#FF stands for Fantastic Founder, to gain insight into the work of these ethical brand formulators and founders. Our first guest is Precious Skin Elixirs.
Several years ago, I shared my experience with the Amethyst serum (here). Since then I’ve been enjoying witnessing the evolution of this beautiful brand working at its pace and following its instinct. Precious Skin Elixirs is an intuitive skincare line using gem energy. In a true apothecary tradition, every batch is made with “care, healing intention, and in the spirit of love”. The founder, Marissa Bethoney, stresses the importance of envisioning skincare as part of this whole self-care experience instead of a mere “skin problem-fixer”. Precious Skin Elixirs stays true to its identity, something that is becoming challenging, in a monolithic beauty industry. I’m delighted to share with you a glimpse into the enlightening mind of Marissa.
When you work in your studio formulating products, do you have some sort of a ritual/habit (for. example listening to music…)
I actually prefer to work in complete silence. I know that might sound boring, but the silence allows for a relaxed atmosphere where I’m best able to focus my intention and energy entirely on my work. Distractions dilute the magic! Before I begin batching, I do have a simple ritual that sets my focus and intention for what I’m making. The process of formulating is sacred – it’s an alchemy of earth energy, whether that’s on the form of botanical oils, powdered herbs, or gemstones.
Current beauty obsession (it can be a product/brand/or even beauty technique that you like)
I will forever be obsessed with oil cleansing. It’s changed my skin dramatically over the past several years and I love it! I strongly believe using the right oils for your skin does matter, however, the process itself is incredibly transformative. My current obsession is with my Rose Quartz Gua Sha tool. I started dabbling in this facial technique about a year ago, but never stuck to it or truly understood it’s power. Lately, I’ve been doing a 5-minute routine every evening and some mornings. I’m loving the effect both on my skin and mood. Gua Sha moves the lymphatic system in the face and neck, releases muscle tension, and brings up circulation for a lifted complexion and glow. It also gets the energy along our meridian pathways free flowing – all fabulous ways to melt away tension and support skin’s natural vitality.
Most challenging aspect of being a green skincare formulator?
As with the many rewards, there are also many challenges! Aside from the technical challenges of working exclusively with natural ingredients, the biggest challenge I’ve come up against so far is actually communicating the more esoteric qualities of the brand. The concept of intuitive skin care is one of them. Much of the beauty industry (green beauty included) places such heavy focus on results and product performance. I get it – we all want to see the positive difference from the products we use. Yet, we are overlooking the value of approaching skin care from an intuitive perspective. I feel it’s much more meaningful and better for the body to consider what YOU need, rather than isolate the skin and see it as a separate “thing” from your entire being. Intuitive skin care is about listening to your desires and igniting the flame of self-love. It’s about moving away from the “problem-solution” paradigm of fixing something that’s wrong with our skin. Because what we’re really saying in this way of thinking is that there’s something wrong with US. There’s nothing wrong with us. Perhaps there are things we want to change, but that’s not because they are wrong or bad. Let’s take the stigma off transformation and start seeing ourselves as blooms constantly unfurling to become more of ourselves. Beauty ritual ought to support and nurture that process
How do you motivate yourself through more difficult/challenging times?
Motivation can be a tricky thing for me. Sometimes I feel sustained for weeks, and other times it feels like each day is a rollercoaster of emotions. If I’m feeling off, or that my motivation levels are low I put whatever I’m working on down and just walk away. I go do something else… I take a nap! I’ve learned that if I keep trying at something that feels out of flow then I’m actually harming the process. It’s taken me a long time to recognize when I just need to walk away from something – that’s it really the most productive and loving thing to do. Then, the motivation will spiral back. I could be in mediation and all of a sudden I get a surge of energy to complete something or the answer to a problem I’ve been struggling with. I wish I could manufacture motivation, but it’s something with which I must ebb and flow. Inspiration is another thing, however! The more I seek out inspiration through art, reading, and nature, the faster my motivation returns.
Intuitive skin care is about listening to your desires and igniting the flame of self-love. It’s about moving away from the “problem-solution” paradigm of fixing something that’s wrong with our skin. Because what we’re really saying in this way of thinking is that there’s something wrong with US. There’s nothing wrong with us.
