Bold Insight: The greatest shifts can come from the deepest roots.

“If you think you are too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.”

Anita Roddick

Success shifting our culture to a more conscious one is a battle that will be won on many fronts – large and small. And, in truth, all social movements have really been propelled by one person doing one thing. Rosa Parks not sitting down, Alice Paul chaining herself to the White House and refusing to eat, and Magic Johnson having a press conference to announce was HIV+ are all things that moved the needle towards a change in the attitudes of the public.

In the world of green beauty, we have the same mix of activists: people refusing to keep putting heavy and toxic chemicals on their skin, people shouting in the loudest ways possible about the dangers of the status quo, and people who are taking a stand and issuing press releases about how to do better. And the effect is just as large.

As a Gen X-er, I am a product of the age of the microwave. Having a microwave and buying our groceries from the Schwan’s truck meant my mom could work full time and go back to school and get the degree she had never finished. As a family, we embraced everything new and time-saving. Deeply embedded in the culture of a child of the 80’s, I made fun of people who wore second-hand clothes (except for those few years in college when I tried grunge…) and had a new wardrobe every year to start school. I even started getting my hair colored and permed at 15. We preferred to purchase books over borrowing them from the library and had one of the first affordable Apple computers, the Macintosh Classic.

Much of this lasted well into my 30’s. And then a series of things happened. I consulted with a non-profit that owned jewelry centers in India which provided meaningful employment to survivors of human trafficking and started learning about how many of our products are made. I enrolled in Marie Forleo’s B School to learn to run an online business and became exposed to literally thousands of people who were running businesses selling spiritual ideas and sustainable products. My daughter attended a Vacation Bible School with the theme of recycling. I was involved romantically with someone who grew up cooking food from their garden and still enjoyed doing it.

And, possibly most importantly, I met a woman who was making beauty products and pain creams from herbs and essential oils. Never one to turn down the possibility of a fabulous beauty product, I bought her toner. Within weeks people were commenting about how amazing my skin looked. I started spending time with her and when I complained of a headache or stomach issues, she made me a tea or tincture that worked better than any over-the-counter thing I had tried. At one point, I was drinking more Pepto than I care to admit – due to a combination of anxiety and stress – and she introduced me to the life-changing magic of kombucha.

This changed everything. Fast forward 6 years and not only am I using exclusively natural and eco-friendly products – on my skin and in my house – but I eat better, shop better, and write about these products for a living. I’m also an advocate for the products I love and helping people understand that they are not only better for you and the world, but they are actually affordable. The butterfly effects of that herbalist’s conversations with me are unmeasurable.

All because I met an amazing woman who understood the connection between plants and health – at exactly the right time.

Now we have a Billion Dollar natural beauty industry. With each passing day it becomes harder and harder to know which products are really safer, which products are truly better for us, or which products are going to work. Wading through the jade eggs and misleading green branding can leave us feeling confused, overwhelmed, or worse – ready to forget it and just put retinol on that adult-onset acne.

Fortunately, Judith Beserra, is here to be the woman who understands the connection between plants and health for us all, so that we don’t have to.

Judith grew up on a small ranch in Covina, CA, to two parents who understood the sacredness of the land, believed in being as natural as possible and were entrepreneurs. (In fact, her dad is still a farmer today at age 87!) After being a competitive gymnast until she was 15 and experiencing late-onset acne, she turned away from her mother’s natural remedies and towards the more popular salicylic acid and birth control to clear it up. And, although her acne was cleared up, what was left by the time she was in her 20’s was rosacea and cystic acne – as a result of the chemicals.

It was then that she decided to return to her own roots and embrace holistic medicine, face oils, and yoga as her cure. She remembered the watercress that had supported her family for more than 70 years; her father having grown up farming it with his own father and grandfather and two of her brothers still farming it with him on their own ranches to this day. Turns out it also has more vitamin C than citrus and is loaded with lutein, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, K, & E.

Judith used this deep connection to her family’s roots and research from the Shiseido Group™ to create, test, and launch her first product: a Superfood Beauty Oil which combines watercress with hemp, Abyssinian oil, and royal jelly – all of which are abundant in anti-aging enzymes and improve hydration and skin texture.  She is also using her face oil to educate the public about the farm-to-face movement and why it matters. She considers her work one of sacred responsibility and carries it out with intention, respect, and extreme gratitude and shares all of that with her customers.

And just as she hopes to teach us to love our Sacred Mama, Earth, so that we may help her age more gracefully, she encourages us to love ourselves and our skin so that we may help it age more gracefully. She is part of an important new movement to shift our culture away from using harsh chemicals to kill things and towards using gentle plants and oils to nourish things.

She is using the legacy of her family to plant the seeds that can help move an entire culture into a more conscious era of beauty.

Visit Sacred Mama today to try this amazing superfood face oil. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did (I love mine!).

LaKay Cornell

LaKay Cornell is a culture critic, writer, speaker, and feather-ruffler. She is on a mission to change the way we create change. Using her unique combination of exciting anecdotes and enticing data, she positions her clients’ work in the context of the social problem they are solving. LaKay also writes, speaks and moderates discussions on Intersectional Feminism, the Language of Empowerment, and Womxn’s Entrepreneurship. To learn more, visit lakaycornell.com.
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