The Truth about Moisturizers
To serve the purposes of the skin, a moisturizer should deliver two things: lipids and information. Let’s start with lipids.
• We know lipids as another name for oil. Botanical oils are pressed from the seed/nut/pulp of certain plants. But what are they? Lipids are basically an evolved, advanced fluid created by the plant. It’s such a beautiful process; plants take water from air and ground, fire from the sun, minerals from the soil, life force from the sap, plus substances (almost unknown to us) from atmospheric influences including thunder, the moon and many other celestial happenings, and the plant spins these into the one of the most nutrient-dense substances on earth. However, in order to benefit your skin, these lipids/oils must REMAIN biologically-appropriate. This means that skin cells must recognize the molecular structure of the lipid as exactly proper food, and the uptake or dermal digestion of these oils must be complete, clean and lacking undesired residue. This sounds simple, but is often not the case. One can grasp that the many synthetic oils in skin care would not meet these requirements. But it is startling to realize that many oils from plant sources are processed, refined and deodorized in such a way as to alter the hydrocarbon structure and make the oil biologically-inappropriate. This gunks up the skin on a cellular level.
• There is a very thin veneer on this planet that is called organic life. In some circles it is also call Gaia. As discussed before, this fine and delicate covering has a direct relationship with the sun that encodes it with the Intelligence of a vast and beneficial life force. When not interfering too much in this process, humans are the direct beneficiaries of this cosmic nourishment. Plants, grown in alive, microbe-active soil and properly prepared, can deliver vast quantities of this solar vitality in the form of plant-specific, bio-available information. A proper botanical moisturizer can and will deliver this information to the skin. This is the very definition of radiant (light-filled) skin.
Moisturizing and Skin Types
From my perspective, there are two main skin types, with countless subtleties between the two. They are: skin with a little more naturally-occurring oil and skin with a little less naturally-occurring oil. These are basically due to millennia of ancestral adaptation. A multitude of continuous mutating influences also have an effect on our skin, including diet, pollution, personal habits, hydration, latitude, altitude, familial patterns, skin care products, weather conditions, even socio-economic impacts. Your skin is an ever-changing, multi-dimensional, highly functional and mysterious co-member of the great circle of life. It is not fixed. This means that your skin and your product choices may change with the seasons, your location, your age, your stress level, your health, and so on.
About the 3 Grateful Body Moisturizers
• NOURISH Moisturizer has a reduced proportion of lipids. This is for those whose skin contains a little more naturally-occurring oil. Or for those times when lighter is better; like the summer or high humidity or periods of increased activity. Experiment for yourself what is best.
• RICH Moisturizer has an increased proportion of lipids, for those with a little less naturally-occurring oil. Or for those times when more concentrated is better; like the winter or when the heaters are running or traveling or a weekend in the mountains.
• GENTLE Moisturizer, regarding lipid ratio, is right in the middle. It contains plant information designed to heal and gently balance the condition of sensitive or reactive skin.
A couple more things . . .
• In the art of moisturizing the skin, it’s helpful to know the difference between two things. One: the proper, lawful nourishment of skin cells, and Two: the achievement of a texture. A true moisturizer only serves the former. Regarding the latter, laboratory formulations can be very clever; promising and actually delivering textural sensations of smoothness, silkiness, velvety, softness, etc. via actives. Actives are molecules designed to achieve very specific and targeted objectives (which, by the way, makes for very alluring marketing). Actives can be synthetic but can also be created from plant sources like palm, soy or coconut. The delivery of pseudo textural feelings via moisturizer is tangibly satisfying but biologically hollow. Nature has never, ever designed a plant-medicine that is targeted. Plant medicines are very diverse, very intricate, often containing hundreds and hundreds of individual compounds. This way the body takes what it needs at any given time from the source.
• Is your moisturizer white? I could never make a white moisturizer. When I formulate our moisturizers and my intent is to invest them with what is vital, appropriate and health-giving (meaning full of nourishment), they NEVER turn out white. They are usually a shade resembling light amber or bronze. I can speculate what would make a moisturizer white, though; lots of water, refined/de-colored/de-scented oils and some powdered actives. White may symbolize purity, but to me it means way too many shenanigans have happened in the lab.