By Tara Lange
Working under the mantra that what we put onto our bodies is as important as what we put into it, Nicole Maust gives us Nahla, an eco-conscious, vegan and entirely organic line of skincare made in upstate New York. Common beauty products tend to be laden with toxic ingredients like petroleum-based chemicals and fragrances that disrupt the endocrine system, act as neurotoxins and place a heavy burden on the liver. On its website Nahla points out ingredients to avoid like polyethylene glycol, also known as PEG, which is often used in cleansers to dissolve grease and oil but has properties that weaken the immune system and disrupt the body's natural moisture balance. Nahla packs its beauty line with alternative, food-grade ingredients full of living enzymes, antioxidants and active nutrients that nourish the skin and actually aid in the detox process.
As a vital organ of detoxification, the skin reflects the body's overall internal conditions and current state of health. Allergic reactions, severe sensitivity, long-term blemishing and premature aging are all indications of a need for a greater level of care. Maust's understanding of this, coupled with her training in naturopathic medicine, herbalism and holistic healing helped the skin guru perfect the formulas she created for her own sensitive skin in her Portland kitchen.
Maust believes the skin can be an "inherently self-healing and resilient machine" when supported with nutrient-rich skincare formulas, so ingredients, which are carefully sourced from small farms and cooperatives, are always 100% free of parabens, phthalates, synthetics and petrochemicals. Nahla products are handmade in small batches using artisanal processes that take weeks to complete, and the human-powered manufacturing practices result in virtually no carbon footprint. Post-manufacturing, the spent organic plant material used to create the formulas is composted onsite and worked into their gardens. Maust has been approached multiple times with opportunities to expand to mass production but has held firm to her "quality over quantity" philosophy. Nahla donates 20% of profits to charitable causes submitted by consumers to the company website. Also on its website are tips related to dry brushing, yoga, meditation, massage and other health-minded topics.
The entire range of Nahla products can be purchased online.