Origins and The Impossible Muse Join Forces

Origins and The Impossible Muse Join Forces

Origins and The Impossible Muse Join Forces

Origins and Lauren Wasser, better known as The Impossible Muse on Instagram, join forces to do good for the planet in 72 hours.

Origins and Lauren Wasser, better known as The Impossible Muse on Instagram, join forces to do good for the planet in 72 hours.

Text: Stella Pak

We’ve come across skincare products that promise a life-altering lift, glow and glisten, making you wonder if it’s worth eating celery sticks, pizza, and hard-boiled eggs for a few weeks to buy yourself a miracle in a jar. And then we’re presented with the practical and functional alternative worth considering, where your skin feels comfortable without all the dazzling promises made to be broken. Before natural skincare was the rage, there was Origins, an all-natural brand that launched in 1990. The first of its kind, it was presented as the natural brand during the rise of New York’s chic, sharp, minimalist woman. What looked as low maintenance on the outside was built with high standards of construction, innovation, and science from the inside.  

If you’re starting to wonder how to transition your skincare into the cooler months of fall, Origins relaunched Ginzing Oil-Free Energy-Boosting Gel Moisturizer with a 72-hour Hydra-Hug technology to help bridge the gap between skin cells, locking in moisture for longer-lasting hydration. Typically, a gel textured moisturizer would be synonymous to cooler summer months, but the formula is rich yet cooling, comfortably settling into your skin throughout the day without having to pat your face down with tissues like you would a pepperoni slice by lunchtime. Made with caffeine from coffee and ginseng, it’ll pick you up as you throw back a wheatgrass shot in the am. 

If one was to personify Origins, she’s active, direct and doesn’t care for frills. She informed and reads her labels. She’s intelligent and loveable with a backlit halo that surrounds her. Kind and empathetic, if there’s a problem, she must be part of the solution. Not with a vapid hashtag on social that disappears in 24 hours, but through action. Meet model and activist Lauren Wasser: “The Impossible Muse.” Impossible because after discovering she was infected with Toxic Shock Syndrome, she had to amputate her leg and do the same to the other after trying to live 7 years with excruciating pain one can’t find a way to translate in a third person. Cruising through life was never an option. Once she found her voice, she found meaning and have become an activist to raise awareness in hopes of preventing such a tragedy from happening to another girl.

V met Lauren at the launch of the Origins 72 Hour Challenge Campaign for Ginzing Gel Moisturizer. True to the spirit of both personas, they’ve taken the latest 72-hour moisture technology from Hydra Hug and applied that message to planting trees. From September 26-28th, Origins is asking everyone to submit their workout minutes here so they can reach their goal of planting 72,000 trees in 72 hours. Every minute you move, Origins will plant a tree in partnership with the American Forests Global ReLeaf. When V met Lauren Wasser in person, we had to know more about her story and why we need to know more about Toxic Shock Syndrome.


Tell me your story. 

It’s hard to fit into minutes. I was 24 years old. I was wearing the same brand of tampons for 11 years. I was changing my tampon as I should and I developed flu-like symptoms. All my girlfriends were getting sick because it was October. Basically, my mom was really worried about me. She knew I was sick but not sure how sick because she was living far from me at the time. So she called for a welfare check. One of them didn’t come but one of them came but actually—


Welfare check? 

If something happened to you, if someone is worried about you, they can send a police officer to come and check on you. My mom had just had surgery so she was bedridden I guess the cop didn’t show up so she called again to make sure that they came. But at this point, I had a 107-degree fever. I was on the floor, pretty much delusional. My cocker-spaniel jumped on my chest and barked ferociously. I heard the police knocking at the door. I was so confused and I carried myself to the door. The cop looked inside the apartment and said, “you’re really sick.” And I said “yeah.” And he said, “you need to call your mom because she’s really worried about you. And then he just left me. He just left me. I plugged in my phone and I called my mom and she became very frantic about me. She asked if I need an ambulance. I told her “well, the cop just left, I’m just really sick. I’ll see you in the morning.” Well, no one heard from me. My mom got someone to drive her. She called for another welfare check. She called all my friends, all of her friends, everyone she could to go to my apartment. It took cops 30 minutes to get into my apartment. They found me face down on my bedroom floor, ten minutes from death. I had a 107-degree fever. I had 2 massive heart attacks. They rushed me to St. John’s hospital, put me in a medically induced coma. They put me on life support. Thank God there was an infectious disease doctor on call. They found that it was TSS1 (Toxic Shock Syndrome), they were able to stabilize me and treat me. It was very grim. They didn’t think I was gonna make it. I had a one percent chance of survival. I woke up a week and a half from the coma and that’s when the fight really started.


