We relocated from Honolulu to Oregon in 2013, trading turquoise seas for the lush greenery of the Pacific Northwest. The impetus was a job change for my husband, and my daughter Azure and I followed.
Ever since she was born, I had been transitioning our daily grooming products to natural alternatives one-by-one, but the move presented an opportunity to make a bigger leap. When I looked at the ingredients on these ‘natural products’, the ingredient lists all still had multiple -xanes – thanes, -ides etc. What were all these chemicals? Why did they have to be there? How did we lose the ability to groom ourselves without chemicals? If we were mindful of the food that we ate, it made just as much sense to be mindful of everything we used on our bodies on a daily basis.
With the move, I decided that it was time to really ‘figure things out’. Intrinsically, I knew there was a time before chemical-laden, machine-made cosmetics. I knew that there must be ancient beauty rituals that had been lost over time. Cleopatra did not use shampoo from a plastic bottle, I was certain.
Cleopatra did not use shampoo from a plastic bottle, I was certain.
When we moved, I left everything behind. I went ‘cold turkey’ on all cosmetics for myself and deep-dived into study and experimenting. I will be honest, it wasn’t pretty. My hair was oily & greasy, then, dry & brittle in unpredictable waves, my scalp was flakey and itchy. My skin was irritated, my pimples compounded, different areas of my body were dry and cracked, and my body odor fluctuated; I was a complete mess!
I was quite upset with the results of the change, but I didn’t have the necessity of presentation at the time. We were new in town and didn’t know anybody; most of my time was spent with my toddler, who had zero concern about my looks. Looking terrible was one thing though, feeling terrible about it only made things worse.
Walking down the cosmetics aisles of the grocery store, I considered reverting. All the imagery of silky hair and flawless skin tempted me. Nevertheless, I persisted. I read more books, I studied with more intention and more formality, and I continued experimenting.
And then, it started happening. My skin cleared mostly, my hair normalized, and I smelled fine (most of the time, ha!). I wasn’t using anything store-bought in a bottle (except for toothpaste) anymore, and I felt & looked better than before. I grew more in-tune with my natural hormonal cycles and had a deeper understanding of my body’s tendencies and preferences. Don’t misunderstand, I still get pimples! I still feel and look sluggish when I overindulge! I gain weight when I don’t exercise! Going chemical-free doesn’t mean you get a free pass to neglect healthy living habits.
Going chemical-free doesn’t mean you get a free pass to neglect healthy living habits.
In hindsight now, it was clear that my body went into shock when I first ditched conventional cosmetics. I had used chemicals on my skin for my whole life. Taking out the chemicals that my body was used to all-at-once created an upheaval to my own biochemistry. A detox effect was to be expected. In fact, now I understand that our bodies are a cumulative reflection of everything that we provide for them. Our bodies are ever-evolving, adapting to age, environment, and nourishment.
All that we do at Blendily radiates the genuine hope that we can inspire ourselves and others to be well, and live splendidly. We hope you feel this intention in every product we make.
I’m grateful for the veil that lifted after my daughter was born. I’m grateful for the epiphany and journey she inspired. Here’s to many more years of botanical magic!