Self-Care Sunday with Max Hemphill of Ascension Earth

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We recently spoke with Max Hemphill, Founder and CEO of beauty and wellness brand Ascension Earth, and had a refreshing conversation about maintaining a healthy lifestyle from the inside out, using natural, raw ingredients made from the world’s best source -- nature. A few years ago, Max took a deep dive into the world of homeopathic remedies and came across the natural silica-based element Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.) in food-grade form. D.E. has properties that can cleanse the digestive tract while supporting healthy digestion, improve bone and heart health, and promote glowing skin, amongst other benefits.
 
From the Rose 528, better known as rose water, to D.E. Original or Activated charcoal powder, Ascension Earth creates all of its products from ethically sourced elements packaged at a cost that won’t make your bank account run away in tears. So whether you’re ready for a full beauty/grooming overall or want to add some essential, organic elements into your routine, they got you covered.
 
As we all continue to persevere the best we can through the ever-evolving financial, economic, and emotional challenges, self-care is now more than ever a crucial necessity. Lucky Brand is excited to collaborate with Ascension Earth this Self-Care Sunday on a wellness giveaway to seven lucky readers , for a chance to receive Ascension’s Rose Water. To enter, follow @luckybrand and @ascensionearth on Instagram and like this Self-Care post -- then we’ll take it from there!
 
Read on to learn more about Max’s Ascension Earth project.
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How did you come to know of Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.)?
I first became aware of D.E at the start of my transition into vegetarianism. I was looking for a product that would provide a detox so that I could start fresh. After some extensive research, I came across Diatomaceous Earth. So when I contracted a stomach virus while on vacation in the Dominican Republic, I became even more intrigued by this natural ingredient and what it could do. Consuming D.E removed the bug that caused the virus immediately. Its effectiveness blew me away. 
 
Were you in the process of developing a vegan lifestyle before discovering D.E., or was this the catalyst?
Yes! Before I discovered D.E., I watched the documentary “What The Health,” and it completely transformed my idea of consuming animal products. Taking D.E. powder allowed me to cleanse and remove what I ingested that didn’t serve my health in the right way.
 
Your products are created with high-sourced, organic, raw ingredients, which usually significantly influence the cost, but not for Ascension Earth. Why did you decide to maintain a lower price point?
One of my goals for Ascension is for the products to be accessible to everyone, no matter their financial standing. From a consumer's point of view, I'd like to have access to high-quality ingredients without worrying about it influencing the price of the product.
 
Was it difficult finding vegan beauty products that catered to your skin and body prior to creating Ascension Earth?
Yes! That’s pretty much why I started Ascension. There was a lack of beauty products made from safe, plant-based ingredients that didn’t cause adverse long-term effects on my body. Those types of products were hard to find, primarily because, at the time, I was living in an all-black community where there were no accessible health food stores within a 5-mile radius.
 
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How did the world around you shape your perspective of beauty from childhood to adulthood?

My view of beauty growing up was based on the European standards shown to us through media. Subconsciously, as a kid who is shown that point of view through advertising, magazines, television, and film, it causes a lot of insecurities. Luckily, as I got older, I developed friendships with people confident in their skin, and gradually I began to notice beauty campaigns from non-black owned companies featuring POC. Seeing these campaigns affirmed what I always knew, that everyone is beautiful in their own way -- inside and out. 

 
As a black-owned business within the beauty/wellness industry that has historically catered to a predominately white audience, there has been a significant conversion of well-known brands deviating from that mindset over the past few years. Knowing this, did it help empower you while creating Ascension Earth? 
Truthfully, when I first started Ascension, I was scared that if people found out I was black, they wouldn’t support my brand. It’s insane to think that some black owners feel like this. It wasn’t until recently that I started to become comfortable with being a black-owned business. I am proud of who I am, and the color of my skin shouldn’t dictate if someone is interested in supporting my business or not.
 
Besides yourself, who did you try the products on first, and why did you choose them?
My closest friends, because I knew I could trust their input -- they would be honest if they loved it or not. I make sure to surround myself with authentic people, as that’s a reflection of who I am.
 
What is your daily beauty/grooming routine?
I start by applying the Activated or Original powder and washing my face with alkaline water. After this, I’ll use a facial steamer to open up my pores and mist some Rose 528 on my face. I finish my routine by applying a new serum product I’ve been working on with a crystal roller -- it smooths my face and provides an extra glow and a healing aspect.
 
What is your daily beauty/grooming routine?
I start by applying the Activated or Original powder and washing my face with alkaline water. After this, I’ll use a facial steamer to open up my pores and mist some Rose 528 on my face. I finish my routine by applying a new serum product I’ve been working on with a crystal roller -- it smooths my face and provides an extra glow and a healing aspect.
 
What is the aspiration for Ascension Earth? 
My desire is to continue to promote the awareness of products made from organic and natural ingredients instead of harmful contaminants. My team and I believe companies, like individuals, must assume their share of responsibility as tenants of the Earth, and pushing that message to the front of our brand is essential and at the core of who we are. We will always continue to spread the message of how natural products changed our lives. We’re not in the skincare market to compete but to educate. Ascension is one of the few existing edible vegan skincare companies that ethically source the finest raw, natural materials earth offers. We believe in tangible results from the power of nature while providing everyone with access to high-quality skincare products.
 
Check out Ascension Earth on Instagram: @ascensionearth
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