In response to COVID-19, grocery stores are selling out of hand sanitizer and soap. Thankfully, Cincinnati has a wealth of local makers who craft their own skin care and hygiene products using sustainable, locally sourced ingredients. These products are also typically free of parabens, dyes, sulfates, and other harmful ingredients and aren’t tested on animals. Can you say that about the hand sanitizer you buy from the supermarket? Here’s a list of six local businesses where you can buy a variety of hygiene products to keep you feeling your best.
Lemonwood Soap Co.
Are you into soap that looks as good as it smells? Then Lemonwood Soap Co. has you covered with its 14 different aesthetically pleasing bar soaps. Each is handmade by husband-and-wife team Steve and Crystal Mullins. Together, they craft “high-quality, well-researched handmade alternatives to store-bought bath and body products” made with raw materials from women-owned businesses. In addition to offering vegan soap options, all products are free of phthalates, parabens, sulfates, dyes, and palm oils. Lemonwood Soap Co. also sells bath bombs, body butters, lotions, loofah soaps, and scrubs. They also ship products all over the U.S. using recyclable packaging.
Obsessed with knowing the ingredients that make up your products? So is Courtney Lawrence, who founded Minor Obsession, her handmade collection of natural skincare products. She specializes in small-batch vegan bar soap that’s free of gluten, synthetic fragrances, palm oils, sulfates, artificial coloring, and animal byproducts. Use her soaps for your hands, face, or body. Have sensitive skin? She makes soaps for specific skin types, too. She also ships her products internationally.
Founded in 2017, &Sundries stemmed from John Meyer’s “passion for making things [and] understanding the processes and materials in the things around [him].” He now sells more than 150 handcrafted products, including soaps, lotions, bath bombs, essential oils, candles, and bath soaks and scrubs that are sustainably made with locally sourced, “good-for-you ingredients,” out of his recently opened storefront in the East Walnut Hills. His black tea bar soap, for example, uses activated charcoal that soothes and detoxifies the skin, and his essential oils help with respiratory problems and aching muscles. &Sundries offers shipping all over the U.S. and free shipping for orders of $35 or more.
2807 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut Hills
Queen City Alchemy
A proud descendant of generations of Appalachian Medicine Women, Emily Little is dedicated to providing high-quality natural skin care products that use only safe, non-toxic, and cruelty-free ingredients through her Over-the-Rhine apothecary. If you’re struggling to find hand sanitizer at the store, Queen City Alchemy offers an all-natural, CDC-compliant option. It also sells all-natural deodorant in five different scents, as well as facial soaps and masks, immune boosting herbal extracts, bath soaks, lip balm, sugar scrubs, and more. The shop offers domestic shipping, but once it’s safe to visit in person, we suggest trying the DIY bar, where customers can make face masks, bath soaks, herbal tea, and more.
1808 Race St., Over-the-Rhine
Erin Christen launched Earthganics in July 2016, after she was diagnosed with multiple Endocrine diseases and wanted her family to start using more natural personal care products. Through her online shop, Christen offers handmade all-natural custom deodorants, oral care, lip balm, wool dryer balls, bug spray, sunscreen, lotion, face serums, and more from 100 percent natural ingredients. She also sells an all-natural foaming hand soap and hand sanitizer and is currently offering same-day shipping all over the U.S.
The Oakley Soap Co.
This local business is a one-woman show: It’s owned and operated by Laura Piptone, who became inspired to start a business after her friends started asking to buy the soap she featured on social media. All of her handmade soaps, sugar scrubs, body butters, and shower steamers are 100 percent vegan, made in small batches, and free of beeswax and honey. She also purchases most of her supplies from women-owned businesses and offers a variety of soap scents, including a non-scented option. In addition to choosing the domestic shipping option at check-out, Cincinnati residents can opt to pick up purchases from Piptone’s Oakley home or score free delivery for orders more than $20.