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The Philosophy of Thoughtful Holistic Skincare


KALON Botanicals - Thoughtful Holistic Skincare

The Philosophy of Thoughtful Holistic Skincare

kalon botanicals

Since we've defined our brand as thoughtful holistic skincare, you might be asking yourself, "What does that mean? How is it different than more traditional skincare options?". Since holistic care might be something new to you, we thought it'd be wise to clarify what we mean by our terms to better define our brand and educate the conscientious consumer.

Holistic care in general focuses on the whole person and her or his interconnectedness with others and nature at large. Instead of focusing on a particular aspect of an individual and the issues that one might face at a given time with a particular aspect of the self, we find it necessary to look at the bigger picture, so to speak. The philosophical thought behind this is that we are not simply isolated individuals made of isolated parts. We are whole, ever emerging beings whose parts continuously interact in a complex way. And beyond this, we are part of a greater whole with which we always already interact...again, in an entangled manner.

Perhaps "interaction" is not even the best of words to use in this context since it implies already defined, immutable and isolated individuals with set properties, standing apart from some whole. Let's adopt "intra-action" to better explain what we mean. This term is nicely articulated by the philosopher-feminist-physicist Karen Barad in her work Meeting the Universe Halfway (2007), in which she stresses, albeit in a more sophisticated way, the intra-connectedness of all of reality.

Given this fact of intra-action, there is a great responsibility to view the self and the world as intra-connected. This means that you are not previously defined as something that has definitive properties, nor is nature defined as something that is just "there" with an immutable set of properties itself. As we intra-act within nature, reality emerges as this intra-active performance.

This is where ethics comes in (or was already part of the fabric of intra-action). We have a great part to play in the unfolding of the world and must be critical and conscientious about it. When we borrow from nature, we change it in very real, material ways. It is not an endless source of abundance from which we can take without thought. And when we rely on others to extract these sources, we too are impacting their lives in very real, material ways.

So, what does this have to do with skincare?! Let's bring this philosophical line of thought back to the ground.

If we view ourselves as emerging wholes within a greater emerging whole, then the more traditional way of caring for the self and the skin we live in radically shifts to a more holistic approach. We cannot just address a specific skin issue, whether it is acne, oiliness, dryness, etc., as if these things happen in a vacuum, cut off from the whole atmosphere of the body and the world (both "human" and "natural", although distinguishing between the two in this context seems a bit silly!). This means that each of our products is formulated with the "whole" in mind...the whole person, the whole of humanity, and the whole of the natural world, as all are intra-connected across space and time (past, present, and future).

At every level of development and creation, we are mindful of the fact that the skin is but a porous barrier between "inside" and "outside" and what we put on it is what we invite into the whole body. This is  why we carefully select the essential oils we use in our synergies (the beautiful bouquets that give our products their smells and unique actions). We think about how these synergies, as wholes in themselves, affect not only a skin issue, but the person as a complex, never yet defined, whole: how the synergy will potentially intra-act with a person's moods, emotions, memories, etc. beyond how it will target an issue with the skin, and well beyond how nice it smells. This is also why we do not use harsh chemical preservatives, artificial dyes, perfumes, and the like that are potentially harmful to not only ourselves, but to the animals they are tested on (we never test on animals, btw!), and the environment into which they are inevitably disposed.

We opt for the natural, but this in itself does not ensure holism in the way we've been discussing. This is why we are extremely mindful of how the natural botanicals and materials we use are extracted, from where and by whom. If the earth must be violently probed and destroyed to extract any natural element, and if natural habitats are threatened by the over-mining of trendy ingredients, then it is not worth the benefits of whatever is extracted. If the people who help extract these materials are exploited, then this too affects our decision as to what goes into our final product.

Although we focus on body and skincare, our goal, which we see as reachable through this holistic approach, is to create transparency, sustainability and thoughtfulness, or in short, ethicality, when it comes to consumerism. We are concerned not just with physical beauty, but with a much deeper sense of beauty, which requires thought, virtue, and a loving openness to others and the world, both of which we are not separate from. This is what Kalón embodies for us. It is not only the Ancient Greek word meaning "beautiful", but connotes moral goodness and usefulness in a sense beyond immediate utility. Let's work together to make this world unfold as the most beautiful entanglement of intra-actions it can become!