September 17, 2021
Was there a pivotal moment that made you initially explore your intuitive gifts, herbalism and become a facialist? Please share how you began your journey!
I suppose I ventured into skin care unintentionally after dealing with my own skin issues and realizing there was quite a void in the industry, as the way we view skin is quite superficial. When I was in my late teens I developed pretty severe rosacea and saw so many “experts” and professionals including top dermatologists etc and no one was able to offer any relief let alone insight or solutions. I was given topical treatments that only made it worse and was told this was incurable and would be a lifelong issue. I wasn’t satisfied with that answer and it certainly didn’t feel true for me so I ventured on my own for solutions and was able to completely clear my skin, along with the root cause, and am happy to say I haven’t experienced rosacea in over 20 years now. I believe that the skin is just a reflection of your physical, emotional and biological state and we really need to look at the skin holistically to get results, especially when dealing with skin issues like rosacea, melasma or breakouts etc. The skin can be like the micro of the macro or a fractal representation of you and the key is learning to listen to what it's showing you. Herbs and plant extracts can be wonderful allies when supporting skin health but also for potentially supporting the underlying imbalance.
I love working with people to find the root cause of any skin concern but also looking at the patterns in our life that we will often see reflected everywhere, not just our skin. This is where understanding herbalism or working with plants and herbs is very interesting. We have what's called the “doctrine of signatures” where often by just looking at a plant you will know its general function and effect on a particular organ or on the body and often on the skin as well. It's so fascinating to me! Regarding intuition I think this is something we all have and it just comes down to remembering how to listen. In one herbal course I took they would ask you to sit with a plant before we would get into the more typical, classroom approach covering the constituents etc and we were to just notice what came up first before we had our minds too involved. This process really shows you how much more we “know” when we get out of the way.
I’ve always loved the feminine aspect of skin care and find the entire process so nourishing and nurturing. I think generally in North America we are quite harsh with how we view skin care and assume if it hurts its working and to me the opposite is always true!
How have you harnessed your skill set over the years to get you to where you are, world renowned, celebrity facialist?
I remember when I first went out on my own and opened my business I started to get very busy, sort of against all odds really, and I would be invited to speak at events to share how I built my successful business. I’m quite shy so I never went and I mostly figured that I have no advice to give as I literally do the opposite of what everyone tells you to do! I didn’t have a website for quite a while, I’ve really resisted any social media, I’ve turned down countless press opportunities and yet against all odds, word got out about my tiny, remote, hard to find studio and I found myself working with people from all over the world which still baffles me. I think success lies in true passion and that is something I am so fortunate to have an abundance of for my work. I love what I do so much and devour as much information as I can in my free time, I am constantly learning and have been fortunate to study all over the world. That being said, I suppose the biggest thing that may be a bit rare, is I genuinely care about what I am doing and try to be as thorough as possible. With each person I see, whether virtually or in person, I do my best to really see the person, hear what their concerns are and be very honest and intentional in my approach to hopefully offering some relief or support and results!
What do you enjoy most about working with the face / skin and herbs?
The face is like a window into all parts of you. The fascia of the face holds so much information and it feels quite sacred to be able to work with the skin in this way! When we are really present with ourselves and intentional in the way we touch our skin, we may be surprised by what emotions or memories come up or how we will feel another part of the body contract or let go that correlates with the area we are working on. To understand the function of certain plants or herbs when treating the skin this way can feel quite special. For example, say someone is concerned about lip lines, I’ll often work to release the areas related to the stomach and I may pull in a bit of wild chamomile to use topically over these points to start to balance not only the stomach but the aspects of how we mother others and ourselves, which has a lot to do with the physical stomach as well. Or I may see a lot of grief and when looking closer see its related to the heart so I’ll work on pericardium areas of the face to start to allow the area to let go and may lean on rose both topically and internally for support. Simple stuff really but it often does the trick as we all get a little stuck sometimes and just need a bit of support to release or nourish what's there.
