As people pay more attention to what they put in their bodies, they’re also more concerned about what they put on their bodies.
Locally made body products often use organically and sustainably grown products free of chemicals (such as phthalates) and preservatives (such as parabens). And buying local supports the homegrown-economic ethos and guarantees a hand-on understanding of our arid climate.
Here are few lines of made-in-Santa Fe body products to look for:
Bath products are the heart of Sweet Medicine of Santa Fe (438-0660), which master herbalist Donna Karol founded in 1990. Karol aims to create not only a healing experience for the body but also to release a desired quality, such as abundance, clarity or love, all of which are themes in her company's line of bath salts ($24). The relaxing and rejuvenating bath teas ($10) ease strained muscles and can be used to treat inflammation from arthritis and rheumatism and to hydrate the skin. The products are available online.
The moisturizing lotion bars from Love + Leche (formerly Milk + Honey) have been a staple in the City Different since proprietor Daven Lee founded the business at the Santa Fe Farmers Market in 2005. Two ingredients, goat milk and honey, are central to Love + Leche's products, which include soaps and "anywhere balms." The lotion bars (from $11) absorb quickly to heal split fingers and soften skin and to impart a gentle aromatherapy from locally grown, organic calendula flowers and plant-based essential oils. Each also features an artistic design, whether a bee on a sunflower or the intertwined forms of sleeping cats. The bars are available at the Santa Fe Farmers Market Mercado and at such shops as Doodlets and Whole Foods Market.
Esthetician Upma Kaur also creates a well-liked body moisturizer in her Luminous Beauty line, available online. The grapefruit cream (from $12.50) provides nourishment and antioxidant protection. Luminous Beauty uses therapeutic-grade essential oils and sustainably sourced ingredients for items such as the Turmeric Anti-Inflammatory Serum ($36), which employs the medicinal plant to soothe acne, roseacea and inflammation. Blended with jojoba and sesame, the serum promotes youthful, glowing skin.
Herbal medicine is key to Milagro Herbs (419 Orchard Drive, 820-6321), founded by Tomas Enos in 1990. "We are functioning from a therapeutic point of reference to where we create body products that are healing in some fashion," says manager Erin Galiger. "We use organic and wild-crafted herbs in our products, along with high-quality ingredients, such as organic oils and butters, [to create] a product that is locally made and incorporates native plants." Milagro Herbs' top sellers include the Desert Dweller Deep Moisturizing Lotion (from $17.99), with rosewood, alfalfa, yerba mansa and chaste tree berry extracts, and the Oasis Replenishing Cream ($22.50), a face cream with extracts of echinacea, calendula and primrose. The company makes each product in small batches, Galiger says, "so they are fresh and have that homemade touch to them."
It's difficult to get smaller batch than Laurie Richardone's LR Modern Alchemy line, which the owner of Anita Louise Salon (128 N Guadalupe St., 466-1554) makes in 10-bottle lots. The high-end, artisanal line uses globally sourced essential and organic oils. Although LR Modern Alchemy includes face and body products, the hair products are a specialty, including a French lavender and bergamot hair oil infusion ($75) and a vanilla and lime blossom conditioner ($46). The products are available in the salon and online.