The planet deserves our love and gratitude every day. Earth Day falls in April and we’re spending the entire month focusing on how we can better connect with Mother Earth.
Today we speak with Rachel Budde, the founder of body care company Fat and the Moon. Fat and the Moon create handcrafted, herbal products, using age-old ingredients and recipes passed down from healing traditions.
Splendid Spoon: Why do we need to educate everyone on the importance of using plant-based skincare?
Rachel: There are so many things we take for granted. Convenience — along with the expectation that the products we pick off the shelves are safe — let us chug along without thinking. Unfortunately, convenience isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When we take a close look at what the unpronounceable ingredients in the products we use actually are, it should become impossible to knowingly put such toxic substances on our bodies.
Life is challenging enough without your cleanser harboring carcinogens, or your lotion containing hormone disrupters. The truth is, there’s no reason anyone should be using toxic products on their bodies. Plant-based skin care isn’t a new trend — it’s what our ancestors used for centuries. Plant-based skin care is a return to the wisdom of our grandmothers: simple, straightforward and effective.
Medicinal plants have a vast array of properties and when properly formulated they’re extremely effective. Plants evolved for millions of years before us, and when we use their oils or extractions, we get to borrow their ingenious ways of dealing with bacteria, fungus, sun, and wear and tear.
Our skin is a porous membrane: what we put on our skin enters our body. When we use time tested, plant-based skincare, we feed ourselves with nourishing ingredients.
SS: Why do we need healthy fats?
RB: There are so many loaded messages about fats. Our culture has a preoccupation with fat. Fat, as a substance, is where animals and plants store energy — it is the life force in reserve.
We can frame our relationship to fat as we do our relationship with energy. Where do you want to get your energy? Directly from plant- or animal-based sources, or from processed and industrial sources? The kind of energy you choose will be the basis for the quality of your energy.
Externally, plant-based fats support the skin’s natural ability to protect itself by harmonizing with our own oils, our skin sebum. Internally, the human body synthesizes steroid hormones directly from cholesterol — a process absolutely necessary for healthy development and function. Demonizing fat, or cholesterol itself, is a reflection of a superficial and one-dimensional look at health. In a weight-obsessed culture, fat is bad. So often, our focus is on what we look like rather than what feels healthy. Women starving themselves to fit a cultural norm is not health. We don’t just need healthy fats, we need a healthy relationship with fat.
SS: What’s your favorite plant-based skincare DIY?
RB: One of my favorite recipes is one of the most simple. You probably already have the ingredients in your pantry. There is absolutely no need to drop $40 or more on body scrubs. You can make a whole spectrum of spa-worthy versions at home.
Self-Care Body Scrub:
1 part coconut oil (for a more whipped-like texture), or olive oil
1 part fine sea salt, or sugar
A few drops of your favorite essential oil
1–2 tablespoon(s) of cosmetic grade clay
A few tablespoons of honey
A few tablespoons of finely ground coffee or coconut
Mix all the ingredients together and store in a clean jar. Massage onto wet skin for a invigorating polish, and then rinse off. The oil base will lock in moisture and exfoliate dead skin build-up. Keep a little spoon or scoop in the jar, your hands can introduce bacteria into your scrub, increasing the chances of an untimely scrub death.