Whole Living Daily

Natural Beauty Gurus: The 10 Questions I Always Ask, Brenda Brock

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Name: Brenda Brock
Occupation: Founder/Formulator/CEO, Farmaesthetics
Location: Rhode Island, USA

Who is your beauty inspiration? Jane Goodall

What product/treatment/beauty indulgence do you spend the most on? Acupuncture facials. My esthetician is also a doctor of Chinese medicine, and her acupuncture facials are my quarterly indulgence. (And she uses Farmaesthetics, so it is perfect for me as a formulator—I get to experience my products and that is really useful as I think through new ways of using and developing formulations.)

A deep cleansing, skin mending regimen on a regular basis is key to getting and keeping skin healthy. Preserving what IS is a much surer way to age management than trying to restore what you’ve already lost.  Regular maintenance is key, and the earlier you start, the better.

But don’t just wait until you can have time for a professional treatment. We must also make at-home facials a regular part of our regimen. And make it a really wonderful experience, not just a scrub and moisture application. I like to wait for a rainy night and get my pot of hot water boiling on the stove (I put fresh herbs like lavender, lemon balm, orange peels, cloves, anything fresh and fragrant in there), then I make a vapor tent with a fluffy towel over my head to open my pores and decongest the skin. I have music on that I love (I like to play 1930s radio music). I have a tea pot of my favorite rose cinnamon tea ready…I steam and cleanse and exfoliate and mask and rest and moisturize…….and ahhhh….I need to go do this right now.

What do you spend the least on? Makeup. I find as I get older, the less makeup I am comfortable wearing. Older skin does not carry cosmetic pigment as well as youthful tissue. Products seem to “sit” on the skin, rather than blend and mingle…So having a healthy complexion is all the more important as we age. The healthier your skin, the less make up you need.

What does age mean to you? Being more at ease with imperfection—in myself and others….

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned about skin/hair/nails/beauty this year? That sunscreen products as applied externally are only part and parcel of protecting ourselves from harmful UV rays. There are ways to layer protection and support the body in defense and recent scientific data indicates that eating citrus is one of them! (That's citrus taken internally, not externally.) Studies are suggesting the potential for a protective effect of citrus products and citrus peel consumption against human skin damage due to sun exposure, and orange and pink citrus fruits are packed with the flavanoids that have been shown to improve the skin’s ability to protect against UV rays. I love this, because if you think of where citrus grows, it is in hot, sunny climate zones where sun exposure is harsh and many times year round. Case in point—nature knows what she’s doing and she’s eager to help...We just need to look around.

What’s the one thing you do (not product-based) that you think affects your appearance more than anything else? Sleep. Minimum 8 hours a night.

Why naturals? My first response to this question is that this is a difficult question to answer in a quick snippet…

There are so many reasons to choose naturals in terms of skincare and health, but I can say without hesitation, that Naturals just work better than artificial, synthetic or chemical products in restoring balance and supporting the body in health & beauty.

Our bodies know what to do with natural ingredients. It recognizes them and takes them in. Synthetic ingredients in products tend to “sit” on the skin, whereas naturals are absorbed and combine with our own unique chemistry to create benefit and desired result. This exchange with nature is hard-wired in us, and we are strengthening this connection when we create and use natural products. (I think we are in process of re-learning to engage in a clean, honest way with nature. ) When using natural products and natural ingredients to restore health (and hence beauty), we are at the same time restoring health to our environment, communities and so on…The linkages in nature are uninterrupted. This was my holistic realization of interdependency and is what guides my choices.

My mantra is: What goes on the skin goes down the drain and into the water table that nourishes the farmland that produces the food to feed the children and those I love—and that’s when “why naturals” becomes less of a question and more of a commitment.

To see Brenda make an Exfoliating Scrub, click here.

To see Brenda make a Hand-to-Heel Softening Salve, click here and for the recipe, click here.

And to learn more about Brenda's farm and journey to naturals, click here.

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