Skin-care makers, like books, shouldn’t be judged by their covers, but maybe just this once. “She’s the most radiant, glowing person you’d ever meet,” says Zoe Latta, one half of the fashion label Eckhaus Latta, speaking about herbalist Abbe Findley. Over the last year, Findley has been steadily building out her hand-blended product range, Zizia, which spans tinctures, herbal powders, and a plant-based face regimen. Who needs marketing, Latta suggests, when you have a complexion like that? “She really sells it herself!”
The promise of good health and good skin hardly needs selling these days: With resolution season in full swing, the quest for well-being commands people’s attention (and disposable income). But in a marketplace saturated with hype—buzzword ingredients more prominent on labels than they are in formulas—there’s plenty of room for the real deal. “Humans have always had a relationship with plants,” says Findley, who traces her kinship with nature to her upbringing on a Missouri farm. “For me, that’s the appealing thing about herbal medicine: Everyone, rich or poor, can really appreciate a cup of herbal tea or a nice infused oil applied topically.” She began studying five years ago under a “science-loving, evidence-based herbalist” named 7Song, the first in a string of mentors. Since then, Findley has been interested in shifting the focus away from a glamorized, privatized version of wellness (“How many turmeric shots do you really need a day?”) to one that addresses the larger community; her outreach in Skid Row includes a monthly free herb clinic as well as a series of foot-health screenings called Street Feet.
Meanwhile, inside Eckhaus Latta’s two boutiques—one in Los Angeles, the other newly opened in Manhattan’s Chinatown—you’ll find another of the herbalist’s missions: to coax the skin into its best state. Dirt (named after a stroke of inspiration she had while jogging) is her four-piece collection of entirely plant-based skin care. For the face, there’s a citrusy cleansing toner, designed to reduce inflammation without disrupting the natural pH; a serum that blends rosehip, jojoba, and other nourishing oils; and a floral hydrosol mist. A body balm tackles the rest. And over at Findley’s new storefront in L.A.’s Highland Park—what Latta calls “a crazy-beautiful alchemist’s kitchen”—the herbalist tends a fully stocked apothecary and hosts one-on-one consultations. As for the rest of us, she can rightfully guess the sort of remedies that might do us good this time of year, after the strain and stress of the holidays. Read on for a guide to her practical magic.
Burdock Dandelion Liver Powder
“This is excellent to take daily for 2 to 4 weeks to offer liver support after holiday excess—namely fatty foods, sugar, and alcohol, for those who drink. It also aids digestion via the bitter constituents found in the formula, including milk thistle and dandelion. For those feeling the classic “I need a detox” sensation at the turn of the year, get started on this (plus the Liver Tincture, for even more of a boost) along with regular exercise, lots of water, and extra fruits and veggies. The liver and kidneys are the body’s built-in detox centers; incorporating herbs to support liver function may help it perform even better!”
Dirt Face Serum & 5 Flowers Face Mist
“My favorite combo: I’ve been using this serum and face mist for years to help with dryness of the skin, redness, and prevention of breakouts. They’re part of Zizia’s skin-care line, called Dirt, which is essential oil–free. Each product is infused with active, phytochemically rich botanicals, offering an endless range of benefits for the health of the skin.
Suggested use: After cleansing, apply 2 to 4 pumps of the Face Serum to the palm of the hand, and massage into the face and neck. Immediately apply 2 to 4 spritzes of the 5 Flowers Face Mist. By combining the two, you are in essence building the moisturizer right on the skin. Plus, the mist offers a burst of aromatherapy that you can access throughout the day—no need to wait for serum time.”
11 Flowers Tincture
“It’s a simply beautiful and poetic formula all around, made with 11 different medicinal flowers. So as not to be confused with a flower essence or homeopathic remedy, this formula is made by steeping the flowers in a blend of alcohol, water, and glycerin for roughly 4 weeks. What you’re left with is a concentrated extract loaded with phytochemicals that can support both mental and emotional health and digestion. If you’re looking to feel grounded after the holiday chaos, start in on the flowers and a big deep breath. This is a great one to carry with you in your purse, car, or travel bag; it works well taken as needed, though you may consider taking it daily over a longer period of time for more chronic conditions.”
Reishi Spiced Immune Build Powder
“This time of year, when people are traveling and bouncing between hot and cold weather, this is a favorite and quite tasty wintertime formula. Polysaccharides found in both reishi and astragalus may support adaptive immunity (long-term immune health). Warming aromatics, including cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon, are included to aid digestion and improve peripheral circulation during the cooler months (think cold hands and feet). Taken regularly, it may lessen the length of time it takes to recover from infections like colds and flus, and may minimize recurrence. I’d recommend taking this twice daily. Add it to soup stocks, smoothies, or my favorite: Stir a teaspoon into hot water with a splash of whole milk or oat milk—no sweetener needed, but you can add it if you want! When it feels like you’re getting sick, switch over to the Echinacea Elderberry Immune Boost Capsules, and take 2 every 4 hours.”
“This is the one formula I’d put in the water supply if I could because I find it so useful and effective for the times we live in. The holidays often push this system of ours a little further than it’s used to, with such symptoms as added stress, emotional exhaustion, sleeplessness, and anxiety. This formula contains herbs (chamomile, tulsi, skullcap, and milky oats) that may help to strengthen the nervous system by easing these highs and lows. Suggested dosage is twice a day directly by mouth or in a splash of water.”
“The suckers are definitely fun herbal treats—just sugar and herbs, that’s basically it. The kava ones are the most popular because kava is relaxing, and a lot of people have anxiety and tension because it’s the 21st century! I think kava could be a gateway herb to get people into herbal medicine because its effects are pretty immediate. I also do a matcha sucker, and one with guarana, which is the seed of a plant that naturally contains caffeine. And then there’s one with lion’s mane mushrooms, which are good for focus and cognitive support.”
Source: “Los Angeles” – Google News