“Your Skincare Is As Bad For You As McDonald’s”
Fabian Lliguin & Valerie Grandury
Okay, I guess I can’t say with confidence that EACH of your guys’ skincare is like McDonald’s, and that you don’t use clean beauty, but I’m going to assume it is, because quite frankly, mine was until last night.
Maybe I should explain what I’m talking about. Last night, I had the pleasure of hearing the following analogy from Odacité founder, Valerie Grandury: “Toxic skincare* is like McDonald’s, and non-toxic skincare/clean beauty is like organic food.” This analogy really made everything click for me: most skincare is just plain ol’ bad and sketchy. Just like McDonald’s is garbage for your body, toxic skincare is garbage for your skin.
*AKA drugstore & big name brands
The Detox Market
Valerie was part of a panel I went to last night hosted by The Detox Market to celebrate its one year anniversary (yayyy, happy 1 year Detox!!). If you live in NYC and haven’t been to The Detox Market – you need to go! Like, now. It’s a boutique retailer in Soho that ONLY sells green beauty. (Green beauty is clean beauty, but “with passion!” – as described by Detox founder Romain Gaillard). The decor in this store was also super impressive, sophisticated, and inviting. It felt like a mini home for all of the skincare, body care and makeup you’d ever need.
Clean Beauty Essentials
We were so kindly gifted the “clean beauty essentials” gift box from The Detox Market with some amazing products. Now that I’ve tested them out, I wanted to share my top picks with you:
Kosasport LipFuel in Pulse: This is the perfect lip balm for me, as it’s not too intensely pigmented and is a pretty natural shade of pink. I love it for when I’m on the go and want to keep my lips hydrated, but also give them some color. If you’re looking for a clean lipstick for a night out, this isn’t it, but it’s my go-to for daytime.
W3ll People Expressionist Volumizing Mascara: This mascara and the Hourglass mascara are the best clean mascara’s I’ve used so far. The W3ll People mascara is great for everyday use as it lifts and volumizes the lashes without being too much. I love the wand and will definitely continue restocking this.
Pai Skincare Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil: While I guess I haven’t found an oil I don’t like (tbh), this oil smells particularly amazing and does its job of hydrating the skin.
In addition to Valerie, Rahua’s Fabian Lliguin & Maya Chia’s Susanne Norwitz also spoke on the panel around clean beauty. To say I was blown away by each of their stories is an understatement. Here’s why:
Valerie Grandury, Odacité
Valerie was diagnosed with breast cancer and five years to live. The only solution given to her was chemo. Instead of doing what most people would do and simply proceed with the chemo, she embarked on a totally different path and adopted a raw, plant-based diet (as a vegan, you know I loved hearing that) and stopped using any and all toxic beauty products she owned. She completely cured herself of cancer by removing all of the toxins from her life. She’s healthy as ever 15 years later, and became inspired to create her own clean beauty and skincare line – Odacité.
I want to take a second to point out how brave Valerie is. I can only imagine being told that I only have X more years to live, and NOT do as my doctor says – especially when doctor’s knowingly have so many years of education that I (admittedly and blindly) trust. I admire Valerie so much for going against the grain, and quite literally taking her life into her own hands.
Fabian Lliguin, Valerie Grandury & Romain Gaillard
Fabian Lliguin, Rahua
Fabian is a renowned hairstylist and colorist in NYC. For most people, that’d be enough – especially coming from such humble beginnings in Ecuador as he did. However, Fabian wanted to do more for the world. He became an environmentalist deeply passionate about helping the indigenous people of the Amazon.
On one of his trips to the Amazon rainforest, he noticed that the tribe womens’ hair was so long, it was almost down to their ankles! They shared that the secret to their long, healthy hair was rahua oil. He brought the oil back to his salon in New York City, tested it on a client with severely damaged hair, and saw wildly amazing results within just 10 minutes. Fabian and his wife Anna Ayers employ the people of the Amazon to deliver what is now Rahua hair and body care.
Fabian also shared shocking facts about the meat industry and how it’s contributing to global warming. Again, as a vegan, you know I loved that the panel took this turn! From the outside looking in, it appears that Fabian is yet another hairdresser with a product line; but he’s not – he is doing so much more. He is dedicating his life to making positive change, and helping people in a part of the world that is not receiving as much attention as it deserves.
Susanne Norwitz, Maya Chia
Susanne had a super impressive corporate career as a political speech writer before she transitioned into skincare. Approaching her 40th birthday, she realized that she was not fulfilled in her career, and wanted to dedicate her life to something she was actually passionate about.
She knew that she always had a fascination with skincare. She also had a passion for the Maya people, as her father – a plastic surgeon – travelled often to Guatemala for pro-bono work (she mentioned that, funnily enough, her now-husband has 2 adopted children from Guatemala). Pairing her love of skincare and the Maya people with an essentially random realization that chia seeds are an amazing skincare ingredient (who knew?!), she created Maya Chia. She joked that she can’t cook at all, and that creating new skincare products makes her feel like a chef. As someone who cannot cook/does not care to one bit, I loved this joke. 😉
Susanne Norwitz, Fabian Lliguin & Valerie Grandury
I am SO excited to use clean beauty only from now on, thanks to these panelists! Anddd hopefully someone else learned a thing or two from this.