Where the Wild Things Are
Progressive personal care startups go into the woods for ingredients
Style / 15 Feb 2013
Even as the new Nordic food movement isn’t quite so new anymore, foraged botanicals continue to intrigue chefs, including those of the cocktail and home varieties. Lately, the presence of wild plants in personal care products is growing, too. Each of these new herbal brands speak to consumers’ burgeoning conservationist aspirations and holistic healing curiosity.
Juniper Ridge
: Perfumers often develop fragrances to evoke a sense of place, but often those notes are synthesized in a test tube lab. Berkeley-based Juniper Ridge, founded on a mission to “bring the mountains into your home," distills natural scents from wild plants that they harvest directly from seven sources (Cascade Glacier, Siskiyou, Yuba River, Steep Ravine, Big Sur, Inyo, and San Jacinto) spanning three distinct regions (Pacific Northwest, Northern California, and Southern California). Product offerings, such as Backpacker’s Cologne and Campfire Incense, were developed for a fleece-clad audience of hikers, so it's fitting that 10% of profits are donated to wilderness groups.
Earth Tu Face
: Earth Tu Face founders Sarah Buscho and Marina Storm have spent an inordinate amount of time in the kitchen for two professionals who aren’t chefs. The clinical herbalist duo first cooked up their plant-based skincare line as a home experiment. Though they’ve since outgrown their original setting (the line is now produced in a commercial, yet still certified-organic, facility), their unfussy products remain good enough to eat. Bathroom staples are composed of food-grade ingredients, most of which are wildcrafted: the Face Wash, palma rosa and aloe, the Body Butter, coconut oil and cardamom, and the Skin Stick, geranium and vetiver.
: Esthetician-turned-entrepreneur Vered Back created her line of organic botanical oils to appease the mounting demand for her custom facial products. Indeed, her private clients were finding that her herbal blends were not only improving their complexions but their moods, too. The resultant brand, VERED Organic Botanicals, integrates Back’s extensive phytotherapy knowledge into an edited collection of beauty elixirs, including a face scrub, an anti-wrinkle eye treatment, and a toner. At the core of each product are essential oils, highly concentrated liquids extracted from flowers, trees, shrubs, seeds, and roots that help maintain good skin and health simultaneously.
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