The Mad Scientist
What you're witnessing here is one of my recent experiments. I wouldn't call it a failed experiment, nor would I call it a success. Let's go with "needs more work." I've been a bit more sporadic with my posts lately, in part due to the weather upon returning to Scotland, but also in part because I have been busy trying to get my new (second) Etsy shop up and running before Christmas.
You may have noticed that I have been posting less and less about beauty products, and that's not an accident. No, I have not become a crusader against the cosmetics industry - although there are certainly some good arguments to do just that. No, I realized in the last year that I have been paring-down my product cache steadily. I tribute this shift in sensibilities to my time at Standing Rock, where for the most part cosmetics weren't really a part of daily life, particularly in the winter. Working as a medic, when I needed something for my skin, there was always a good supply of things to choose from in the medical donations; many, if not most of them natural products. On the occasion that one of us needed something to get rid of an itchy rash or worst case scenario, scabies (not me), our first line was to reach for the tea tree oil, because that is what was there. And nobody was more thrilled than me when something so simple and infinitely more pleasant than many of the comercially-prepared big pharma products worked perfectly. As a hospital-based nurse practitioner, it's not like I get to see this in action every day.
So I started making my own stuff. Not everything, mind you, but some stuff. I recognize that you're not going to magically cure a stage 4 melanoma overnight with a bit of Frankensense oil, but you absolutely can get by without having to take out a second mortgage to have soft skin or even obtain that elusive "youthful glow". Sure, I still love a trip to Sephora and am still a sucker for a product that promises the world, but having been experimenting with this stuff for a while now, I find that my product needs are less and less, and I'm able to put my wallet away when confronted with these sleek, overpriced items. Personally, for the better part of a year I've been using a simple rosehip oil blend on my face exclusively as my night moisturizer (it'll be up on the site soon!), and my skin loves it. And I only wish I had discovered lotion bars earlier - it would have saved many an oh s**t moment in the airport when I looked down and realized that my post-vacaiton legs are as scaly, ashy and dry as an extra from The Walking Dead.
The shop is called Phytomaniacal, and I hope you guys will stop by and check it out. I've already had a "soft opening" with a few things on the site, and there will be more on the way in the next few days, with the mad experimentation ongoing to refine the things that I like to use into more elegant versions of themselves. So if you hear a massive explosion coming from somewhere in the region of the west of Scotland, just keep calm and carry on. Nothing to see here.