If you asked me 10 years ago what I'd be doing today, I don't think making natural skincare products would have been on my short-list, or even on my long-list for that matter! I've found that life takes some very unexpected turns, and if we are ready, and open to the notion of following a new path, we may sometimes find that new and wonderful adventures await.
My path was forever changed when my beautiful, wonderful mother was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. Upon this life-shattering diagnosis, my sister and I immediately sprang into action. Determined to save our amazing mother we made some very calculated changes. One of the biggest changes we made was the complete revamping of her diet. We were so careful about what she was eating, eliminating foods that feed cancer, we wanted instead to starve this awful disease out of her body. Because of the advanced stage of her cancer, she was immediately put on large doses of chemo, and the chemo really took a toll. One of the many adverse effects of the chemo on her body was the incredible drying of her skin. As we were being so careful about what my mother was putting into her body, I began to think about what we were putting onto her body. I wanted to find an all natural lotion or cream that we could apply to her skin, but at that point, like so many people, I didn't really know what "all natural" was. So I started researching and digging. And let me tell you, I didn't have to dig too deep when I began uncovering all sorts of things. I was absolutely mortified, to learn of the harsh, known carcinogens being used in most all of the commercial skincare products sitting on the shelves of our stores. Ingredients that are not only carcinogens but chemicals that attack the central nervous system, weaken our immune system, and disrupt hormones in our bodies. We are slathering these lotions and creams onto our bodies and worse yet onto the bodies of our children. A truly "all natural" product, despite what all the labels on the products claimed, was very hard to find. It was then that I decided this was my path, and the rest is history as they say.
We constantly see beauty products in the stores that claim to be all natural, but in my research I have found that there are actually very, very few ALL natural products sitting on the shelves of our stores. From the time it takes a product to be manufactured, stored until the distributor needs it, packaged, shipped to the retail location, displayed on a store shelf until the consumer buys it, to the time the consumer actually uses the product up, can be up to a year very often much longer (I know this because my good friend is in charge of this process for some very well-known brands). This product must be preserved during this long period of time so nothing bad will grow in it. So why do bad things grow? Well, most products that are applied to the skin contain water, if you check a cream or lotion's ingredients, water is most always on the label, and it's usually first in line.
Water itself is not bad; we need water. Water sustains life . . . but, therein lies the problem, where there is water there can be life in the form of bacteria and other harmful microbes. So if there is water, even a tiny drop of water in a formulation, a preservative must be used. If a preservative, synthetic or natural, is doing its job, it is killing those microbes and bacteria . . . this is good. What is not good, however, is that the preservative will also kill the microbes and bacteria that live on our skin and within our bodies. This, at first blush sounds like a good thing, but it’s not.
Our skin, the magnificent barrier between the body and the outside world, is home to diverse microbes, some of which can promote immunity and fight invaders. It has been long believed that there is an important involvement of "good" bacteria in strengthening the immune system in order to maintain good health and fight disease . . . think probiotics. It is crucially important to our health to keep this delicate balance of good bacteria on the skin and within our bodies, where it can help protect us. By using a product that contains a preservative, synthetic or natural, that preservative is killing ALL bacteria, the bad bacteria in the product as well as the beneficial, good bacteria on our skin and in our bodies, thus weakening our immune system and making us susceptible to disease.
And so my journey began . . . I was determined to eliminate the bad stuff from the products I use and love so much. For the health of my family, my friends, and others I created Sans Skincare, skincare without the harsh chemicals. Made with essential and pure plant oils, plant butters, and other pure and wonderfully natural ingredients, Sans is healthy. Every single ingredient we use is beneficial for the body, every single ingredient nourishes the body with the plant's own nutrition, and every single ingredient matters.
I hope you will try and enjoy Sans with the thought that "sometimes it's not only what you put into a product that makes it truly wonderful, but also what you leave out".
Here's to a lifetime of joy and health!
Renan Kennedy, Sans Skincare Founder and Creative Director