Blog: Skincare / Our Philosophy
There’s a book sitting on my desk. I had taken it out from the library a few weeks ago and, yet, still haven’t felt called to read it. Instead, I have opened it at random moments to random pages seeking a sign, confirmation, inspiration.
The book is called If Women Rose Rooted, and the page I opened to this morning begins with words from D.H. Lawrence:
“Oh what a catastrophe, what a maiming of love when it was made a personal, merely personal feeling, taken away from the rising and setting of the sun, and cut off from the magic connection of the solstice and equinox. This is what is the matter with us. We are bleeding at the roots, because we are cut off from the earth and sun and stars…”
And then the chapter begins, titled, “Reclaiming Our Stories.”
I’ve been wanting to tell the tale of my skincare line, and I think it begins here, with a reminder of our lost roots. With the tragedy and grief of forgetting our source.
In writing any tale, we must begin with why this story deserves to be told. And what do we hope our readers will take from it—how will it grow them?
So I have posed this question to myself: why do I create skincare products? Why have I chosen this as part of my purpose, my mission here on the planet? We have such limited time to accomplish what we are here to accomplish so, if I have chosen this, I must have chosen it because it is important.
And it is hard for me to answer the question, not because I don’t have reasons or a sense of purpose, but because (pun intended) the answer is not merely skin deep.
In my mind when I try to answer, responses whirl about the soul, about our soul’s beauty and being who we are, and about being stewards of our planet.
And then, most resounding, is the answer that speaks of our connection: to ourselves, to each other, to our planet, to our god or our source.
We are bleeding at our roots. That’s why I started this line. One reason, at least. I wanted to discover, together, how to attach us, again. How to stop the bleeding and land our feet on the ground, in the soil, in the earth.
I wanted to remember that we are aligned with the planets, the sun, the stars.
That our skin, our beauty, is somehow an expression of all of this.
That we are not alone. So we must honor our bodies in ways that announce our connection. And we must honor each other.
We are linked.
There are some oil wars going on out there—face oil, that is. Some skincare brands (not mentioning names) are marking their territory, saying “my oil is better than yours.”
Instead of knocking each other down, trying to one-up each other, we should be celebrating: growing access to safe self-care products means greater awareness, greater health, and a cleaner, more sustainable planet.
In this case, more competition is not a downer.
After all, we’re all rooting for the same thing (right?): wellbeing, stretching from our heads to our toes and down into the soil.
I’m in this fight (to save our health + our planet) because it matters. Because the products we use on our skin and the food we eat shouldn’t be poisoning us. Because being mindful of the legacy we leave to future generations is not only good sense, but morally unequivocal.
Do I want you to buy my oil? Of course.
Do I think it’s the best? It’s pretty damn good.
But am I going to (even humorously) start hash tagging #oilwars? Hell no. There are real oil wars going on, and the language we use (even to sell skincare products) matters.
I imagine skin as this living, breathing hub, this place of exchange and connection, where what’s inside us meets the outside world and vice versa. . . . Life happens where our skin meets the world; change happens. Transformation happens. The truth is that our skin does not isolate us from the world: because it is permeable, it binds us to it. There is no life without this exchange.
I believe that we deserve to know our own beauty & worth.
I believe that we are always in process & that showing up as we are is one of the most courageous things we can do.
I believe it is time for us to reclaim our stories & reclaim our bodies—to bare them with truth & love & compassion. When we let our beauty exist, naturally, we offer ourselves as teachers: I am not afraid of this body that I have, we say. I will not hide it or shun it or tell it it’s not enough. I embrace my beauty. By embracing our beauty, we free others to do the same.
I also firmly believe that we need to lose the language of “anti-wrinkle” & “anti-aging.” Imagine if those words suddenly went missing. Overnight, our skincare products would transform, leaving empty spaces where “anti-wrinkle” & “anti-aging” were once boldly displayed on boxes & plastic bottles.
Not a single person would utter the words in a face cream commercial & all of those fountain-of-youth advising books would suddenly find gaps in the middle of their sentences.
Poof. The words, everywhere, would disappear.
But it’s not just the words. Imagine what that would mean, a world where we could never speak the language of “anti-aging” again.
It would mean we would finally allow our bodies the chance to be seen as they shape-shift & change—as they enter the flow of time and grow marks & scars & lines; we would not hide the truth of ourselves. By bringing our bodies into the open as they are, we would celebrate them for showing the richness of our lives; they carry our stories.
