By now, many know the story of how Laura and I started Three Ships Beauty due to our frustration with how expensive natural beauty products are. But few know how my fascination with holistic and plant-based beauty remedies began.
Growing up, I never struggled with acne. I could eat whatever I wanted (greasy fries? I want it. Chocolate ice cream? Load me up.) without breaking out. That is.. until I hit my pre-teen years.
All of a sudden, acne seemed to spring up from out of nowhere. I found this old Facebook status update from back when I was 14 the other day, which reminded me of how much my teenage acne affected my self-esteem. I recall spending hours at my local drugstore, inspecting every single acne-product in the skincare aisle. I was desperate to find a solution to control those pesky breakouts that plagued me every day.
I began experimenting with all kinds of drugstore favourites, including (you guessed it), the infamous Apricot Scrub. Needless to say, the concoction of benzoyl peroxide, harsh chemical salicylic acid, physical exfoliators, and drying alcohols from the many drugstore brands I was using worsened my skin. I began piling on concealer, trying to hide my red and uneven skin. This made my skin react even more. I felt at a loss, and my confidence was at an all-time low.
One day, I went to a farmer’s market with my mom and was introduced to a natural shampoo bar. My mom was always extremely interested in plant-based remedies, and recommended I try a more holistic approach to my skin woes. She told me that slapping on harsh and chemical-laden products on my face didn’t seem to be working, so why didn’t I try an alternative route? She recommended I start looking at what I was feeding my body, at my stress levels, and also the ingredients I was using on my skin. Her motto was: “if you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin.”
I felt I had nothing to lose. I switched up my diet and began cutting out some of the processed junk food I was eating at school (those vending machines were always calling my name between classes!), started drinking 8+ cups of water per day, and also started sleeping more. The change didn’t happen overnight, but I did start to see noticeable results.
Motivated by my clearer skin, I began researching other natural ingredients I could use in DIY face masks. I’d run home from school, and mash up banana, oatmeal, egg whites, and green tea. My mom would come home and see me lying on the couch with cucumbers over my eyes, and my DIY face mask slathered up to my neck. I began telling my friends at school how I’d found a way to naturally reduce my breakouts! I was a natural beauty evangelist!
It’s funny how these things happen – 10 years later, Laura was chatting with her university friend about how she wanted to start a natural beauty brand. It just so happened that this friend was someone I went to middle school with, and he remembered my passion for plant-based skincare. He recommended we meet up to chat, and as you know, the rest is history.
I write this blog post to share my journey of how I fell into natural beauty, but also to remind this community that acne is completely normal. I still have occasional breakouts (usually stress-induced or hormonal) that seem to pop up at the most inopportune moments. To be honest, acne does still affect my self-confidence at times, but over the years I’ve learned to love and embrace who I am, acne and all. Just remember that you are unique, and that is what makes you so special.
Until next time,
Connie Lo, Co-Founder
If you liked this blog post, you may also enjoy: Different Types of Acne and How to Treat Them and We Made a Gentle, Blemish-Fighting, Moisturizing Facial Cleanser.
Check out our top products for acne-prone skin here!