Michelle’s Transition to Clean

Like mother, like daughter. For many women, it’s a phrase that holds true in a number of ways, especially within the realm of beauty. For as long as I can remember my mother has been a skin-care addict. My mom had three children to look after, but that never stopped her from taking care of her skin. “Less is more” was her mantra, and she taught me a lot about being discerning about the kinds of products and ingredients I put on my face. 

Inherited looks play their part, but while nature is a major part of the equation, for me nurture has been just as much of a driving force when it comes to my regimented skin-care routine. Some of my fondest memories are of me and my mom doing Friday, late-night facials. 

My mom is in her late 50’s now and barely has a wrinkle. Being half Puerto Rican and half Dominican, culture played a major role as make-up wasn’t something that was allowed until my late teens, and it was honestly a great gift. My parents wanted me to form a sense of confidence and identity before I started playing with it. 

Seeing my mother’s natural beauty allowed me to have a relationship with makeup that was more about it being used as a form of self-expression and not something I had to hide behind. To love myself, flaws and all, has become my mantra. 

I am a minimalist by nature, so for me clean-skincare has always been a must; but it wasn’t until I was pregnant three years ago that I started reading ingredient labels like it was my job. To my shock many of the “clean” brands I was using weren’t so “clean.” Turns out the word “clean” isn’t even something that is regulated in our country. I became so paranoid about passing something on to the life growing inside me that I went back to the basics. I started using things I could only make at home with natural ingredients like avocado and rose water. 

Fast-forward two years later, and I have a toddler who literally licks my face when it strikes her fancy (and who am I to stop her? I’ll miss these days). Needless to say, this sort of affection has made me hyper-aware of what ingredients I am putting on my face. 

Being a full-time, working mom I have since eased up on the homemade mask making. While I would love to figure out the perfect homemade serum using only the ingredients in my kitchen pantry, I simply don’t have the time. With the 30-minutes of free time I get in-between being a working mom, wife, friend (ad infinitum) I’d honestly rather go do yoga or go for a run. 

And here dear reader is where MADEWITH enters.

It has been a game-changer for me. Having a mentor, a real-person I can interact with about my skin needs (and there are many – postpartum acne, eczema, dark under-eye circles to name a few) AND have them recommend products; products I can trust are upheld to an actual standard of clean? That is just what this tired mama’s dreams are made of.

Services like MADEWITH shouldn’t be revolutionary, but the reality is that it is. The European Union has banned or restricted 1,300 ingredients from personal-care products. The United States has banned or restricted only 11. And for me, it’s personal with harmful ingredients in personal-care products disproportionately affecting women of color

We deserve better and so does the planet that our children will inherit, which is why I am committed to this clean skin-care journey. We have a long way to go, but luckily with MADEWITH I feel like I am not alone, and until our country gets it together, I can – at least in the meantime – be at peace with my face-licking daughter.

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