7 Concepts from Ancestral Wisdom to Guide Your Healthiest + Happiest Life
At Primally Pure, many of our values stem from the inherent knowledge we can gain from our ancestors. We refer to this wealth of knowledge as ancestral wisdom.
You’ll hear us talk about ancestral wisdom a lot. It’s about embracing the basics of life – and the way nature’s design supports us. The earth is full of intuitive and beneficial resources. We have much to learn from our ancestors who only knew a simpler, holistic way of living.
It’s inspired us time and again to stop and slow down. It helps us consider how we can use ancestral wisdom to live a more holistic, simplified life.
Whenever possible, we encourage our community to adopt ancestral wisdom principles alongside us. Let’s practice balanced ways of living + thinking in tune with our biology and our impact on the earth.
We could talk about this topic all day long. But let’s cover the seven biggest ways you can incorporate ancestral wisdom into your life ASAP.
1. Incorporate Animal-Based Products
Animal-based products and ingredients have gotten a bad rep. But these are part of a holistic lifestyle modeled in ancestral wisdom.
Though some activists want you to believe otherwise, animal-based products aren't always bad. They can have deep integrity and respect for the animals and the precious life they gave.
At Primally Pure, we’re guided by this principle of ancestral wisdom and choose to:
- Source animal-based ingredients from local, humane, and ethical farmers.
- Harvest resources (like honey) in seasons that have the least impact on animals.
- Follow a nose-to-tail philosophy, using every part of the animal to honor its life.
- Support regenerative agriculture practices that keep habitats healthy for animals.
We love animal-based ingredients because they’re generally more biocompatible with your skin. The “operating system” is more like ours.1 They contain activators you won’t find in plant-based ingredients. In short, animal-based products match your biology, delivering more potent + better results.
Our ancestors were resourceful – they had to be! But it’s not hard to see that nature has provided us with many resources. Ancestral wisdom shows us ALL resources should be used responsibly. Doing this protects animals, habitats, and our planet (plus, ourselves!).
What Ancestral Wisdom Tells Us About Animal-Based Products
Taking it back to our roots, ancestral wisdom tells us that natural resources should be used. But only if we can do so respecting the animals + the planet.
Our ancestors believed in a nose-to-tail philosophy. This means they respected the animals by using every part of it, letting nothing go to waste. We adopt a similar mentality with animal-based products/ingredients. Both animal and plant-based ingredients have their own unique benefits for our body + skin.
But there's more to this animal-centered approach. Sourcing is one of the most vital pieces to respecting animals + our planet. If you're curious to learn how we do this, check out our post on animal-based products.
2. Limit Blue Light Exposure from Devices + Artificial Lighting
Blue light exposure is one of the biggest challenges living in our modern world. Truthfully, it takes some time + intention to limit your blue light exposure – it won’t happen by chance.
You’re exposed to artificial blue light through:
- House lights
- TVs or iPads
- Appliance lights
- Phone screens
Blue light exposure isn’t inherently bad, but it becomes harmful when you experience an excess of unnatural (or synthetic) exposure. Especially at times that don’t align with your bodily rhythms.
What do we mean by this?
→ It’s those late-night binges on Netflix wayyy past your bedtime.
→ It’s the office environment that has you under artificial blue light exposure for 8 hours with hardly any breaks.
In excess, blue light exposure can cause:
- Disturbances in sleep – interferes with melatonin and other hormones, disrupting your quality + quantity of sleep.2
- Cellular skin damage – can contribute to premature aging, pigmentation, and damage to the skin barrier.
- Digestive issues – can also affect how your body converts + stores energy.
While synthetic blue light can be harmful, blue light, in its natural form, is part of the spectrum of wavelengths emitted from the sun. It’s what makes our skies a beautiful hue of blue.3 In its natural form, it’s complemented + balanced out by the other colors, like red wavelengths. In this form, it doesn’t pose any real risks.
In fact, a healthy amount of blue light exposure is beneficial because it:
- Increases cortisol during the day to keep you alert + awake.
- Produces serotonin in your gut, signaling melatonin for sleep.
- Stimulates the release of dopamine for mood regulation.
- Assists in cognitive function + memory.
