To be Truly Vulnerable: Embracing my Natural Beauty

Posted by Citlali Hunt on

I knew this would be my first blog post, but I didn’t expect it to be this hard. I wanted to write about my personal struggle with acne and hyperpigmentation, and how it lead me and my husband to start this company. It’s crazy, only people who truly know me, and have seen me straight of the shower (just a few) know that I have struggled with adult acne and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It was easy for me to forget about my skin troubles as long as I wore makeup, which I did everyday, from before the sun came up, to right before I went to bed. Even my older sister, who knows everything about me, was surprised when she saw me without makeup for the first time. Her reaction was just as I had hoped; she was accepting and nourishing. It’s crazy to me that so few people knew how bad my skin actually was. Like I said, even I was fooled, I spent so much time and effort ignoring the problem,  and hoping it would go away.This attitude was driven by being able to ignore the problem through quick fixes like makeup, and hiding out, and my determination to not put chemicals on my skin. I was resolved for so long to wait it out. I noticed myself getting depressed and feeling sorry for myself. After moving to Hawaii I would go to the beach with a full face of makeup on, like many do. I would also avoid getting my face wet when going swimming. For goodness sake, we live in Hawaii! I was pretty frustrated. I couldn’t even think about not wearing makeup, I hated the way I looked without it. That’s when I started to look into what causes acne and scarring, and looking for natural ways to heal both.At the time I had active sores that I would pick at, and my skin hurt so much. I was in denial. I started to understand the basics about acne and treatments and realized that it was relatively simple to understand. Pores get clogged and bacteria grows sometimes forming black heads and white heads, and at its worst, causing pimples. The basic purpose of acne medication is to keep skin clean by exfoliating away dead skin and deep cleaning the pores. I thought surely I can give my skin what it needs naturally. But, I was wrong. So much of what is out there promises quick results and has tons of additives, even from companies that market themselves as natural. I was not so surprised, since I usually expect a level of unnecessary ingredients in products, and advertising is usually about smoke and mirrors.After reading a lot about how to get rid of acne, I was in disbelief, how could so many products promise quick results? Skin needs time to heal. I also realized I wasn’t alone. So many people live with unhealthy skin, but cover it up with makeup everyday. After remembering and revisiting videos on YouTube about how to cover up acne with makeup, I realized how common hiding our skin is. This made me see makeup in a whole new light. Before, I thought these videos were useful, and I was happy to see how awesome the host looked at the end of the video. Then I was in shock about how many other people are also just covering up their problems, without seeking healthier skin. It made me so sad, and I felt a bit hopeless.I started to look into home remedies and found that plants had healing nutrients that could change my skin. I could give my skin what it needed through the use of hydrosols and oils. They are vegan and natural. I had previously been introduced to hydrosols by my wonderful sister-in-law who uses yarrow hydrosol on my precious nieces and nephew to heal their cuts and scrapes. I trust pretty much anything that she recommends, as she is a super thoughtful and smart person who should really start a blog.I knew that hydrosols were effective, and loved how simple a product they could be. My husband David and I were determined to find plants that could target my skin’s specific needs, focusing mostly on single plant hydrosols, as I didn’t want to upset my already angry skin by combining too many things together. We looked for plants that encouraged the steps needed to stop acne and to promote new healthy skin cell growth. Taking care of my skin became my full time job, literally.

I knew that I needed to keep my skin clean deep down in my pores, and balance my skin’s oil levels. For this, I started to use our witch hazel & ylang ylang hydrosol to tone my skin after cleansing. I would wipe away the first application along with excess oils and other impurities, and then spray again before moisturizing. To moisturize, I would use equal parts of our witch hazel & ylang ylang hydrosol and our rose hip seed oil, rubbed together in my hand and then gently pressed into my skin. At first my skin would absorb so much of it I would apply the hydrosol/oil mixture multiple times. I started using sunscreen all the time, as this would protect my skin from further dark spots. Right away I stopped getting new acne, I do still get the occasional pimple, but nothing like before.Though I was able to control my acne, I was still left with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or dark spots. The great news, which I found through lots of research, was that it was possible to just leave it alone and my skin could eventually correct itself if I were to protect my skin from the sun. Over time the dark skin would exfoliate away, because our skin is always renewing itself. I allowed myself to take a step back and appreciate how much better my skin was. This step is not required, but I highly recommend it!

