In addition to all of the things we love about New England, our fair corner of the country features some wonderful local skin care lines. So many, in fact, that we will feature them in two parts. Below, lets partake in all that local purveyors have to offer.
I asked each company where they’re based, their signature product and/or their best seller, and what makes them so special!
Soy of Life is based in Plymouth, MA. Sherry and Rich Kelly created their skin care line due to Sherry’s allergic reactions. They began selling their products at the Cohasset Farmers Market in 2006 and soon their products were sold in boutiques and in Whole Foods.
Rich discusses their signature product. “I would say the Eye Promise! All-in-one Perfecting Crème is probably the signature product; it is our top selling facial product anyway. It is highly effective in fading dark circles, puffiness, lines and wrinkles and customers love it! It is followed in popularity by the Soy Young! Under Eye Therapy and then both of the face crèmes.”
What makes them special? “We are the epitome of a “Mom & Pop” small family business. Sherry’s burning passion to make a skincare line featuring soy grew out of her allergic reaction that is mentioned in her story on our website. Also, the reason we got into our first Whole Foods Market location was the fact that we are a local company and they liked Sherry’s story of how she created it.”
suki, based in Northampton, MA, is known for having celebrity fans such as Eva Longoria, Katherine Heigl, Ron Howard, Alicia Silverstone and Hayden Panettiere. suki started her company in her kitchen in 2002 and her products are sold in Whole Foods and spas all over the country and around the world.
The best selling product was actually the first: suki®’s award-winning, fan favorite, Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser. It’s the most popular because of the amazing results pretty much everyone - all skin types - sees immediately: smooth, dewy skin, fine lines appearance seriously relieved, blemishes reduced. This exfoliate leaves a clean, non-oily super-purified feeling without stripping or leaving skin irritated. The aroma is a huge benefit also and people always talk about it. suki wanted to create an uplifting citrus scent that wasn't too light or perfumey with some grounding elements.
They are very proud of the ideology behind suki: suki® clinically-proven natural solutions skincare is the first and only clinically-proven, 100% pure cosmeceutical line of skincare that truly blends science and nature. Each custom formula is 100% natural (no petrochemicals, synthetics, cruelty or comedogens) and blends in high-performance actives working in tandem with your body’s own biological process to target skin issues, delivering up to 84% younger looking, healthier, more radiant and a clearer, more balanced complexion. suki® advocates the importance of the philosophy “know your beauty®,” to define beauty on your own terms, make informed choices when it comes to your health and well-being.
All formulas are made up of a blend of high-performance, clinically proven actives with 100% natural ingredients in synthetic-free bases. The cutting-edge extraction techniques enable the products to be formulated with ingredients in their most potent form and in the highest percentages possible, targeting specific skin issues at a faster, safer rate and producing immediate, visible results.
The secret behind suki® is the rose (used in 99% of the brand’s 100% natural & 100% synthetic-free clinically-proven products) – nature’s most hydrating, healing plant. suki® meticulously infuses and triple filters fresh wild harvested rosa centifolia into a highly concentrated solution. In fact, suki® is one of the ONLY companies that doesn’t simply use a water base that makes up approximately 70% of its content.
suki® exercises eco-friendly practices not only throughout its formulations, but also down to the packaging, using recycled materials, renewable energy, glass bottles, post-use recyclables and vegetable inks.
Burlington, Vermont’s Seventh Generation is well known for its home care products and is now branching out into personal care.
Brandi Thomas from Seventh Generation Public Relations says, “Our dish liquid continues to be a best seller. For many people, it’s the gateway into green cleaning. It works fabulously and is scented with 100% botanical extracts and essential oils.”
She explains what makes the company special. “Seventh Generation is the nation’s leading brand of household and personal care products that help protect human health and the environment. Established in 1988, our Burlington, Vermont-based company remains an independent, privately-held business distributing products to natural food stores, supermarkets, mass merchants and online retailers across the United States and Canada. We believe our products are healthy solutions for the air, surfaces, fabrics, pets and people within the home - and for the community and environment outside of it. As a pioneer in corporate responsibility, we want our products to make a difference - from their development through to their production, purchase, use and disposal. We are always evaluating how to reduce their environmental impact, increase performance and safety, and create a more sustainable supply chain.
