A Personal Bio – Michele Masterson
I live in Clonlara Co. Clare with my partner Brian, and 5 children, Fabian 23, Theo James 9, Alex Georgia 7, Reuben Harvey 5 and last but by no means least, Halle Jane, 3 oh and 2 cats….. As you can probably guess the inspiration for the name GeorgiaJane skincare comes from the second names of my two daughters.
I had great skin all my life (oh I was so smug!) until I hit my mid twenties and then all hell broke loose on my face. First came the adult acne, new sensitivities, swiftly followed by what can only be described as an oil producing well under my facial skin. If my face had been a country I would be a wealthy woman…. Of course I did what most people would do in that situation which was to try and dry out my skin with the harshest most astringent products I could find. Didn’t work, never works! My skin, thinking it was the desert, pumped out more oil to replenish, blocked more pores to conserve it, the result was not pretty. This system of abusing my skin coupled by 2 children between 2004 and 2006 had left my skin a completely ravaged, acne marked hyper-pigmented hormonal mess.
As they say, necessity is the mother of invention and it was during my pregnancy with my daughter Alex that I decided enough was enough, there had to be a more healing solution to my skin issues and if I couldn’t buy it, I would research, study, inform and educate myself and then make it myself. I decided to make a personal choice for my skin, it had to be natural based, botanical, no toxic materials, just fresh, clean ingredients that nature provides in abundance. I had given enough of my money to the ‘big gun’ cosmetic companies and all their lofty promises which never delivered and I was also concerned about some questionable ingredients and overuse of extremely harsh preservatives. Realistically, if a product has a shelf life of 18-24 months or up to 3 years, it doesn’t get this by just looking pretty in its pot. There are some serious preservatives in the mix and these bring a whole set of new problems to the sensitive skinned individual. Not to mention that they are just not appropriate for daily use on anyone’s skin. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against preservatives, they are very necessary and not only protect the product but more importantly the user. However the choice of preservative is just as important as the other raw ingredients in any product and it’s no coincidence that the harshest (on the skin) and the paraben based preservatives are also the cheapest and in the world of the big multi-national skincare brands, when you are mass-producing cosmetics, the bottom line is profit, always has been and always will be!
Anyway, I digress. I am lucky enough that living in the country I have a beautiful space at the bottom of my garden where I would retreat to escape the craziness of a busy house and where I could have a little ‘me’ time, unleash my creativity and have a quiet space to expand my growing data base of knowledge gained through extensive study and research. I have an amazing partner in Brian who took over all the childcare responsibilities, well except the breastfeeding (!) and this allowed me to travel back and forth to London to gain natural skincare certifications through intensive natural skincare courses. From this tranquil garden space which has now morphed into my amazing lab, I began to formulate skin care products for my own use and for my growing family. I did this quietly and contentedly for a couple of years until my wider family members and friends commenting on my now great skin, asked me to formulate for them, which I was happy to do. I had found my ‘thing’ a real passion for something I loved, the alchemy of mixing, blending, the aromas of Essential Oils, the beautiful textures, colours and skin feel of pure unrefined botanical oils, the feel of silky powder-fine clays, the earthiness of sea–weed and botanical extracts….the mouth watering scent and delicious texture of butters like cupuacu, shea, cocoa, I was in heaven!
Over the years I have built up a fantastic relationship with ethical and honest cosmetic ingredients suppliers who share my values and need for the purest botanical extracts, not extracted using alcohol and free from harsh solvents and preservatives, pure cold pressed carrier oils which are all food grade and are not solvent extracted which I believe jeopardize their therapeutic value. I only use natural ingredients for my formulations, organic and fairly traded ingredients where I can and I will never compromise on this.
From there it has snowballed into what is now GeorgiaJane Skincare and I can honestly say that I was a little reluctant to start my company. I jealously guarded my ‘skincare secrets’, it was something I just did for me, family and close friends but I have come to realise that sharing knowledge is just as important as gaining it and I have made it my mission to try and dispel the myth that natural skincare, while it is lovely, gentle and healing, ideal for repeated use on human skin, but that it can’t be EFFECTIVE skincare, well it can and it is!
I have a real passion for skin, its physiology, diversity, idiosyncrasy and contrariness; how having beautiful healthy radiant skin can make us feel so much better about ourselves, boost our confidence and make us much more agreeable people!
Our skin is our biggest organ and deserves more respect and gentle care than we give it, feed your skin with healthy natural effective botanicals externally and internally and it will thank you by having beautiful clarity and luminosity. Give it some love!