As many of you know I am very particular about what I put on my skin. If I am not using my own line, then I am experimenting with other non-toxic brands. One of my favorite lines is by an incredible skin guru Daron Hope from Ojai. I met Daron a few years back when I was doing research for my line, since she is one of the few brands that formulates her own products. We recently became reacquainted under the moon, in some mystical hot springs and I was called to get a treatment by the earth goddess herself. When I visited her lovely salon Earth Tonics in Ojai I instantly felt my nervous system calm down. She spent so much time focusing on revitalizing my skin, and then detoxing my system with the Ayurvedic instruments that I felt like I had been on a mini vacation. The bronze resonant materials actually draw our energies out and help detoxify our body. The Kansa instruments are just one aspect of her skin care regime. She also uses light therapy to help bring harmony to the skin. More on her, Ojai and Earth Tonics below ~
1) What makes your heart sing?
Happy to say that there is so much in this world that makes my heart sing. If I tune in to what my heartsong feels like, certain images and sensations come to mind….
Children playing, the feeling of dancing with abandon, experiencing “a-ha! moments” in my botanical kitchen mixing up new tonics….
It lights me up to think of my friends and family….particularly how good it feels to laugh hysterically with them.
And there’s also a gentler song when I imagine how it feels to be in nature surrounded by trees, maybe laying on the Earth.
All these seemingly unrelated, wonderful things all resonate in the same heartspace. The same frequency energizes all of it. And you know what? That notion makes my heart sing too, because it means the potential is there to tap into the feeling-state these images conjure up and let that underlying frequency amplify and permeate everything!
2) You have been in non toxic skin care since before it became such a trend. What started you on this path?
I was raised by a savvy earth mama, and a dad who worked in the organic produce industry, so the idea that pesticides and chemicals are bad for us was something that was part of my upbringing.
But I did struggle with my skin when I was younger, and I tried a lot of different products, even chemical-laden ones, out of desperation. The more of these products I layered on, the more inflamed and angry my skin was. The more I went back to taking my mama’s advice to keep things simple and organic, and to make sure I was eating well and staying hydrated, the better things got.
With this guiding personal experience, I became fascinated by just how robust and effective I could make my organic concoctions, by plugging in the most magical herbs and botanicals I could find!
3) What are three anti aging techniques we should do as women to maintain our skin?
Aside from the obvious “drink water, eat vegetables, get enough sleep?”
I think facial massage is vital. I give myself a nightly facial massage with my Cardamom Cream Cleanser, and again when I moisturize with my kansa tools.
It’s about having awareness in how I’m touching myself, noticing where I’m holding tension and pressing into tho se places to bring my blood flow and energy there. You’ll know you’re doing it right when it feels ridiculously pleasurable. If you’re exhausted, do it lying down in bed!
When we massage our faces, we help to drain our lymph system and iron out tension patterns that result in wrinkles. We’re also gently bending our skin’s underlying collagen, which stimulates fibroblasts to create MORE collagen production. This simple work also brings chi (life force energy) to the face— You’ll see it! The glow is undeniable.
I’m also a firm believer in the healing power of sunlight. There was a time not all that long ago when it was considered blasphemous for an esthetician to say such things, and I want to clearly make the distinction between light bathing and baking/burning. That said, our cells are energized by photon light from the sun and vibrant living foods. Sun-soaking for 20 minutes each day helps to activate melanin centers in the body, so that we are producing healthful pigment and natural lanolin oils to hydrate and even skin out from the inside. Be sure to take off your sunglasses so your brain gets the message you’re in the sun and not the shade!
And lastly, it may sound cliche, but the best thing we can do to keep ourselves looking young is SMILE! Smiling works muscles to keep your face lifted. It brings blood flow. And when the inevitable fine lines do creep in, you’ll look a thousand times better if they’re from smiling rather than frowning.
4) How does being an Ojai native influence your products?
