Shedding some light on the natural skincare industry

The vast majority of skincare that you find on shelves from $5 to $500 is utter crap made by the same four companies using cheap synthetic ingredients and packaged differently to attract various market sectors.

And the “natural” stuff - yes there’s some people trying their best to make beautiful intentional products - but the reality is that the oils they’re blending and infusing are already rancid and the plant matter is imported from all corners of the earth. 

I don’t want to discredit anyone trying hard to create something good however I have not been able to find a skincare product that is made with the level of integrity, quality and craftsmanship that I expect.

So I made my own

For the Four Shrubs face oil I use only Golden Jojoba oil, 100% organic from Arizona (not imported from Egypt which would be the cheaper option)

I don’t dilute this precious golden elixir with any substandard oils because jojoba is the only oil that our skin recognizes as similar to our own sebum and because it is not in fact an oil but a wax - allowing it to remain incredible stable and not oxidase (rot) like all the other seed, plant and nut oils that you will typically find in skincare products.

Other companies don’t do this - they don't use only organic golden jojoba (and this is not good for you or your skin)

That’s because Jojoba is extremely expensive and they can make more money by using cheaper oils such as almond, sunflower, coconut, grapeseed, argan, apricot kernel, castor etc. (I would put none of these on my face by the way and neither should you, they are all rotten before they reach the shelf)

The skincare industry relies on people not really know what ingredients are in the bottle and what they actually do. 

We often think that a long list of natural ingredients is a good thing but where are all those ingredients coming from, and how were they produced? 
How long have they been stored? 
Who is verifying the quality of these ingredients? 
Are they pure? 
What is the environmental impact of importing a vast array of ingredients from all over the world? 
Is it beneficial to our skin to be putting so much on it? 
Can our skin really benefit from all these different compounds or is it being overwhelmed?

Our skin is designed to function perfectly well without any interference or manipulation.

It will clean itself, heal itself and regenerate itself without us having to do anything.

Our diet and environment are the most important things to take into account when it comes to skincare - not the products we apply.

If you are like me and live in a place where your skin is exposed to environmental extremes then you can definitely benefit from using an oil.

Jojoba oil, you don't need to put anything else on your skin - really!

The reality is that most of us live in what could be considered environmental extremes when it comes to our skin - we are exposed to  a multitude chemicals, pollutants and pesticides as well as the elements.

And lots of women wear makeup which needs removing - and you can do this with oil, in fact please do this with oil and not a "cleanser" no matter how natural or clean you think it is. 

Cleansers are made of surfactants that strip away the vital surface oil of your skin, disrupt the skins microbiome which plays a vital role in immune function, and exposes the fragile skin barrier to all those chemicals and pollutants resulting in premature aging, drying, inflammation and irritation.

Companies make skincare because its a booming industry and they can capitalize on a well trained market who are willing to spend big money for the unattainable asset of "perfect skin"

There is no such thing as perfect skin and no amount of products, fillers, botox, facials, chemical face peels, steroids etc. is going to give you what they've convinced you you can have and need.

Back to the Four Shrubs face oil that I make:

So I found a solution to the problem of substandard and rancid oils: Organic Jojoba.

What about the other ingredients?

Are they necessary? 

What do they do?

The other ingredients are all variety of native shrubs: Rosehips, Oregon Grape, and Juniper berries.

I go out and harvest all of these by hand and with the utmost respect for the natural world and all the beings that I share it with.

And I love this process. 

I love spending time in nature, hanging out with the plants and immersing myself in the environment. 

I harvest intuitively, and always with the utmost respect. 

Plants have many ways of communicating and the more time I spend out there the more attuned I am becoming to their many nuanced voices. 

Harvesting is an agreement between the harvester and plant, it’s not just taking, at least for me. 

These plants came to me, presented themselves and offered their "services" to me expressing their desire that I share them with my community and with you.

These are plants that are local to the place where I live - they are native species that are not endangered.

Rosehip is incredibly rich in bioactive compounds with anti-inflammatory & antioxidant activity that soothe, soften & protect the skin

Oregon Grape root and stem bark contains berberine, an alkaloid with antimicrobial & anti-inflammatory activity that can help with wound-healing, psoriasis, eczema & acne.

Juniper has powerful antioxidants that help maintain skin health & vitality by reducing free radical damage. 

The oil is simple, sweet and wonderfully effective in its hydrating, healing and nourishing activities.

I don’t have plans to make other skincare products because I like this one and it does everything I need it to: cleanse, bless, and protect my skin. 


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