Heliotrope brings new local beauty products to light
I was pretty excited to hear about Heliotrope (www.heliotropesf.com ), the new line of locally sourced, all-natural, unisex, essential oil-based, mostly fragrance-free beauty products launched by Bay Area style maven Jonathan Plotzker. I got more excited when Heliotrope's exquisite, neighborhood-feeling retail boutique opened in Noe Valley (1515 Church, SF. 415-643-4847) — you mean I can grab some insanely good hot and sour soup from Eric's Chinese and snag some natural product to vanish my all-night party bags? OK!
But things really got crazy for me when Plotzker told me over the phone about Heliotrope's massage candles — when the candles melt, the heated wax dissolves into an oil perfect for an intimate rubdown. "We're all about integration," he said with a laugh, "our candles will melt you two ways." Yes, I could go for a two-way melt right about now, in the middle of winter.
Plotzker had just returned from a visit to one of his chemists in Sonoma. "One of my original visions for the line was to help bring to light a lot of the small-batch local beauty developing going on," he said. "The name Heliotrope means 'turn toward the sun' — but besides have the connotation of 'enlightenment,' I just really like the word. I think it describes our customers: smart, nature-oriented, and confident." He adds that the company's wood-grain logo comes from a scan of an actual redwood log that he happened to have in his car when he met with a graphic designer, giving it an extra local angle.
Heliotrope puts out dozens of products, from Witch Hazel and Birch Head-to-Toes Wash to single-note lemongrass essential oil. (The Heliotrope boutique sells a full range of accessories as well.) I asked Plotzker to pick out a few favorites that he'd recommend for our unique Bay Area winter.
Neroli is the essential oil of the orange blossom, and it's a wonder, with anti-inflammatory and anti-redness properties. No more winter bloaty look. ($29 for 2 ounces, $39 for four ounces)
People are realizing how good the right kind of oils can be for their skin! Our serums are concentrated treatments for the face — the frankincense calms, and the rose geranium rejuvenates. ($42)
The rosewater acts as a humectant, meaning that the rose oil molecule attracts and retains the water molecule, keeping you hydrated and healthy. ($32)
This is my favorite product in the shop. It's a rich, creamy treatment for hands, cuticles, and nails that sinks in quickly so you don't feel it — and your mittens won't stick to your hands. ($16)
Soy wax melts at a lower temperature, so the resulting liquid can be poured on the skin and used as a smooth and natural massage oil, in fragrances like black fig cardamom and citrus nutmeg or fragrance-free. ($24)
Use this on your body to enhance your mood, use it as a facial toner to stay hydrated, and use it as a room fragrance — aloe, açai, pomegranate, and more. It's a triple threat! ($19)