I set up a meeting at Farmaesthetics’ Newport flagship storefront with the intention of going all-natural for 30 days. As I enter their whitewashed boutique, it’s immediately clear that it’s more old-world apothecary than Bellevue Avenue chichi. Clear bottles with simple handwritten labels are neatly displayed on an oversized mantle (salvaged from a Newport mansion, no less). A clean, crisp herbal aroma fills the room. Kenzie Gallagher, the brand’s executive coordinator, is there to walk me through my month-long cleanse.
While each bottle offers healing properties, Kenzie points out that they don’t have one-size-fits-all directions. “We don’t tell people to use this every day or to apply that once a week,” she says when I ask about how often I should use an exfoliator. “It’s really just playing with the products and figuring out what’s best for you. You know what your body is telling you.”
She loads me up with a dozen products and enough confidence to experiment with them. When I get home, I organize them in my medicine cabinet by type: moisturizers, masks and cleansers. I’m so used to heavy, over-processed cosmetics that at first I’m taken by how light these feel. The Fine Herbal Cleanser (the company’s best selling product) is water thin as it lands in your palms. Delicate, aromatic foam is made by a slight rub of the hands. It’s so gentle that I can’t imagine it actually washing my face, but I apply it and a minute later I feel positively refreshed.
Day after day, I wash and moisturize. But each day is a different routine. In fact, the only true routine is that I’m making decisions based on my skin that day. When I’m feeling oily, I mix the Sweet Milk & Chamomile Exfoliate with the Fine Herbal Cleanser to create a rough scrub, and then moisturize with the light Nourishing Lavender Milk. When I’m feeling dehydrated, I layer the Midnight Honey Oil and the Nourishing Herbal Cream. It’s almost like cooking without a recipe, adding herbs or spices depending on your mood. And just like real food will result in higher energy and better digestion, my skin is responding tremendously to the farm fresh products.
By the end of the month, I have connected with skincare in such a way it’s impossible to go back to using the mainstream rinse-and-repeat-stuff. Not only did I get a fresh face, I’ve got a fresh new perspective on real beauty.