BUSY BEE HONEY CREAM - THE STORY
It started, as most great things do, with an experiment. You know, the kind that keeps you up late in your kitchen whipping up all sorts of concoctions? This wasn’t a culinary experiment though, but my first try at making skin cream.
I was inspired by a research project I was working on that would eventually grow into our company Elixirs for Life. We were looking at the spiritual effects of various plants, and as I was working through our long list of plants, I uncovered some very special botanicals that were supportive to healthy and youthful skin on a holistic level.
I’d learned through personal experience, that the appearance of our skin is about more than just washing your face before you go to bed. Sheesh, if it was that simple, we’d all have beautiful skin!
Skin is so complex and amazing; it’s impacted by hormone imbalances, emotional states, stress, hydration levels, diet, digestion, so many factors is can be difficult and frustrating to understand. I learned all about this because for years and years I struggled with pretty terrible skin—the kind of skin where you don’t want to leave the house without make-up on. I tried almost everything along the way to try and fix those blemishes and breakouts, but never found anything that I felt was helpful, and really doing good. One doctor put me on hydrocortisone cream, which worked—sort of, but I really didn’t feel like it was actually helping. I remember seeing a dermatologist that recommended I start taking medications that he said would totally clear up my skin—but I would have to have blood tests to make sure my liver wasn’t failing because of the medication! So, that didn’t seem like a very good idea—sacrificing one organ for the sake of another.
I was really frustrated because nothing that was being suggested to me felt like a solution; it felt instead as if the check engine indicator light came on in your car, and instead of fixing the engine people were suggesting ways to simply cover up the indicator light. I was looking for a way to fix the engine.
Traditional Chinese medicine talks about your kidney, and liver meridians affecting your skin; in fact, skin is understood to be your ‘third kidney’ in many traditional medicines. I understood that my internal organs were playing a big role, but it also made sense that my mental and emotional states were important too. These states and messages from our thoughts and feelings are the energy that our bodies absorb continuously. Thoughts and feelings are powerful energy, and that energy has to go somewhere. As they say ‘energy can neither be created or destroyed’’. For me, and for most people, a lot of that energy was not so good and it was getting trapped in my third kidney, my skin. The result was irritation and blemishes.
I love that solutions find us in the most amazing ways sometimes. It was about a year into our plant research project when I was noticing that we had covered quite a few botanicals that are uniquely supportive to skin on the emotional and spiritual levels. It occurred to me that I could just mix these up and try it as a skin cream. The challenge was that I had no idea how to make skin cream, but I was motivated to figure it out!
I bought a few books on natural and organic skin care, and used their skeleton recipes to start creating my own concoctions in my kitchen. When I first started this I thought, ‘oh, this is great! I can use this, and maybe I can get my sister to try it too!’ I had no idea that this little experiment in my kitchen would quickly start to grow and grow.
It took me about two years to really get the formula perfect.
Over that time I had to learn how to stabilize emulsions, perfectly blend and balance the botanicals, and tweak the recipe so that I don’t need to use any preservatives. This process felt natural to me. Creating something pure and organic to really help my body. I loved every minute of it! I knew the benefits that eating organic food have for your body, so it made sense to create a pure organic cream to put on your body.
Finding, or creating, the best ingredients possible was one of my favourite parts of creating this cream. All of the honey and beeswax in the cream comes from hives that are on family property southwest of Calgary. The bees belong to Gillian, one of my favourite people—she makes me laugh and laugh. I remember the summer that we learned how to filter the beeswax so we could use it in the cream. Cosmetic filtration is 5 microns, which makes everything super pure, but when the wax comes out of the hives initially it looks a bit (a lot)grotty. It’s a long way from cosmetic purity! Purifying the wax is basically a process of heating and filtering, heating and filtering. We had many failed attempts on our journey to learning how to process the wax, but I’ll always remember when we were finally successful. We danced and laughed around the stove that we’d pulled out into the middle of the kitchen—cause we were a little worried about maybe burning the house down.
There was honey and wax spilled everywhere, and Gillian’s husband came home to this scene asking what on earth had happened? And where were the children? Of course the kids were just fine, and when we explained the depths of our alchemical genius, he pitched in to help us clean up! What a guy!
I knew that we could have saved ourselves the trouble of filtering our own beeswax, and simply bought beeswax from someone else. But I really wanted to use our own wax because I know all of the care, attention, and love that goes into it.
Royal Jelly is another special (but not secret) ingredient that comes from bees. It too is a part of the cream. Bees make this sticky substance as food for the queen bee. It’s very special because it a natural source of hylaronic acid. Excuse me while I get a bit nerdy here, but I think this part is fascinating!
Hylaronic acid is well known in the world of cosmetics because it promotes collagen production. Collagen is the stuff that gives your skin that lovely youthful texture that we all love.
Your skin is always synthesizing procollagen (the precursor to collagen) in the epidermis, but it won’t turn into collagen unless it receives the right signal. Hylaronic acid is that signal.
As you can imagine, this is pretty popular stuff to put into cosmetic creams and injectable fillers. The challenge though is that almost all commercial cosmetics use an synthetic derivative of hyalronic acid called sodium hylaronate (a sodium salt of hylaronic acid). This synthetic version gets used because it’s inexpensive, and it’s then cross linked with various other chemicals to make it last longer.
Here’s the super important point: the body has trouble recognizing and processing things that are synthetic because your body is organic—royal jelly and its hylaronic acid is also organic. Your body understands organic (as in natural) substances and responds beautifully to them. Synthetics are another (and not so nice) story.
Phew—science lecture over. Now back to the story.
Fairly soon we started selling the cream out of our retrofitted kitchen at the office—now turned into mad scientist laboratory-manufacturing kitchen. As soon as we would make a batch, it would sell, and I was absolutely thrilled!
The first people to love it were my pioneers. These are the brave women in my world that actually used every new batch of cream I would send them. They were my test subjects, and I love them for trusting me!
At the personal level, part of the great joy of this cream is that my skin was healing—it was balanced, nourished, and happy! It was a game changer and a life changer.
Can I guarantee that it will work for you too? No, I can’t. I wish I could, but as we know, skin is complicated.
What I can guarantee is that you’ll not find a product that is made with more love, and singular intention to do good for every level of your being than our cream.
How do you know it is right for you? You can read more about that here, but ultimately if it feels right then it is. It’s important to listen to your gut. If something feels right, then do it. If it doesn’t, then move on.
Each jar of cream has a blend six different pure essential plant oils, and each of those was selected for a specific purpose and spiritual message. I’ve been taught that each plant has a voice and its spirit communicates its message to your mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies. The message of these plants is all about rejuvenation, safety, purity, and the vitality of life.
What a beautiful way to treat yourself, and your skin!