LITTLE GREEN DRESS
Sustainable Skincare Gift Guide
by Natalie Bencivenga
November 25, 2020
The holiday season has suddenly arrived. For me, it feels like March never ended. But in the year 2020, time appears to be flying by and standing still all at once. In any case, between the cold weather settling in and having to wear masks whenever we leave our homes, skincare has become more important than ever. Gone are the days when makeup mattered. It’s all about keeping skin healthy and happy, especially because wearing masks can cause breakouts and the harsh weather can … you guessed it … weather our skin.
When looking for gifts this year, instead of clicking on Amazon or heading to some big box store, consider our friends and neighbors who own local shops. Let’s support them if we can, building community one purchase at a time.
Here are some local — and woman-owned — brands treating our skin right with natural, sustainable ingredients that soothe not just your skin, but Mother Earth, as well.
Based in Lawrenceville, Una Biologicals began in 2008 after founder and CEO, Jessica Wilson Graves, needed to find ways to nurture her own sensitive skin. Dissatisfied with what was out there, she looked to nature for answers. “I started making organic products years ago out of a personal need for sensitive skin-friendly products plus a deep-seated passion for herbs, organics and living our happiest, healthiest lives," said Wilson.
Besides Una Biologicals’ products being organic, gluten-free, vegetarian — and many vegan — they package all the products in compostable or recyclable packaging. Their facilities work hard to minimize their carbon footprint and containers are purchased from American-made manufacturers.
Natalie’s Picks: Check out the firming French Clay Mask made with organic lavender and their Muscle Rub, made with arnica, comfrey, St. John's Wort, peppermint and more. Perfect for post-yoga or after a long day in front of a computer.
One of my favorite success stories, founder Lani Lazzari was still in high school when she pitched Simple Sugars on the television show “Shark Tank” in 2013. Her business took off overnight after an investment from billionaire, Mark Cuban. Started as a way to help treat eczema with a natural sugar scrub that she made from items found in her own kitchen, the line now includes an array of sugar scrubs, facial care as well as a men’s line. Simple Sugars products are all-natural and are made entirely by hand at a facility in Pittsburgh, PA.
Simple Sugars has also received thousands of testimonials from people with every type of skin condition imaginable: eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, acne, severe dry skin, skin problems from chemotherapy and more.
Natalie’s Picks: Looking for a stocking stuffer for the men in your life? Try Simple Sugars Smoothness Starter Kit. Simple Sugars is also known for its great scents, and I am excited to try this year’s holiday-inspired sugar scrubs like Cranberry and Butterscotch.
I had the honor of interviewing founder Cynthia L. Hill for a piece about how she began her wellness journey for this column a few months back. It wouldn’t be a complete list without including her incredible, all-natural soaps. She grows many of her own herbs and flowers that are incorporated into her skin-soothing products in her greenhouse. She then packages her products in biodegradable or recyclable materials in her home office in Duquesne.
The final product is something that Hill believes could have come from one of the earliest gardens on Earth. “The name ‘Third Day’ comes from the idea that on the third day Earth was created — God or whatever higher power you believe in — created the flowers, the trees and the lush green landscapes around us. This is where I imagine my garden to be,” she said.
Natalie’s Picks: The Hemp Seed Oil Bath Bomb will leave your skin feeling soft and your mind relaxed due to the seed’s elements that essentially act as food for your skin. Then after your bath, try the Whipped Cocoa Butter Body Conditioner, a plant-based formula fortified with natural cocoa butter, argan and coconut oil to help reduce the appearance of dry skin, stretch marks and cellulite.
by Natalie Bencivenga