Please tell us about yourself, Barbara…
I am a Grandmother of three little girls, and I spend most of my weekdays at home taking care of one, or all of them. I have 4 month old Moira every day, 3 year old Courtney and 6 year old Catherine here and there throughout the week. They also all live across the street from me in their own homes with my daughters, Erin (Mom of the two Cs) and Annaka (Mom of little Moira). Moira is growing up in the house I grew up in. It is all pretty nice! My grown son lives a few hours away in New Hampshire. I have a wonderful husband named Scott, who is also the best Grampa in the world 😉 We built our own log cabin in 1978 and still live here, with our four beloved kitties. We are surrounded by woods, wildlife, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!
How long have you been on your all-natural path, and what inspired you to be on it?
I really became interested in natural foods when my kids were little. They will relate to you their tales of eating wheat berries and milk, lol! I think I have always just been drawn to all things natural, although I have not always known about natural skin care. As a small child I remember breaking out all over my face with a red, itchy rash any time I would sneak into Mom’s dusting powder or fancy soaps. As a teenager I broke out all over from using a popular sun tan product. Clearly, I have always had sensitivities and no doctor ever really addressed them, imo. I actually think I was given sugar pills for that sun tan product event! Basically, all of my life I have fought allergic reactions to chemicals, particularly on my face but not exclusively. I went through the typical line of department store cleansers and moisturizers, including some of the more expensive lines – only to wind up with an irritated rash around my nose and mouth. It was itchy, red, bumpy and painful. This was really occurring most frequently in the last 15 years or so, and I had at that time discovered mineral makeup, so the interest in more natural skin care was only a matter of time for me. I tested out the big lines that you see on tv that people rave about – only to find they made my problems worse. Of course, they were full of chemicals! It was beyond frustrating, as I have always been very particular about my skin, and makeup, and I could never quite cover up that itchy red patch.
My real blessing occurred when I met Li Wong on a Delphi forum for GoW. I had been doing some reading about oil cleansing method, and asked Li for advice on my skin type. I had been told dry, oily, you name it! Li talked to me, and helped me to see that my skin was actually dehydrated! I read further on the OCM and made my own oil from a mix of castor oil and olive oil. As soon as I started cleansing with this, the change began. I began adding things to my “stash” like hydrosols, other carrier oils, and found myself not just a purchaser of all natural skin care, but a little bit of a formulator too lol. My skin cleared up, and has remained clear ever since. None of the many products I use now ever create that dreaded rash – and I couldn’t be more thankful, or more of a convert! My youngest daughter followed suit and has used natural skin care since then as well, clearing up her adult onset acne.
This education also carried over to my hair care, and in a very short time I was able to become free of some very painful little pimples I would get all over my scalp – particularly at the hairline – which I soon learned had been a reaction to all of those nasty things in shampoos, and conditioners. It is only natural for me now!
What makes you choose ‘the ANB’ and what do you like about it?
I found the ANB Mall and websites through Li Wong, of course! Her blogs there were a natural draw for me, and then one day I decided to enter a drawing for a giveaway, and I won! It was an amazing gift pack of so many lovely products from vendors at the ANB Mall, and I fell in love! I was already using many things from Li’s Earth Alkemie line, and was already a fan of Monave Minerals. Trying the other lines in this way truly led me to some wonderful beauty discoveries.
Which products and/or DIY recipes have you tried from our sites and what are your favorites and why? Also, if there are any articles or experiences that have particularly been inspiring to you please share.
I have so appreciated the specific advice I have been given from the Experts at ANB. I have gone to them with questions about everything from baby safety (re: essential oils) to formulating questions, and ingredient info for making my own laundry detergent. They are not my only source, but a wonderful source they are! I also love so many of the lines sold through ANB Mall. Earth Alkemie, Monave Minerals, Artisan Naturals, Rosa y Fruta, Grateful Body, Melansol, Dropwise Essentials, Jenulence, Dawn to Dusk Naturals – use and love them all! For sheer inspiration, I must credit my friend Li Wong the most – for all of her wisdom, teaching and advice!
What would you tell a friend about choosing all-natural beauty products?
I honestly feel that most if not all of our skin care issues, and even our health issues, can be traced back to the chemicals we use in our daily lives – on our skin and hair, our laundry, and in our food (not to mention our environment). I have had more people say to me “aren’t you afraid those natural things are dangerous – why don’t you just use the regular chemicals to cure/treat this or that??”. This never ceases to astound me. People assume that chemicals are safe, but are leery of nature’s own gifts. My advice? Educate yourself, and find people who actually know what they are talking about. You can have more beautiful skin, healthier hair, and feel better doing it. I know this, and I totally urge everyone to read labels, learn ingredients, and ask questions! The ANB Mall and Website is a great place to start your education 🙂