Fig & Flower encourages fair-trade and sustainable business and farming practices by selling eco-chic, natural, eco-friendly products from their storefront in Atlanta.
Photo: Jenni Girtman
Photo: Jenni Girtman

Best-kept skincare secrets from some of Atlanta's beauty store mavens

At the height of summer, the heat, humidity and fluctuating air quality can wreak havoc on your skin, requiring a better defense for your dermis. Such local providers as Fig & Flower and HollyBeth Organics offer natural and organic products that can provide protection from sun and pollution, as well as minimize the effects of aging.

“Having a good skin-care regimen goes a long way toward healthy-looking skin,” says Sara Lamond, owner of the 2-year-old Fig & Flower natural beauty store in Poncey-Highland. “We recommend cleansing and moisturizing twice a day, in the mornings and again each night before bed. And always remember to start with a clean face.”

Lamond created Fig & Flower on her quest for a healthier life, drawing the name from her grandmother’s love of gardening. Lamond grows vegetables in a local community garden but finds that even if you don’t spend much time outside, sunscreen makes an important part of a beauty routine.

“Many of today’s sunscreen products offer a combination of protection and moisturizing,” Lamond says. “It’s important to use both, not only to protect your skin from sun damage but also to help reduce the signs of aging.” She recommends a combination product called Suntegrity, a tinted moisturizer that works as a foundation and has an SPF of 30.

“Be sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects your skin from UVA and UVB rays,” she says. “Avoid sunscreens that have Vitamin A because research shows that it can increase the risks of skin lesions. Also, you don’t need a SPF of any higher than 30. Anything higher really doesn’t provide that much more protection. The key is to apply it regularly. Most labels suggest reapplying every hour.”

Fig & Flower offers a wide range of all-natural, nontoxic skin, beauty and home products, including locally made Dia Flora Natural Body Care, HiQ Cosmetics and HollyBeth Organics, created by HollyBeth Anderson in 2008.

“In all my travels, I found that the women with the healthiest complexions, especially in Europe, had a very simple skin-care routine,” says Anderson, who sells her products around the world from StudioPlex in the Sweet Auburn district of Atlanta. “I did extensive research and found that there are very few companies that offer 100 percent orgaannic and sustainable products, so that’s what we do.”

All the ingredients, from the rose geraniums used to create the company’s signature line to the shea butter from Africa, must be grown without chemicals or carcinogens. “Many companies label their products as organic or natural, but be sure to check that they are USDA-certified,” she says.

She advises people with normal to dry skin to choose from a full line of rose geranium products. The marigold group is designed for normal to oily skin. “We’ve created classics that are used by women from their 20s to their 80s,” Anderson says.

Anderson looked to her mother and grandmother’s beauty routines for guidance. “I remember that they both used cornmeal to exfoliate their skin, which was always glowing,” she says. “We’ve developed a very popular grits and tupelo honey scrub that does the trick, and honey is one of the oldest moisturizers on the planet.”

Anderson recommends keeping eye creams and eye serums in the refrigerator for a refreshing way to reduce puffiness.

She also advises customers gracefully accept the passage of time. “Life is not wrinkle free,” Anderson says. “The older I get, the more I realize that it’s back to basics in skin care. We can all learn to embrace our wrinkles and accept them gracefully.”

Insider tip

Lamond finds drinking plenty of water to be essential to skin care. “Staying properly hydrated will help your skin stay moisturized from the inside out,” she says. To estimate the daily intake, she suggests converting your body weight from pounds to ounces and divide by two, so if you weigh 120 pounds, drink 60 ounces of water a day.

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