Jenefer Palmer, Founder of OSEA
Jenefer Palmer once used her background in anthropology to study how people lived; she now uses her knowledge to help people learn to live better. Palmer, the founder of OSEA, an all-natural, vegan skincare line, creates products that are both good for the skin and the environment, sticking to her mission statement: pure, immediate, simple.
HL&S: How did you decide to create a skincare line?
Palmer: I didn't pick skincare, it picked me. In 1981, I became spa director at Murietta Hot Springs and reopened its legendary mud baths and spa. To choose skincare vendors, I did a lot of research about ingredients. I was horrified to see 'chemical baths' [being offered] in the name of beauty. The [ingredients] seemed to be basically the same, 'cheap' prices were determined by packaging and marketing and sales pitches were preying on people's insecurities. I was outraged at the possible side effects and thought, 'I can do better than this'.
HL&S: What makes your products stand out?
Palmer: We spend most of our money on ingredients. OSEA cleansers and creams use red and other marine algae, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and essential oils. We pioneered a botanical preservation system, which allows a three-year shelf life. Also, when I was trying to think outside the box to find packaging that was environmentally friendly and still cost effective, I thought, 'Why a box at all?' Most of our products are shipped simply in glass bottles; it requires less preservatives, is recyclable, and no polycarbons are released afterward from packaging.
HL&S: Is this what led you to a holistic lifestyle?
Palmer: I always thought of natural approaches to wellness as an umbrella that looks at the underlying energy of healing. My grandmother was the first female chiropractor in the U.S.; I thought it was normal for a grandma to adjust your neck. I practiced cranial osteopathy, polarity, Shiatsu, acupuncture, Rolfing, Lazlo, thalassotherapy, herbology, aromatherapy, Bach Flower Essences, and iridology. Our spa practitioners use breathing techniques to center [both] themselves and the clients for the healing benefits of that moment. We want the feeling to be, 'You have all the time in the world.'
HL&S: What have you learned that you'd like to share?
Palmer: People don't really think about what they put on their bodies and skin. With shampoos, moisturizers, cleansers, and makeup, we average 10 to 15 products a day. Be aware that what goes on is the same as what goes in, [and pay attention to] not just what you breathe and eat, but also your personal care products. Let's tread on the Earth lightly, make less garbage, and treat the environment as our home.