History of Beauty
Over the centuries, we have mixed herbs for skin care, and crushed wildflowers for face and hair color and powdered stone to line our eyes used food items like curds and milks, honey and brown sugar to moisturize, wash, exfoliate and tone our skin.
My grandma always used leftover food ingredients on her skin. Yogurt made a great mask; Lemon peels made a great astringent, honey can be used to wax unwanted hair, sugar and salt to exfoliate skin and butter like shea butter, cocoa butter and milk fat to moisturize skin. There are so many wild herbs, natural clays, and botanicals that pack a powerful punch of nutrients. All easy to find and wholesome to use. I can honestly say she looked amazing for her age at every stage of her life. Nature is plentiful and provides some of the most amazing things to help support us.
This is not to say we haven’t made bad decisions throughout history in the name of beauty.
Egyptians used copper and lead ore to create the world’s first cosmetic. Some women even used arsenic, lead mercury, and even leeches to give themselves a pale appearance. History of grooming and beauty is extensive and varies for many parts of the world. But some things remain common. We looked to nature before we started to lab create and animal test.
As we evolved, many companies that started up small began to grow and expand, and with it, their ambitions developed to meet the demand in a capitalist market for the best of the best. Instead of a long-term commitment and a wholesome approach to keeping healthy skin, we began to move toward synthetics and believe that what is made in a lab and tested on animals is better. The prices went up with demand and trends expanded with it. So fast, that we didn’t stop to think what might be a responsible decision in the long run. What might be detrimental to our health long-term and harmful to our environment and eco-system?
Why me? Why Now?
We have for centuries had a special place in our lives for quality skin care. The standard of what is acceptable or in trend has changed over the years. And continues to improve as we evolve and experience things full circle. I can speak for my family and my own experiences growing up. I come from a colorful background of homesteading, exotic and spicy cooking and a long-standing practice of Ayurveda and holistic care. My parents, uncle, and grandfather were doctors, but when we needed help with an ailment, we first went to nature for the answers. My childhood flashes of memory have been fused with scents and flavors always. I remember walking holding my Grandmom’s hand to the local spice mill to have fresh spices and herbs milled and bagged to be brought home for use. Those were the days when your corner stores kept a tab for you. A line of credit if you will. And everyone knew everyone else. Grandma always smelled of jasmine, crisp cotton, with a faint hint of mint and lemon. I associate that scent with pure unadulterated love. Running into her arms as folds of fabric swallowed me into her embrace like soft puffy clouds do the sun. I didn’t know then that years later I would yearn for that feeling of complete bliss and set out on a journey to find it again.
Reeling out of control and trying to keep up with this conjured image in beauty magazines and hanging on department store racks, we have pushed along from the natural look to the made-up look. Don’t get me wrong it was all beautiful in its time. As the image began to evolve so did we. I was no exception. I wore teased hair and red matted lips in the 80s, layers of foundation and smoky eyes and glossy lips after that. Then nude was in, and mineral makeup and contouring began all the rage. And so on and on went the trends and I did all of it to keep up just like most everyone I know.
When I became a mom, my priorities shifted. I realized the awesome responsibility of having to care for another life and my decisions began to change from trendy to healthy, style to simplicity and the dialing back began. I scraped the cobwebs off my childhood memories. Grasped at the tradition of homemade, more is less and began to shift away from the trends. Maybe it was the spit up on my shoulder or the poopy diapers and sleepless nights. Wearing the season’s most popular shade took a back seat to basic things like food and a shower. I had less time and energy to walk the aisles at the drug store or scour the internet for beauty products. So I too like my Grandma, began to look in my pantry for a quick fix.
I started making scrubs with sugar and salt and different herbs and botanicals and oils I knew would do what I needed to be done in a pinch. I started to used honey and clay and make my own masks. Whipped hair packs, hot oil treatments, soaks and bath teas.
As the world became more and more complicated, I searched for the primitive simplicity and pure scent that took me to a happy and safe place as a child. I wanted to find it, bottle it and give it to my children.
My search expanded and so did my knowledge of holistic medicine and Ayurvedic principles. From the depths of research to centuries of experience delving into methods and pure madness and asking gazillion questions, I learned a lot. I made creams and balms and salves and serums to help me at home with my kids, my woodworker hobbyist husband, my beautiful pups and myself. Then I began to share my handmade goodies with friends and family out of love and the desire to help. They were all thrilled and grateful but most of all helped by my miracle in a jar. From it blossomed a business idea. Because I have found that pristine love and pure scent and wanted to share it with the world.
The idea that we can recreate, rebuild and nothing is lost forever. Not even good skin - isn’t just a tagline. It is a mission, and it begins with pouring out love with great ingredients into created something special. Handmade with care and curated to fit a busy lifestyle.
Earthyalchemist endeavors to put that love in YOUR hands, to share with your family from mine. To get back to basics because in a complicated ever-evolving world some things must remain constant.
To enjoy our labor of love go here.