8 Clean Beauty Brands That Call Upstate New York Home | Field + Supply @ Chronogram | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

Whether it's farm-to-table restaurants or furniture makers, upstate New York has long been known as a mecca for makers conscientiously practicing their craft.

In the last few years, the region has also become a magnet for enterprising folks looking to make waves in the clean beauty space. And given the bounty of locally grown herbs and botanicals that can be sourced direct from the region's many farms for use in their products, it's no wonder.

While the category of clean beauty can be a wide one, it's a unifying approach to sourcing philosophy that has emerged to set these brands apart: a commitment to making products with local ingredients where possible and without potentially toxic substances or harm to animals.

From soap to perfume to face and body care and more, here are eight upstate clean beauty brands you should know.

1. SallyeAnder, Beacon

In 1982, Oswego chef Gary Austin set out to craft a simple soap that he and his wife could use for their first child, who was allergic to grocery store soap. Drawing on his culinary background, Austin came up with a simple, natural, olive oil-based version that would become the recipe for the gentle Castile soap bars that have made the family's company, SallyeAnder, a cult favorite for almost 40 years.

Many of the ingredients for the Beacon-based brand's 20-plus varieties of soap bars—plus its shampoos, lip balms, face scrubs, and fan-favorite DEET-free “No-Bite-Me” bug repellent—are sourced right from the Hudson Valley. And true to its origins, all of its products only feature pure essential oils, herbs, and an olive oil blended base instead of coconut or palm oil.

Products to try:

We love the original bar soaps (in Lakeshore, Milk & Mint, and Evergreen to name a few) but just a few swipes of the Nourish Under Eye Treatment stick—loaded with rich, soothing ingredients like orchid oil and cocoa butter—and you'll swear those lines around your eyes were just a figment of your imagination.

Shop SallyAnder.

2. Flora Beauty, Kingston

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A blend of botanicals, fruit extracts, and essential oils in Flora Beauty's Nectar Nourishing Oil helps lock in moisture.
Founded by Janette Bower, a 20-plus year expert in the fashion and beauty industry, Flora Beauty's 58Flora line of oils, serums, creams, and scents is handcrafted in small batches in Kingston's charming Stockade District and draws on Bower's studies in aromatherapy, perfumery, green medicine, and psychology. All products are organic, ethically sourced, cruelty free, vegan, and made without parabens, phthalates, or synthetics.

Products to try:

For those looking to add a little luxury to their everyday beauty routine, check out the Nectar Regenerative Oil, with hints of honied jasmine and rose geranium, or the calming Lavender + Squalane Daily Glow Oil.

3. Phoenicia Soap Co., Phoenicia

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Frangipani Orange Shampoo & Soap
Everyone in Phoenicia Soap Co. founder Barbara Mansfield's family has extremely sensitive skin, even her dog Moses! Unable to find a soap that both smelled great and was pure, gentle, and moisturizing enough for her family's needs, she set out to make it herself and Phoenicia Soap Co. was born.

The plant-based body and face care line is made with oils infused with botanicals that are wild-crafted or sustainably grown in the Catskills, and without the use of colorants and ingredients that harm people, water, and land.

Products to try:

The bar soaps in herby Rosemary Biochar—made with wood burned in very low oxygen that can help soothe insect-bitten or rash- or acne-prone skin—lusciously floral Frangipani Orange, and uplifting Juniper Tangerine will have your bathroom feeling like a spa in no time. 

Shop Phoenicia Soap Co.

4. Lovewild Design

What started out as a stationary and wedding invitation design company organically evolved into home goods and pregnancy-related products as Lovewild Design founder Sierra Zamarripa's family grew.

The brand's handcrafted, sustainable products are made in its family and women-run studios in Woodstock and the East Village. From everyday personal care products such as shampoo bars and bamboo toothbrushes to whimsical gift items like wildflower seed stationery that grow when planted, Lovewild boasts a variety of eco-friendly goods meant for gift-giving as well as home life. The skincare products are made with plant-based ingredients and free from additives like parabens, phthalate, and artificial ingredients.

Products to try:

The hand-drawn designs on the compostable packaging alone is enough to make you want to scoop up a half dozen of Lovewild's products, but we especially love the Gleaming Glow Mask with antioxidant-rich rose-hip and pomegranate seed powders and the Rose Lip Balm, which gets its light, natural tint from alkanet root.

