The Blissoma line of 100% vegetarian skincare products (most of which are also certified vegan) raises the bar for the term "natural skincare." Herbal chemist Julie Longyear started Blissoma in 2005, but it's been flying under the radar as an underground cult beauty brand, maintaining a loyal following for those looking for a healthier and more environmentally conscious lifestyle.
It took two years for her to develop original recipes from scratch and test their performance. "This is uncommon, as co-packing and private labeling is very, very common in the cosmetics and skincare industries. Many times companies will select a 'base' recipe from a contract manufacturer and simply add a few choice extracts to differentiate their line," says Longyear. Instead of investing time and money in marketing, Longyear prioritizes the quality of her botanical ingredients and doesn't cut corners. This means you'll see dulse and nori seaweeds, dandelion root, and other potent plants and herbs show up on the ingredients list, which will never use parabens, petrochemical ingredients, and other harsh irritants commonly found in cosmetic products. All products are made in St. Louis, Missouri by Longyear and another colleague, allowing them to control every step of the production process.
We used the facial care products over a few weeks, and Longyear's words ring true: The texture, color and smell are transparent in the sense that they don't mask anything, and simply reveal the actual ingredients used—the physical experience is surprisingly more elegant and luxurious than expected. Longyear herself is just as open and makes herself readily available to answer any curious inquiry; of which there there are many, since vegetarian skincare is still new to the scene. Her personal interest in informing her customers is just one of many ways Blissoma endeavors to be a brand that cares—like the charitable donations they make to non-profit organic agricultural apprenticeship programs in Missouri.
Blissoma products are available on their newly launched website, and most of the products are within the $25-$35 range. When your skin gets more sensitive during the winter season, we recommend the Herbal Gel Cleanser and Makeup Remover, which is free of soap and gluten.
Lead photo by Nara Shin, studio image courtesy of Julie Longyear