A New Eco-Wellness Experience at 412 Apothecary

by Natalie Bencivenga


July 7, 2021

As someone who loves beauty products as much as I love fashion, it only makes sense to be on the hunt for local curators of green beauty and skincare. When I discovered 412 Apothecary through my sister-in-law, Anna, I knew I needed to learn more. I chatted with owner Christopher Langlois who started over after losing his business during the pandemic. Like any good entrepreneur would, he dusted himself off, picked himself up and rebranded and expanded his offerings. 

We chatted about why he decided to open this shop on the North Side, why we should support local businesses and he shared some of his absolute favorite must-haves that you can only find in the shop. 

What inspired 412 Apothecary? I’ve always had a passion for well-being products. Since I also own a single chair boutique salon called The Curl Salon in the back of my store, I felt that well-being products and self-care also complemented my experience and advanced French training in scalp and hair health. I enjoy problem solving and looking for solutions instead of just selling a product.

Who is your customer? Any person who is looking for better products should stop by. My logo features a three-leaf branch, which represents the standards I use: Good for people, planet and animals.  

Talk about your favorite products: I have so many! I love Maapilim, which features Dead Sea minerals and essential oils. I love Vertly, which is a CBD line and I use their muscle relief lotion and face serum. My absolute favorite is my locally made private label line: 412 Apothecary, body wash and body moisturizer. They feature only five ingredients in the body wash and three in the moisturizer. We have more products on the way. These are custom-created scents using vegan fragrances and essential oils. Apotheke has my favorite candles and bar soaps!

Why "green" products? Why not? I discovered for myself that using products that were best for the planet, people and animals worked just as well and oftentimes better. I carry the entire Davines hair care line, which is the only hair care line (to my knowledge the last I looked) that is a B Corp. certified. B. Corp. is the highest and best rating you can find for products to use. Unlike common things on labels, the B. Corp certification cannot be purchased.

Why should people care about what they put on their bodies and how it impacts themselves and the planet? I find that most of the challenges in scalp and hair come from drugstores and common brands, which are usually putting money into marketing and images rather than product development and research. When these customers switch, they usually see results as well as their scalp and hair being the best it’s ever been. Packaging that’s better for the environment also means that the products and ingredients we love will continue to be available. It really is all connected.

Did you set out to be eco-friendly? What drives you? I did not. I discovered for myself how much better these products work and how easy, small changes can make a difference. I’m always trying to make my store more eco-friendly. What drives me is empowering customers. In my store, you’ll find real advice — not just selling.  

Future plans? I’m preparing to open an online store soon!

Why shop local? Shopping and supporting local small businesses keep our communities interesting and diverse. I live in and own my business in the same community, as do most small businesses. Simple, everyday purchases make a big difference in our continuance and longevity. Plus, you’ll discover how great the products I carry work and last compared to big box and online ones.

Visit 412 Apothecary:
424 Suismon St. Pittsburgh, Pa. 15212

Wednesday 3 p.m. - 6 p.m.,
Friday 3 p.m. - 6 p.m.,
Saturday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sunday 12 p.m. - 4 p.m. 


Natalie Bencivenga is a regular columnist with The Green Voice Weekly Newsletter and hosts Pittsburgh Earth Day's VEGED; Earth Inspired Eats