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Fearless Women, Champions of Change: Healthy skin is not just for the young



By Carolina de la Cajiga


"After bathing, my skin felt rough like a crocodile’s, and my scalp and hair were always dry. Throughout the day, it would get worse, becoming irritated and red. For years, I suffered from this. It led me to seek various dermatologists who prescribed products that helped only for a short while," says Monica Pratz.

 

Monica, who initially pursued a career in contemporary butoh dancing and somatic movement therapy, redirected her attention to researching natural remedies for skin conditions, particularly in individuals with hypersensitivity like hers. Fortunately, we are in an era where knowledge is readily available online if one knows how to search. The mountains and forests of Tlalpujahua, Michoacán, where she lived, have an array of indigenous plants and wildflowers, ideal for experimenting with her tinctures. In addition, Mexico is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, which is perfect for someone interested in local ingredients.


In 2016, an environmental activist passionate about living a healthy lifestyle, Monica founded Consuelda Bálsamos to develop organic, handmade skin products. "My small batches offer skin protection and regeneration without fillers or synthetic additives. My interest is not to compete with industrial companies but to deepen my knowledge and share my discoveries," Monica says.


With pride in her alchemy studies, which have led her to unimagined paths, Monica says, "When creating my formulas, fragrances seem to come to life and twirl around me. Scents permeate my skin and reach deep into my soul. I feel the synchrony of the Rosa de Castilla flower, the pine resin, the rosemary blossom, and the myrtle. My favorites are wild sage, lavender, and orange blossom. Essential scents heal not only the skin but also the inside. My natural olfactory ability has helped me create unique synergies that have been the cornerstone of my production." Through cold saponification–converting liquids into solids– Monica has perfected her soap-making method, which requires 4-6 weeks of maturation.


Monica explains, “The more one uses these shampoos and soaps, the more moisturized the skin becomes. I also developed natural deodorants that do not irritate the skin, allowing natural sweating while eliminating unpleasant odors.  I'm especially proud of my organic serums, which deeply moisturize and replenish the water in the epidermis which we lose as we age.”


Monica explains that some of her creations require preservatives that must adhere to the rigorous regulations set by the COSMOS/ECO regulatory organization. “It means my products respect biodiversity by following approved protocols and not using petrochemicals, phenoxyethanol, synthetic flavorings or colorings, or preservatives unsuitable for natural cosmetics."

 

She came to San Miguel thinking she was visiting for a few days, but she fell in love with the small town it was then. She eventually returned to stay. Monica has been here happily for twelve years. San Miguel is the ideal place for Consuelda Bálsamos' organic products.

 

Despite her practical experience, Monica continues studying the best methods and advances in herbalism. She is a member of the international community of Formula Botanica, an institution based in the U.K. that specializes in high-quality organic formulations. Says Monica, "My philosophy is to provide my clients and loved ones with healthy, naturally sourced, high-quality skin products at reasonable prices, without harming nature." She kindly shares one of her professional secrets, a herbal infusion for the body:

 

  • Mix 25 g / ½ cup dried petals of Castile rose with 25 g / ½ cup dried calendula flower petals in a clean glass jar.

  • Add 1 1/2 cup of oil. I suggest extra virgin olive or sesame for their longevity.

  • Place in a double boiler, covering the jar halfway with water. Boil at a very low temperature for 40 minutes.

  • Repeat the process for 5-15 days until the oil reaches the aroma of your liking.

  • Once it has cooled, make sure the jar is tightly closed and shake it.

  • Filter the oil in a funnel with cheesecloth and pour it into a clean, sterilized bottle.

  • Add 20 drops of rosemary officinalis or pure lavender grosso essential oil; mix until it incorporates.

  • Use after bathing—massage areas where you have pain, discomfort, or a moderate skin condition.

  • It lasts up to 3 months. Shake occasionally and store in a dark place and enjoy! 


Monica's recipe for wellbeing is:

  • Believe in yourself, be creative, and question conventional wisdom.

  • Follow your passion.

  • Discover who you are and find your purpose in life.

  • Most of all, be happy and share your talents.


Contact Monica’s at: consueldabalsamos@gmail.com

Instagram and Facebook at 

@consueldabalsamos, WhatsApp 415 140 3144

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