My youth was a mess of allergic reactions, eczema outbreaks, and facial acne. Feeling beautiful on the inside wasn't my goal; I was determined to do something about it, but nothing I bought from Shoppers or chain "Boutiques" improved my itchy, inflammed skin; rather, they only made my situation worse.
I would find out later that the influx of teen hormones and the addition of birth control play a huge role in skin appearance. I would also find out that my genetics guaranteed me allergies to preservatives like potassium sorbate and polysorbate, to artificial perfumes and sodium laureth sulfate, to soy and most metals among a long list of other things.
I realized that I might be the real life full-spectrum version of the Princess and the Pea and decided that it was up to me to do some research, clean up my diet, and throw away every bit of skincare product I'd been praying with and hording like it could be the cure for most of my teenage years.
I started with the basics, using pure rosehip oil on my skin morning and night, washing my skin with grapeseed oil and a hot cloth, and eating a plant based diet. I had conqured most of my skin issues with these remedies, as well as figuring out what I was allergic to, getting off of birth control, and doing a few herbal cleanses.
But I wanted to know more. I decided to go to school for Nutrition so that I could further understand the relationship that we have with the food we eat and the toxins in our environment, in everyday skincare, and household products.
I started researching local wild medicinal plants and then scavenged the surrounding forests, trails, and wetlands of my hometown.
I dried and infused these plants in simple carrier oils and tested them over and over again to see the difference and effects they would have on my skin, and singled out the ones that made noticeable changes in my appearance. It was walking these trails, looking for and identifying herbs, understanding why they are powerful, and then harrnessing those powers that changed me.
Today, after years of research and personal testing, I think I've found something that not only works better than anything I've bought from the store, but really improves the appearance and health of my skin in a noticeable way.
The Fruit & Flower Facial Serum is my baby. I have spent a long time crafting this little wonder with the right amounts of what I consider some of the best cold-pressed organic carrier oils mixed with the best local wild and organic herbal extracts. I, by no means, think it is the end-all-be-all for skincare and in fact I have been developing a more potent formula, and have also found some other informed local companies who are making great stuff too, but that being said, I know that my little baby works, and on some of the most sensitive skin I’ve ever met.
Here's a little break down of what I’ve used and why:
Extracted from the hip of the rose, rosehip oil is a rich, highly absorbent reddish oil packed with free-radical fighting vitamins E & C, and is a source of essential fatty acids 3, 6 & 9, as well as antioxidants like lycopene & beta-carotene which fight the signs of aging. It's great for dry, sensitive, aging skin, scars, acne, pigmentation, and stretch marks.
Cold-pressed, organic camellia seed oil comes from the seed of the same plant that we get green, black, and oolong tea from. It has to be cold-pressed in order to preserve its sensitive, potent benefits. It is a very light, highly absorbent, odorless oil that blends into the skin upon contact leaving no oily residue. It is rich in oleic acid, as well as fatty acids 3, 6, & 9, and contains a high concentration of vitamin E and polyphenols. It has been praised for its ability to improve the moisture retention of the skin, which will reduce lines and wrinkles, improve the elasticity of the skin, and improve complexion and tone. Did I mention that it also blocks harmful UV rays?
Raspberry Seed Oil
right from the seed of the raspberry, raspberry seed oil is rich in a long list of antioxidants. It’s packed with fatty acids 3 & 6 (making up 86% of its whole), as well as vitamin E & vitamin A. With a natural SPF of 50, raspberry oil is better than your average sunscreen as it utilizes the benefits of elegiac acid. It’s also known to have a high concentration of linoleic acid & phytosterols, both of which combat the signs of aging by encouraging collagen production, regenerating skin cells, and retaining moisture in the skin.
Evening Primrose Oil
This pretty wildflower can be found in dry sunny meadows across America and despite being a delicious root, a fragrant flower, and lovely tea it contains a whole lot of good in its seeds. Outside of being a useful remedy for hormonal imbalances and PMS symptoms in women, its topical benefits range from acne, to psoriasis, to eczema to arthritis to breast tenderness. Rich in Omega-6, linoleic acid, and gamma linoleic acid, it’ll help the skin retain its moisture and elasticity while its anti-inflammatory properties fight free radicals and restore even tone to the skin.
A liquid wax extracted from the nut of the wild native American shrub, jojoba oil is unique in that it closely resembles the sebum that our own body produces via our skin glands. It revolutionized the skincare industry years ago by singlehandedly replacing animal fats, most notably whale oil, and its no wonder; jojoba oil has an extrodinary ability to protect the skin from the elements by creating a natural moisture barrier without clogging pores or irritating the skin because of its close resemblance to human sebum. Jojoba oil is also anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and packed with minerals like copper, zinc, selenium, iodine & chromium.
a rich source of mono-saturated oleic acid, vitamin E, potassium, and lethicin, the avocado produces a light, rich oil with quick and high absorbability. It helps the skin retain water-- nurturing away those dry and itchy spells-- boosts collagen production, and reduces redness and inflammation caused by external sources like city air and UV exposure as well as internal ones like diet and hormonal changes.
With over 150 active constituents, the oil from the lavender plant is used as the remedy for all types of internal and external issues. Lavender oil is rich in esters making is a wonderful calming, antispasmodic oil. Due to its high concentrations of germicidal compounds like linalyl acetate and linalool—which prevent the growth of bacteria—its anti-inflammatory properties, and its ability to improve circulation it prevents acne & eczema breakouts, reduces the appearance of scars & wrinkles, and treats everything from burns, to wounds, to insect bites.
A pretty perennial herb with tiny flowers, yarrow grows wild all over Canada. You can find it along paths, at the edge of forests, and lining meadows and colors range from white, to pink, to purple. It’s too-many-to-list constituents mean that it is an anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, cicatrisant, emollient, and astringent. Its astringency means that it contracts blood vessels and tightens aging skin. Its cicatrisant properties mean that it reduces the signs of scarring left by acne, and its emollient properties mean that it helps the skin retain moisture reducing dryness, the appearance of scars, and wrinkles.
Made from the sap of the Boswellia tree native to Somalia, frankincense, like yarrow, is an astringent and cicatrisant reducing the appearance of acne, wrinkles, scars and large pores, while tightening and lifting the skin. It also promotes the regeneration of healthy cells, and keeps existent cells healthy.
Chamomile Oil (German Blue)
Chamomile contains compounds that are antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, reducing the signs of aging, redness and irritation caused by external toxins or eczema-related issues, and blemishes caused by the infiltration of bacteria. Blue Chamomile is known for promoting tissue regeneration, and is generally called upon for topical applications for this reason. It promotes healthy skin cell renewal, and contributes the overall healthy appearance of your skin.
known for it's anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, willow bark is a wonderful tool for combating red, itchy, inflammed skin. If it wasn't for willow bark (and its salicylic acid content), we wouldn't have aspirin. If it wasn't for willow bark, we wouldn't have The Willow's Bark. Salicin in its purest form and applied to the skin reduces the sign of wrinkles, cracks, dryness, roughness and pore size. It also imporves the overall radiance of the skin by evening skintone and tightening and shrinking pores. Salicylic acid is used in over the counter acne products but the real source contained within willow bark works the same, if not better, by reducing acne breakouts and improving the health of the skin without all of those drying fillers like alcohol.