Valerie Grandury of Odacite on Wellness, Detoxification, and Clean Beauty

For female founder and clean beauty evangelist Valerie Grandury, throwing out the mainstream products on her vanity in favor of ones made from all-natural ingredients was a shift borne out of necessity. Over 10 years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and was told that she would likely live for at most 5 more years. The diagnosis was a unexpected wake up call for Grandury, and she began learning more about the principles of detoxification - and as a result, removing the chemicals from her skincare routine, changing her diet, and incorporating eastern practices such as acupuncture. Today, she is healthier than ever, and gets to do what she loves: taking care of her own wellbeing while also teaching others how to do the same. Her skincare line, Odacite, has become a favorite for clean beauty devotees worldwide.

Odacite, a French twist on the word “audacity”, was borne out of Grandury’s own experience concocting clean products for herself and her clients. The brand marries the “green California revolution with the result-driven approach of French skincare,” and is known for its fresh, luxurious, and highly effective products.

Last week, I had the opportunity to test out two of Odacite’s newest products at a Gua Sha facial workshop. The workshop was hosted by Grandury herself, and took place at the brand-new NYC location of the Detox Market, a LA-based retail mecca for all things clean beauty and wellness. At the workshop, a dozen of us were seated at a long wooden table, with linen pouches of Odacite products at each table setting. Grandury guided us through an hour long introduction to Gua Sha, which is an ancient Chinese technique that involves scraping your skin with a smooth piece of crystal. Gua Sha can help stimulate the lymphatic system and promote the drainage of toxins.

Grandury had us start by using Odacite’s Black Mint Charcoal Cleanser to prepare our skin for the Gua Sha facial. The cleanser left a noticeable tingling sensation and a fresh mint smell, and easily took off my makeup. With our faces clear of any residue, we proceeded to apply the featured product of the workshop: Odacite’s new All Embracing Serum. We were instructed to warm a few drops of the luxurious serum in our palms, and then gently close our eyes and pat it on our faces. The serum had the consistency of a thick oil - Grandury loves oils and believes they should be used gratuitously on all skin types - and was infused with hibiscus and watermelon. Perhaps the most clever additions to the serum were the genuine amethyst beads encased in the bottle. Grandury shook a bottle of the serum to demonstrated the sounds that the beads made as they collided with the glass walls, and explained to us that the beads can be used to make a bracelet once the entire bottle is used. Amethyst is said to have stress-reducing properties, so it was a fitting and elegant way to incorporate earthly elements into a well-formulated product.

Once the warm serum was applied, we began to use Odacite’s Rose Quartz Crystal Contour Gua Sha to stroke our faces in various patterns, and Grandury guided us through the movements outlined in the diagram below. “Treat your everyday skincare routine as a sacred ritual, a form of meditation” she told us. She cautioned that Gua Sha may hurt a little for beginners, but over time will reduce wrinkles and give skin a smooth and glowing finish. She advised us to look up Chinese face mapping in order to see diagrams of which organs different regions of our face corresponded to. “Sometimes, when I do Gua Sha on my clients and a particular place hurts, I’ll ask them about the organ associated with that region, like ‘How is your liver doing today’, and they will confirm that they have indeed had problems recently with their liver.” In this way, Gua Sha can be an early indicator of any imbalances, and uncover which organs may need more tending to.

After the Gua Sha, we had a small Q+A with Grandury to learn more about her business and her passion for bringing more awareness to the transformative power of clean beauty. She is hands-on in every step of Odacite’s product creation process, from sourcing the finest organic ingredients from reputable farms to incorporating healing crystals in her packaging. She emphasized to us that unlike the digestive system, which is able to filter out a portion of toxins before they are absorbed by the gut, there is no filtering in between the epidermis and the dermis, and so the skin absorbs everything that is put on it. More shocking is the fact that of the over 1000 chemicals banned by the EU for use in beauty products, only 7% of them are banned in the US.

For those of us who have used designer skincare, drugstore makeup, and everything in between, it may feel daunting to switch our “dirty” routines to “clean” ones. Thankfully, Grandury left us with two tips for beginners. First, the easiest and most significant change to make is to switch to an all-natural deodorant, as the ingredients found in typical deodorant have been linked to breast tumors. Second, an ubiquitous ingredient that can be easily integrated into any skincare routine is aloe vera, which is inexpensive, and hydrating for any skin type.

For Grandury, adopting a toxin-free lifestyle was, quite literally, life-changing. All of us at the workshop agreed that we felt less puffy and more energized after the Gua Sha facials, and vowed to incorporate Gua Sha into our weekly routines. I left the Detox Market inspired to be more mindful of my own wellbeing, to take time to appreciate each step of my skincare routine instead of inconsistently applying products on-the-go, and be more self-aware of what the nerve endings in my face might be telling me.