Posts

The Beginnings of a Natural Skincare Journey – Bee Sensual

So why Bee Sensual? I was asked the other day.

Hmmm. Great question. Where to start? I wondered. Do I go all the way back to my teenage years? Or later in the piece where meeting a beeman inspired me to combine my love of natural with the magic of bees and create a natural skincare product with the healing properties of honey? Or do I just go to the first time I got a concoction right and began creating names and logos? Hmmm…

Join me on the journey of natural skincare to find out why Bee Sensual began…

love-creature-millie-boontas

Everyone loves natural skincare that’s animal friendly 🙂

In order to answer the above question I need to give you a little background.

I was the product of two very nature loving, eco-passionate parents who liked to live in remote places in South Africa. At about 14 I started using my first body moisturiser. It was a well known South African brand that my mum used because it didn’t have petroleum in the ingredients list + the company was very strong about beauty without cruelty and increasing awareness around animal testing. Since I had been awakened to label interrogation, the only facial product I used throughout my teenage years was aloe gel.

Skip forward about 10 years to NZ, where once again I was on the hunt for a natural skincare solution. At uni, in Dunedin, us girls fell in love with a cocoa butter brand that smelt deliciously tropical and reminded us of days on the beach, however left a lot to be desired on the ingredients list. So, true to my nature, I kept the hunt alive and one day at a market stumbled across a hand made Body Butter. Not only did it smell delicious, but it was almost completely natural. I was hooked. For the next few years this was my go-to.

natural-skincare-cocoa-butter

Cocoa butter in its raw form.

Unfortunately (or fortunately), the creator took a full time job and I could no longer order my Body Butter from her via email. Well, I thought to myself, the ingredients list doesn’t look too complicated…. Being a bit of a DIYer I decided I was going to try and recreate something similar, but even better. My love for creating wonderful natural skincare was born. In the process I studied every ingredient and found a couple of more suitable replacements that had a good reputation, and I decided to use 100% pure essential oils for the scent.

This journey to create my own natural skincare concoction came with many failed attempts. How on earth do you get the water and oil phases to stay together? What do you do when they separate? Which essential oils are going to be best together? How much cocoa butter do I put in to make it a body butter rather than a lotion?

Even though it wasn’t that long ago, Google was nothing like it is today, or maybe I wasn’t as adept at using it as I am now.

There was a lot of trial and error and for a while I gave up. I used some ‘natural’ brand that didn’t overly inspire me, and stored my creations away for a rainy day.

In 2007 I met a beekeeper, who is now my fiancé, and we travelled and worked in Australia for three years. In 2008, whilst living in our van at a honey factory in Tasmania I was once again inspired to try my hand at making my own natural skincare, only this time using the amazing leatherwood honey and beeswax as part of my concoction. There were failures, but also a few more results that began looking a little more like success.

honey-factory-natural-skincare-nz

The amount of honey in this factory was overwhelming…in a delicious kind of way! Oh and the smells!

We’re getting closer…

Long story a little shorter, I kept playing. I built up a wonderful suitcase of all the different goodies used to create natural skincare. I did more research.

paraben-free-skincare-body-butter

Bee Sensual’s silky smooth Body Butter 🙂

By the time we came back to NZ in 2011 to start our own beekeeping business, I knew that I wanted to start my own natural skincare brand as well. By the end of that year I had drawn a million logos on a million different pieces of paper and slowly slowly it all came together at the end of 2012. My very own natural skincare dream became a reality – Bee Sensual. The tagline: Simply Sensuous Skin – natural handmade skincare.

I am now even more passionate about interrogating labels. Even when you see ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ on the front – you can’t always believe what they tell you and it pays to know what to look for on the back of a label. I am also even more passionate about using only 100% pure essential oils to create beautiful scent combinations for my natural skincare products.

Bee Sensual is continually evolving, and even though this story illustrates why it started, it is now so much more…. Not only am I passionate about using only natural products on your precious skin, but I believe deeply in taking these moments to be mindful, get in touch with our senses, take a few moments of me-time and gift ourselves with a dose of self-love that we all deserve.

I want all women (and men) to realise that beauty is not skin deep. Beauty is so much more than that. If you can start to see your own beauty and give yourself the love that you deserve, you will glow with an inner beauty that no concoctions can ever create, only enhance!

How Bee Sensual has evolved…

We cannot separate our personal journey from our business, and recently I’ve been reflecting on how my dream for Bee Sensual, due to my own personal journey, has evolved and blossomed since it was shared with the world at the end of 2012.

Bee Sensual grew out of a dream for natural skin care, using no nasties and the wonderful healing products of bees; ‘sensual’ for the self connection opportunity it would create. Then I began exploring the word ‘sensual’ more and how it’s tied in with ‘mindfulness’, and how necessary it is to simply live in this one moment as often as we can. And I saw Bee Sensual products as a way to remind us to become mindful in that moment we gently apply them…taking in the smells and textures and sensation on the skin.

honey-bee-sensual-pohutukawa-organic

 

And from that came the most important development of all…gentle self-love.

Realising how much I’ve berated myself in my life and beaten myself up, in younger years seeking perfection and a body that only airbrushed models have, I knew it was vital to change this.

There is a saying:

You cannot truly take care of that which you do not love.

So, if I look at my skin and feel frustrated and disappointed by the wrinkles around my eyes, or I curse the scars from the teenage days of picking pimples, or I want to hide away the too many freckles or mingled discolouration, am I really loving myself? Am I treating myself the way I would a friend?

The answer is a big NO!

So how can I expect to truly take care of myself? How can I expect my body, which is only doing its best (always) with what it’s presented with, to feel energetic, vibrant and healthy? We need to send our bodies love. Let me say that again…it is essential that we send our bodies and ourselves love. By creating stress in our systems around what we see in the mirror, or how we should be acting, we only further deplete our energy and resilience. We’ve got to love what we see first and the rest will flow. We can’t wait for the day we find a magical miracle cream that takes away wrinkles, or an injection that paralyses our skin into non-expression. This may bring a few moments of happiness, but then we will simply find the next thing to hate or berate.

self-love

We need to love. Simple. Yet not so simple at all! Self-love seems to be one of those really tricky, confusing concepts that gets thrown at us at some point in our lives. How do I do that? you may ask. Well, I definitely don’t have all the answers, but I know that through necessity, practice, constant reminders and perseverance, I love myself a lot more than I did when Bee Sensual first began.

One of my dreams now is that, through our beautiful Bee Sensual products made with love, those using them will find moments to be still and present and send their precious self some much needed love. Remember this…even if it’s only twice a day when you moisturise, that’s all it takes…it is the simple act of planting the self-love seed that, over time and with regular nourishment, will grow into a beautiful self-love plant that blossoms in ways that you never thought possible!

Aroha, Kali x

blossom-self-love