customer… but if you don’t buy a single thing, that is fine too. Just hear me out. *Unpause*
As I was saying, natural products are en vogue and everyone is trying to win your business. Greenwashing is rampant! Greenwashing is when conventional brands with conventional formulas use earthy colors & imagery or frost their formulas with botanical ingredients or fragrances in order to claim that they are natural. What does “natural” even mean? As far as regulation goes- not much. Anyone can use the word natural on a product. It’s not monitored or regulated in the way that “organic” is.
On the other side of the Greenwashers are the Fearmongers. Those are the ones that boldly proclaim that their products are free of all sorts of chemicals and toxins. They want you to fear any number of acronyms. Have you ever had the experience of picking up a bottle of body wash with “NO-SLS! NO-SLES! NO-PBA! NO-BPA!” stamped all over in big bright letters? It causes immediate panic. It’s this sense of “everything is dangerous and I just want to be safe” that the Fearmongers are counting on, because when you are afraid you react emotionally and are more willing to spend money.
And finally, leaving aside the Greenwashers and the Fearmongers, we can also look carefully at 100% natural products, like essential oils. Don’t get me wrong, I think essential oils are gorgeous. But they are also crazy POTENT. Just because something is natural, does not mean you can dowse yourself in it from head to toe. I mean, lye is natural, cyanide is natural, fire is natural. None of those things belong all over my body. Natural does not equal gentle, and for anyone who has spent any time outdoors in nature, it should be abundantly clear that natural does not necessarily mean safe.
Back to my life long quest to find the best natural skin care products, magical herbal elixirs and botanical potions: I must have gone through hundreds of face washes, toners, lotions, serums, mattifiers, moisturizers, zit zappers, etc. Cheap or expensive, over the counter or prescribed, natural or conventional, none of them seemed to make my skin feel good. I was meticulous in following elaborate skin care rituals day and night but my skin would still over produce oil, break out, get dry in patches, not look even, feel irritated, look dull. I responded by masking my woes with makeup (see my blog post about Foundation) which only added to clogging pores and irritating my skin further. I couldn’t understand why nothing was working because I was really mindful about buying good products from reputable companies.
My first step to piecing everything together happened when I spent a year researching content for a Wellness Lifestyle educational product. That was the first time I ever came across the idea of oil cleansing. I have oily skin, so one of my main skincare battles was getting the oil off my face. I had always washed my face with a foamy cleanser twice a day, used oil controlling toners, mattifiers, and blotting pads, and only ever used oil-free products on my face. After reading everything I could find on oil cleansing, I finally decided to give it a try despite my genuine fear of smearing oil on my face.
The results just blew my mind! Within two weeks of ditching face wash and switching to oil, my skin was brighter, more supple, LESS OILY, and less broken out! (To go down the rabbit hole yourself- check out our Herbal Oil Cleanse.) Can you imagine my shock that using oil on my skin actually balanced out my skin’s own oil production?
This was a huge wake-up call! I had broken the cardinal rule of “no oil for oily skin types” and was rewarded with my happiest and healthiest skin in a decade. This was proof enough for me that what the dermatologists, cosmeticians, skincare specialists, makeup brands, and beauty magazines were advising me to do amounted to nothing. As a new Oil Cleansing convert, I dove headfirst into the world of holistic skin care and haven’t looked back since.
What makes it “holistic” rather than simply “natural” or “organic”? Read What is Holistic Skincare?