My Story

When I was in my early twenties, I had these small, strange bumps on my forehead that I couldn’t get rid of no matter what product I used. I tried countless skincare products, both higher and lower end, and I couldn’t find anything that made my skin feel and look good. I finally went to a dermatologist to see what they had to say.

The woman gave me some strange name for the bumps on my forehead and told me I would need to take an internal medication along with a topical cream. The catch was that I had to avoid direct contact with the sun, or else I would break out into hives. Essentially, the medication made me hypersensitive to the sun.

I left feeling disappointed and somewhat shocked. Surely, there had to be a better solution than some medication that basically made me allergic to the sun.

That’s when I took to the internet looking for natural remedies. In my research, I found that most commercial skincare products are loaded with drying, toxic chemicals that are TERRIBLE for your skin.

Most commercial skincare products strip your skin of natural oils. In response, your skin will start overproducing these natural oils because your skin is SUPPOSED to have oil on it.  This creates a vicious cycle where your skin gets overly oily, you then wash it off with harsh and toxic products, and so on and so forth. This is when I started experimenting with making my own homemade skincare.

In my many years of research and practice, here is what I have learned about healthy skin:

  1. The U.S. Beauty industry is largely unregulated.

This means that when you buy a skincare product, it does not need premarket approval from any institutional authority before it hits the shelves. This gives sellers the ability to essentially put anything they want in their product if it does not cause immediate, visible harm to the consumer. If that doesn’t scare you, it should - considering how many ingredients in skincare are detrimental to your health. Unless a seller has enough folks proving that their product caused some type of health issue (which is really hard to do and takes decades), we may never know if a certain product is causing cancer or other health issues. This is why knowing where your skincare comes from is important.


  1. The skin is the largest organ and is extremely absorbent.

That means whatever you are putting on your skin is getting absorbed into your body. That is an unnerving thought, considering how many toxic chemicals are in commercial skincare products.

  1. Less is more

You don’t need a 10-step skincare routine for healthy skin. In fact, all those products you are lathering on your face will either evaporate before they have a chance to work their “magic” OR the products end up competing with one another on your face. These elaborate skincare routines are fueled by greed and consumerism, which essentially encourage you to unnecessarily spend money on skincare products that you don’t need and hurt your skin more than nourish it in the long run. All you need for healthy skin is a way to cleanse it, a way to moisturize it, and a way to exfoliate it.

  1. Oil is the best thing to put on your skin.
I know its counterintuitive, but its true. Now, you can’t just go putting ANY oil on your skin, such as canola oil. Jojoba oil, olive oil, avocado oil, and many more are great for your skin. I prefer jojoba oil and olive oil, personally. Jojoba oil is a bit pricey but can be worth it because it closely mimics the natural oils on the skin, which means it is best suited for nourishing and moisturizing the skin without clogging your pores or causing acne. Olive oil I prefer because it has plenty of healthy fats and vitamins for your skin AND it is one of the most shelf-stable oils, meaning any product you make with it can last a long time. Plus, it is budget friendly. You can use oil to both cleanse your skin and moisturize it.
A note here: do not believe the hype about coconut oil for your face. Coconut oil is highly comedogenic, meaning it will clog your pores and it can lead to acne.
You may have to experiment with different oils to see which ones do best on your skin.
  1. Essential oils are not it.

Essential oils can be really irritating to the skin, even when used diluted. These potent extractions are also largely unregulated, which means you never really know exactly what you’re getting in a bottle. Essential oils are also not nearly as medicinal to your skin as a folk infused oil, such as the ones sold here at Norn. In fact, the best way to capture the topical medicine of the plant is to apply it as directly as possible, which can be done by infusing the plant directly into a fat – such as oil. Lastly, essential oils are incredibly wasteful and unsustainable, making them detrimental to the planet and disrespectful to the plants. Herbal medicine should ALWAYS be made with respect to the plants that give their medicine to us.

With this knowledge in mind, I started making my own herbal skincare products – and my skin has never been healthier. I took a class from the amazing Kami McBride to refine my technique, and I now make potent, fragrant folk-infused oils for home + ritual that you can buy for yourself.