What role do you feel herbs and nutrition play when it comes to beautiful skin?
Nutrition is essential for healthy skin as most of us know. What may be less known is that many simple herbs, often those growing in the garden or in the grass or what we find in our spice cabinet are packed full of antioxidants and minerals that are extremely nutrient dense and often provide a missing link in our modern nutrition. This is partly due to depleted soil but also many foods are now bred to be more sweet or mild in flavour and we really miss out on the healing benefit of the bitter flavour for example which is key for liver health as well as many other functions. Herbs are also very resilient, many of them survive harsh climates and growing conditions and this resiliency and adaptability is wonderful to bring into our diets to fortify our health and our skin.
What inspired the original concept of the Beauty Base tea blend?
This tea blend is something I’ve used and recommended in slightly different variations for years, its so simple but very comforting, effective and good for all skin types and issues that can arise. I wanted something mild and gentle that provides the base for healthy skin hence the name beauty base! I see many clients with severely disrupted skin barriers and depleted skin who are using way too many harsh products and wonder why they aren’t getting the results like the “influencers” they see. I often give the analogy that the skin is like the soil of a houseplant. If the soil is dry and depleted you will burn the soil if you try to fertilize it (much like adding in a retinol to your skin routine if you are dehydrated thus sensitized) therefore we need to focus on bringing back the integrity of the soil and then we can start to play around with more active ingredients. So this tea provides the building blocks for healthy skin by supplying trace minerals especially from the silica rich horsetail, supporting digestion and inflammation with chamomile and calendula, adding in high antioxidants for collagen building and repair with vitamin c from rose hips, encouraging gentle detoxification with dandelion leaf and the calming beautifying effects of rose to balance and harmonize. Each herb will have an affinity for a particular organ and element in Chinese medicine which also helps to restore balance. Its subtle, gentle, mild but effective! I also wanted a blend that could be used topically as well and am so excited to share some easy recipes you can use for this very versatile blend!
In your experience who would benefit most from using the Beauty Base tea blend?
As I said previously this is good for anyone. I think this will be supportive for those experiencing sensitivities, inflammation, pigmentation and congestion as well as anyone feeling a little depleted. Even if you aren’t experiencing any skin concerns this is a nice way to keep the skin supple and healthy.
Post seeing clients, how do you recharge and enjoy a little me time?
I am a very big bath person, this is my ultimate reset and recharge. I always have a bath oil infusion brewing so a dollop of that goes in the tub along with a big scoop of salts often infused with essential oils, and I’ll sprinkle some dried or fresh flowers in (but I try not to overdo it as this step is tricky to clean up. Also be sure to always get organic blooms when opting to put roses etc in the bath as these can be dowsed in glyphosate etc) and if I have the time I’ll steep a herbal bath tea to go in as well. We tend to not think about the reality that your skin ingests everything that you put on it and it gets into the bloodstream etc. While we are culturally much more aware of this and the green beauty movement has emerged which is wonderful, we still focus so much on what we don’t want in our skin versus looking at all the ways we can nourish ourselves through the skin with these luxurious baths! Many old school homeopaths and herbalists would prescribe medicinal baths for this purpose as our skin is designed to bring in lots of minerals and nutrients this way as well! Magnesium is a great example of this as its wonderful to be applied topically to bring our levels up as it can be quite difficult to absorb enough through our digestive system, this is why getting into the ocean and natural springs can be so beneficial. We would often be barefoot in the past and this was a great way to gain a lot of benefits from the soil into our bodies! You can try rubbing a clove of garlic on your foot and you will smell it on your breath in 20 min or so. So I think reframing bath time to be a beautiful herbal infusion feels quite nourishing on so many levels! I always encourage clients to use whats growing around them for this, lavender is so well known and easy to find as is rosemary and there are countless benefits to bringing these into the tub with you!
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