Exfoliation – a process of sloughing off our outermost layer. Though not the most pleasant of imagery, we know we all do it…the evidence is everywhere, from the dust on our windowsill to the hair we snake from the drain. It is our human equivalent of molting, shedding, of metamorphosis.
The Latin root of the verb ‘exfoliate’ is to be ‘stripped of leaves’ - and how appropriate – not only in its visual parallel to our skin, but also as an indication of the changing of the seasons. Yes, we experienced the orange-hued foliage and crunchy leaves beneath our feet in the fall, but there is also something to be said for the perpetual exfoliation and regeneration that occurs within us and around us all year long. In so many ways we intentionally and subconsciously let go of what’s dead and no longer serving us to reveal what’s most alive!
The dawning of the new year provides a time of reflection and introspection from which we carve out paths towards change. But it isn’t until the days begin to lengthen and the light to remerge that we experience the warmth and the clarity needed to truly let go. The metaphor can be stretched further, of course, to both the benefits and risks of shedding our layers. Exfoliating too much, going too deep too fast, can cause irritation. It takes true education, practice, and understanding of the self (and skin) to recognize what is ‘new’ and what is ‘raw.’
And what’s truly amazing is that the fresh and supple skin, or inspiration, or version of ourselves that we reveal isn’t actually new at all, rather it is ‘RE-newed’! So perhaps what exfoliation truly reveals to us is our core, our central essence, what’s been within us all along, rather than simply a need for cleansing. And we could all use that reminder and revelation!
In the month of February, where the expansion of the light and of the earth begins truly taking shape, let us ask (and remind) ourselves about our core, our origin, the pieces we neither can nor wish to change. What is the core of your practice? Why do you love the work that you do? What unique essence would exfoliation reveal to you?
For KMH, our inspiration quite literally came from within – in the form of a little one. Kim Manley, our founder and creator’s, enthusiasm for formulating personal care products developed while awaiting the arrival of her daughter, Bonnie Rose. Concerned about the harsh chemicals used in mainstream baby care products, Kim instead created her own collection of gentle and soothing formulas, planting the seed from which her business has grown.
Our passion, the core revealed to us in the exfoliation of the external, is a commitment to quality, purity, and intention. Our mission to now supplying industry professionals with the same tender and carefully-crafted products is our love and our calling – and it renews us.
In the month to come, look forward to further reflection and education on the process of exfoliation!