Over time, my idea of beauty has evolved. I’m now in my 50s, but when I was younger I loved being swept away by the newest, coolest beauty products, eager to see what small miracles they could do for me. When I was 29, I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease and Hashimoto’s Disease. Both are autoimmune forms of thyroid disease. Because of this, I started looking into everything from what I ate to what I put on my face, especially those things that threw off my hormonal balance which wreaks havoc on my body.
I now know that real beauty is more than simply what I put on my skin — it’s the holistic approach of treating my entire body and mind with loving care and respect.
My skin and body look and feel their best when I am mindful of the bigger picture. For me, that means daily exercise to keep my body moving and my mood balanced. Eating real, healthy food, getting enough sleep, and drinking plenty of water throughout the day are a priority for me now.
Skin Is a Pretty Big Deal
Skin is the body’s largest organ; the outer layer of the skin is known as the skin barrier. It protects against bacteria, pathogens and toxic environmental elements while it simultaneously keeps skin’s natural moisture in. Nourishing your skin’s barrier to keep it healthy is key to having your best skin.
We know that our skin absorbs the products that we put on. Surprisingly, there’s no scientific consensus on which ingredients absorb into skin, how long they stay in the body, or the effects they may have on your skin. My advice is: read your labels and choose products made with ingredients you feel good about having on your skin and in your body.
It’s important to know the quality of ingredients that you are putting on your skin or ingesting in your food. There are over 12,000+ ingredients allowed in personal care products in the US. Many of these ingredients are questionable. For me, it has always been about the ingredients first and foremost. Is it safe and healthy? Is it efficacious? Does it have proven results?
When I started my company, I vowed to source only naturally derived, organic, wild-harvested and non-GMO ingredients. Every ingredient is selected because of its purpose and how it works with the other ingredients. Camellia oil is rich in omega fatty acids; it helps address sensitivity and cushions dry, tight skin. Rosehip seed oil is full of vitamins but is especially rich in vitamin A (aka nature’s retinol). Sea buckthorn berry is a powerhouse because it’s so rich in vitamin C, it brightens dull skin and protects from environmental stressors. And avocado oil is rich in plant sterols. It has a superior moisturizing effect on the skin.
Knowing exactly what is in any product you use and making sure it contributes to your overall health is an essential part of Wellness Beauty.
My Wellness Beauty Philosophy
Focus on health and hydration over youth and perfection. Think of skincare as one spoke of the big wellness wheel, but don’t forget about the impact that lifestyle can have — drinking water, eating real food, finding the best exercise for your body and a little stress management all go a very long way.
Kari Gran is the founder of Kari Gran, a natural beauty and skincare company.