Our purpose goes beyond skin deep
It doesn’t take long in a conversation with me to learn that I love everything about skincare. I’m intrigued by the latest in creams, serums, lasers, and injectables, and I regularly research what is in development. It amazes me what is available at all price points, to help us maintain, prevent and improve all types of skin conditions.
Setting aside the technical aspects of these skincare products and services, we can’t ignore the real reason these products exist in the first place. The “problem” isn’t eczema, acne or aging (and we use the term “problem” lightly — textured skin of any kind needs to be normalized!), rather the problem here is the feeling we have inside ourselves because we believe these things are a problem.
We can’t ignore the psychological connection we have with our skin and how it makes us feel. It goes much deeper than the surface and many of us can attest that it influences our inner confidence on a day to day basis. That being said, it’s time we flip this notion on its head — let’s start by building our confidence from the inside out, and care for our skin because we care for ourselves.
That is what drives our mission beyond just skincare and fuels our interest in aligning with organizations that promote the self-care and empowerment of women. Rytualist’s fundamental mantra is to take time for yourself. Self-care can be anything – exercise, a massage, meditation or your favorite skin treatment. So, give yourself permission to put yourself first and treat yourself like you’re worthy!
Causes we care about
Female products, poverty and accessibility
The first thing that comes to mind when we hear ‘basic needs’ are food, water and shelter. We often don’t think about menstrual products but these too are considered a basic need for 50% of our population! We rarely hear about the impact on our young girls and women, of not being able to afford or access menstrual or other feminine hygiene products. This is self-care at our most basic level and can be devastating for young women who may have to miss school or work because they cannot access these products. Or simply reuse products to a point where it becomes dangerous to their health.
Although there is very little research about this particular public health challenge, I found some interesting research that focuses on college age women and the psychological effects of not having access to feminine hygiene products. The article offers pertinent information about the issue. You can read it here.
Speaking from personal experience, as a regular volunteer at a food bank, we seldom received donations of paper products, including diapers, tampons and pads. When we received requests for menstrual products, I realized that this was something we should be requesting and offering. This is what drew me to our first non-profit organization, One Less Worry. They currently service the population of Knox County only, but I’m optimistic that we can work together to change that! Visit their site and learn more about the organization here.
Empowering Our Next Generation of Women
Many of us remember our own childhood and especially those vulnerable middle school years as we navigated adolescence. Today, pressures are even greater on our children of all genders, and we consistently hear how children today get less physical activity and are generally carrying more weight than their parent’s generation. These concerns often lead to further isolation and intimidation during structured gym classes and lack of interest in school sponsored sports.
One study by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that 80% of all adolescents could not meet the World Health Organization (WHO) physical activity recommendations of 60 minutes/day. And this health challenge is most prevalent in high income countries. This same study looked at the impact of a Positive Youth development (PYD) based sports mentorship program and hypothesized that this type of intervention could improve adolescents’ physical and mental well-being, as well as other developmental parameters.
We love the organization Girls on the Run (GOTR), an initiative that originated in 1996 to inspire all girls to build confidence and make intentional decisions. Through physical activity and meaningful discussions, trained coaches help attendees build social, emotional and physical skills while encouraging healthy habits for life.
GOTR provides PYD programs for girls of varied ages that seek the additional support and community to nurture self-care and empowerment. The Maine GOTR council has been active since 2012 and has grown to support more than 1300 girls annually. We encourage you to learn more about their organization here.
Are you part of an organization local to our Maine community that supports and empowers women? We’re always open to feedback and suggestions in an effort to support our local community in the best, most effective way possible. Connect with us on social or contact us here!