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Q&A with Skincare Guru Tammy Fender

Lifestyle Changes to Promote Beauty from Within

What drew you to holistic healing and wellness?

Ever since I was a child, I’ve felt deeply connected to the plant kingdom and I’ve felt a call to care for others and their happiness. When I became an aesthetician, I found a way to bring these two passions together, celebrating and sharing my love of plant remedies that I blend into my formulas, and caring for my clients both in the treatment room and through the skincare collection.

How would you describe your philosophy on and approach to skincare?

Our skin is the body’s biggest organ, and while there has been such a revolution in understanding the benefits natural skincare, people are still learning how much our lifestyle choices affect the skin. For me, caring for the skin encompasses simple living——a day-to-day lifestyle that includes a  diet full of beautiful organic fruits and vegetables and dissolves stress. The holistic approach might start with natural skincare formulas, but it encompasses all those subtle lifestyle shifts that can make such a big difference in meeting skincare goals. And for me, true beauty also includes the vibrant health of our loving relationship with the earth. When we are in a deep and caring relationship with nature, that is truly beautiful. 

What inspired you to create your skincare line?

When I started out, over 25 years ago, I searched everywhere for exquisite, all-natural products to use with my clients. But I couldn’t find anything with the integrity and the purity that I envisioned. There simply wasn’t anything on the market. So, after undertaking so much research in plant science and traditional healing modalities, I made the leap and began mixing up my own custom-blended formulas right there in my kitchen, using only the most potent and pure botanical ingredients available. Of course, the scale and scope have changed, but my hands-on work in the apothecary and in the treatment room is ongoing. I’m there, every day, and every formula in the collection has grown out of my understanding of what my clients need. 

You’ve mentioned that your skincare collection is rooted in the yin and yang. Can you explain this further?

For me, caring for the skin is all about holistic balance. In traditional Chinese healing, yin would pertain more to the body, and yang to the energetic plane. Holistic care is about bringing every aspect of the self into balance—body, mind, emotions, and spirit, which has an incredible radiant effect on the complexion.

What’s your typical beauty regimen during the workweek?

These days, I focus on all the daily habits that encourage detoxification. Every morning, I practice oil pulling, swishing a small spoonful of sesame oil around the mouth to remove toxins. Then I start my day with a glass of lemon water, in order to encourage good digestion. And I’m a longtime fan of dry-brushing, which can help activate the lymphatic system, again supporting detoxification. 

I wash my face with gentle, light Cleansing Milk, which leaves the complexion so soft and radiant. Then I apply Awakening Eye Gel, an ultra-nourishing eye cream, and follow with Plant Milk, the perfect daytime treatment serum, nurturing sensitive skin with traditional plant remedies such as White Lily and Mountain Arnica. To finish, I apply a light layer of Intensive Repair Balm, which seals in all the benefits.

Several times a week, I exfoliate with Epi Peel, then follow with a nourishing pack of Restorative Radiance Masque, blended with Baobab and Jasmine. 

As a leading skincare expert, what advice would you give to individuals looking to add sustainable beauty into their lives?

So often we can feel that making lifestyle changes is about adding in something new, but I’ve found that it can be beneficial to start out by simplifying—taking steps and products away rather than adding in anything new. If there is a product full of ingredients you aren’t sure about, why not remove it from your routine for a few weeks and see how your skin fares. We ask skin to do so much these days, and often with clients, I find that the skin is healthier and happier with a little more rest. 

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