We’re happy to celebrate another skintastic Thanksgiving with all of our patrons! Centuries ago, Pilgrims shared their harvest festival with Native Americans, which came to be known as the First Thanksgiving. Little do many of us know that our modern skin care derives in part from Native American culture.
Our Native Roots
Many skin care connoisseurs know all about how the Egyptians popularized olive oil, beeswax, and honey, especially through Cleopatra’s famous honey baths. We often don’t realize that many of the essential oils and extracts came from many different cultures. Some of our Honey Girl favorites were made famous because of Native American culture:
Jojoba Oil: Native Americans collected jojoba seeds and used a pestle to grind this into a paste. They believed that Jojoba had “mystical powers of healing” and would apply this onto wounds.
Today, we use this versatile oil in our Rose C Serum and our HoneyGlo Regenerating Face Serum for similar reasons. Jojoba has been shown to reduce redness and inflammation, ward off the effects of rosacea and eczema, as well as repair damaged skin.
Aloe Vera: Native Americans had figured out long before us about Aloe Vera’s protective properties from harsh weather. They often applied it to their own sunburns and in dry weather to protect the skin. They also used it in their own body soap and facial cleansers.
We use Aloe Vera Gel in our After Sun Face and Body Lotion for the same reasons: to protect the skin from further sun damage. We also use it in our Foaming Facial Wash. Aloe Vera is highly anti-inflammatory, which is what makes it so good at treating burns and dry skin.
Prickly Pear: Originating in Latin America, Prickly Pears were a staple in the Native American diet. The nopals are full of vitamins that stave of diseases and help the body with inflammation. Prickly Pear would also be applied directly to more serious injuries. Natives would split them open, heat them, and apply them to swollen skin and wounds.
We recently began utilizing the healing properties of this powerhouse ingredient in our new Rose C Serum. It does wonders for the skin, including reducing wrinkles and fine lines, calms redness and burns, and brightens skin and dark circles.
Skin Care in the Seventeenth Century
Still curious about what skin care was like around the time of the First Thanksgiving? Here are some interesting tidbits we’ve dug up:
While today we flock the beaches tanning salons for the perfect dark bronze, in the 17th century extremely pale skin was all the rage. Women did everything to keep their skin pale, including not washing their face! They’d also use whitening makeup that contained mercury, lead, or bismuth. Yikes!
Native Americans have a deep tradition with body paint. They would paint themselves for ceremonies, prayers, and even before battle. White, yellow, and red paint often came from clay, green paint came from copper ores, and black paint came from black earth and charred wood. They had a special blue paint that came from...you guessed it...duck manure! It would often be combined with a bluish mud before applying.
Many women made cosmetic products at home. One included grounding eggshells with toilet water to make face powder. To get red paint for the lips and cheeks, European women would use cochineal, derived from an insect (a natural pigment that is still widely used today and it's known as carmine..!)
Needless to say, skin care has come a long way from the First Thanksgiving. I don’t think we will be using insect extracts in our organic line anytime soon.
Skintastic Thanksgiving Tips
Let’s fast-forward to twenty-first-century Thanksgiving. Our Thanksgiving is usually riddled with stress that comes along with cooking, cleaning, unexpected family, and the ever-looming Black Friday. To cope with some of the craziness that is the beginning of the Winter holiday season, we have a few tips to give you a Skintastic Thanksgiving:
- Hydrate. Carry a water bottle around everywhere you go. Sleepiness, fatigue, stress, and dry skin can all be prevented by your body’s first defense: water.
Pro Tip: If you prefer one of those fancy flavored waters, skip them and add a little Himalayan Salt in your water. This pink salt is packed with nutrients and electrolytes without the heavy-weight sugar.
- Chew. The holiday season seems to provide us with endless amounts of food. From the many Thanksgiving turkeys that will surround you to the foreboding Christmas cookies, you’ll realize how hungry you are and may dive right in. Stop! Many nutritionists agree that if you take the time to completely chew your food (and not swallow after one bite), you will get fuller before eating too much. Eating too much not only puts on the pounds, it’s also bad for our skin. It can make our skin puffier and make it lose elasticity. Don’t forget to chew!
- Wash & Moisturize. After all of the cooking, all of the eating, all of the family togetherness, it’s finally your time to relax. Before jumping into bed, be sure to wash that face! Your sweat, oil, and tears may have built up on your skin creating a thin layer of grime. If not washed, you could wake up with a breakout. Honey Girl’s gentle Foaming Facial Wash is perfect for these situations. You can wash your face in less than thirty seconds. If you’ve had a particularly stressful day, end it with a soothing night cream. You’ll wake up radiant and wonder what even happened the day before!
We hope you have a Thanksgiving for the ages! We are so thankful for all of your continued support, and wish you bountiful blessings this season! From all of us at Honey Girl Organics, Hau’oli Lā Ho’omaika’i! Happy Thanksgiving!
Written by Tiffany Shelton