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Organic, Natural, Wild-Harvested – The Story Behind AP Skin Care (Part 1)

By Apricot Power
Skin Care

Over three years ago, Apricot Power set out to create something that had never been created before – a B17 skin lotion. All we needed to find was someone creative and daring enough to be our partner. Happily, we found someone and the best news of all is she was doing her work less than 10 miles from our corporate office. We sat down with the founder or Her Purdy Cosmetic Laboratories for a brief interview. What we got was a lot of insight and knowledge about skin care products. As she puts it, Leah Palmer is a “product of Western medicine” having been born with what she calls a “medical oddity” as a result of her mother taking Western medicine. She feels knowing this personal part of her story helps to frame the reason her products have “integrity and value”. At a young age, Leah found that certain “things” were disruptive to her body and mental well-being. This led to a thirst for knowledge that ultimately put her on a personal back-to-nature path to wellness, which she continues to this day. Leah is a licensed esthetician, is an alchemist, and a passion for her craft and her customers. AP: Tell me a bit about your background? Leah: I grew up in a family of doctors. My father was a maxillofacial surgeon and my mother was a nurse. Because of my birth defect, I was always very aware of my body and the impact that the environment, foods, and other things had on me. That made me very inquisitive at an early age. Fortunately, my parents had the patience to answer my questions. I also observed medical procedures as I grew up and even assisted my father during a medical emergency procedure when I was 10 years old. Everyone in the office was sick except my father. One of his patients needed emergency surgery and I was the only one that could help. I’d been stitching up horses and dogs for a while so working with my Dad in this situation almost seemed natural. After we were done sewing up animals the first thing that crossed my mind was, “what are we going to put on the stitched areas to heal them, to keep them well. Wellness was always on my mind. Personally, I hated being sick because that meant I had to sit or lay around getting better and I can’t stand sitting around doing nothing, so I didn’t want to get sick…ever. That led me to ask myself, “what is making me sick”? Being an inquisitive person, I asked a LOT of questions. Luckily, both of my parents were happy to patiently answer them. AP: Wow, 10 years old! What inspired you to get into the skin care business? Leah: I had a lot of skin problems while I was growing up. Being a very curious kid led me to become very interested in seeking new ways to clear it up. I was fortunate to spend over 15 years working for and studying with an MD who practiced Western and alternative medicine and who was known as the most brilliant diagnostician in the county. He fed my curiosity by discussing medicine and medical procedures whenever we weren’t busy, and he’d happily answer all my questions. I had to keep up with what he was bringing in because he was building a medi-spa. I knew I couldn’t supervise people that were undereducated on the new equipment and new procedures that the doctor was bringing in. I educated myself through books and discussions. After I’d been with him for about 15 years I decided it was time to start doing something on my own. We were out of room in the office, so we rented a shop down the street and that’s when I started Her Purdy Cosmetic Laboratory. Some ideas came from friends who were already making skin care products and others were inspired by people that would contact me and ask if I could make this or that. That led to me become an alchemist and I began working with essential oils, pure oils, baby powders, lotions, lip balm, mud masks, clay masks, and lipstick. When I separated from the physician I decided to relocate her Purdy to a small storefront in another town in the county. AP: Some of our customers ask us why our products cost a bit more than brands they can purchase at drugstore chains and grocery stores. Why is that? Leah: The organic and natural ingredients in our products drives the cost up. Raising a crop organically simply costs more. For instance, pesticides and herbicides aren’t used to grow any of the ingredients in our products. Pests and other animals invasive to crops must be dealt with naturally. Invasive animals are trapped instead of poisoned. Trapping and setting them free costs more. Organic and natural ingredients don’t last as long as chemical ingredients do. Organic essential oils have a shorter half-life than fragrances that are added to other products. AP: What’s the advantage of using organic and natural ingredients? Leah: They are cleaner. They are safer and better for the body. I feel good knowing that my products will not do any harm to the body, to the skin. Plus, they can be safely shared by everyone in the family. AP: What is the brief history of the AP Skin Care line. Leah: About 3 years ago Apricot Power approached me about putting B17 into a skin lotion. Her Purdy products were all dialed in, but the idea of putting B17 seemed like an interesting and challenging idea. The first product, a B17 skin lotion achieved a bit of success, but I knew we could make more improvements. After 3 years of development, the B17 Skin Lotion has become our new improved Anti-Aging Skin Cream, which