There’s a rich story behind every honest brand and Hynt Beauty is certainly no exception. You may know that Hynt Founder Meryl Marshal sought to offer a line of luxury cosmetics free from potentially harmful ingredients, inspired by her battle with breast cancer. Not only as a way to minimize future health issues but also to offer a gentle, non-irritating way to feel beautiful during and after treatment without having to worry about the safety of the ingredients.
Meryl shares her story on how breast cancer led to developing her line of organics-based skin-nurturing cosmetics, tips on dealing with treatment, and the role green beauty plays in the lives of all women.
An Interview With Hynt Beauty Founder Meryl Marshall
Did breast cancer play a role in your dedication to green beauty and creating Hynt Beauty, and how so?
When I was going through chemotherapy treatment, it was my AHA moment. I started to read about how chemicals affect our well-being.
Are there certain cosmetic ingredients you feel are of particular concern with breast cancer?
If you speak with quite a number of cosmetic chemists, they will swear that parabens are totally safe along with many other questionable ingredients used in conventional cosmetics. They will tell you that the studies were not conducted properly and are inconclusive in terms of their safety. My perspective is that if ingredients are questionable, then swap them out with a substitution. There are other options. That said, I do strongly believe in using preservatives, especially in eye products. Eye infections are dangerous as well as downright not cute. In these unique cases, I believe it is a matter of weighing the pros and cons.
For Hynt formulations, we have a very long blacklist of ingredients that we do not use in our products. For example, artificial fragrance, dimethicone, petroleum, and phenoxyethanol are ingredients commonly found in mainstream cosmetics that you’ll never see in Hynt products.
Personally, I do not care for FD&C dyes which are derived from coal tar. Many cleaner brands use them in their lipsticks. I chose not to go this route and color with a combination of mica coming from responsible sources as well as iron oxides. I would use fruit pigments, as a few other brands that do not use FD&C dyes do, but fruit dyes can often cause allergies. I have had a bad allergic reaction to my eyes years ago which landed me in the emergency room.
How do you feel green beauty can benefit women, those with breast cancer and those without?
I feel that it is important to use products that we feel confident using. The ingredient sourcing and selection in each of our products has been carefully vetted to support and offer reassurance and confidence. The vetting process is important in so many different categories such as food, cleaning products, even the mattress and bedding materials that we use. It all comes down to making better lifestyle choices.
Additionally, cancer treatment affects our skin and conventional products can have many irritants which I feel are best avoided. It is easier to find gentler products in the green beauty space.
There are women who are just beginning their breast cancer treatment, can you give a few tips on what to expect and how to cope?
Your body goes through many adjustments while going through surgery, chemo, and/or radiation and it can immediately throw your body into menopause, even if you are much too young to get menopause naturally. If you will be experiencing menopause for the first time, it can be a bit overwhelming. I’ve compiled a list of tips that helped me to stay comfortable and feel beautiful during this time.
How about after treatment ends? There is still a journey to recovery and feeling like yourself again. Do you have tips to share on this stage of the experience?
Take your time by being patient and allowing your body to rejuvenate. It will not happen quickly. For me, I started to feel like myself again after 1 ½ years. Yoga and water aerobics were my initial path to regaining my strength along with healthy, clean organic foods, love of my family and friends, along with lots of laughter.
How do you stay healthy now that you have conquered breast cancer?
I do my best to avoid stress and that is extremely difficult while being a #ladyboss and running a steadily growing business. I pace myself by taking breaks, going to the gym, swimming, reading, knitting, cooking, taking baths, and most recently, meditation. I seem to have very little time for myself with all the demands of life, however I make sure to schedule “me time” and be very selective on what I say yes to.