In today’s world of tech-driven devices and shortcuts, it can be hard to reduce your exposure to artificial, isolated blue light. That’s where we lean on ancestral wisdom to guide our approach.
What Ancestral Wisdom Tells Us About Blue Light Exposure
Ancestral wisdom tells us we should avoid excess artificial blue light exposure. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t see blue lights at all after the sun goes down. We’d soak up the sun at the appropriate times, benefiting from blue light in its natural state.
But here’s how you can use ancestral wisdom to guide your choices:
→ Absorb natural sunlight to soak in a balanced ratio of blue light
→ Avoid devices 1-2 hrs before bed
→ Try swapping out typical light bulbs for red light bulbs
→ Invest in a pair of amber-lensed glasses that block blue light
→ Balance your exposure with red light therapy
If you want to reduce frequent headaches, regulate your circadian rhythm, or feel more rested, check out this post on blue light exposure.
3. Choose Natural Skincare Ingredients + Full-Profile Nutrients Instead of Isolated Vitamins
There’s a lot of misinformation regarding naturally derived ingredients. Often, ingredients labeled as “naturally derived” are closer to synthetic. The truth? They are not natural skincare products.
They’re almost entirely synthetic. These “naturally derived” ingredients have been chemically altered, heavily processed, and stripped of nutrients. They become filler ingredients instead of providing value to the formula. This is classic greenwashing.
Another downside of synthetic or isolated vitamins: they often require harsh chemical preservatives that are dangerous to your health (aka carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, toxic irritants, etc.).
The case for 100% natural skincare products (and ingredients) is simple. Synthetics don’t work with our bodies as nature intended. That’s why we prioritize whole, unrefined ingredients at Primally Pure. Wherever we can, we include them in our formulations + sourcing for our natural skincare products.
What Ancestral Wisdom Tells Us About Synthetic Ingredients
In simpler times, our ancestors didn’t have access to synthetic ingredients. Leaning on this ancestral wisdom (and scientific data), it’s clear. Full-profile vitamins are best for full body health + skin.
At Primally Pure, we aim to source full-profile ingredients whenever possible. This ensures your skin receives the right combination of beneficial nutrients. It also creates natural skincare products that are better absorbed + used by your body.
This concept of ancestral wisdom reminds us of a crucial holistic value. The best lifestyle is one in connection with the earth + its resources.
The hidden truths of “naturally derived” ingredients are something we're passionate about. To learn what they're hiding, check out this post on the power of full-profile nutrients and natural skin care products.
4. Prioritize Movement Every Day
We live in a sedentary world. It’s far too easy to get to the end of your day and realize you were sitting (or stagnant) for the majority of your time.
How did we get here? Years of technological development, innovation, and less need for manual labor.
→ We buy our food prepped.
→ We sit at computers to work for 8 hours – or more.
→ We take escalators and elevators instead of stairs.
→ We drive instead of walking.
→ We watch TV instead of spending time in nature.
As humans, we’re meant to move. Movement is a key component to supporting the critical systems in our body that keep us healthy. Our bodies need movement to:
- Boost circulation
- Increase lymphatic flow
- Burn fat
- Regulate blood sugar4
- Detox through sweat5
- Regulate emotion
There’s a reason you never regret doing a workout. That boost of endorphins from moving around is meant to motivate us to embrace this natural way of being + living. Our bodies thrive when we prioritize movement.
What Ancestral Wisdom Tells Us About Movement
Ancestral wisdom reminds us: movement is essential for survival. It should be naturally woven into our lives. But in today’s world, we have to learn to prioritize it – even when it’s more difficult or takes us longer to accomplish something.
Think of it this way: our ancestors would not survive if they didn’t prioritize movement. Though they didn’t have to “work out” to keep their bodies healthy, movement was an essential facet of life. Our ancestors would never have survived without running from predators and harvesting their food – both of which are impossible without intentional movement.
Using this wisdom, we should prioritize movement in our lives in every way possible – big or small. The importance of it can’t be underestimated. To learn about the power of movement (+ exercise) for not only your body but your skin, too, check out this post on the power of sweat.
5. Embrace (Responsible) Sun Exposure
It’s no secret that sun exposure is a point of debate for many in the health world. But we stand firm in our belief: we need daily sun exposure for optimal health. We absorb Vitamin D better this way and keep our body’s internal clocks (circadian rhythms) on track.
