Clean beauty has been in the news lately thanks to a University of Notre Dame study, which found that half of cosmetic products they tested contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a chemical that’s been linked PFAS exposure to cancer, reproductive harm, and damage to the immune system. This is scary to hear, to know that half of the products in our beauty drawer right now may have harmful chemicals.
What’s more, Latinas have more endocrine-disrupting chemicals in their bodies, like pthalates and parabens, and this is likely to be due to the fact that Latinas use more anti-aging creams and body lotions, many of which have more phthalates, parabens, phenols, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and even things with formaldehyde-releasing preservatives and arsenic. Unfortunately truly clean products are very expensive and are marketed mainly to white women. There is no clean beauty brand that’s affordable to most people, and that specifically targets us and our skin. We asked ourselves – shouldn’t clean beauty be available and accessible to everyone?
These studies were one of the things that Christina and I talked about before forming the company, why there wasn’t a solution for women like us. This is why we set out to launch Vamigas, and create nourishing skin care and wellness products, with ingredients that are organic and no ingredient whatsoever that’s questionable. Many, like Rosa Mosqueta, are 100% organic, cold pressed, and from Chile – just one ingredient, and no fragrances. We want everyone to experience botanicals of Latin America, but we target Latinas in particular since no other major clean beauty brand is doing that right now.
Vamigas is based the following core values:
The Power of Ancestral Beauty: (why we focus on ancestral lands)
Where you come from and where your ancestors were from has a clear biological influence on things like the type of skin that you have; your genes control your tendency to have oily or dry skin, or how sensitive it is to the sun, or your risk of developing things like skin cancer or acne. For example, Latinx are prone to Pseudofolliculitis barbae, when highly curved hairs grow back into the skin, causing red, itchy, painful bumps. Latinos – both Black and White – are more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC).
Before modern times, your ancestors may have lived on the same land for hundreds maybe thousands of years and so their genetic makeup became intertwined with the land. Your ancestors – even your grandparents and great-grandparents – knew this and used plants and herbs to help protect their skin and create cures for skin ailments. These recipes were passed down from generation to generation, and many have lasted through modern times of immigration. You are most likely no longer in the same place where your ancestors lived, so why not use those same plants name herbs and tinctures to keep your skin at its healthiest? Your biology may know and welcome the oils and herbs of your ancestors because it’s built into your DNA.
The Power of Rest and Self-Care:
Vamigas understands the transformative power of rest and and taking care of ourselves, especially during periods of transition and change (how timely, right?). These might include personal times of healing after a pregnancy or even difficult moments during global crisis. We have all gone through a hell of a year, so we are all in the same vortex of healing right now. Vamigas thinks that a rested, healing woman is her best self. Unfortunately self-care is often pushed to the back, especially right now when women – and especially Latinas – are experiencing the worst economic depression in decades, having left the workforce more than any other groups.
The Power of Transparency:
Vamigas believes that we should seek to understand everything we put on our skin and in being completely transparent with our customers about what our products are made and what regions they come from. We also think that it is imperative for all companies right now to be transparent around how they mitigate the impact their products have on the environment. We use only glass because plastic is a complete ecological shit show. We loathe plastic, as does the Earth. We are launching a new program this fall where we are going to be offsetting emissions and restoring areas in Latin America by supporting specific forest projects in places like Peru, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and more.
This is us. It’s how we think, and how we do business, and how we live our lives. We wouldn’t have it any other way.