Welcome friend, I’m glad you’re here! I’m Rachel Powell – scientist, nature lover and founder of THE WILDNESS.
I’ve struggled with sensitive skin since birth and understand how frustrating and demoralizing it can be.
It started with psoriasis on my scalp that left temporary bald patches. Next came eczema and dermatitis. Followed by rosacea and allergic reactions in my teens and 20’s. And just when I thought there couldn’t possibly be more – the icing on the cake, cystic acne, made its unwelcomed appearance in my early 30’s. Ugh, could a girl catch a break!?!
Most people would never have voted me “Most Likely to Start a Skin Care Line”. In fact, most of my friends thought I was joking when I told them. To be honest, I’ve never had a lot of love for the skin care industry – the superficial culture focused on outward appearances, the overblown “miracle cure” claims that lead to disappointment and self-doubt.
Oh, and maybe the fact that everything I applied left me with red, stinging, irritated skin. Like the time I switched to a sulfate-free shampoo and ended up with an anaphylactic reaction – swollen eyes, lips and tongue and a rash all over my face, hands and arms. Going into the office the next day was pretty funny. If only I could have kept the botox-like swollen lips. Or maybe the time I reacted to sunscreen and was one big itchy hive covered in a string bikini on the beach – now that was a good look!
As an epidemiologist for the last 20+ years, health and wellness have always been important to me. My personal journey into cleaner living really took off when I was pregnant with my first child 13 years ago. Like many moms-to-be, I began reading ingredient labels and looking critically at the foods that were fueling my body. My search for safer, natural skin care products was a bit of a disaster – redness, stinging, cystic acne and allergic reactions.
Sick of it all and frustrated beyond belief, I began researching natural ingredients. Safety and efficacy were more important to me than cost. I prioritized wildcraft and organic (no pesticides on my skin please) and minimally processed (raw) extraction methods that keep nutrients intact.
Once I had a handful of plant butters and oils that didn’t cause skin reactions, I began to experiment in my kitchen – making lotion bars and body butters. I remember my kiddos coming into the kitchen hungry and looking for food: “Oh man, Mama’s making skincare again!” Don’t worry, I kept my kids fed, but perfecting formulas was more exciting to me than whipping up a culinary masterpiece.
I’m actually quite the geek and have spent countless hours over the last decade combing through scientific literature to learn more about skin conditions, everything from eczema to rosacea to post-radiation burns. I realized that there are 2 underlying processes that mediate almost all skin conditions: inflammation and skin barrier dysfunction. Calming inflammation and supporting skin barrier repair can provide relief from dry/dehydrated skin, eczema, rosacea, acne, keratosis pilaris and many other skin conditions.
I eventually realized that others were struggling with the same issues and I had a solution that could help them. I had no background in business, but I knew that I wasn’t interested in the typical model. I wanted to create something with more meaning – a business that actually cares about its customers, that helps people, has integrity and gives back and THE WILDNESS (formerly BEAUTY IN THE Raw) was born. You can learn more about our mission and values here.
Formulating for sensitive and reactive skin isn’t always straightforward. I trial every ingredient on myself first to test for potential irritation and effectiveness. And yes, I regularly take a couple steps back with my own skin progress when a new ingredient goes wrong! Once I have a solid formula, I send it out to my beta testers – you know, real people dealing with sensitive skin and a variety of skin conditions. Their feedback is an invaluable part of the process and enables me to tweak formulas and uncover issues before product launch.
The struggle to find skin care products is real and I understand how frustrating and demoralizing the process can be.
Helping others be comfortable in their skin, both literally and figuratively, makes me a happy girl. You might be wondering if I have found my perfect skin. Heck no!!
Our skin issues are tied to so many health, diet and environmental factors that it can take years to address all the issues, especially those root causes of inflammation in our bodies. My rosacea, sensitivity and occasional break-outs are still here but things have calmed down immensely and I’m happy to say I now feel comfortable in my own skin. We’re not looking for miracles here – just effective skincare products that calm, nourish and kickstart the healing process.
Maybe this is the kind of skincare you’ve been searching for? I invite you to sign up below to learn more about kickstarting the healing process and keeping your skin calm and clear. And I’m always happy to chat via email about any skin issues you’re struggling with to see if I might be able to help.
Rachel Powell, Founder
P.S. If you’d like to see what customers are saying you can click here.