Have you tried Mr.B's Necessities? They're a local brand here in San Diego county and are located in South Oceanside. I've heard of them over the years, but by happenstance recently, I met the creator behind some of their products, Melissa Simons. She's my neighbor! Who knew?
We started talking natural beauty randomly when we first met. I told her about Salt & Ritual and she said she's a holistic esthetician, and the developer behind some of Mr. B's natural bath and body products. Instant bond! She was kind enough to give me some of their products to try out and I've been obsessed with their Activated Charcoal Soap and Rose Facial Mist & Toner (LOVE).
Everything is handmade in their shop in South Oceanside...check out this neat video about their shop!
One reason I really connected to Melissa is because we're on the same page when it comes to skincare and health. It goes hand in hand folks! What you eat shows in your skin. Not only is Melissa a trained holistic skincare esthetician, she's also now a recently certified nutritionist. If you're local to San Diego, she's currently taking on new clients. Better catch her before she gets too busy!
Melissa is an all around hip chick who surfs, travels and has lived most of her life in Hawaii (um, jealous, anyone?) She's super easy to talk to so I was stoked that she wanted to do an interview for Salt & Ritual. Read on!
Interview with Melissa Simons
What is your background in wellness and holistic beauty?
I have been a holistic esthetician since 2006. I have worked in the health and wellness industry since 1998. I recently obtained my license as a holistic Nutrition Counselor as well. Holistic health, wellness and beauty has been a passion of mine for a long time. It came natural to me and it just made sense.
How did you get involved with Mr. B’s?
Raiscase, Mr. B’s and 5ing Goods is a co-working space so it actually started by helping my dear friend Julie from Raiscase. Shem (the owner of Mr. B's) saw I had a talent in holistic beauty and wanted to expand from just candles into a holistic bath and body line. So we partnered up after geeking out on recipes and ideas for the line.
I absolutely love Mr. B's deodorant, rose water spray, and activated charcoal soap! What was the inspiration behind your creations for Mr.B’s products?
The inspiration behind any of our products is keeping it simple. We want all of our products to work but we also want the recipes simple and organic as possible. Everything is handmade right in the shop. Nothing is chemically induced. Not that you would want to eat any of our products, but if you could.
You also recently became a nutritionist. Can you tell us how beauty and nutrition go hand in hand for you?
So the difference between a holistic esthetician and just an esthetician is the in-depth knowledge of how important it is to heal matters of the skin from the inside out. Which meant various things from food to emotions that can affect the skin. I had already worked at a health food store since 1998 when I was licensed as a holistic esthetician in 2006. It’s funny that it took me until recently to put the holistic nutrition license under my belt. I think I wanted the license because any time I have a client with teenage acne or adult acne, the first thing I ask is, "What is your diet? Are you stressed out about anything right now?"
From there I am usually recommending an elimination of certain foods from their diet, or adding certain foods to their diet as well as specific vitamins to help heal the body from the inside out. A holistic nutritionist can look at the skin and see what health issues are going on and will recommend a diet from there. A holistic esthetician can look at the skin and see what health issues are going on and recommend not just a skincare regimen, but a diet as well. When I say diet I don’t mean one to lose weight, but one where your body will benefit most from what nutrients you are taking in or not taking in.
What are two things that people can do today for better nutrition?
More water, less sugar and alcohol. (I think thats three, haha) Both alcohol and sugar add to inflammation in the body. Alcohol depletes the body of so many needed nutrients. It can be hard to eliminate alcohol all together, but if you could limit it to once or maybe twice a week and to one or two drinks your body would feel so much better and your skin will glow as well.
If I could slip in how important it is to eat a whole food diet and eliminate any processed foods as well. I have noticed since moving to California how busy it is. People eat out a lot in their busy lifestyles, but if they could be more proactive about getting whole foods (more greens especially) in their diets, they would see their beauty thrive from the inside out.
You surf and seem to lead a super active lifestyle outdoors. Any tips on protecting your skin from the sun?
Yes this is a tough one. I surf, ride horses, jog, hike and camp. All of this can be harsh on the skin. Protecting my skin really does start from a good diet. I make sure I always have close to a gallon of water a day. Then it’s a well balanced diet and the right vitamins.
There are two supplements that should be taken together that really help with protecting the skin from the sun: DHA fish oil (I love Nordic Naturals) and Astaxanthin (BioAstin my favorite brand for this supplement) Those two things will help protect the skin from UV rays inside and out.
Then it's essential to find a good sunscreen that works for you. I personally am loving Dr. Perricone’s Photo Plasma Sunscreen. It also has Astaxanthin in it with titanium dioxide. Astaxanthin is a seaweed out of Hawaii that helps protect the skin from the sun. Dr. Perricone does not advertise organic but all his ingredients are plant based. I have worked with his company for ten years and this by far is my favorite product he has made. When I surf in the middle of the day my skin doesn't burn or break out. It stays on really well, which is the Astaxanthin seaweed. Obsessed. Plus it is light so when I am riding horses and I get hot and sweaty, I don’t feel like I have a ton of sunscreen caked on my face. Same for jogging.
What’s your favorite natural beauty tip of all time?
I’m not a freak about working out, but I do feel if you can get outside and do some cardio for 30 minutes a day to get your blood flowing and some Vitamin D from the sun, it can help your overall beauty. Our bodies our not meant to sit still for as long as we do these days with indoor computer jobs. It can lead to a lot of health problems.
My mom did not let us watch very much TV growing up. She would kick us out of the house to make us go play and tell us not to come home until the street lights came on. I believe being outside, getting exercise and being active leads to a beautiful lifestyle in general. If you're cold in the winter months and feeling lazy do some hot yoga. I swear I glow in the winter months because of hot yoga. It gets your blood flowing.
Any advice for someone trying to transition to a healthier lifestyle?
Take one step at a time. Be proactive. Don’t be lazy about cooking and prepping food to take on the go. Know that you are loving yourself and you will thank yourself years down the road if you stick to it.
Lastly, you grew up in Hawaii and I have a slight obsession with Hawaii…so, any Hawaiian beauty tips we should know about?
Gosh everything I have learned I have learned from Hawaii. Eat from the earth. It makes you beautiful from the inside & out. I feel my body come alive when I walk around the jungle eating rose apples, guava and jumping off the water falls. I go out to my uncles farm and eat greens straight from the garden. Fresh is the best. Let your skin breath.
California is a busy place where there is so much pressure to look perfect. I was hired as an esthetician at a beauty store here two years ago that required I wear makeup and it was more makeup then I have ever worn before in my life. I was able to talk the manager into just mascara and some blush, but it was a bit of a hassle. Needless to say I didn’t last long at that job, haha. But in Hawaii we really run around with no make-up on unless we are going out to a nice dinner or for a night out. During the day if you are working it’s little to no make-up, then it's hit the beach, the waterfalls and just being comfortable in who you are. Accepting yourself.
And where’s the best spot to visit on the islands? Inquiring minds (mine mainly, ha) need to know!
I can’t give away my very favorite spot because it is quiet in the mornings and no one is around and I want to keep it that way. But I have to say every island has it’s own special flavor. My favorite thing to do growing up was taking the fairy to Molokai, going down a dark ally at night (that was the only time they sold it back then) and getting fresh Hawaiian Sweet Bread. Not at all healthy for the body but was soothing and fun for the soul.
You can connect with Melissa on Instagram at @sweet__melissa. For skincare and nutrition inquiries, email Melissa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shop Mr. B's at https://www.mrbsnecessities.com/.
Photo of Melissa by Will Garcia.
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