Up Close + Personal with Graydon

The question I get asked time and time again goes like this 'Wow Graydon - without a degree in cosmetic chemistry how the heck did you learn how to make skincare products? What motivated you to launch your line?'                                                                                                                                   
There are lots of reasons why I became interested in making skincare like living in amazing places like France and going to art school and working in packaged goods marketing but I rarely share a more personal side of my life. Given that it’s Mental Health Week it seems timely to share my story…                                                                                                                                                                                  
The person who's inspired me to do this, is actually a young woman who’s in holistic nutrition school and working part time at a health food store. I have recently begun to spend time and mentor her which for me has brought up a lot about my past. Struggling with anxiety and ​an eating disorder, this beautiful young woman (who has asked not to named) reminds me a lot of me in my early years. Getting to know herhas prompted me to get a little more up close and personal with you too! More below...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Graydon back in her neon-wearing, not-so-eco days..
Back in my teens and 20’s I pretty much subsisted on low-calorie processed foods blended with neon fashion and high impact aerobics. It wasn’t until this culminated into more of a serious health crisis that I made a pact with myself to get healthy in mind, body and spirit​.

​As they say, sometimes you just have to hit bottom to get better… so after suffering from adrenal fatigue and a host of issues associated with not nourishing my body, I was completely exhausted. I realized I had to make a massive shift if I wanted to live (and live well!) so long story short I grabbed fear by the horns and became very resolved to make good choices in my life. ​

Done with a diet coke and licorice diet, I took a plethora of cooking courses, chef training and eventually turned to a macrobiotic diet to fully nourish and nurse myself back to health. Studying in Southern California while going to art school (I did an M.F.A.) made it easy for me to connect with a wonderful holistic community. It also opened my world to yoga which back in the early 1990's was just an emerging trend.

After moving back to Toronto some years later, I became very involved in the yoga world. It was actually my yoga practice that got me grounded 'in my body' and this is what helped me have a profound 'aha' moment where I made the connection that it was not just the food you chew that feeds your body -- but that the plethora of face and body products you slather all over yourself hugely impacts your ability to be healthy.

This inspired me to use my culinary background to formulate plant based skincare products - and thankfully this process has come quite naturally to me. Much like cooking; formulating skincare remains a very intuitive process. Blending oils, butters, herbs and extracts is just like making a (food based) recipe. When I'm in creation mode - I always use bio-available, plant derived ingredients because they remind me of my culinary days when I was running a macrobiotic home delivery business and working part time in the kitchen of the now famous Real Food Daily.

I ramped up my skincare formulation once I started to learn about Ayurveda through my yoga teacher training at Downward Dog back in 1999 but it was only about 4 years ago that I took the plunge to fully invest myself in launching GRAYDON [Clinical Luxury]. Luckily we have a lab and specialists to help us produce our products now, but it all started in my little kitchen.

It’s been a long journey filled with hills and valleys but I am thrilled that over the course of the last few years we have launched over 23 ‘plant powered’ products with some very exciting new ones coming in 2015. Besides making products, I LOVE educating people on how to take control of their skincare health by teaching them how to use ingredients they already have in their kitchen. I teach workshops and work one on one with clients wanting a customized regime.

We are extremely grateful to have a growing customer base of people who really care about nourishing their bodies with the best skin nutrition possible, and we are glad to have YOU along on the journey with us! If you have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask – or even better, we’d love it if you could share your story with us! Please give us a shout out over social media…we’re easy to tag @clinicalluxury.

In good health, I look forward to hearing from you :)

Graydon xo


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