Manaaki tō kirimoko: The importance of natural skincare

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I thought I would start off my writing journey by sharing a bit about my own journey with my skin. I have always had a tumultuous relationship with my skin. I never had perfect skin as a teenager, and I was always waiting to be an “adult” so that my skin would get better. But what I found, was it actually got worse in my 20’s! What the?! My confidence took such a huge blow, and I was always trying new products, looking for that silver bullet. Which never came. Harsh chemicals and astringents made it worse. I just didn’t know what to do.

Things took a turn for the better when someone suggested I tried accupuncture. On my first visit, the accupuncturist said to me “Your skin is how you present yourself to the world, and it reflects how you feel about yourself”. Accupuncture really helped me, and I realised I needed to make some significant changes in my life. This was the start of my journey working on my internal health and wellbeing. So naturally, it was also the start of my journey with rongoā and natural, organic skincare.

What you put on your skin is just as important as what you put into your body. Our skin is our largest organ. What we put on our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream, so any harsh or synthetic chemicals are likely to disrupt our natural state of equilibrium. Some chemicals found commonly in skincare and body care products are carcinogenic or disrupt our hormones (see a brief overview here: http://www.depthsofbeauty.com.au/makeup/2014/10/14/how-deep-does-it- go?rq=chemicals). That's why there is more awareness around SLS and parabens in our cosmetics. All of this is why Hau Botanicals doesn’t use any man-made chemicals.

We source all of our raw ingredients (shea butter, camellia oil, almond oil, Vitamin E, essential oils) from certified organic companies who have sustainable and/or regenerative business practises. These ingredients have been used for centuries around the world, to support skin health. So why re-invent the wheel? It seems a natural fit that we harness the healing properties of these ingredients, to compliment the potent healing properties of our native plants here in Aotearoa. I will delve more deeply into specific ingredients in future blog posts...

So how did all of this change my skin? By making the switch to natural, organic and non-toxic skincare, I noticed a huge improvement in my skin. I now see my skin as a “red flag” for stress, diet, poor sleep etc. It has changed my relationship with my skin, and I’m grateful for the warning (mostly!), and now turn to address the root cause of the breakout. Since creating the kanohi face oil a year ago, my skin texture is much more even, my scars have reduced, I have much fewer breakouts, and my skin is less oily. Despite using a face oil. Jojoba oil is actually a wax that is the same consistency as the sebum in your skin. So if you use this, your skin doesn’t start over-producing oil after you wash your face.

The kanohi face oil is quickly absorbed and I find I only need to use it once a day. When I do get pimples, I use the hauora healing balm, and it clears it up in a day or two. The kawakawa and mānuka in both products are anti-bacterial and antiseptic, so it's perfect if you have skin that is prone to acne. They also do wonders for dry skin. My sun and salt loving ways mean that my skin can take a bit of a hammering, even though I wear sunscreen. Putting the kanohi face oil on at night just helps to balance the impact of a day in the sun. And I wake up with such smooth skin! So, if you are also looking to switch to natural and organic skincare, I can’t recommend it enough!

Mauri ora,

Mahuru x

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