Making my own skin and hair care products started out as just another one of my many hobbies, until I set the bar at creating a product that could help keep my face, hands, and neck moist and nourished on cross-country motorcycle rides. My usual products and routine did not seem up to the task of keeping the dry, fine lines, rough skin, and windburn at bay. I didn’t care about these things (or quite possibly they weren’t happening) when I rode in my 20s. But a couple of decades and a mid-life crisis later, it only took a day on the road to look in the mirror and see the sudden change. What could I do?
I wanted something that would attract and lock moisture to my skin. Because that's what our skin wants most.
I wanted something that had loads of antioxidants at work harvesting free-radicals. Because they are the main culprits in rapidly aging skin.
I wanted something that would add awesome botanical oils and emollients to nourish my skin without feeling oily. Because even though I wanted protection from emollients, I don't like the feel of heavy oils on my face or hands.
I wanted something that would shield my skin and and give it all the tools it needs to help it shield itself. Because even in our 30s, our skin starts to drop the ball.
I wanted something to be as close to "all natural' as I could get it without sacrificing real performance and safety. Because, well, why wouldn't I?
I wanted something that would reverse time. Really? Okay. That’s not going to happen. But I believed if I focused my efforts, I could create something to s l o w i t d o w n...Learning how to do new things has always been essential to me. Plumbing. Birding. Timberframe construction. SCUBA. Macrobiotics. Sea kayaking. Beer Craft. Sailing. Geology. Opera. Leave-No-Trace camping. Indian cooking. Hobbies would come and go as I either grew bored with them or completed my project (like renovating my own bathroom!). So it didn’t seem unusual to me, or friends and family, that I started making skin and hair care products in my 40s. (It DID come as a shock, however, that I picked up riding again after 20 years.)
As I dug into this personal challenge, I found the vast array of ingredients available to me online was mind-boggling. I tried fancy extracts from things like Asian mushrooms, Australian plums, European melons, rhubarb, vitamins, enzymes, proteins. I would dig deep to sort out the claims made for each of these items. And I knew how to do this.
Over many years I learned how to interpret and scrutinize scientific data while working with science researchers and educators on National Science Foundation project proposals and environmental impact assessments. As a result, when I found claims for active ingredients, I gave more weight to the information I found in studies that were peer-reviewed with shared data vs. ones that were not. I joined a cosmetic chemist forum for tips and inspiration. And over time, I identified the ingredients I believe give me the safest and most effective formulas. It took a lot of time.
My laundry room became a laboratory, I started keeping a workbook with lab notes, I got beakers, grinders, pipettes, more, and more, and more, ingredients. I tried different formulas with over 100 different actives. I brought an old CD player into the laundry room/lab for the hours and hours I was spending there. I secretly started to worry that I had lost my mind! My basement walls were gradually lined with batch samples in deli tubs. Four years later, I have over 300 of them.
As I tested each of these formulas—on the road, and on the water in the summer, and outside in the Minnesota winter—I kept trying, kept notes, and finally landed on my favorite that is elegant enough to use every day and resilient enough for harsh conditions. It is the Shielding Skin Conditioner formula I now make available to you.
Over time, I worked to create the two other items I found essential—my Shielding Lip Conditioner and Shielding Detangler. They all provide the extra protection I want in harsh conditions yet they are all refined enough to use every day. And I do.
So why name it Wind Therapy? It’s simple. That’s what riding is. That’s what sailing, skiing, hiking, and biking are. Being out in the world, facing it head-on—and loving it. Along the way, you can now give your skin, lips, and hair a little love too.