Missing the Point – Beauty is Simple

1995. I’m camping out in Yellowstone National Park with 75 of my closest friends – well, my ninth grade class – on a field trip. The girls are sitting around the tents gossipping, and we start talking to the beautiful foreign exchange student from Latin America, Minerva.

Minerva has perfect bronzed skin, round, smooth cheeks, perfect teeth, and gorgeous black curly hair. She’s so nice, we all want to look like her, and we start asking her, “What is your secret? What do you wash your face with?”

None of us can believe her answer: “Soap and water,” she says.

“What kind of soap?”

“Bar of soap.”

Here she is, surrounded by Montana teenagers with a dozen facial products each packed with them: Benzoyl peroxide cream, salicylic acid pads, day face wash, night face wash, toner, witch hazel, apricot scrub, Neutrogena, Oil of Olay, Proactiv, mud masks, sunscreen, Accutane (for those “lucky” enough to afford it) etc.

It just goes to show, beauty really is from the inside-out.

Soap and water.

What she probably wasn’t doing was eating the kind of diet we were eating, nor stripping her face of its natural oils and protective bacteria with harsh chemicals. She wasn’t waging war on her skin with weapons of mass destruction or harboring inflammation and disease in her body, and it showed.

When are we going to realize that enough is enough, and just get back to basics?

I haven’t used shampoo or conditioner in my hair for nearly 2 years now, and I constantly get complimented on my hair. I don’t use any shower gels or lotions on my skin other than simple ingredients like olive oil and coconut oil or pure soaps, and I constantly get told how healthy and soft my skin is. I brush and floss my teeth once a day, at night, and my oral hygenists have told me I have the healthiest teeth they’ve ever seen. It’s not that complicated, folks. Don’t let the swindlers tell you that it is. Keep a simple and pure diet and keep your products simple and pure, and beauty will come naturally.