Since gemstones do play a significant role in your brand, do you actually have a favorite gemstone? Also, what would you say to anyone skeptical of gemstones and their properties/energies?
While I don’t have a permanent favorite gemstone, I will gravitate toward specific ones based on what I’m needing energetically. For example, several years ago when my channel was opening up to Spirit I couldn’t get enough of Labradorite. I didn’t know exactly what this stone assisted with at the time, but I now know Labradorite encourages awareness of intuition and psychic abilities in addition to being a powerful protector for the aura. I still wear Labradorite frequently, but I’m currently crushing on purple Fluorite.
I used to totally deflate when I would hear criticism about the healing aspect of gemstones. To me, it’s like denying that gravity exists. The reason why gems effect us is scientific: gems are crystals that have a fixed, perfectly organized and precise rate of vibration. Crystals emit unique vibrations based on their color and composition which can raise our vibration much like tuning fork tunes a piano. Everything in our universe (including us!) is energy and responds to different vibrational frequencies. That’s an irrefutable law of nature. Crystals are conduits for energy; every computer in the world is able to function because of crystals. This energy benefits us on a vibratory level in our subtle body (also known as the aura). It’s in this energy body that we experience emotions, thoughts, and inspirations. It’s easy to deny the existence of our energy body because we can’t perceive it with our five senses. But, just because we can’t see the person in the other room doesn’t mean they aren’t there. The best way to confirm our energy body is to notice our emotions and thoughts. Caring for this subtle body is equally as important as caring for our physical body and beauty ritual is such a natural fit for tending to our physical and energetic needs.
Current favorite show/movie?
I’m one of those weirdos who doesn’t watch TV or go to movies. Every now and then I’ll wander into the living room and watch a little of what my husband is into. I only stay for the comedies – I can’t stand violence. I’m known to smudge the television with sage to clear away any negative vibes!
I see green beauty as more of a remembering – a return home to what our bodies naturally flow with. Regardless of what we label a niche, I hope people choose beauty products and brands not out of fear, lack, or coercion, but out of what will bring them the most joy and connection to self.
Any favorite wellness tip?
Nourish your body with a rainbow of foods and nourish your soul with a rainbow of visual colors, music, and aromas. Wellness isn’t just about our bodies, but also extends to our emotional, mental and energetic bodies – our entire aura. I feel that the more we follow our joys in life the more we are in tune with our divine rhythm… our natural vibration.
The Peridot Cleansing Balm is the product I suggest for everyone since it’s so universal. Most every skin trouble is alleviated with this potion. It’s designed as a cleansing balm, yet it’s made entirely from oils so it doubles as a healing moisturizer for the face and every area of the body. The scent is also very calming – I have some clients who use Peridot to help with relaxing them into sleep each night. It’s a healing treat!
Was there a specific product from your line that took more time/trouble to create. If so, why?
It took me years to perfect the consistency of the 24 Karat Gold Luxe Restorative Balm. Though the most challenging to formulate was actually Citrine Body Elixir. I worked on this for close to two years perfecting the scent. Each time I thought I had it, something wouldn’t feel right and it was back to the drawing board. It wasn’t until I let go of all the oils I thought should go into the blend and started working intuitively that the scent comes together. It feels like so much of the work I do is guided by a higher power and I’m simply the hands putting it all together. There are two new potions in the works that are putting my formulator skills to the test! I can’t reveal too much, but I’m very excited to bring them into the collection.
What are your hopes for green beauty in the future?
My hopes for green beauty is that this movement, that began as a kind of revolution against conventional big beauty, stays pure. What I mean is that I hope green beauty doesn’t corrupt entirely as a result of its swift commodification and movement into the mainstream. More and more companies and brands are in it simply for the money (and there’s nothing wrong with that), but I do hope the original heart of this revolution remains. I’d like to see a few things shift: enough with the fear-mongering and let’s stop seeing aging as a problem and start seeing it as a privilege. Green beauty seems like a new concept, but isn’t it really the original way of beauty? I see it as more of a remembering – a return home to what our bodies naturally flow with. Regardless of what we label a niche, I hope people choose beauty products and brands not out of fear, lack, or coercion, but out of what will bring them the most joy and connection to self.