Plus, studies show a healthy amount of sun exposure supports your body. It can reduce cancer cell growth and boost your immune responses against infection and inflammation.4
→ So what about sunburns?
Of course, those aren’t good for you. But they’re a built-in warning system to let you know how much sun exposure is appropriate.5
Most sunscreens contain harmful chemicals that can remain in your bloodstream for up to 3 weeks.6 (No thanks!) Many also have unbalanced protection from UVA/UVB rays. So they protect you from sunburn but don’t fully protect from deeper concerns like sun damage and skin cancer.
There are times when sunscreen can be necessary. If you’re outside in direct sun exposure for an extended period, cover up with protective clothing or opt for a non-toxic sunscreen. Choose an aerosol-free, reef-safe, and mineral-based, broad-spectrum sunscreen with non-nano zinc oxide. (We love Little Hands Hawaii or Raw Elements.)
Here are some simple ideas to practice responsible sun exposure:
- Wear sun-protective clothing if you’re out in the middle of the day
- Keep a hat on hand to shield your face + scalp
- Choose safe + clean sunscreens
- Take an astaxanthin supplement to protect your skin from the inside out (or try our antioxidant balm for a topical application)
- Spend time outside during morning light when the rays are less intense
- Watch the sunset and sunrise to help set your circadian rhythms
- Avoid seed oils, which are shown to increase your chances of burning7
According to ancestral wisdom, it’s essential to practice gradual sun exposure. This builds up melanin in your skin which protects you from damage.4
What Ancestral Wisdom Tells Us About Sun Exposure
Ancestral wisdom tells us that we should spend time in the sun daily – especially when we wake up. This helps sync our circadian rhythms + hormones. Our ancestors spent lots of time in the sun – but they didn’t overdo it.
They knew to retreat into shady areas or cover with animal hides during the hottest hours. They protected their skin when the sun could do the most damage.
Research shows you can build natural protection in your skin with gradual exposure. So over time, you can be in the sun longer, even during more intense exposure.
If you’re curious about what to avoid in sunscreen + why science supports responsible sun exposure, we’ve got you. Check out this post on our controversial beliefs about sun exposure.
6. Connect with the Earth Through Grounding
In a world of exciting skyscrapers, shopping malls, and air conditioning, it’s far too easy to miss out on experiencing + soaking up the outdoor world. We’re so caught up in our busy schedules and long to-do lists that we forget to stop and be still. We forget to connect with this beautiful, special planet we get to live on.
But we aren’t just being “woo-woo” here. There’s legitimate scientific evidence that being outdoors + placing your bare feet on the ground improves your wellbeing. Standing, walking, sitting, or laying on the ground (aka “grounding”) for roughly 30 minutes each day is proven to:
- Decrease inflammation in your body8
- Create a stronger immune response8
- Speed up wound healing8
- Prevent + reverse autoimmune diseases8
- Improve heart health9
- Help you sleep better10
(The list goes on and on, but you get the point.) Years of fascinating research and data continue to confirm: we need to spend less time on our devices and more time physically touching the ground.
What Ancestral Wisdom Tells Us About Connecting with the Earth
At its core, ancestral wisdom is rooted in the concept of connecting with the earth. This is a literal manifestation of that wisdom. And with their natural way of living, our ancestors benefited from a life in close proximity to the ground.
They made meals on the ground. They slept on the ground. They walked barefoot.
To our ancestors, “grounding” would probably even be a funny concept. They would be shocked that we hardly place our feet – or bodies – directly on the earth. They inherently knew that the ground had healing powers. Ancestral wisdom tells us that we should be far more intentional in connecting with the earth and listening to what it has to say.
If you’re interested in the deeper science and the fascinating “why” behind the benefits of grounding, check out our full post on how to practice earthing to restore your health.
7. Practice + Support Sustainability
Our ancestors were sustainable by default. They didn’t know another way of life, and it was their best chance at survival. The same remains true for us and our planet today – we just don’t give it as much importance in society. If we all spent more time considering how we could be sustainable – even in small ways – it would go a long way.
