Regulars and Shorts

Healthy & Local: Oils, balms, butters and more

By Emma Ryder

Rx for high desert winter-parched bodies.

An organic, locally grown tomato is  good for our bodies and grows wealth in our community. And we can expand  that concept beyond the culinary! Your whole body, after all, can benefit from skin care products made with healthy ingredients. These days, a growing number of local entrepreneurs are making this possible.

Your skin is the largest organ of your body. Yes, it’s a barrier to everything underneath, but it also absorbs lots of nutrients every day and it can just as easily take in a number of toxins.

The average person uses about 10 different body products a day. It’s a good bet at least some of those products contain alcohol, which dries out the skin and makes the body’s barrier more vulnerable to bacteria and viruses. Mineral oil is another red flag ingredient. Derived from petroleum, it can clog pores and prevent the body from eliminating toxins. Then there’s palm oil, which is taking an enormous environmental and social toll with a harvest industry linked to deforestation, animal cruelty and indigenous rights abuses.

Scientific studies occasionally confirm the benefits of using natural, Earth-based ingredients. According to the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, some plant-based ingredients (such as olive oil, chamomile, and oats) used in cosmetics and body care products can prevent and treat the adverse effects of UV radiation.

Finely ground and boiled oats produces colloidal oatmeal best known for its ability to hydrate skin and hair and protect the body from UV radiation, free radicals and smoke.

Olive oil, considered one of the healthiest forms of dietary fat, has anti-inflammatory properties. Some research has shown that, when applied to the skin of mice, olive oil reduces the incidence of skin cancer development after UVB exposure.

Cleansing with oil may seem counter-intuitive, but the right kinds can dissolve skin oil and dirt as well as protect skin from winter dryness.

Utah-made  body care products are found online, at craft fairs and at area farmers markets. Here are a few local small businesses  for you to consider next time you’re in the market for some primo products.


Olio Skin & Beard

Jennifer Williamson started her adventure into handmade body care after being disappointed with the quality of the products she was using on her clients as a nail technician. Williamson took matters into her own hands , creating some homemade mostly vegan and plant-based concoctions.

Olio Skin & Beard provides an impressive line of niche products such as beard and tattoo oils. Their activated charcoal shave soap (for men and women) is made in collaboration with local soap maker Bee Smooth Skin Care. From beard oils to lotion, this company strives to make everything in their product line clean, holistic and sustainable.

Olio products include: sea kelp and clay mask, soak salts, hair and scalp oil. Find Olio: Salt Lake summer Downtown Farmer’s Market and


Crude Personal Care

Master esthetician Denise Cartwright created Crude Personal Care after experimenting with oil cleansing methods on herself. The oil cleanse improved her chronically dry skin when nothing else would. And so Crude Personal Care was born.

Crude’s line of gentle, plant-based products helps maintain skin’s natural ability to regenerate itself. Crude products do not use sulfates, parabens, detergents or chemicals of any kind, all for the benefit of your skin.

Crude products include: facial oil, beard oil, detox mask. Find Crude:

Purring Buddha

Purring Buddha is the creation of massage therapist Mieke White Okamura, so it’s not surprising her body butters work well as a massage oil. The butters, balms, scrubs and soaps are free of gmos, detergents, parabens, petroleum and environmentally unsound palm oil. Ingredients in her products are fair-trade, vegan, organic and local (whenever possible). The soaps are bastille (cold-processed and at least 70% olive oil). The company also supports animal rescue organizations.

Purring Buddha products include: sea salt scrub, soap, bath bombs, body butters and lip balms. Find Purring Buddha:  Blue Boutique, Real Foods, Etsy.


Sister Root Medicinals

Herbalist and massage therapist Ali Matz of Castle Valley (near Moab) started selling her healing creations under the name Sister Root Medicinals after years of formulating herbal medicines to tend to the needs of her family and pets. Her product line includes body care products along with herbal extracts. The ingredients Matz uses in her products are certified organic or ethically wildcrafted (harvested from the wild). Matz likes to say that she does not use any ingredients that are difficult to pronounce (aka chemicals).

Sister Root products include: Moonlight facial serum, Birch sunbutter (30spf), Plantain calendula liniment; for pets: flea & tick powder. Find at and


Salis Skincare

Salis means salt in Latin, and that’s no coincidence. Created by local esthetician Laura Bradford, Salis products are formulated with salt as their main ingredient. And not just any salt. Salis uses Redmond Real Salt, a mineral rich strain of sodium mined here in Utah (Redmond salt is also great on food).

Salis products include: blackhead removal mask, salt scrubs, Redmond powdered clay. Find Salis:

This article was originally published on December 31, 2016.