Whenever I feel anxious, my self-care routine as therapy almost always revolves around beauty – a soothing skin care routinemood-enhancing makeup application, etc. Ironic, because it’s often the beauty industry itself that causes my angst (if beauty standards weren’t so unrealistic, I might not need to put on a gloss-lipstick feel more confident). This paradox is one of the reasons why Stephanie Lee created self made, a company that focuses on both the physical and mental aspects of beauty.
Her mission is to reject harmful and outdated standards of beauty and instead foster a sense of worth through wellness-focused self-exploration. Ultimately, she says, beauty is about “how we feel — rather than look — when we nurture and trust our relationship with ourselves.
Selfmade was launched in 2020 with three multifunctional skin and personal care products: a seruma exfoliatingAnd one oil. Each represents one of the key pillars of the brand: attachment, resilience and intimacy. “These are basic concepts for understanding self-esteem that I learned in therapy during my own mental health crisis,” says Lee.
“I never had a relationship with mental health until I started in the beauty industry after working in the White House with Michelle Obama,” Lee said. When dealing with her own mental health issues in 2016, she realized “the way we talk about ourselves, the way we show up in this world, is how we ultimately associate our value to what we earn, what title we have, how beautiful our skin is. she started therapy to gain the tools and resources to improve her own emotional well-beingthis is how Selfmade was born.
Selfmade doesn’t just tell us to throw a full coverage foundation or smear our faces in a retinol cream feel better about yourself. Lee’s mission was to create a line that Actually had the power to understand and ultimately improve people’s mental health. “We should use our skin as data points for what’s inside,” she explains. “Instead of saying, ‘I’m so gross, I have a pimple’, which sounds like what society has conditioned us to think, reframe that to, ‘I have a pimple, let me take care of my skin because it’s the biggest organ in my body and it takes care of me. Maybe this button means I need to slow down and manage my stress better.
The Bottom Line: We should all ask ourselves how mental health and emotional well-being affect skin and body functioning and not just focus on the outward appearance of our skin.
Everything in Selfmade’s high quality line is clean and sustainably produced and designed to promote healing moments of self-care outside the delicate world of aesthetic ideals. “Beauty can be a ritual tool to calm our bodies and practice self-love,” Lee explains. “The moments we spend putting something on our face or touching our skin are all valuable opportunities for self-exploration.”
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