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ash and clay feature

Ash & Clay: Natural beauty

Samara Gentle

When your father is diagnosed with cancer and during his chemotherapy treatment the one solace that provides him comfort and momentary relief is a foot rub, as a daughter you happily oblige and you do so for hours at a time.

You also research ointments and moisturisers that won’t cause him discomfort or reaction, which those under going chemotherapy can be susceptible to. In turn it results in you creating your own blend of beautiful lotions to rub on those feet you love so dearly.

This is the story of Kim whom sadly lost her father to cancer. She still remembers how much her father relished those foot rubs. “It was the one thing I could do to really take his mind off chemo,” she says.

From the research Kim undertook into moisturisers and foot balms she realised how many companies not only used harsh chemicals but tested on animals and had very questionable ethics. So came Ash and Clay, a way for her to create beautiful products and know exactly what was going into them and the ethics behind it.

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“I’ve actually visited the business where I buy most of my ingredients from and seen exactly how they’re made” she explains. Being an ethical and cruelty free business is extremely important to Kim.

There’s also a second part to her story, when her daughter confessed she’d gotten a tattoo (much to Kim’s surprise!). Kim was then adamant that she use good quality products to look after her tattoos given they are such a life long decision, and there came her Tattoo Balm.

Now Kim has expanded into creating ash and clay masks (hence the name), scrubs, moisturisers, serums, cleansers and more, all from her home in Lyons.

Kim kindly invited me to her home to watch her create a body moisturiser. Possibly the best part was her treasure box of goodies—a large, handmade wooden box filled with jars and jars of smells—just about every smell you could think of. Roses, vanilla, lavender, the list goes on! I spent a good 10 minutes opening each jar and taking a whiff of every smell.

You’d be amazed at the process of creating a body moisturiser. There was the mixing of ingredients, popping them on the stove and bringing them to the right temperature. Then taking them off the heat, adding more and then whipping them like you would a meringue into a thick and creamy paste which you then pop into a pump jar and presto—moisturiser!

Kim is running an Ash & Clay skincare workshop for beginners this February at the Chifley Health and Wellness Hub from 9am-12pm or 1pm-4pm. “Come and join the fun and learn how to make your own in a friendly environment,” says Kim. You can secure your spot by emailing Kim at [email protected].

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Kim was sweet enough to allow me to create my own mix, coming up with the Samara’s Body Silk. That’s her other great passion – customising products for her clients.

In the past Kim has had people come to her with skin problems like Rosacea and not one to back away from a challenge she put in the hard yards and researched. What causes Rosacea? What combats it? She eventually came up with a product that reduced her clients Rosacea immensely.

She also creates a beard serum, if your man is keen to take on the hairy trend but at the five to six day growth the itchiness becomes unbearable, the serum will help sooth the skin while keeping the hairs healthy. The proof is in the pudding because I took some home for my partner and it was a miracle to have a scratch (and complain)-less beard!

I’m a lover of skin products. I love testing them and seeing what works for my skin and doesn’t. I’m not one to dwell on one product and I’ve now tried about five of Kim’s and I can tell you they are all amazing. I haven’t had a reaction or break out, in fact her masks have helped cleanse and calm my skin; her moisturiser helps me extend fake tans and nourish my skin as the weather cools down and her hemp balm has helped my terribly cracked heels! I don’t have one favourite product because I’ve fallen in love with all of them.

You can find Kim at the Old Bus Depot Markets, on Facebook or you can browse her online store to see the full range of products. If you have a particular skin condition you’re having trouble treating, Kim loves to find solutions for her customers so don’t hesitate dropping her a line! I can’t wait to see her line expand and grow.

GIVEAWAY

We’re giving one lucky HerCanberra reader the chance to win a place at Kim’s Ash & Clay skin workshop on February 19 at the Chifley Health and Wellness Hub.

Simply email [email protected] with why you’d like to attend the workshop and your full name.

If you miss out on the giveaway you can still secure your spot by emailing Kim at [email protected]

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Samara Gentle

Samara is a Canberra based freelance makeup artist who specialises in bridal and event makeup but loves the creativity of fashion and editorial. She has a passion for sharing her pro knowledge and seeing other women embrace makeup to help share their personal style. More about the Author

  • Amy

    Oh, I love Ash & Clay products! I started spraying Ella’s Dream Catcher on my bed linen every night and attribute it to the improvement in my sleep, and the hand repair is divine 🙂