Book Review: Awakening Beauty the Dr. Hauschka Way

I couldn’t name the exact moment, when and how it happened, but anyone who’s ever met me can tell you that I am a die-hard Hauschka fan. And I have been for a while. (Did you know Hauschka used to make shampoos? Sunscreen? Yeah I used those.) Hauschka has been around for a while, and not just the skin care, but the Hauschka life. And still, as West Kurz, author of Awakening Beauty, shows, it’s not just about the skin care.

 

 

Dr. Rudolf Hauschka, an Austrian chemist in the mid-1900s, confirmed the benefits of organically-grown plants for the human body through his research into biodynamic farming and plant extraction processes. Hauschka was interested primarily in holistic nutrition but also eventually teamed up with Elizabeth Sigmund, an aesthetician. A beautiful skin care line, complete with biodynamic farm (both still thriving), was born.

 

Awakening Beauty the Dr. Hauschka Way wasn’t published until 2006 by author Susan West Kurz. She became president of Dr. Hauschka Skin Care, Inc. in 1993, and she really does justice to Dr. Hauschka’s holistic approach to health. In 2016, it’s all about “natural” this and organic that, but this book reflects a company that was ahead of the curve since its inception.

 

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Theoretical discussion of beauty and spirituality is accompanied by recommended practices, from recipes to meditation to show to cleanse the skin. What we put on our skin permeates within, and what is within radiates out. Internal spiritual wellbeing, internal physical wellbeing, and external physical wellbeing are intrinsically linked. The approach to beauty is rooted in self-care, rather than conformity with social mores.

 

“Beauty is the consequence of love, which we are ultimately drawn to.”

Every sentence in this book is a piece of enriching and practical advice. A sampling of how the book would have us approach self-care:

  • Return to our internal clocks by taking control over our schedules rather than letting them control us, to mitigate stress and live mindfully;
  • Take healing baths utilizing the specific benefits of certain herbs;
  • Eat nutritious food, understanding that plants grown in nutritious soil will in turn have more nutritional value;
  • Nurture our internal organs;
  • Caring for the skin so as to support its healthy functioning, which plants can help with that and how;
  • Turning inward and leaving time for reflection at all life stages to fully appreciate each

Each practice and recommendation treats the being as a whole, and we are only at the cusp of understanding that holistic reality. We are only just learning about how diet and the health of the gut impacts the complexion, how meditation and focus can improve physical wellbeing, and stress can destroy it.

The book is written with the same caring dedication we should be showing ourselves. A page at least is dedicated to each step in the skin care process (totally the best part), with recommended products or do-it-yourself recipes. Sigh. Googly eyes. The book explores each of the main internal organs, how to support its health, and how to know if we’ve been slacking in that particular arena. It has recommended daily menus and a schedule for a program to reset our health and get back on track. It’s a thing of beauty.

As a teen with acne, after trying all of the drugstore and dermatologist recommendations, I finally found my way to the plant-based approach. Dr. Hauschka was my doorway into that world, a revelation. Skin care isn’t just about putting goop on your face (even though that’s the best part). It’s about caring for yourself on a deeper level, to bring about tranquility and joy that radiates out from your very core.

Carry on, Hauschka. You’ve had it right all along. And you, dear reader, do yourself a favor and get your hands on this book.

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