5. Kelly + Jones, Kingston

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Kelly + Jones' mezcal-inspired line of perfumes
Perfume creator Kelly Jones was inspired to create Kelly + Jones, her line of vineyard-inspired scents after attending a wine tasting and noticing how her perfume played with the notes of the wine. Jones then went about mixing up heady, luscious scents that celebrate the art of tasting and smelling wine. Each bottle of fragrance is hand-poured in their Kingston studio and are all non-toxic, cruelty-free, and made without parabens or phthalates. 

Products to try:

Love natural wine? You'll fall for Bouquet, an unfiltered eau de parfum that bottles the Catskills and a Hudson Valley harvest and features warming notes of bergamot, orange wine, rose petals, rhubarb, and Catskills cedar. Looking for something a little more adventurous? Check out the bright, smoky Mezcal Blanca perfume oil roll-on from the three-scent mezcal-inspired line, which features notes of peppercorn, palm leaf, Oaxacan sea salt, juniper, and star anise.

6. Hudson Valley Skincare, Pleasant Valley

Hudson Valley Skincare founder Cathie Arpino started her career in the late '80s as a cosmetic chemist formulating products. In 2012, she found her way back to her passion through her husband, Glenn, a compounding pharmacist with a background in product formulation. The idea came to life when Glenn started to get requests for natural products, inspiring Arpino to get back in the lab and combine her love of science and nature to create Hudson Valley Skin Care, where indulgence meets affordability.

From soaps to lotions, lip balms, candles, and more, Hudson Valley Skincare's small-batch beauty and home products are handcrafted at their lab facility in Pleasant Valley and never tested on animals. The line features organic and locally sourced ingredients like goat milk from Coach Farms in Pine Plains.

Products to try:

Give your lips the gift of moisture with the Black Cherry Lip Treatment, made with locally sourced cold-pressed sunflower seed oil. Rich with shea butter, argan oil, sunflower oil, and cocoa butter yet lightweight enough for daily use, we love the line of Bodacious Body Lotions featuring single scents like patchouli, sandalwood, and lavender.

Shop Hudson Valley Skincare.

7. Saipua, Esperance

8 Clean Beauty Brands That Call Upstate New York Home
Image courtesy of Field + Supply
The basil essential oil in Saipua's Goat Milk Soap with Basil is peppery and sweet with notes of anise.
Saipua matriarch, Susan Ryhanen began making soap as a hobby in 1999 in her basement using olive oil from the grocery store and a shoebox as a mold. The hobby grew into a small business called Creekside Soaps, which sold soap as well as custom-engineered soap making supplies, designed by Susan's husband Pentti.

In 2004 Susan’s daughter Sarah and her partner Eric suggested a rebranding of the soap. SAIPUA (derived from the Finnish word for soap ‘saippua’ and a nod to Pentti’s heritage) was formed. For almost two decades, soap has served as a backbone for the myriad endeavors at SAIPUA and Worlds End Farm in Esperance, New York, which has expanded to include wool and sheep products, ceramics, seasonal pantry items, and tabletop decor.

Products to try:

In the Vetiver with French Green Clay bar, smoky, earthy vetiver (a favorite base note for many perfumers) really shines, and the French green clay works to gently draw out impurities and tighten the pores. Looking for extra nourishment? The luxurious Face and Body Oil features three hydrating oils that will help replenish your skin's moisture.  

8. Gentleman Farmer, Rochester

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Soothing, hydrating botanicals, including a base of organic aloe vera, in Gentleman Farmer's Shaving Cream leave skin soft and without irritation or nicks.
Launched by Maude Burns, a veteran of the New York City beauty industry and her bar soap-loving husband, Gentleman Farmer is a men's grooming brand dedicated to high-quality, clean, and mindfully created products for values-driven men. 

In addition to the many sustainability-focused organizations Gentleman Farmer donates to including the National Young Farmers Coalition and the NRDC, the company's commitment to green practices includes using easily recyclable materials like aluminum and glass, participation in Pact Collective, a nonprofit that collects hard-to-recycle items in an effort to keep them out of the ocean and landfills, and using responsibly sourced palm oil from South America. The brand is also certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny.

Products to try:

For minimalists just looking to level up their daily skin care game, the nourishing Shaving Cream and skin-brightening Daily Face Wash are an easy one-two punch that won't leave you feeling like you just adopted a nine-step self-care regime.

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