You don’t necessarily have to be keeping up with recent trends to know that “local” is the latest buzzword, with movements like Small Business Saturday and restaurants boasting locally sourced ingredients. Even Boston College has gotten in on the craze, opening Addie’s Loft in Corcoran Commons, which offers delicious food options made from local and sustainable ingredients. Many students make the most of farmer’s markets, like SoWa, to enjoy the amazing fresh produce New England has to offer.
On that note, going local doesn’t have to stop at your stomach; plenty of farm fresh foods and herbs can work wonders in beauty products. Products manufactured locally with natural ingredients don’t just benefit the environment and local economy; they also are much less likely to include potentially harmful chemicals and synthetic dyes.
Don't think that you have to compromise the quality of your beauty products in order to opt for natural, locally made options. The truth is, a lot of drugstore brands haven’t updated their formulas in decades, thus failing to use newer, more effective ingredients in making their products. Your skin will definitely thank you for picking less toxic ingredients than those found on the shelves of drugstores. With a little research, it’s not hard to find a local substitute that works just as well or even better than your standby, be it facial moisturizer or lipstick.
One popular local brand, Vermont-based Tata Harper, is committed to making all-natural products that are just as effective as traditional chemically-made ones, incorporating natural ingredients such as chamomile and lavender into its lip tints. In addition, the brand Shamanuti is based in nearby Natick, and has a cult following for products like its Activated Charcoal Cleanser. The brand boasts that its products are gentle enough that they can even be used on babies.
Based in Rhode Island, Farmaesthetics is another brand that has garnered national attention, being the first and only third party brand to partner with Origins. Farmaesthetics started as a small organic farm stand, but it has been wildly successful in the spa industry and is now known as a pioneer in green manufacturing.
Other brands worth checking out include mother-daughter company Amber Blue, based just outside of Boston, and Leap Organics, a Cambridge-based skincare company that is also committed to sustainable packaging and business practices. And any Sephora junkie should definitely make a trip to Follain in the South End, a mecca for local brands, such as the ones mentioned above, made with ingredients that you can actually pronounce.
So, why shop local? From an economic standpoint, it’s proven that the revenue is more likely to be returned to the community and stay in the local economy, in addition to increasing the area’s wealth and standard of living. It’s also more environmentally sustainable, as the products don’t “travel” as far, and it supports pedestrian- and biker-friendly town centers. In addition to the hipster street cred you’ll get, shopping for locally-made beauty products ultimately leads to a more personalized shopping experience and allows you to discover unique products that may work better than other chemical-filled options produced by large corporations.