When the first sign of trouble hit my skin at age fourteen, large cysts seemed to appear overnight all over my face. I used everything anyone told me to try: from Noxzema pads to toothpaste to Dial soap. I took antibiotics, used benzoyl peroxide, and tried chemical peels. Nothing worked–in fact, my problem skin only escalated as my confidence plummeted. Throughout my teens, painful scabs covered my forehead and chin. Some days I wouldn’t go to school or would call in sick to work because my skin was so red and inflamed. Finally, after years of bad advice (from my doctor, friends, and magazines), I decided to take matters into my own hands.
I enrolled in Culver City Beauty School in Los Angeles in 2001 and began an apprenticeship with renowned celebrity holistic esthetician Victoria Montgomery. Victoria was a pioneer of her time, treating the skin with a Eastern holistic approach. I owe so much to those formative years with her in the treatment room. Victoria’s belief that the skin is a reflection of our internal organs still forms the core of my own philosophy. I will never forget a doctor telling me that you could eat nothing but chocolate and pizza and it would have NO bearing on the skin. I believe that type of rigid thinking (that our systems are separated and never interact) leads to many skin issues.
After working for Victoria I was primed to enter the treatment room armed with a holistic knowledge of how to care for the skin. But I was met with conventional skincare that was the exact opposite of what I wanted. Most products sold by estheticians were filled with toxic chemicals, stripping agents, and irritating perfumes. I was giving my clients knowledge and care but causing them inflammation and irritation.
I spent years hopping around from spa to spa, trying different skincare lines and hoping to find one that was both effective and healthy. By 2010 I had had enough! I knew my clients deserved better, so I started taking classes at the Nova Studio, a cosmetic chemistry school in Point Richmond, CA. I learned about natural skincare ingredients and how to create products using natural botanicals and preservatives. I studied with renowned cosmetic chemist Alice Duvernell, founder of Biophilia Botanicals, taking private classes and diving deep into her vast knowledge of cosmetic science. Over time I found that the products I was creating were super-safe and also effective at treating my clients’ skin!
I still had one problem: organic products need a preserving system, and choosing what botanicals to use was an overwhelming prospect. I enlisted the help of my friend Clayton Coker, a Stanford-trained plant biologist. He brought his extensive scientific knowledge and background working with plants and applied it to our skincare line to ensure it stays fresh and safe.
This was a turning point: to offer a unique skincare approach featuring anti-inflammatory botanicals hand-selected for their effective nature while also being gentle to the skin. Botnia was complete, with minimal ingredients and stellar results. I have been using these products in the treatment room and at home for the last five years and I have never seen results like this before. We are able to truly meet each client where their skin is at, no matter how complex or complicated their issues may be. If my story resonates with you, I urge you to try Botnia. It has taken years to perfect and the results speak for themselves. Clear, beautiful, radiant skin with simple, effective ingredients–makes sense, right?!