A few words before I start: This is not a sob story.

Instead, it’s a story about my road to recovery and how I was able to turn my struggle into the brand that Graydon Skincare is today.

It all started at the back of house of a fine dining restaurant in southern California. I was a starry-eyed girl who had just scored a new job as a vegan chef. It was the perfect job for me at the time, as I had always been mesmerized by the art of cooking and baking. The unfortunate thing was that for someone whose career relied so heavily on food preparation, I just couldn’t bring myself to eat.

Imagine having a nightmare where you’re being chased. You run and run and run, but you can’t escape what’s chasing you. Then you wake up to your heart racing and a little erratic breathing, but at least the nightmare is over.

My nightmare went on for years.

It wasn’t until I stumbled upon the wellness community that I finally began to heal. I started practicing yoga, which helped to improve my mental health and my relationship with my body. For the first time in a long time, I felt comfortable in my own skin. This wasn’t just because yoga made me physically stronger or fitter. That was an added benefit. It was because yoga helped me to train my mind, connect to my spirituality and to truly love myself. It was at this point that I decided to switch gears and become a yoga instructor. I wanted to help people to heal like I was able to.

I also began dating a man during this time who had Crohn’s Disease. Since his condition dictated his diet, I decided to use my culinary background to make superfood-rich meals to nourish his body.

Having knowledge of the immense power and benefits of these ingredients, including colloidal oatmeal, turmeric and manuka honey, I decided to mix them together to create a cream. I applied the concoction to the cracked and irritated areas of my hands and left it on overnight. Nothing could have prepared me for what happened the next day. The dry and cracked patches had disappeared! It was like magic. None of the creams I had tried in the past had worked this drastically. My hands were as soft as a feather.

This experience led me to nervously reach out to one of my dear friends in L.A. who was a sought-after aesthetician. She tried my concoction and absolutely loved it! To this day, I still remember what she told me, “Graydon, you need to perfect this formula and sell it! If you don’t, I will.” That was a huge “aha” moment for me and marked the start of Graydon Skincare.

During the next several months, I worked on perfecting the formula and my yoga students were more than happy to test each new batch. I knew I was making a difference to their skin because they couldn’t stop talking about the cream. This filled me with immense joy.

What started in the kitchen of a vegan chef has turned into a dedicated, diverse and inclusive team of people who work tirelessly each day. The cream I created in my kitchen is now jam-packed with a plethora of nourishing and soothing ingredients, such as chamomile, cocoa butter, zinc, St. John’s Wort, calendula, arnica and immortelle. This beloved cream also has a name, Putty, and I will forever link it to some very special and memorable moments in my life. Our product line, which includes 17 products and growing, contains active ingredients like botanical retinol, peptides, hyaluronic acid, probiotics, niacinamide and vitamin C. 

We are still a young business with lots of growing to do, but it’s the privilege of being able to help customers solve their skin woes that gets me out of bed every morning. There’s nothing in the world that makes me happier.