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Natural Skin Care, Only the Best

By Michele Hatton

The fluctuating temperatures can be brutal on our skin. New Leaf’s line of nourishing skin care products can soften those chafed hands and parched lips. The balms, creams, tonics, serums and butters are all there waiting for you to bring your dry winter skin some soothing relief. The New Leaf Market (NLM) Wellness staff spends many hours on your behalf choosing skincare companies whose ingredients are free of pesticides and other harmful products, even if such products do not carry the “certified organic” label, which requires that 95 percent of the ingredients are organic. Nathaniel Hansberry, Assistant Wellness Manager at NLM, offers some tips about choosing quality products, “Go for those that don’t contain [potentially] detrimental substances like sodium lauryl sulfate or methylparaben.” Some people find these ingredients to be irritating or drying. “And look at the labels,” says Hansberry. For example, lavender, the emperor of fragrances, comes in a number of forms. To make sure you are getting pure lavender, look for the name “Lavender” followed by the scientific name, Lavandula angustifolia. Anything else is an offshoot and not considered pure.

Both Hansberry and NLM Wellness Manager Marrian McQueen consider the Aubrey brand of body care products to be one of the best there is. Pure Life and Alaffia are two other skin care companies that use quality ingredients. Alaffia’s African black liquid soap is good for washing face, body and hair. The thick translucent soap contains a high percentage of shea butter, but the company touts potash—produced from the ashes of plantain leaves and bark from a West African tree—as its distinguishing ingredient. (In West African Togo, black soap is the only soap used by mothers of newborns because of its gentleness.) The company also gives back to the countries of West Africa through community empowerment and reforestation projects.

If you’d rather make your own skin care products New Leaf has what you need: butters from nuts like cocoa and shea; almond, coconut, apricot and sesame oils; and foundational ingredients like vegetable glycerin and lanolin. Scent your gifts with an essential oil: lemongrass, fir needle, clove, grapefruit, rosemary—there are dozens of them.

Whatever your preference, the Wellness staff is ready to help in any way they can!

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