By Ghanim al-Sulaiti
In my teens, I suffered from acne — and while it is a normal condition, it still made me insecure about my skin and lowered my confidence. I’ve always been the one to take care of both, my body and skin. I was heavily influenced as a teen by the commercials on television about new facial scrubs or cleansers that I thought would solve it all. I went on a rollercoaster trying various products and creams, encountered irritations or sensitivities, and then jumped on to the next product.
It quickly became obvious to me that commercial products are only effective for a few months — at best — which is the reason companies frequently introduce new products into the market. Since the ingredients are not natural, our bodies begins to reject it after a while.
Upon this realisation, I started experimenting on my body. While traveling, I witnessed people using plants to heal themselves, from sickness to skin problems. In Morocco, people used a lot of Aloe Vera and Argan oil on their skin. In Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Bali, people used coconut oil for everything, as a shampoo, a cleanser, a body and face oil and medicine. In Egypt, I learned more about the benefits of Aloe Vera and how Cleopatra used it to maintain her eternal beauty.
In Jordan, I was inspired by the amazing uses of the Dead Sea mud and mineral water. Like the Wonders of the World, the Dead Sea was also on my bucket list. I had always dreamed of going there and wondered how it would feel to swim, or to be more accurate, to float. I floated high in the lowest place on earth. The Dead Sea is 9.6 times saltier than the ocean so it was a very unique experience. Popular legend says the Queen of Sheba was the first to discover the healing powers of the Dead Sea; later it became a favorite destination of Cleopatra.
Traveling a lot and seeing people using these amazing plants, I became really interested in knowing more. I researched and read a lot of books, and I found a lot of evidence in our Holy Book about the benefits of a lot of plants. I also found scientific proof supporting these ideas.
When I returned home, I looked at my bathroom shelf and counted over thirty varieties of products: from deodorants to cleansers to SPF. For the first time, I started reading labels, and quickly realised I couldn’t understand what any of the ingredients were. It’s here I became aware that instead of using natural, organic ingredients…I was instead putting manufactured chemicals in my body. With further research, I found out that our skin absorbs everything that we put on it, and the ingredients can then get into the blood stream.
To be blunt: that scared me. I felt that we, as consumers, are poisoning ourselves every day without stopping to think about it.
Upon this realisation, I became inspired by nature and simplicity.
I started to discover how other cultures integrate natural resources into their daily lives. In the Indian culture they use plants to heal sickness and fight diseases. In Marrakech, I experienced what it was like to be surrounded by Argan and olive tree, and witnessed local women extracting the oil from the kernels to make an oil for the face and hair.
It’s super powerful for me to see people thriving on plants, and using them to heal — all while many others lack trust in historical medicine and instead opt for a prescription because we are so unattached to nature that we feel insecure and hesitant to use something natural. Simplicity scares us. We tend to question how something so simple can heal us.
In my everyday life, I use turmeric. Drinking it, applying it on my skin in the form of oil, and using it in my recipes. They say turmeric can perform magic on a person’s skin, mainly due to the fact that it’s full of antioxidants. Its beta carotene component gives the skin an instant boost of vitamins, and results in the skin looking a little more vibrant too.
My passion for natural skin care led to my creation of a skin care company named after the science of plants, and based solely on the healing and natural ingredients of the earth. It’s also an ethical vegan product as ingredients (that I learned to love over the years) are organically sourced and beautifully mixed by locals from different parts of the world. I launched the skin care range because I wanted to make the process of naturally healing the body, easier.
I wanted to ensure that once a person begins to see the benefits of using a natural product, they too will never underestimate the power of ‘natural’
* The author is an expert in vegan wellbeing and health. Instagram handle: @Ghanim92
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