I’m always inspired by the nature here, of course, whether hiking or in my yard or garden. But I think more than anything I’m influenced by a certain archetype of woman that I think Ojai cultivates. She’s down-to-earth, authentic, a friend, a sister. She is happy in her skin regardless of what nuances she may be experiencing there. She wears what she wants because it brings her joy. She is kind and open and smiling.
This kind of woman abounds in Ojai and she inspires me to create tonics that resonate in this goddess vibration.
5) Do you have a mantra or motto you live by?
The Golden Rule has served me well, so I try to treat others how I’d like to be treated.
And how would I like be treated? Loving kindness, loving kindness, loving kindness.
6) Are you a mermaid or a forest fairy?
I try often to be a mermaid, but I’m definitely more of a forest fairy. I love being around big old trees with my bare feet on the ground.
7) Can you tell us a bit about the Ayurvedic instruments you use?
Kansa! Truly magical.
In India, kansa is known as “the healing metal.” It’s a particular blend of bronze, the same resonant metal that they use to make sacred bells and gongs. It is highly conductive to bio-electricity, and we are indeed electrical beings! This means that when these tools touch your skin, they literally draw your inherent electrical current to that place. On a physical level, this brings blood flow and helps to drain lymph and stimulate regeneration. The energy also helps to melt tension in the tissue.
On a metaphysical level, we’re bringing energy to marma points (major energy points) and meridian channels (energy highways), clearing energetic blockages that naturally develop living in this 3-D plane. This helps our energetic bodies to be be clearer and with less resistance to our natural energetic flow, so we feel more relaxed and at ease in ourselves.
It’s also worth mentioning and commenting on the elusive “graying effect” that can occur with these tools… occasionally when using kansa, an area of your skin may turn gray! This washes off, but is a great indicator of where your body may be storing excess acidity. Acidity usually builds up in our tissues when our energy isn’t flowing freely. It can also be due to lactic acid buildup after an intense workout, or because we haven’t been eating well or staying hydrated. When kansa massages the body, it helps to rapidly release this acidity through the skin. The acidity reacts with the bronze metal and turns gray, giving you a clear indication of areas that need more love. These are places to massage, stretch and move more often.
8) What are three things you cannot live without it can be food for the skin or a product?
I’m addicted to my Honey and Bamboo Facial Scrub and Repair Creme Concentrate. I truly can’t live without them, the combination has done wonders for my skin.
The scrub is made of raw honey that I infuse with chaga mushroom and wild yam, then blend with apricot kernel oil, a touch of mango butter, rose geranium and crushed bamboo, among other things. It’s the perfect brightening exfoliant and helps my skin to stay soft and clear. I leave it on as a mask while I shower and my skin is so happy after!
The Repair Creme Concentrate has been a miracle for me too. It’s made with Tahitian Tamanu oil, which is an amazing substance for healing sun damage, scarring, and breakouts. It delivers intense hydration but is anti-bacterial, so I get moisture without worrying about getting clogged up. The herbs inside also help to rev-up skin cell turnover so an issues I may be having resolve themselves extra quickly.
I also always have fresh organic fruit from the farmer’s market on hand. Of course it’s great to eat, but I usually end up crushing it up, blending with some yogurt, clay or apple cider vinegar and smearing it on my face!
9) What is a perfect day in Ojai entail?
A hike in magical morning light before it’s too hot… maybe up Sisar Rd. or Fox Canyon Trail. Matcha latte with hempmilk and conversation at Noso Vita. A facial at the EarthTonics Spa. Lunch at Knead Bakery, Farmer and the Cook, or Hip Vegan. Coffee at Beacon and a stroll over to Bart’s Books to pick out a new read. Yoga with Ingrid, or Vertical Infinity with Heath at Sacred Space. A drink at Azu or Chief’s Peak. A late night soak at the hot springs. Deep, amazing sleep because that was the longest, most amazing day imaginable.