This post has been ‘in the works’ for a while (because a good cake needs time to rise and be baked too) and I am incredibly proud to finally spotlight a very special woman on my website. You might have already read my review of the Blüh Alchemy products, but I was very keen to dig deeper and asked Becky Blüh, the brand’s founder, a LOT of questions. And she did answer ALL of them, while taking care of her brand, looking after her family, moving into a new warehouse and perfecting a soon-to-be launched new addition to her product family.
Becky is someone who inspires me – as a woman, a mother and a beauty professional. Her strength of character is combined with a very kind and sincere character. She is also a very intuitive person, who places her customers needs in the centre of everything that she does as a brand founder. Below you will find a lot of fascinating facts, but no less importantly, I hope, you will feel a deeper connection to Becky as a creative & genuine power-force. She has a very smart brain, yet she is a humble and caring human being, who is not afraid to show her vulnerable side or share her mistakes. Without further ado, welcome to The Curiosity Gap spotlight Becky Blüh.
You’ve included your surname “Blüh” in your brand’s name, which is both brave and bold, but why Blüh Alchemy?
Becky Blüh: To be honest, I was a bit nervous about using my surname Blüh [Bloo], as it lends itself easily to awkward mispronunciations. In fact, I may still have some residual PTSD from my youth! However, I’ve grown to appreciate it more than ever as it’s meaning – to blossom, flourish and thrive – embodies the heart of our brand. It’s through the integration of cutting edge science and botanical alchemy that allows nature’s lush bounty to be harnessed and transformed into our small batch, innovative formulas.
What led you to create your own brand and products?
Becky Blüh: My journey into the world of skincare formulation began in 2011, after my daughter was diagnosed with a rare, life threatening vascular disease called Wegener’s Granulomatosis. The disease in her case was rapid and severe. After coming off life support, her treatment involved rounds of chemotherapy and a cocktail of aggressive drugs that left her skin very dry and sensitive to the touch.
Growing up in the hills of Western Massachusetts, my father was an avid naturalist, seasonally planting vibrant gardens overflowing with vegetables and an assortment of medicinal and culinary herbs. As a child, my father instilled in me a deep appreciation for nature and wildlife. To help support my daughter’s tender skin, my instinct was to return to my roots and begin to craft simple, soothing balms from nourishing oils infused with the healing herbs we grew in our garden. I knew that in her fragile state I had to keep the formulas simple and pure, utilizing gentle, healing herbs and nourishing oils. Witnessing the transformative power of plants was both a relief and incredibly inspiring. This ignited a passion and an unstoppable drive in me to advance my skills as a cosmetic formulator and my understanding of the skin’s physiology.
What was the first product that you formulated?
Becky Blüh: I worked closely with top natural chemists to develop a carefully edited line of skin care products that target the signs of pre-mature raging, while protecting against environmental aggressors and oxidative stress. The first product I developed is our Antioxidant Facial Oil, loaded with 18 nutrient-dense oils, including wild-harvested Australian Kakadu plum and Snowflower. This potent cocktail of essential fatty acids and protective antioxidants rapidly absorbs into the skin, helping to restore optimal hydration to the lipid barrier, while leaving your skin with a radiant glow.
What makes Bluh Alchemy different from other green/natural beauty brands?
Becky Blüh: Our quest to find the most nutrient-dense ingredients brimming with vital bioactives led us across the globe to Australia and the world’s first Cellular Extracted botanicals. Unachieved before, this cutting-edge extraction process works to rapidly harness a plant’s complete phyto-active profile, pure, stable and unadulterated, as it exists in nature. The vital constituents of a plant are not damaged, unlike with conventional methods that often overheat or leave plants stewing, rendering them less effective. This allows the full power of the plants bio-actives to be delivered directly to your skin. Cellular Extraction is a game changer, accessing potent antioxidants from once thought impervious sources that far exceed industry benchmarks and ORAC values for vitamin E, Vitamin C, Green tea, Goji and much more, as evidenced and backed by independent clinical studies carried out by Southern Cross University.
“Cellular Extraction redefines what can be achieved with natural ingredients and revolutionizes natural product formulation- making Blüh Alchemy’s vision to deliver the most Advanced Bioactive Solutions an exciting reality.” Becky Blüh
Are there any specific ingredients that you want to include in your products and which ingredients do you consciously avoid?
Becky Blüh: My goal in developing a formula is to promote the optimal health of your skin. I choose potent ingredients that work synergistically to address specific skin concerns. For our Multi C Serum, my aim was to target hyperpigmentation, hydration, skin tone and overall protection. I chose Kakadu plum, which contains the highest known source of stable, bioavailable vitamin C. It activates collagen production and brightens skin tone. I included Kangaroo Paw Flower for its rich source of ferric acid, which improves the stability of vitamin C, offers photo-protective benefits and boosts hydration by reducing transepidermal water loss.