We’ve been talking about how you can incorporate ancestral wisdom into your life. But you’re probably wondering… how do we incorporate it into our business? At Primally Pure, we practice (and even go beyond) sustainability in several ways:
→ Sourcing from regenerative agriculture farms
Regenerative agriculture models how our ancestors used to “farm” as nomads. They would travel with animals and rotate through different pastures. This helped maintain the land + utilize resources wisely (they had no other option!). Regenerative agriculture takes sustainable practices one step further. Regenerative farms advocate for composting, waste reduction, and humane treatment of animals.
It follows ancestral wisdom and creates a positive effect by:
- Healing the soil
- Supporting diverse ecosystems for animals
- Supporting plant life
- Capturing more carbon from the environment
So if you see regeneratively-farmed products at the grocery store (or in our product lineup ;)), it’s worth the few extra dollars to keep our earth healthy.
→ Packaging designed to be responsible + recyclable
Our ancestors used and reused items. They weren’t careless with their resources – especially those they made. So at Primally Pure, we want to respect the earth with sustainable skincare production. Our sustainable skincare is:
- Created with minimal plastic
- Housed in protective dark glass for freshness/extended shelf life
- Made with recyclable materials + backed by our recycling program
→ Ethical sourcing that’s clean, eco-friendly + humane
This goes beyond animal-based ingredients. We choose ethical sourcing across the board. This means local sourcing, wildcrafted ingredients, and partnerships with organic + certified farmers. And we’re picky about the partnerships we forge. Here are a few examples:
- Our powders and clays come from 100% solar-powered facilities
- Our jojoba oil comes from a net-zero facility, first-press + free from chemical processing
- Our facial bars are created with 100% renewable energy through wind + solar power
- Our palo santo is sourced from fallen trees in protected forests to support the land + local communities.
We don’t claim to be perfect. But everything we do is intentionally tied to following ancestral wisdom practices. We’re mindful of how we obtain our ingredients – skin care or not.
What Ancestral Wisdom Tells Us About Sustainability
Ancestral wisdom has taught us that sustainable practices may take more time + intentionality. But they’re always worth it. Living in harmony with the earth and its resources is never a waste of time.
The impact we all make on the planet affects us every second of every day – we can’t understate the importance!
To learn more about how we practice sustainability as a company (+ why it benefits you too), check out our post on sustainable skincare.
Reconnecting to Your Roots
Ancestral wisdom is all about reconnecting to your roots as a human. Reconnecting to your roots as a guest on earth and learning how to give back in love and respect.
It’s about learning from people who had to live in harmony with the earth. They had no biases or advice on how to live, eat, play, and exist – they simply did what worked for survival. They respected the resources given to them because they saw how deeply it connected to their thriving.
In this deep-seated wisdom, we find the truth of a holistic life. Embracing simplicity and nature’s guidance is more rewarding than the busyness and synthetic nature of today’s culture. If we can learn to live in tune with the earth’s rhythms and resources, we’re setting ourselves up for massive success. And most importantly, a long, happy life.
Are you ready to simplify + tune into your ancestral wisdom?
- Paul Saladino MD | Animal-Based Guide
- Sleep Foundation | How Blue Light Affects Sleep
- Eyewise Opticians | How Many Hours a Day Do You Spend in Front of a Digital Device?
- The New York Times | Just 2 Minutes of Walking After a Meal Is Surprisingly Good for You
- National Library of Medicine | Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, and Mercury in Sweat: A Systematic Review
- Harvard Nutrition Source | Vitamin D
- National Library of Medicine | Homeostasis in Topical Photoprotection: Getting the Spectral Balance Right
- Consumer Reports | New Study Raises Safety Concerns about Sunscreens
- National Library of Medicine | Dependence of Photocarcinogenesis and Photoimmunosuppression in the Hairless Mouse on Dietary Polyunsaturated Fat
- National Library of Medicine | The Effects of Grounding (Earthing) On Inflammation, the Immune Response, Wound Healing, and Prevention and Treatment of Chronic
- National Library of Medicine | Earthing (Grounding) the Human Body Reduces Blood Viscosity—a Major Factor in Cardiovascular Disease
- National Library of Medicine | The Biologic Effects of Grounding the Human Body During Sleep as Measured by Cortisol Levels and Subjective Reporting of Sleep, Pain, and Stress
Pin your fav blog post below: