illuum, a content platform and product line founded by beauty editor Jessica L. Yarbrough (The Zoe Report, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, SELF), exists to illuminate the beauty industry, demystify the marketing, and let you in on the biggest beauty secret of them all: You, uh, don’t actually need all that skincare. In fact, your face is better off on its own.
Before you angrily exit the page, hear us out: Your skin has built-in mechanisms to self-cleanse, self-moisturize, self-exfoliate, and self-heal. Then why isn’t it doing any of this stuff??? you may be shouting at your screen this very second — and the answer is simple. Most modern skincare attempts to override these natural functions, which disempowers the skin and creates a dependency on products... not to mention, keeps you in the consumer cycle. For example: Surfactant cleansers strip the skin of natural oils, leading you to buy thick moisturizers, leading to clogged pores, leading to pimples that need spot treatments, leading to overly-dried skin and repeating the pattern all over again.
You deserve less. Fewer products, fewer ingredients, less stress all around.
What your skin really needs is support. It needs the right tools to perform the job it was divinely designed to do. Tools that lay the foundation for healthy skin and don’t try to outsmart the mind-blowing, unbelievably-intricate, not-yet-fully-understood-by-science technology that exists within every microscopic skin cell on your face.
illuum is based on the science of how your skin, body, and mind inherently function rather than the science of manipulation. We believe in nourishing the skin — not beating, scrubbing, and masking it into submission — nourishing the body, and nourishing the soul.
We are all about all-natural remedies. Think about it in terms of growing crops (weird metaphor, yes, but bear with us for a sec): When farmers raise fruits and veggies in an engineered environment, spraying them with pesticides and manipulating growth — i.e., overwriting nature — the crops have been shown to have less nutritional content compared to organically-grown counterparts. As humans, we’re also of the earth — and just like plants, our skin reaches its full potential with natural support.
(Also: Maybe it’s just us, but we refuse to believe that humans entered the world sporting a protective coating — that would be skin — that’s health depended on synthetic compounds that wouldn’t be invented for literal millennia… right?)
Skin is the body’s built-in communicator. It’s the link between what’s happening inside and what’s happening outside; it’s equipped with the ability to transform into a range of colors, textures, and sensations to help you figure out what’s wrong. Think about when you have an allergic reaction to a food you eat: Sometimes you get flushed or develop hives. Well, that’s the body’s way of saying, “Nope, this doesn’t work for us!” How freaking cool is that? Every pimple, dry patch, or blemish on your face is trying to tell you something. Most modern skincare attempts to silence this communication by suppressing the skin’s natural reactions. Learn to listen to your body instead, and your skin will change. For the better.
More and more, people are waking up to the fact the health of the skin is linked to the happiness of the soul — and we’re not talking about the metaphorical “lit from within glow,” either. Studies from the burgeoning field of psychodermatology prove there’s a relationship between the skin and the mind. The skin and the brain are formed from the same embryonic tissue in utero, and remain connected for life. Meditation has been shown to slow aging; deep breathing has been shown to reduce acne; affirmations have been shown to calm the psyche and the skin.
This skin, body, and soul approach is our path to total skin health, one that’s ever-changing and always-expanding. Kind of like the universe itself.
Jessica L. Yarbrough is a beauty editor whose work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, SELF, Business Insider, The Zoe Report, and Fashionista.com. A former ghostwriter for Khloé Kardashian, she discovered her passion for the more, ahem, natural end of the beauty spectrum after developing chronic dermatitis (yup, the stuff in that super-cute picture above), going head-to-head with dermatologists, and healing her skin naturally. She subsequently sought out a certification in Organic Skincare Formulation and began making and selling her own natural, minimal, three-ingredient, skin-supportive products. Today, Yarbrough balances her work as a beauty editor with her role as the founder of illuum.