I know Toxic Shock Syndrome as a warning in a box of tampons. I’ve never thought to pay any mind. Maybe because it wasn’t really talked about in public.

It’s really serious. It’s been killing women for over 30 years. This doesn’t need to be happening. It could easily have been prevented with safer products. But it’s about what women put in our bodies and making sure it’s safe. When you’re dying, your body uses all its blood to save your organs and your heart. Your extremities are the least worried about. Gangrene settled into my right leg and settled really quickly so they had to amputate. My left side of my body, my heel was badly damaged. I just knew by the grace of God that somehow it’ll work out. And I fought for it for seven years I tried to salvage my foot. And last year, I ended up amputating.

The pain from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed… it was just throbbing. It was just no way of life. I’m an athlete, I’m a fighter. I love life, I love laughing. I was just miserable. I just needed to get my life back. And getting rid of that was the only way it was gonna happen.


You say it so easily and so simply. 

It’s taken a lot for me to get here. My journey has definitely been one by the grace of God.


What got you through it?

God. My faith. But also being one to bring awareness to something that’s been hurting, injuring women for such a long time. You only see me. But this has been happening for over 30 years to so many women. And so many women have died and you never even know they existed. I’m just a messenger. So I’m just trying to use my platform and use my message and my story and bring as much awareness and change as possible. And also get women to pay attention to what they’re putting inside of themselves. It’s the most vulnerable time of our lives and we do it almost every month around the world. Being more aware and demanding that we’re not going to have something that will put us in danger. We have to stand up.


Becoming the messenger to bring awareness for women got you through.

I got away with my life by the skin of my teeth. Barely. I’m just happy to be here. It’s not just me. It’s been happening. A little girl died two years ago in Jersey. I asked Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney last year. There’s been a bill that’s been trying to get passed for the last ten years. It’s for women to know what’s in our feminine hygiene products. What the long term effects are gonna be if we use the product for 5 years, 5 months, 5 days. What is it doing to us long term? We should know that, right? It’s been denied by Congress 10 times. And had that bill been passed, the congresswoman said that my legs probably wouldn’t have been lost. My life wouldn’t have been lost. I had her speak to the mother of the young girl that died. And that was so overwhelming because to have her hear this woman who after lost her daughter after something that could’ve been prevented… she thought it was the flu. Flu-like symptoms. That’s so vague. In tampons commercials, you don’t see a warning. You just see a girl running down the beach or going out of sight. That product can potentially kill you, harm you or you can potentially lose limbs. That to me is insane. The fact that these companies have the platform and the accessibility to change the product, but they choose not to because it’s more cost-efficient. I think that’s crazy to me. It’s something that goes inside of us.


Origins has been the leader of “naturals” skincare space. What sparked the partnership?

I love Origins because they are natural and I’m minimal. I love that they’re willing to work with the environment. We talked about how important that is and bringing awareness to the fact that we needed more trees. We need to save our planet. They’re willing to use their platform to do such a great thing. Like, “Hey, let’s get people to revitalize our lives and change the environment in time.”


As an athlete, what is your go-to beauty regimen? What’s your makeup style? Skincare style? lifestyle?

I’m very minimal. I like to wake up maybe spritz some rosewater and put on my Ginzing moisturizer on and just go. I don’t really wear makeup during the day. I take pilates and I’m training and stuff. I do a little mascara a little blush, a little cat-eye to spruce it up.


Have you always been an athlete? 

I played basketball my whole life. I got a scholarship to play basketball. I’ve been a baller. And then I lost my legs, so obviously that was probably the worst thing to ever happen next to losing my life. But that was something I had to really relearn, become one with because that was the only way I was going to function and be able to do what I wanted to do. It’s been a crazy process but I’m thankful for every moment. It’s what got me here. 


We were talking about the responsibilities of being an influencer of a voice in a community in social media. What are some of the values you think people need to consider? 

Everyone can use their platform whoever you are. That’s the key. It’s also about using your platform to do good. 


Backstage at Dior Spring/Summer 2020
Maria Grazia Chiuri takes a botanical approach for the spring.