Quandong is a rich source of Rutin, which strengthens capillaries and works synergistically with vitamin C, intensifying its ability to reduce oxidative stress. Quandong is also a potent source of phenolic acid which has antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti- inflammatory properties, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Our Toning Elixir includes Finger Lime Caviar and MSM, chosen for their ability to enhance the absorption of vital actives, improving the overall performance of the formula. Mountain Pepper Leaf is a powerhouse antioxidant, setting new benchmarks on the global ORAC rating. It’s loaded with powerful actives including anthocyanin, chlorogenic acid and flavone glycosides. Hibiscus, known as the “Botox plant” and hyaluronic acid boost hydration and plump the skin. Snowflower is rich in catechins and gallic acid and acts as a photo-protective agent, with powerful UV absorbing properties.
We avoid using parabens, petroleum, petrochemicals, detergents, mineral oil, phalates, EDTAs, PEG’S, silicones, synthetic dyes and fragrances, (to name a few), as these ingredients have been linked to a number of health concerns including cancer, endocrine disruption, skin sensitizers, immune function and asthma.
What are the hardest and most enjoyable facets of running Blüh Alchemy?
Becky Blüh: As a small business owner, I wear many hats…some of them fit better than others!! One of hardest parts of the business is maintaining access to a continual supply of packaging and ingredients. Botanicals can be especially challenging, as their crops can be impacted by various factors which effects their availability. Keeping up with social media and marketing has been a bit daunting, but I’m looking forward to sharing those initiatives with far more experienced people! Of course the never ending challenge of balancing work and family is ongoing, but thankfully I have a very supportive tribe!
I absolutely love researching and learning about the most innovative ingredients. I realized early on that I had discovered my passion after my husband would have to peel me away from a project that kept me fixated for 14 hours at a stretch.
The most rewarding and endless source of joy for me has been connecting with customers and hearing stories about the positive effects our products have had on their skin. Nothing beats receiving pictures from people who, after years of dealing with acne scars, have seen them fade away after using our line. It’s beyond gratifying!
You were very brave and vulnerable when you shared your daughter’s sudden illness aged 14 and her journey of recovery. Can you please tell me a bit more about Vasculitis Foundation, to which you donate part of the profits from the sale of your products?
Becky Blüh: Our dream is to see the day when a cure for Vasculitis is found. Until that time we hope that research programs can develop and refine treatment protocols to improve the quality of life for those suffering with Vasculitis. Blüh Alchemy will donate a percentage of our profits to the Vasculitis Foundation, whose mission is to empower communities through a wide range of education, clinical research and awareness initiatives.
What were the things that you learnt when it came to health and wellbeing, as you nursed your daughter alongside the doctors back to health? What are the things that we should pay attention to when it comes to health, daily habits, diet and skincare?
Becky Blüh: The most important lesson I’ve learned as the mother of a child on this journey of regular hospitalizations, infusions and constant monitoring of this life-threatening disease, is to trust your instincts. It may sound simple or even insignificant, but I can assure you it’s been the most accurate guide, when faced with critical choices and actions that needed to be taken. Beyond this, in regards to daily habits and skincare, I’d encourage people to start by laying down the basic foundation of health, eat a diet rich in organic, nutrient-dense foods, drink plenty of water and engage in regular exercise. Find ways to spark joy (thanks Marie Kondo!) – life can be challenging and it’s important to explore ways to offset the stress by doing things that nourish and replenish your mind, body and spirit.
What are the ‘Advanced Bioactive Solutions” that are part of your products DNA?
Becky Blüh: The medical definition of Bioactive is: ‘Having an effect upon a living organism, tissue or cell.’ Substances like antioxidants, enzymes and vitamins are bioactive – i.e biologically active. Australia’s geographic isolation over millions of years has resulted in their rich and unique flora. Nearly 80% of their botanical species are found only on the Australian continent. These plants have developed extraordinary traits that allowed them to evolve and thrive under the most extreme conditions. These plants have developed powerful constituents that include extremely high levels of antioxidants, which helps to protect them from oxidative stress. It’s through the advanced technology of Cellular extraction that we can now fully obtain the complete phyto-active profile of a plant, harnessing the powerful bioactives that function synergistically to deliver unprecedented results. These powerful bioactives are the core of all of our products.
Why is ethical sourcing of the ingredients is important to you? Is your packaging recyclable?
Becky Blüh: We care deeply about the impact our choices have on the health of our planet and all it’s inhabitants. We’re committed to sourcing the highest quality, cruelty-free ingredients produced through practices that support fair trade, organic farming, community development and Eco-sustainability. We continue to evolve our efforts within our company to lower our carbon footprint by implementing programs that include recycling, purchasing renewable energy, and utilizing energy efficient equipment.
Our formulas are packaged in beautiful, recyclable white milk glass, crafted by a company that’s been owned and operated by a family in Europe for many generations.
Do you have any new products in the works?
Becky Blüh: Yes, I’ve been working on a few new formulas. I launched our line with an edited selection of six products with the intention of growing, as I saw a need. I’m also guided by our customer’s requests and desire for certain products. We’ll be launching something new at the beginning of the year which is super exciting for us.