“We believe our products set a course for a mindful way of doing business, where companies act as partners with other stakeholders to create a brighter future for the whole planet. We are committed to running a responsible business because we believe in a sustainable future. We are transparent about our successes and challenges so that others may learn from our mistakes and be inspired by our triumphs. To those who value a demonstration of the business case for sustainability, we note that we have made sustainability the foundation of our business and we are a thriving and growing business. Our deep commitment to sustainability over the years has benefitted our business by enhancing our brand reputation and, often, our bottom line.”
Seventh Generation recently launched an authentically natural line of personal care products derived from plant-based formulas. The pure, plant-based formulas return skin to its most natural state by providing simply what your skin needs, and no harsh chemicals or faux benefits. The line includes facial wipes, bar soap, lotion, body wash and hand wash. The scents are derived from essential oils vs. synthetic fragrances - lavender, mandarin, chamomile and peppermint.
Susan Davis is the founder of SUZ Bath and Body. Her company is based in Boxford, MA.
Her signature product? “My signature product,” says Davis, “is my handmade soap. I make lots of soap and a large variety. My soaps are known for their emollient qualities, but also for the way they look. I’ve been known to stretch the boundary of soap making by adding pureed pumpkin, zucchini or applesauce, and have made soaps that look like decorated cakes and cupcakes. This season’s customer favorite is cranberry orange, a large bar loaded with sweet orange essential oil and with a dollop of orange and multicolored grated soaps inside and on top, finished with a sprinkling of cosmetic glitter fairy dust. I love scents and carry a wide variety of essential and phthalate-free fragrance oils and design custom scents for my soaps. Most of my soaps are fragrance oil free and scented solely with essential oils.”
Her passion for the environment is what makes her company special. “I have made a personal choice to make my soaps without palm oil, due to the dwindling habitat of orangutans and the environmental and social issues from over-forestation for the cultivation of palm trees. I use olive, coconut, shea and cocoa butters, and a touch of castor oil for bubbles. I love what I do, and feel like I make a difference in people’s lives by adding a bit of skin-loving soapy sudsy goodness with a visual artsy twist to their daily ritual of bathing.” (www.suzbathandbody.etsy.com)
Great Marsh Artisan Skincare hails from Ipswich, MA. New England native Amanda Donovan first began making her own skincare products as a teenager.
She talks about their signature products. “Our signature products are our Lavender Honey Hard Lotion and our Rosehip Hydrating Serum. The hard lotion is made with just four ingredients, and is safe for use on children and babies. It’s effective for alleviating itching, dryness, and cracked winter skin and is also super soothing for skin irritation like eczema, psoriasis or skin cracked from over-work. It’s not at all greasy, and in a container that makes it really convenient for traveling. Most of my regular customers tell me that they keep one stashed in every bag, room and car so they are never stuck without it. The Rosehip Hydrating Serum is a facial serum that I developed for skin like mine - a little sun damaged, a little uneven, starting to get some fine lines and pretty dry and sensitive in winter. It absorbs instantly and smells fantastic. I get frantic emails on this product when people run out, and have some loyal customers all over the country who tell me that they won’t use anything else! My husband even uses it under his shaving cream.”
Attention to detail is what makes Great Marsh special. “I’m a little obsessive about the quality of my ingredients. It’s very important to me that the ingredients that I use have been really minimally processed and minimally handled. I source things as close to their source as possible, and I’m always looking to improve that. Because we are so small and make everything by hand, it allows me to make small batches of things, and when they are sold out I can invent something new, so our product line will always be evolving. We are truly a family-run business, with my kids helping to pack boxes, my husband running the business side, and our family and friends testing products for us. It’s a lot of work, but incredibly rewarding!”
Great Marsh Skin Care can be found at Abesmarket.com, an online marketplace dedicated to discovering the best natural and organic products in the country.