Now that my acne was in control, and my skin was healed from the open sores I started to use our papaya leaf hydrosol throughout the day to help promote the natural process of exfoliation, encouraging the turnover of new skin cells. The papaya leaf is also full of vitamins A and C, which help to brighten skin naturally. I still tone with our witch hazel & ylang ylang hydrosol, but now I use our papaya leaf hydrosol along with our rose hip seed oil, as a moisturizer day and night. I also apply a spray or two during the day, because it is refreshing and gentle. The results from this are tricky, I can tell a huge difference, but throughout the day my skin tone changes, so at times my dark spots seem more pronounced than others. Overall, though, I can see a huge improvement.I love that I was able to do all of this positive change to my skin’s health naturally, and I now look at my skin in a completely different way. My skin journey is not done yet, and I am eagerly, but patiently waiting for my skin to be completely clear of the hyperpigmentation. I have never been more in love with my skin, it feels healthy and happy, and I know that I’m taking good care of it. Throughout this journey, I have never had to worry about chemical burns or reactions or stained pillowcases, the list goes on. I love being able to breathe in the hydrosols as I spray them on my face. I don’t worry about anything when I use our products, and I am more in touch with my skin and it’s beauty than ever before. I have begun to truly embrace my natural beauty. 

A B O U T   T H E   P R O D U C T S

Witch hazel & ylang ylang hydrosol is cleansing and soothing. Rose hip seed oil is rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, C and E. Combined they make a perfect moisturizer. 

Our papaya leaf hydrosol is amazing! The enzyme papain in it gives your skin a super gentle tingle, which lets you know it’s working. Combined with our rose hip seed oil your skin will benefit from the exfoliating properties of the papaya leaf, and the nourishment from the oil.

Once my dark spots are gone, I plan to start using our hibiscus hydrosol in combination with the our rose hip seed oil as a moisturizer during the day to promote hydrated, firm skin, and our papaya leaf hydrosol with rose hip seed oil at night to counteract any sun damage. I will continue to use our witch hazel & ylang ylang hydrosol after cleansing.I dream of completely clear skin, and wake up to healthy skin that is less than perfect, but is perfect for me! I am happy that I am going on this journey, it has taught me so much about self-love and has made me aware of so many things that were under the surface. I am so happy that my struggle with my skin has lead me and my husband to start this business, and that we provide such honest plant-based products to people just like me. I am so grateful to my wonderful husband who has encouraged me and endlessly researched ways to help me.

Though he has always had healthier skin than me, my husband's skin has also improved using our products. He is so proud to not have any wrinkles around his eyes anymore, for this he thanks our neroli hydrosol and rose hip seed oil. He loves to tell people he can shave everyday now that he uses our witch hazel & ylang ylang hydrosol after he shaves to soothe his skin. He also hardly ever gets pimples, which he attributes to overall healthier skin maintenance, through cleansing, moisturizing, and balancing his skin’s ph. He gets compliments on his youthful skin all the time, especially at the farmer’s market where we sell our products. He is so happy, and he looks younger and healthier too!

I plan to write more about my research, and about different societal observations that I have made in future blog posts. Thanks for reading, and sign up for our newsletter for exclusive deals, and more blog posts. Much love and aloha, and I wish you a safe and healthy journey on your way to embracing your natural beauty. 

With love,



Sadly, but not surprisingly, I don't have any pictures of what my skin looked like before. I looked everywhere, but like I said, I hardly lived without having makeup on. I will keep you posted on my natural skin journey, and will post more makeup-free pictures as my skin continues to improve. 

This blog post is dedicated to all of the beautiful people who have challenged and encouraged me on my journey to self love. 

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  • Thank you so much for always loving us, you are an incredible person and a wonderful friend! It isn’t easy to have less than perfect skin and own a skincare company, at least it wasn’t at first, before I accepted my purpose. Most likely if I had continued to have perfectly clear skin we would not have started this company, and that I can’t imagine. Today I love and accept my mission, and will do my best to honor where I have been and where I am now. I feel so fortunate that so many people have reached out to express love and encouragement. We need to love, to love ourselves, and one another. Healthy skin is not to be taken for granted, and skin that is hurt should not go untreated. To know that the amazing transformation that has happened on my skin has been a product of self love, and our amazing, plant based, organic and vegan products makes me so proud! Thank you for your support. Please let us know how we can help you find products that can help you with your specific skin needs. Good job using a toner, something that we recommend to everyone is an all natural toner that is alcohol free. Both hibiscus and our witch hazel and ylang ylang are perfect for the job. We also recommend a combination of a hydrosol and oil as a natural handmade moisturizer, we love our hibiscus hydrosol in combination with our rosehip seed oil. And to anyone like you with precious little ones the yarrow, which will help heal rashes, cuts and scrapes. Love you! -Citlali

    Citlali Hunt on
  • Citlali,
    You guys are doing great with derive botanicals. So happy for you. I’m going to go back through your blog and see what I need to fit into my skin repotoire of sometimes washing it. :/ I do at least have a toner now. :) loved your blog, keep them coming.

    Roxanne on
  • Thank you for your kind words. I am so happy that so far my message has been accepted well, and I hope that this will help people on their journey to healthy skin and self-love. Getting to this point would have been impossible if it were not for the awesome support from my loving family and friends. -Citlali

    Citlali Hunt on
  • That was such a precious blog. So open and honest and authentic. Very courageous and uplifting. Thank you for the tough inner work it takes for self reflection. Congratulations on your first post. Love and hugs always.

    Karen on

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