Skincare goes local at the farmers’ market

Oct. 06, 2013 @ 05:42 PM

Farmers’ markets have become one-stop shopping destinations that include not only local fruits and vegetables, but also locally prepared foods, dog treats and even bath products. At the South Durham Farmers’ Market, we have are lucky to have Shorganics and Rolling Hills Soap,  as well as handcrafted goat milk soaps from  Parker Farm & Vineyards.

Having really sensitive combination skin, I have struggled to find skincare products that work for me. I discovered the hard way that the price and prestige of a product were not indicators of effectiveness or even quality. I also learned the importance of paying close attention to ingredients, just as I do with my food.

Megan and Matt Vick, the founders and owners of Shorganics, feel the same way about the importance of ingredients. That is why their bath and body products are made primarily from organic and fairly traded plant-based ingredients that are free from synthetic fragrances, colors and preservatives. All their products have a short ingredients list that satisfy my version of Michael Pollan’s food rule, “If you can’t say it, don’t apply it.”

At first, Megan and Matt were simply interested in making lotions and soaps gentle enough for their own skin, but after giving their wedding guests favors filled with homemade lotions, bath salts and soaps, and receiving positive feedback, they decided to launch Shorganics. “We figured if our family and friends liked our products, then maybe we could do this for real,” said Megan.

Since 2011, they have been handcrafting every one of their lip balms, deodorants, face creams and body butters from their home in Apex with quality ingredients harvested from growers using sustainable agricultural practices. The name of

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their product line was inspired by their experiences growing up on the Outer Banks, an area that seemed to epitomize naturalness and purity.

Using natural and organic skincare products makes perfect sense. Toxins rubbed on your skin, your body’s largest organ, can sometimes enter your bloodstream even faster than if you consumed them. And unfortunately many products sold in the United States do contain synthetic ingredients with untested health effects.

While the FDA was founded by the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938, the FDA provides much less oversight of the cosmetic industry. In fact, the FDA does not have the authority to conduct health and safety assessments of beauty product ingredients until after they are already on the market.

Cosmetics derived from natural ingredients are typically less irritating than those derived from synthetic ingredients and just as effective. Not to mention, they are much safer for children and toddlers who might eat what they shouldn’t. Shorganics uses all food-grade organic oils in their products, so while it is not recommended, consuming their product would not be harmful. Additionally, products comprised of natural ingredients are better for the environment, since fewer chemicals went into their farming and extraction, and the product going down the drain is less toxic to our waterways.

Come visit the market this weekend and stock up on quality moisturizing products for the dry months ahead! 

Elizabeth Zander is market manager of the South Durham Farmers’ Market. The market is from 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays at Greenwood Commons Shopping Center, 5410 NC Highway 55.