Beautiful Because catch up with Chey Birch, founder of Black Chicken Remedies. The Sydney based-brand is lovingly handmade and incorporates natural ingredients and ancient wisdom into unique, skin healing and holistic formulas. Nature is Chey's Pharmacy and we couldn’t wait to find out more about her beautiful range and philosophy...
I studied aromatherapy many years ago and the lecturer cited some research about how when we put something on our skin it can be detected in our liver within 20 minutes and this made me think about all the horrible chemicals in skincare products. So I started making products for me personally. I wanted to find a way to reduce the chances of developing chronic health conditions, to assist the body in a natural way and harness the therapeutic power of natural oils to enhance wellbeing, in mind body and spirit and to decrease our toxic load on the body.
Being a fanatical swimmer (I swim a kilometre each day!) my skin used to get very dry and I’d lather on moisturiser but when I’d realised all the toxins in my moisturiser I decided to create the best body oil I could with the most effective ingredients for dry and dehydrated skin. It smelt so amazing everyone wanted some and so my first product was born!
The name Black Chicken Remedies is my acknowledgement of our past and recognition of healers in every tradition that have understood how to communicate with nature, how to extract the medicinal properties from plants that nature has provided for us and bring them to their community. So the story – the legend of the Black Chicken – is a simple and interesting way of pointing people back to the historical significance of our ability to look at nature as our pharmacy.
Australian Aborigines had a person they called the Ngangkari, whom another culture might call Sharman. This was someone who had a powerful affinity with nature – they would go into nature, they would communicate with it and know which plants or herbs were to be sourced; made into creams, salves, oils or whatever in order to bring about cures to individuals within their own community. The concept of the medicine man or woman has great value in where we find ourselves today – we apply so many toxic chemicals to our bodies without a thought. I feel strongly that the past needs to be embraced in our present for a healthier future.
I realised so many people can be automatic when it comes to their daily skin routine, and by offering some guidance about applying focused energy, like being mindful, can make a significant difference in how we feel and how we experience changes in our body and who we are from the inside and out. When you apply Love Your Body Oil, for example, with your whole heart and mind, your body responds in very positive ways. For many of our customers, Black Chicken is the way into a deep source of peaceful wellbeing they can't be without.
Today there are certain things we can control, we may not be able to control the quality of the air we breathe but we can control what we put on our bodies and for me it gives me peace of mind to know the daily products I use to moisturise and cleanse my skin are 100% natural and also soothe my mind – they basically puts back what life has taken out. That’s what the philosophy of BCR is all about – it’s about understanding and being conscious about what we put on our skin, in our bodies and in our mind.
Well I had tried almost every natural deodorant on the market because I knew how toxic most common deodorants were but nothing worked and it’s very wasteful to buy something only to find it doesn’t work so I created Axilla Deodorant Paste. And after much trial and testing and I have to say it’s a game changer. I get emails all the time from people to say its changed their life and its really rewarding for me because if I can stop people from using a toxin like aluminium then my work is done.
The molecules in face serums are smaller than moisturisers and so they can penetrate much deeper, delivering nutrients and antioxidants and helping address specific issues such as wrinkles, dehydration, sagging skin and redness. They absorb faster, go deeper and act quickly. So its like comparing serums to your specialists while moisturisers are your GP. Most moisturisers contain chemicals and preservatives whereas serums can be made from 100% natural ingredients. They are mother nature’s pharmacy in a bottle. Serums are popular right now because people are looking for ways to address their special skin concerns in an effective and 100% natural way. Black Chicken Remedies Love Your Face Serum does just that.
At the moment I am loving the Complexion Polish combined with the Cleanse My Face oil cleanser. When you mix the two and exfoliate it’s like a new skin is born! The oil cleanser helps balance your sebum and really gives you a deep and calming cleanse, while the polish removes all those dead cells to help the skin renew.
My routine is fairly simple. I cleanse morning and night with Cleanse My Face oil cleanser, I spray some of our Hydrate My Face hydrating and toning mist and while the skin is still damp I apply Love Your Face Serum. I always apply sunscreen in the morning as living in Sydney its important.
Drink lots of water and get to bed before 10pm at least 3 times per week. Simple as that!
I think one of the best things you can do for your skin and your whole body’s wellbeing is Dry Skin Brushing. It helps the body with its elimination of toxins and helps increase circulation. It’s so simple and effective and also cost effective. Invest in a 100% natural body brush and start at your feet and rub towards the heart. Do it in the morning before showering.
I drink Turmeric tea first thing in the morning. It’s a great detoxifier and also alkalises the body. My tea is quite simple its 1 teaspoon of freshly grated turmeric, the juice of ½ a lemon, ½ teaspoon of honey and warm water.
I swim everyday in the pool, ocean or harbour. It’s great because there are no phones or anyone talking to you and you have 20-30 minutes to think things through and really relax. I often get out of the water and come up with a new idea but mostly it’s a complete stress buster.
I think if you are comfortable with yourself your inner beauty shines through. Nothing beats a smile.
By Nina Weston