ultimately led to a more complete line of B17 infused, anti-aging skin care products. We’re up to 7 products right now! AP: What sets the AP Skin Care Line apart from some of the other skin care products in the market? Leah: The fact that this is a handmade, product line that has my care and spirit in it makes it different and better than something a machine mixes up and mechanically puts into a jar or bottle. Each product is made in small batches and it takes more time than other mass-produced products. Also, the ingredients are different. I use food-grade ingredients in my products. Why? When I first started making lipstick and lip care products, I began using food-grade ingredients. I started thinking if I’m putting something on my body that I can’t eat, I don’t know how safe that is. The company I was purchasing my products from sold food-grade ingredients, so I decided why not buy food-safe products. I mean, if it is safe enough to be consumed it must be safe enough to go onto the surface of your body. AP: So…in essence, we have edible skin care products? Leah: Hahaha…I wouldn’t go so far as to say that, but it might be interesting to research that possibility. I wonder how many of our products could be safely consumed? Hahaha The entire skin care line has anti-aging qualities in it and the benefits of B17 in it. Each product was designed to work together, but they can also be used separately if desired. For instance, the first three products we created became the core of our skin care line. The Anti-Aging, Deep Cleaning Foaming Facial Cleanser, Anti-Aging Facial Toner, and Anti-Aging Skin Cream were designed as a 3-step skin care regimen. Each of these products works together to promote healthy skin and help slow down the effects of aging. AP: Leah, could you explain, in a nutshell, the key benefits of these three products?   Leah: Step 1 is the Anti-Aging B17 Deep Cleaning Foaming Skin Cleanser, which lifts off the dirt and excess oil, while removing any free radicals that are on the skin. It will re-freshen your skin, let it breathe again. Step 2 involves the Anti-Aging B17 Skin Toner, which has great ingredients that your skin really likes. It opens the pores and allows you to clean out when you use a cotton ball or pad. It gives your skin a nice, tight, fresh feeling. It smells good and is uplifting. It also helps combat the aging process your skin goes through due to environmental toxins. Step 3 is to use the Anti-Aging B17 Skin Cream to moisturize and nourish the skin. It was designed to use during the day or as a night mask. It has so many good organic essential oils and other natural ingredients that the skin needs to have. AP: Since our anti-aging skin scrub is a cleanser and a scrub, can you substitute it for the deep foaming facial cleanser? Leah: Yes. Because our face scrub is also a cleanser you can use it in place of our deep cleaning facial cleanser; however, I would recommend only doing this once or twice a week. Why? Our face scrub has microdermabrasion crystals in it. These are the same crystals that I use when people come to the lab for a microdermabrasion treatment. For those unfamiliar with this treatment, it is a serious treatment used to refine the skin, help with scarring, and reduce fine lines. AP: You mentioned that using a washcloth is important in each step of the process. Why? Leah: Oh, I always like rinsing with water first to get my skin saturated, you know, start the water process. You could also hold a damp, warm washcloth against the face to open the pores. Unless you shower before you go to bed every night, your hair is leaving behind dirt and oil on your pillowcase, which in turn gets transferred to your face. Rinsing helps to get things started, but washcloths are important. They are a tool to get you where you want to go with your skin. You don’t have to use them, but you’re not going to get as good of a benefit with your skin care cleaning products. Get yourself a bunch of nice washcloths. Good ones don’t really cost that much. AP: You also mentioned the effects that the environment has on our skin. I’m not sure many people understand how much of an effect the environment has on their skin, do they? Leah: As we discussed, there are lots of things in the air (and water) that our body absorbs. Smog, chemicals, free radicals, toxins, and radiation from the sun. These harmful elements absorb into the body through the skin. That means they will ultimately damage the skin. What are “free radicals”? Free radicals are the natural byproducts of chemical processes, such as metabolism. When they build up in a cell, they can cause harm to the cells in the body. Too many free radicals can cause oxidative stress caused by too many free radicals and too much cell damage. This can play a role in the development of many diseases. Free radicals are also associated with the aging process. Antioxidants help keep free radicals in check. The organic green tea used in Anti-Aging Facial Toner is an antioxidant. Leah: Read the labels. If there are ingredients that you can’t pronounce on them, maybe it’s something that you shouldn’t put into your body. The good news is with AP Skin Care products you know what you’re reading, and you know that only organic, natural, and wild harvested ingredients are going into your body. This ends Part 1 of our interview. You’ll want to read Part 2. Leah shares great insights into the skin care industry and gives expert tips on how to keep skin looking healthy and youthful.