Since getting out into the world more with workshops and pop-up events, I’ve noticed that people are really curious about the hows and whys of natural skincare. So, I’m kicking off the blog with a post that gets right to the heart of why Bodylushious exists, and why I do what I do. I’m looking forward to using this space to talk about natural skincare, wellness, self care, recipes, workshops and everything else that makes Bodylushious tick. I hope you’ll enjoy this sneak peek behind the scenes – a Q+A based on the questions I’ve been asked most over the past few months.
Thanks for reading! x Bronwyn
ME + NATURAL SKINCARE
Tell us a little about your journey towards natural skincare.
As a teenager I had problematic skin, and a year spent in Thailand made my skin crazy! My mother is part NZ Maori so is blessed with lovely skin - as a teenager this used to drive me nuts. Once I started working I got pretty enthusiastic about trying all the expensive brands on the market. It became quite an obsession. As the years went on and my interest in other areas of health and wellbeing deepened I spent more time focusing on nutrition. You might say I neglected my skin for the best part of a decade. I lived and travelled around the globe for 20 years and gathered a load of health tips and tricks that would load up my wellness toolkit for years to come. When I became pregnant almost 5 years I really upped the anti on everything that goes into and onto my body and into complete overdrive in relation to what would go into my child! When I was 7 months pregnant I researched a load about natural skincare and cleaning, and bought a few staple products to make some products in preparation for the birth of my son... and with his birth came the simultaneous birth of a super enthusiastic interest in wellness and skincare.
What influence, if any, has growing up in New Zealand had on your outlook towards nature and natural living?
My father always had a keen interest in Nature being a true Kiwi hunting/fishing kind of bloke, so I grew up watching him connecting with nature in ways that would have a big impact on me. One grandmother was a super keen forager and the other a mega gardening enthusiast. Time with them as a youngster was largely spent outdoors. Then an aunt and her family moved further north, to a rural community, so much of our time as kids there was spent outside. Being so young I really didn't appreciate how fundamental the outdoors was to my childhood, but looking back I realise those times were instrumental/vital to the building blocks to good health and a deep connection and respect for nature. NZ to me is clean, green and the ultimate place to easily connect with nature. But then I could be biased. Moving to Fife from Edinburgh with my son was a 'no brainer'. Closer to nature and in many ways a place I can feel 'closer to home'.
How easy did you find the transition to natural skincare? Was there anything you found difficult to "give up"? Was it a gradual thing or all in one go?
Definitely gradual I’d say, but for me, once 'I popped, I just didn't stop'. I wasn't that attached to any particular branded product and the most important thing to me was knowing what I was putting onto my skin was clean and natural. I did try a few bought natural products, but the only products that stick in my mind are the Weleda skin food (the green one) and the Weleda Calendula nappy rash cream (the yellow one), both of which I reached for every now and again. They're amazing products and I'd use them again in a heartbeat if I wasn't making something that was able to deliver the same benefits. But what I enjoy most about creating my own products and making them available to others is knowing EXACTLY what is included and not being bamboozled by strange ingredients that I have to look up.
How does your belief in the power of nature spill into other areas of your life?
Well the thing that springs to mind here is fresh air.... I make an absolute point of deliberately connecting with nature (beach/hill walk/coastal path) once or twice per week (OK, bear with me, I am in Scotland and it's winter...in summer it's daily), for no particular reason other than to recalibrate. The benefits gained are unmatched by anything else I can think of. Fresh air, open spaces and walking on the dirt, sand, grass or over rocks allows me to slow down and disconnect from the chaos life often has on offer. It’s a complete winner with my son too. There are times when he finds it really difficult to settle down, those are the hardest and most important times to get out of the house and into nature. We are both much happier humans after those occasions.
helping you move towards natural products
What advice would you give to someone wanting to transition to natural skincare?
It’s about connectedness, and not just about looking after your skin. So, think about these three things:
What's the best thing someone can do to take better care of their skin?
Drink water. Eat loads of nature’s seasonal delicacies (vegetables and some fruit). Wash your face morning and night, even with a facecloth. Occasional face and body scrubs, a really good nourishing moisturiser and try your absolute best to know exactly what you're putting into your skin.
bodylushious at a glance
Why did you start Bodylushious?
I had a child and didn't want to go back to a regular job working on someone else’s vision. I love freedom and creation and figured making natural skin care products would tick so many of the boxes, challenge and fulfill me. Years on from the original idea of Bodylushious, now happily installed in a beautiful small town by the sea, I'm re-focused, surrounded by some outrageously brilliant supports and part of a super supportive community and my son is in nursery so I actually have time to focus on this work. The stars feel aligned and the timing right :)
Which Bodylushious product is your absolute fave and why?
My first love (aside from my son, who you'll find here referred to as poppit), is the Body Butter....it’s a complete winner in my mind. It is deeply nourishing and moisturising. I can and have used it on my son since he was a teeny tiny, it’s BRILLIANT as deodorant, great after-sun care, has coconut oil so has low SPF protection (in Scotland even...ha), its lasts & lasts & lasts. It’s the ONLY product apart from toothpaste and shampoo I used for about 3 years. Super portable - when I go for an overnight anywhere it’s the first thing I pack. Great for massage, perfect all over, smells lush. And it just feels like whipped silk! And a theme I try and live by is, it should be good enough to eat. Not that I will actually eat it, but it should be safe enough should I (or poppit) decide to eat it.
Where do you find inspiration for new products?
I'm never short of ideas for doing new things. It’s a blessing and a curse. Generally though, I am really motivated to respond to seasonal offerings and changes, e.g. foraging for fallen petals in summer, harvesting lavender locally and as gifted by other locals, a branch of rosemary from a local garden (with permission), an oversupply of citrus in the weekly veg box & drying then incorporating into products. Or maybe I've noticed an increase in dry skin or tired dry dish-washing hands. Or maybe there is an event coming up, and just maybe it has a theme.... I love coming up with something that would slot in just nicely.
How do you decide on the combination of essential oils in a product?
A combination of complementary smells and the benefits they offer the skin. I'm quite motivated by colour, so often I imagine a colour chart and think of which botanical colours and their respective oils go well together.
Describe a workshop. What happens? Why should people come and what will they get out of it?
Hang out in a lovely space with like-minded people. Share your questions regarding your own skincare and learn useful tips on how to support that. Also learn some super easy tips and recipes for making your own natural skin care product. We throw in a few random (but lovely) surprises too.
What were your business highlights of 2017?
Re-launching from Burntisland and meeting super amazing business support.
Supplying several shops, local and further afield, with Bodylushious products.
Collaborating with other like-minded small and local businesses.
Incorporating new products into the range, such as soaps, scrubs, lip balms and skin salves.
What are you excited for Bodylushious-wise in 2018.
Delivering more workshops and sharing some really cool skincare tips and recipes.
Refining the working from home mum to a young child setup.
Looking more deeply into challenging skin conditions and figuring out ways to support those.
Receiving feedback (hopefully positive but definitely constructive) on how Bodylushious products are working for the bodies they get to share themselves with.
Where can we find you?
Keep an eye on our instagram page for updates on workshops and other events - so say hello and if you have any skincare questions, just ask! I'll be updating this corner of the internet regularly with wellness tips and other good stuff, so bookmark the blog if you'd like to read more.
thanks for reading. have a lovely week!