We’ve all been there, walking the aisles of the drugstore or a fancy skincare spot, only to find ourselves paralyzed by the amount of choices with airbrushed images, promising taglines and prices all over the map. We’ve heard that our skin is our largest organ and that we should be “going natural,” but what does that actually mean, and how essential is it? How are we supposed to know what ingredients are good or not? We’ve done some vetting, and found Primally Pure skincare. Read our interview below with their founder and CEO, Bethany McDaniel, who helps us understand the science behind her brand and bring some relief to this dilemma.
What was your inspiration for starting Primally Pure? Was there a “spark” moment for you personally?
This might sound bizarre, but I never set out to start a skincare company–it all sort of happened by accident.
My husband and his family spontaneously started an organic farm right around the time we got married in 2012, which got me going on a natural living kick. After cleaning up my diet, the next place I looked were the toxic skincare products I was using–and deodorant was the biggest offender. I swapped it out for a DIY paste made with just coconut oil and baking soda, and wanted my husband to do the same. But since he was not at all interested in rubbing anything onto his armpits, I set out to create an effective natural deodorant in stick form.
It took me nearly two years, but I finally came up with a formula that both my husband and I (as well as many of our friends and family members) loved. I would have been fine with stopping there, but we were broke after quitting our jobs to pursue my husband’s farm and he encouraged me to start selling my deodorant (along with a few other products I had created) on the farm’s website to earn a little bit of side income.
He gave me the goal of bringing in $500/month and I thought that would be impossible, but ended up hitting that goal within the first week of business. The next several months were a whirlwind of trying to make product, ship out orders, answer customer emails, market my products, etc. by myself until hiring my first full-time employee a year in. Soon after that, Primally Pure was bringing in more revenue per week than I had made in a year at my previous job. Today, we have a team of 15 and continue to grow and reinvest back into the business.
Why do you feel it’s necessary for products to be organic? How do ingredients affect the body over time?
I like to think of it like this: all of us have a toxic load that our bodies take on. It’s inevitable in the world we live in today. Toxins are everywhere – in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and what we put on our bodies. Many of these toxins are unavoidable, which is why it’s so important to control what you can, when you can.
Transitioning to a natural + non-toxic lifestyle is a journey – one that takes time (if not a lifetime). It’s important for us to do what we can to minimize the toxic loads we carry, and also not to stress about not doing everything right all of the time.
Tell us about the makeup of your products and the balance of “purity” and “potency.”
We believe that products made with fewer, better ingredients truly do yield superior results. Our products are formulated with less ingredients so that the pure oils, clays, herbs and other elements we use can truly work their magic.
The market for natural skincare products is on the rise, and it’s become commonplace for brands to take advantage of the consumer’s desire to find products made with pure ingredients. For example, you can find phrases like “made with organic shea butter” or “contains organic coconut oil” on just about anything these days. And while that may be true, organic shea butter (or whichever ingredient is being talked about) is often times at the very bottom of a long list of not-so-natural ingredients.
Our niche is crafting products made with pure ingredients that aren’t diluted with chemicals. We use nature’s most precious + healing elements to formulate our products–and you won’t find them buried under a long list of cheap fillers and stabilizers.
What are your thoughts on true beauty for women?
Beauty radiates from the inside out. And (cheesy as it may sound) no matter how many things you do to improve your skin’s health and outer appearance, nothing will make your complexion glow more than a confident, joyful spirit. By seeking out things that bring you joy and leading your life in a way that fulfills your calling on this earth, you’ll cultivate a happiness on the inside that will be evident on the outside.
What are ways that you personally practice self-care, simplicity and rest?
Health, wellness, sleep, exercise, etc. are hugely important to me. But a business owner and mother to a toddler, I haven’t done a great job of getting 8 hours of sleep per night or exercising regularly like I almost always did in the past.
Instead of feeling guilty about it, I’ve decided to care for myself in ways that are easier for me to control at this point in my life. I stay away from processed foods 100% of the time. I use non-toxic cleaning products in our home. I take supplements that support my health in various ways. I go on walks with my daughter. I take baths with epsom salt and organic essential oils a few times a week.
I do what I can and I don’t stress about all of the things I’m doing wrong, because I know life won’t be this way forever. There will come a time when I’ll be able to sleep longer, exercise more and do all of the other things I haven’t been doing lately. But until then, I’m making the best of my current circumstances.
What’s next for your brand in the next few years?
We are currently in the midst of a big move into a new space for our offices and warehouse and couldn’t be more excited about it! The best part of this move is that we’re putting an actual spa into our new headquarters. We had a “spaffice” (spa + office) in our old space for several months where our on-staff holistic esthetician would give our team facials and are looking forward to finally making these natural spa treatments available to the public.
Additionally, we always have new products in the works and will be adding a few key items to our store later this year that our customers have been asking about for years!
If we were to try three Primally Pure products right now, what are your favorites?
Our Charcoal Deodorant is the number one seller on our website, and the 500+ five star reviews it has speak to how incredible this product truly is. It contains a small amount of baking soda (protects against odor) and is fortified with kaolin clay (powerful detoxifier) and non-nano zinc oxide (soothes irritation + combats odor). Plus, activated coconut charcoal attracts 1000x its weight and powerfully binds to toxins + impurities.
Next up would have to be our Cleansing Oil. If you’re new to the idea of cleansing with oil, here’s how it works: Based on the scientific principle that like dissolves like, the oil cleansing method utilizes beneficial oils that penetrate deep into pores to dissolve grime and build-up. This age-old method of cleansing effectively purifies + nourishes the skin while keeping its natural moisture barrier in-tact. We offer three different types of Cleansing Oil – one for dry skin, one for oily skin and one for normal skin (all of which smell like an escape to the spa!).
Lastly, our Everything Spray is something I can’t go without. Just as its name implies, this spray does it all. Use it as a spray-on natural toner or spritz it on sensitive areas after shaving to prevent ingrown hairs. Everything Spray can also be used as a quick + easy underarm refresher after the gym and is also effective in soothing a wide range of inflammatory skin conditions. But I like to use it as a toner best! It’s made with organic lavender hydrosol (soothes and calms irritated skin), organic witch hazel which tones the skin and reduces inflammation, organic raw + unfiltered apple cider vinegar (antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral) and organic tea tree and lavender essentials oil that disinfect, heal and regenerate.
This post is brought to you by Darling partner, Primally Pure. We’re proud to partner with brands that support the health and natural wellness of women. All thoughts and opinions remain Darling’s own.
Images provided by Primally Pure.