MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. — The town of Manitou Springs was founded in the late 1800s as a tourist’s gateway to the scenic wonder of Rocky Mountain formations; a respite with an abundance of bubbly mineral spring waters boasting healing properties.
So it only makes sense as the home base of Brazen Bee, the natural skin care apothecary and essential oils shop from nutritionist and herbalist Courtney Henslee. At Brazen Bee, Henslee and her staff hand craft chemical-free, whole-plant formulas for skin, hair, and body. Face wash, lip balm, spritzers, elixirs, tea blends and more are custom-created with individual customers’ concerns in mind.
“My secret modus operandi is to get dirt and plants onto people’s bodies,” Henslee laughed. “It’s in packaging that reflects the beauty standard of care. But secretly, it’s just a back-to-the-earth mentality.”
It’s not so much of a secret anymore. Henslee supports a national clientele online in addition to her Ruxton Avenue storefront.
It was simply meant to "bee."
“In my journey in herbalism and nutrition, I eventually started to really look at what was going on me,” Henslee said. “And it turns out, we’ve really been duped in the world of skin care in so many ways. Marketing is insidious. Unfortunately, we shouldn’t give a lot of credence or trust to advertising or to the words ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ when it comes to topicals. There’s no [federal] regulation or oversight there.”
“I do a lot of product dissection where I go over with clients every single thing that’s in every product they’re using,” Henslee said. “In this way I have found an immeasurable amount of success in treating skin care issues that have kind of gone by the wayside in the dermatological community.”
The average American, Henslee said, uses upwards 15 different products on their body on any given day.
“The FDA has determined that a certain amount of chemicals is allowable,” Henslee said. “But then you put them in a soup, and multiply them all, and put them on multiple times a day. And that one chemical that’s allowable, is actually in ten of your products. Suddenly, you’ve magnified your usage far beyond what perhaps the legal statue would be. And unfortunately, the legal statues in American are almost none to begin with.”
By contrast, European regulations, Henslee said, outlaw dozens of chemicals the United States has found allowable. “Some chemicals that are illegal in the EU, we have no limits on whatsoever,” she said. “There is no protection. And skin issues in the United States are skyrocketing. I’m very concerned.”
Read the full article and watch the video interview with our Founder, Courtney!
** The above is a condensed excerpt of the full article written and published by Kate Perdoni with Rocky Mountain PBS**