How did we get here?
Do any of my "road to a healthier skin regimen" peeps remember the time not so long ago, when the only evidence needed to blow a ridiculous amount of money on a tiny jar of moisturizer was a seductively tantalizing commercial? You know, the ones spotlighting every body-image insecurity you carry. With the actor/actress strategically looking directly into the camera at what seems like the 11th hour as doubt starts creeping in, ready to seal the deal with what feels like a one-on-one consultation, offering a prescription that enthusiastically states you'll be flawless in 14 days if you "buy it", then an almost inaudible drop in tone to cover the legal mentions of all the calamities you might be subjecting your skin to.
How about this one. Hey Siri! what's formaldehyde (a widely used preservative in skincare products)? Pronouncing the names of the ingredients in my favorite brands was difficult. Googling, and learning what they were, a big wakeup call. The shock value really sunk in for me at discovering that although I'm alive and well, I've been using products containing a common ingredient found in embalming fluids. The stuff used to preserve dead bodies until burial. Yep! that same one.
The cosmetic industry is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration(FDA). As consumers, we are programmed to believe that the FDA's stamp of approval on a product is an assurance of its claims. As I began to peel back the layers of those "all-natural, chemical-free" claims made by manufacturers and in may case endorsed by the FDA, I've come to the realization that consumers are trapped in a whirlpool of semantics. A few things to point out: it is absolutely legal for a manufacturer to sell products to consumers without FDA verification of their claims and or approval. As though getting the proverbial wag of a mother's finger reminding her children to tell the truth even when she's not present. I've never been a gambler, but I've been a sneaky toddler. That's a 50/50 shot at best. Secondly, don't swear by the truthfulness of those hard to pronounce, I must consult Google for a definition of ingredients for a product boasting "all-natural." Why you may ask? Well, remember that whirlpool of semantics I mentioned earlier? Here's your introduction to it. According to the FDA, it does not have a definition for the term "natural", however, it has policies providing general guidelines on how a manufacturer of food products can determine themselves if their products are "natural." As it pertains to skin-care products, it has no definition of the term "natural" and provides little to no guidance for skincare manufacturers to use. Then there is the mea-culpa rebuttal of "well, it's only really bad for you in large quantities when pressed to address the approval of carcinogens in products.
These are just a few of the eye-openers that birth the Zen & Bloom brand. We are on a mission, committed to formulating products with ingredients that are plant-based, ingredients you will not need Google to define for you. The earth was created with everything we need! Take this journey with me, and let us feed our skin the way nature intended. Let's balance (Zen) and glow (Bloom) our skin with nature-gifted, skin-loving ingredients.
written by: Yekesha Frederick