The more adamantly we try to reverse time, the more we fight our own strength and beauty: as we expand with age, we rise up, rooted in our intuition & our wisdom. To chase the fountain of youth is to forget what a blessing being an elder & a seer is. We do not sacrifice beauty by aging; no—we sacrifice only when we resist age’s flow, hushing our innate powers.
DO NOT PLAY IT SMALL, MY SISTERS. DO NOT HIDE YOUR BEAUTY.
Knowing your worth & your beauty is not a privilege, it is why you are here: to express your fullness—to express your passions, your purpose, your love.
Sisters, root yourself in the Grandmother Spirit. Set your intuition aflame and swell with your own wisdom.
We need you, exactly as you are.
Our skin is magical. It is a living, breathing organ, the largest organ in our bodies.
Under the name of my skincare line, I often place a double-pointed arrow, expanding limitlessly in both directions, like this:
I choose this because what inspires me about skin is that it is an organ of communication; it literally connects what’s inside of us to what’s outside, and what’s outside to what’s within.
In other words, our skin is not a solid barrier, guarding us from everything outside and never allowing anything inside to come out. Just think about how we sweat out toxins through our skin or how we soak in medicines through patches, like nicotine patches or birth control patches. Our skin is a porous barrier.
We’ve often heard the expression you are what you eat. Meaning, the food we take in literally becomes us: it becomes the protein in our muscles and our hair, the collagen in our skin. One of the most intimate relationships we can have is with our food: when we open our mouths and swallow, what we take in forms us. With every bite we take, we have a hand in creating ourselves.
But the expression, “You are what you eat,” doesn’t go far enough. We are also everything we put on our skin. Because our skin is a porous barrier, the majority—upwards of 60%—of what we put on it is absorbed through our skin and into our bloodstream. Our skin eats, too.
This matters. Because, in every moment, our bodies are new. Our skin replaces itself every month, our stomach lining regenerates every five days, and our livers are new every six weeks. What this means, so powerfully, is that though our bodies appear statuesque and unchanging, they are continually building and rebuilding themselves. So, if we are what we eat and we are what we put on our skin, with everything we take in, we get to choose whether we want to build our bodies up or break them down. In other words, we have a tremendous responsibility to understand the impact of our food and our self-care products on our bodies.
Since we know that our skin eats, too, and what it eats affects our wellness on the deepest levels, we must be just as mindful about what we put on our skin as what we put in our mouths. In other words, if you wouldn’t eat it—if you can’t pronounce the ingredients in it because it’s manufactured and modified in a lab rather than grown in the earth—should you really be putting it on your skin?
When I create skincare products to nourish your body, I believe there is no other option but to choose ingredients that are sage and natural healers grown in our soil. I choose plant-based. And I feel a responsibility to choose organic.
When we spray the earth with pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides, covering the land we live on, and the food we eat, and the herbs that will become our skincare products, with poisons, we must remember we are spraying ourselves.
Until we recognize this truth—we are the earth, our connection to it irrevocable and undeniable—we will know neither health nor peace. What we do to our natural abode, we do to ourselves. For earth’s sake and for our own, we must choose consciously.
Because choosing organic or caring for the earth is not just about the health of our children’s children, but our health right now. We are plagued with chronic illness at such high rates that we have forgotten how unnatural it is. No, to suffer chronic pain, to be so frequently tired that coffee must be around every corner, to have such unimaginably and devastatingly high rates of cancer, to have heart burn and indigestion always, and to be so chronically unhappy is not ok. Our birthright is luminosity.
We must understand that we are the co-creators of our lives and of this earth. I choose organic, vegan, loving ingredients because it is not only our responsibility, but our sacred calling to care for our bodies, our spirits, and our planet.
Skincare is just the beginning.
We’re raising the bar with our new zero-waste options. Because we know that caring for your body also means caring for our planet.
Want to help protect the planet?
Labels require chemically-coated paper, chemical adhesives, and chemical inks, all of which burden the planet.
It is with great responsibility that we choose not to turn a blind eye to this burden, which is why we’re now offering you the option to go label-free.
When selecting a product from our online store, save $1 by choosing the “without paper label” option. This means we’ll send you your product without a label, just a simple, zero-waste glass jar.
Let your bottle bare it all to save money and protect the planet from unnecessary waste.
We understand that opting out of the label isn’t always possible when you’re ordering two products with the same jar and top, but we urge you to drop the label when you can.
Caring for the earth is our responsibility—and it’s intimately connected to our own health. When the earth is sick, we get sick, too.
Together, we can be the change.
The first commandment of ASHLEY ASTI:
i. We do not believe that poisoning the earth or the animals that live upon it is an option. To create a beautiful world, we must create with peace. We promise products of pure and peaceful intentions.