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My name is: Barbara Close.

My book is called: The Naturopathica Effect: A Holistic Approach to Skin Care (September 2018).

My background before becoming an author was: Although I’ve now written three books, the title of “author” still seems foreign to me because I never set out to be a writer. This book is the product of a lifelong passion for wellness education, and a genuine desire to make well-care more inviting and enjoyable.

From a young age, I was fascinated with traditional and alternative healing modalities, which led me to degrees and apprenticeships in herbal medicine, aromatherapy, massage and esthetics. Once I saw the transformative power of remedies like lemon-balm tea to ease anxiety, calendula to help with dry skin or arnica massages to soothe muscle pains, I felt energized and compelled to make these remedies accessible—to help people to take charge of their health and healing. 

The title that I’m most comfortable with, and proud of, is founder and president of Naturopathica. Long before the trend in “lifestyle brands,” our Naturopathica Healing Arts Center & Spa (est. 1995) had shelves lined with skin, body and herbal remedies designed to take a holistic approach to treating the skin and body—paired with treatments and education for lasting health and well-being. Even now, with nearly 30 years of experience, I’m an expert who will never stop being a student. I’m always looking to the latest studies and advancements in green technology to understand how we can improve our remedies and rituals, to live with more vitality.

I was inspired to write it when: I wrote my first book on holistic skin care, Pure Skin: Holistic Beauty Basics, over a decade ago and initially set out to republish it. Although holistic skincare may have been a bit ahead of the times in the early 2000s, people are now eager to understand how—and why—their skin reacts better to certain ingredients, both internally and externally.

When I started to dive into edits, I realized just how far we’ve come over the last decade. We now know about the microbiome, the skin’s first line of defense against irritants and bacteria; and, as an industry, we’ve used green technology to make “natural” and “clean” skincare more effective and nourishing than ever before. We’ve also seen a significant rise in stress and stress-related conditions like insomnia and IBS, and skin conditions like eczema and premature aging. In response, I compiled a new book—targeted to today’s reader.

It’s about: Ultimately, beauty is an attitude, an approach to living. In The Naturopathica Effect: A Holistic Approach to Skin Care, I tried to assemble a thorough, enlightening and entertaining owner’s manual for your skin, and I hope it will help make looking after yourself simpler and more pleasurable throughout every stage of your life. 

The most unexpected takeaway is: I’m not telling you to give up wine or gluten! I’m kidding, but in all seriousness, this book isn’t about taking a purist or restrictive approach to your skin health or diet. Holistic skincare is about nourishing your body inside and out with remedies and rituals that make you look and feel your best.

My hope is that readers will: There’s something for everyone, no matter where you are on your wellness journey. My goal is to help you understand the factors that impact your skin and health, so you can make more empowered decisions.

My next book might be: An exploration of remedies, healers and wellness practices from around the world—from Native American sweat lodges to Icelandic geothermal spas to Ginseng foraging in Appalachia. I am fascinated by the many roads taken to healing.

The title of my autobiography would be: Natural Healer.

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