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I COULDN'T FIND WHAT I WANTED ANYWHERE,
SO I MADE IT MYSELF.

My name is Julia Joseph. I'm a makeup artist based in New York City and I originally created Maracuja + Calendula Oil to address my own skin issues.

I grew up in the fashion and beauty world. My Mom, Cindy Joseph, was a very successful makeup artist from the late 70s to the early aughts. She traveled the world working with iconic photographers and supermodels, creating the beauty looks that came to define each decade. Growing up in that environment, I was very aware of beauty products. I kept tabs on what was new and what was tried and true. I often made things for myself and always had recommendations for my mom's kit.

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A "selfie" of my Mom and I, before my skin woes began.

I was also obsessed with perfect skin. When I became a teenager and started experiencing even mild acne, I regularly went to a top New York City dermatologist who was regularly quoted in fashion magazines. I used prescribed topical creams and took antibiotics like tetracycline and minocin. I was told that when I got older my hormones would balance out and my skin would clear up. That sort of happened, but never permanently.

My Mom was a great self-experimenter, and the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Between the two of us it often felt like we tried every skin, hair and diet fad under the sun. Of course there's always more out there, but we did a lot, from the most chemical, synthetic and medicinal to the most earthy, organic and natural.  

Eventually we both tended toward a preference for the natural. When my Mom stopped dying her hair at age 49, she began a second career as a silver-haired model and eventually went on to create one of the first pro-age beauty brands, BOOM! by Cindy Joseph, a line anchored in it's hero product BOOMSilk, an all natural moisturizer boasting limited, organic, edible ingredients. 

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The idea behind BOOMSilk was that we have one body covered in one skin that requires one moisturizer. And to be fair, that was my Mom's experience. With the exception of one bout of cystic acne that was largely symptomatic of an extremely stressful time in her life, my Mom's skin was always pretty robust. Olive complexioned, she wasn't particularly sun sensitive and her skin was most always clear. She was someone who could slather a combination of olive oil and beeswax all over herself, top to bottom, and fare quite well. I, on the other hand, am fair skinned. I always got a sun rash on our tropical vacations, despite being drenched with sunscreen, and in the last few years have begun grappling with rosacea. 

My first sign of rosacea happened a few years ago. I was out with friends and had taken a sip or two of beer (alcohol is a major trigger I would eventually find out). When I went to the restroom, I looked in the mirror to see that my entire face was beet red. I freaked out. I thought I was having an allergic reaction. I excused myself, went straight home and guzzled water until my skin calmed down. It didn't take a ton of research to find out I had just had my first rosacea flare up, which also explained some of my broken capillaries at the time. 

I've had that same flushing experience on a few occasions since but, perhaps worse, I developed very tenacious, "rosacea acne" which doesn't behave like regular acne. It festers, waxes and wanes in a way that feels like it's always there. Since my Mom passed away, I'd been under so much emotional stress that the break outs became constant. It seemed like there was nothing I would be able to do to make it go away. Sometimes no matter how much we do to manage our stress, we just can't get rid of it completely because life keeps happening and life is stressful. After doing a ton of research and unsuccessfully going back to dermatologist prescribed topicals (sulfur creams, soolantra, metrogel, etc...) I finally found some answers.

 

Like most people with skin issues, I would bounce around from product to product, hoping to strike gold. I had a cabinet full of stuff in constant rotation, some of it extremely expensive, and none of it was working. I came to learn that not only was most of it not helping me, it was HURTING me, including my Mom's BOOMSilk. I had to CEASE AND DESIST with all of it and started using single ingredients to isolate what was good for my skin and what was not. 

As it turns out, just because something is natural, doesn't mean it is universally applicable. Skin is very personal and very different from person to person. It is also different all over your body. The skin around your eyes, for example, is very different from the skin around your elbows. I couldn't use jojoba oil, olive oil, argan oil, mineral oil, shea butter, lanolin, waxes of any kind, anything with alcohol, witch hazel, essential oils, rosemary extracts, emulsifiers, fillers or binders.

 

I began using single oils to cleanse and moisturize and my skin calmed down immediately. Eventually I settled on maracuja as my oil of choice. After extensive research and experimentation, I found it to be power-packed with all the actives I wanted in my skin care without ever exacerbating or creating problems. It was a single ingredient that covered all the bases and I absolutely loved the way it made my skin look and feel. 

Because my skin was so reactive, I also really wanted the extra soothing benefits of calendula. I looked for "calendula oil" to add to my regimen, only to find that most calendula oil is made with olive, soybean or sunflower oil. Those would never work for me. I looked into calendula extracts, but hesitated with those too, fearing a reaction to any chemical byproduct from the extraction process. So, I decided to infuse my maracuja oil directly with calendula flowers.

 

After using this infusion happily for about a year, a friend said she was having skin issues during lockdown. I brought her some of my oil and she loved it. She went through it pretty quickly and wanted more. At that point I thought, "if this is helping me and now helping my friend, maybe it would help other people too..." I discussed it with my fiancé, Chris, who was immediately supportive of the idea and teamed up with me to make it happen.

 

That's how The Natural and our Organic Maracuja + Calendula Oil was born!

 

I truly hope it works as well for you as it has for me.

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