Why We Do This

Skincare might seem like a frivolous industry, but at its core, there’s an impulse that cuts deep into our humanity. Skincare is ritualistic: it’s something we engage in very intimately every day. It’s how we begin each morning (or afternoon—no judgments), and it’s how we close out the day. It’s a meditative moment in which we can be completely alone: to check in with ourselves, to begin the transition from being a private being into a pubic one, and then back from public to private again. It’s where we engage with our most liminal being, transgressing the boundary between self and other.

The skin itself processes these qualities: it is a physical barrier that demarcates us from the world, separating self from not-self, encasing of the physical being that we carry through space. And yet, it too is permeable—it absorbs things from the outside in, and it excretes things (like water and salt) from the inside out. Even this physical boundary between self and other is permeable, illusory.

That’s what makes the act of skincare—that is, caring for one’s skin—all the more intimate, because it transgresses these very thin boundaries of self. Knowing what’s going into our skin, where it comes from, what it’s doing—it’s like getting to know a person before judging them, knowing their story and struggle and unique beauty by engaging with it. In a way, it allows us to be less alone, because it reminds us that we are atomically connected to everything around us.

And so making and using these skincare products—well, that’s a way to engage with the world, too. It’s a way of selecting and crafting and transforming these amazing plants into products that can reach faces around the world, a way to reach out and connect with people in this very intimate moment. Because we don’t always remember that people are creating these things we use every day, real people with real lives. That’s what Chuck & Sam is ultimately about: we’re two people who care deeply about those around us, and who want to share that love with the world.

Sam Miller