by Richelle Kimble • photography by Two Eagles Marcus
It’s three layers of pure necessity; it protects, senses, and communicates with other organs throughout the body. The skin is the largest human organ, averaging eight pounds in weight and two square meters of surface. Although it’s a fantastic shield for the internal organs, the skin is not protected from chemical exposure. These chemicals, such as second-hand smoke and your daily body lotion penetrate the layers of the skin and enter the bloodstream, altering the body’s natural chemical state on a daily basis. Skincare and beauty products are perhaps one of the most overlooked toxins; realizing what makes contact with the skin is just as important as monitoring what is put into the body. Take spring-cleaning to the next level and rid the bathroom cupboards of toxin-laden products and replace them with locally made and distributed, wholesome alternatives. Fuel the body and the local economy!
At Keeki Pure and Simple, the idea for natural products began when Grand Rapids based creator Natalie Bauss began experimenting in her kitchen with things grown on her farm. With fright of the cosmetic industry and aim to keep her daughter, Kiana, from toxic products, Bauss began an eco-friendly, “pure and simple” product line. Keeki provides products that are organically principled, cruelty-free, gluten-free, soy-free, acetone-free, non-toxic, paraben- and phthalate-free and safe for children and pregnant women. www.keekipureandsimple.com
Every woman’s face is a beautiful blank canvas, and owner of Grand Rapids based BC Cosmetics, Ashley Petroskey, provides a safe alternative to mainstream cosmetics that doesn’t irritate or pollute the face. BC Cosmetics offers a full cosmetic line that achieves safety, obtainability and community involvement; from bb cream to blush, all products are paraben-free, hypoallergenic, and free of synthetic fragrances. Connect with BC Cosmetics on Facebook to request product location.
When store-bought deodorant didn’t work, sisters Kaisa and Monica created their own. Now co-founders of Rustic Maka, the women present a natural personal care line based on the philosophy that “less is more.” All Rustic Maka products are made with organic and vegan ingredients, are cruelty-free, triclosan-free, paraben-free, non-gmo, free of dyes, propylene glycol, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, and synthetic fragrances. www.rusticmaka.com
Once you go natural, you never go back; or at least that’s Marc DeForest’s story. Marc found Kalamazoo-based Opulent Blends after falling in love with a friend’s all-natural body soap and making his own. His product interest expanded, and now Opulent Blends provides products, from lip balm to household cleaners, that are all natural and vegan, paraben-free, synthetic-free, petroleum-free, triclosan-free, and free of mineral oils and synthetic fragrances. www.opulentblends.com