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The School of UnLearning: Skin

A Letter from our Founder

A Rebrand for Reconnection

By Denise Cartwright, CRUDE Founder/CEO

"All flourishing is mutual. Soil, fungus, tree, squirrel, boy—all are the beneficiaries of reciprocity.”

Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants

Spring is only a few days away, and for most of us the promise of new life carries extra weight this year. As the days get longer and warmer, many of us are yearning for a post-Covid life; hope growing with each day and each vaccination. It feels like a rebirth in a lot of ways, especially here at CRUDE as we finalize a rebrand over two years in the making.

We started the process of rebranding in 2019, with the ultimate goal of making something as complex and mysterious as the skin microbiome feel intuitive, digestible, and wondrous. Our skincare line focuses on cleansing — sans soap and detergent — to remove makeup, sweat, and debris without stripping your skin’s protective oil barrier or disrupting its microbiome, the “invisible organ” our bodies rely on for life. Comprised of (mostly friendly) bacteria and microorganisms, these bugs work directly with our immune systems to support and regulate our health and the health of our skin, but for the last century, we’ve been chronically washing our skin microbiome off with soap and detergent-based cleansers and body wash.

Today, I’m proud to announce that both of CRUDE’s cleansers are among the first in the world to be certified Microbiome-Friendly. Our Wash is the first ever body wash (and the first baby wash) to receive a Microbiome-Friendly certification — and Cleanse’s sunflower-powered formula is certified to support the whole family’s flora, too. We worked with MyMicrobiome, an independent, third-party lab with the world’s first seal guaranteeing personal care products’ biome-friendliness, to test our cleansers’ microbial quality and its impact on the skin’s natural bacterial diversity. Through MyMicrobiome’s state-of-the-art testing and CRUDE’s forward thinking, flora-friendly products, we’re setting a new standard in clean beauty.

Recognizing the need for radical and systemic change in the beauty industry and beyond, we put a lot of time and love into rethinking our brand identity. Besides our new, colorful, flora-focused packaging and website, we’ve rethought and rebuilt our team, our systems, and our operation as a whole. We’ll be talking more about these changes in the coming weeks, with the help of some incredible folks who are helping us rethink the business of beauty and more.

We’re redirecting our entire Facebook ad budget (we’ve been boycotting Facebook since June 2020) toward collaborating with diverse and brand-aligned content creators. These activists, experts, and advocates across industries will join CRUDE in our mission to unf*ck and unlearn at our new educational content hub, SOUL, or the School of Unlearning. Together, we’ll imagine new possibilities while breaking down the outdated structures and ideologies that stop us from letting our nature thrive. 

Check out SOUL and join us April 6th for the Balancing the Biome Summit, our first annual digital conference focused on exploring our interconnectedness with nature to find homeostasis in our biomes, bodies, communities, and the planet. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Return To The Heart Foundation to support its mission to empower Indigenous women working to bring healing and further sustainability in Native communities.

Our existence depends on the microorganisms that make up our bodies and, like our flora, on the health and diversity of our communities. Like our biomes, communities thrive when each part of the larger system can rely on the others for connection, healing, and sustenance.

This rebrand is, ultimately, a realignment. It is my sincerest wish that through CRUDE, you find a way to reconnect with your powerful, intelligent, living nature and the wonder of the world around you. I’m so excited for you to see what we’ve been working on and proud to walk beside you into that bold, new future.

About Denise Cartwright

Denise Cartwright is the Founder and CEO of CRUDE, and a Master Esthetician with 12+ years of experience. A Utah native, she's passionate about the natural world, plant medicine, and wellness. Check her out on Instagram @dkcartwright.

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