If a customer is new to Blüh Alchemy, which one product should they start the journey of Blüh Alchemy discovery with?
Becky Blüh: I would encourage people to start with our Antioxidant Face Oil, it’s the perfect foundational product for all skin types. It can be easily layered with a serum and it’s loaded with 18 nutrient-dense nut and seed oils, including Kakadu plum, offering powerful antioxidant protection, while delivering a radiant glow.
What are the skincare tips we should be teaching our daughters from a young age, in order for them to have healthy skin that makes them feel good to be in?
Becky Blüh: My advice would be to “eat the rainbow and wash your face”! Seriously though, I would encourage children to be active participants when choosing the products they use on their bodies. Helping them understand the importance of clean ingredients and letting them explore the varieties of naturally scented face and body care products can be super fun. If they love the way they feel and smell, they’ll be encouraged to use them and develop their own little self- care rituals.
What are the lifestyles choices that you advocate for healthy, glowing skin?
Becky Blüh: I think the connection that your skin is a reflection of your inner health has been well established… we are what we eat! A diet rich in a variety of nutrient dense foods is essential. Dark leafy greens, carrots and red peppers are examples of foods rich in Vitamin C and beta-carotene, which help to support collagen production. Essential fatty acids like Omega-3 from nuts, seeds and fish work to fortify the skin’s lipid barrier, protecting from moisture loss and daily pollutants.
The importance of proper hydration can’t be overstated (well maybe it can), but the skin takes a hit when the body is dehydrated. Lackluster skin, fine lines and overall dryness can be some of the indicators that you need to start drinking…water! As we know, exercise has numerous benefits for the body and when it comes to the skin, the increase in blood flow helps to rid of toxins, while replenishing the cells with nutrients and oxygen, resulting in a beautiful, radiant glow.
Daily use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks out both UVA and UVB rays is essential to protect against cancer, photo-aging and the breakdown of collagen and elastin.
A skincare routine that involves, cleansing, exfoliating, toning, treating and moisturizing are fundamental for healthy glowing skin.
Using an oil cleanser is an effective way to melt away makeup and daily impurities, without stripping the skin. Exfoliating at least once a week helps to remove the build up of toxins and dead skin cells, creating a smooth texture that allows products to absorb more efficiently. A toner that includes botanical actives and humectants, works to hydrate, nourish and plump the skin. Following it up with a serum provides targeted treatment for concerns like hyperpigmentation, hydration and loss of collagen. Finally a moisturiser – either in the form of a face oil or cream – can be layered on top of the serum to help lock in moisture and protect the lipid barrier, helping it to function properly.
Your skin’s needs will change due to a variety of factors, that can include seasonal weather, hormones and stress, which can require shifts in your routine to maintain the balance and overall health of your skin. An example of this could be the impact of cold winter weather, combined with heating systems and the drying effects it has on the skin. Adding a rich cream or heavier face oil will provide more of an occlusive barrier to protect against transepidermal water loss and environmental aggressors.
Although incorporating a practice of mindfulness into your daily routine might not seem to have a direct effect on glowing skin, it can do wonders for managing life’s daily stressors which can impact our bodies in numerous ways including the condition of our skin. Mindfulness can include meditation (even 10 minutes can help), spending time in nature, yoga, and drawing… taking a moment to reflect on what you’re grateful for can also replenish and revitalize you in unexpected ways.
Becky’s Top Tips For Using Blüh Alchemy products:
Multi C Serum: After cleansing and toning, gently massage the amount of one pump into your face, neck and décolletage. This serum is a concentrated serum with a beautiful glide, so a little goes along way. This can be used both in the morning and nighttime.
Antioxidant Face Oil: Our face oil can be used as a moisturizer on it’s own or layered on top of our Multi C Serum. Apply 1-2 pumps to the face, neck and décolletage after cleansing and toning.
Cleansing Oil: My favorite way to use our cleansing oil is to gently steam up my face with a warm damp wash cloth, follow by massaging 2-3 pumps of oil in a circular motion, then gently lift away makeup, oil and dirt with the warm cloth.
Exfoliating Cleanser: Scoop out a quarter size amount into the palm of your hand and add a few drops of water to activate the foaming action, follow by gently rubbing in a circular motion, avoiding the delicate eye area. For a deeper level of detoxification, leave on for a few minutes and then rinse off with warm water. Use 2-3 times a week.
Toning Elixir: After cleansing, mist onto face, neck and décolletage to prime the skin for better absorption of products to follow or mist anytime to instantly revive thirsty skin and promote a dewy complexion. One of my favorite tips for the hot summer months is to store the Toning Elixir in the refrigerator for a refreshing mist throughout the day.
I want to finish this post with a few lines from William Stafford’s poem, called “The Way It Is”. Life is full of uncertainty, yet it’s the grit and determination, alongside inner confidence and kindness that help us find guidance and hope amidst turmoil. For me Becky and her life journey magnified that, so I hope that both her story and knowledge will resonate with you, as much as they do with me.
“There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for the others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.”William Stafford
To find out more about Blüh Alchemy, please click here