In an ideal world, I’d love to give my beauty routine a major haul. I’d start with skin care by cutting out all of the creams and serums made with synthetic and super-fragranced ingredients. But because my job relies on testing dozens of different formulations a month, it’s practically impossible to completely dissect products from my daily routine that don’t fall within the clean beauty category. Instead, I rely on inspiration from green beauty entrepreneurs to keep me motivated, so one day I can rid my routine of icky ingredients—for good. And Clary Collection, an organic skin and body-care line founded by Jen Auerbach (she’s the wife of Black Keys’ lead guitarist Dan Auerbach) and Adriel Denae, is the latest natural brand to inspire me to go green with my routine.
Clary Collection, named after the calming herb clary sage, is made up of four products—Clary Balm, Clary Bath + Body Oil, Clary Nipple Balm, and Clary Oil for Stretch Marks—which are all formulated with up to about a handful of ingredients, including hydrating cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil and soothing lavender. As a fan of the Black Keys (Brothers is my anthem in an album) and someone who respects a minimalistic approach to skin care, I happily hopped on the phone with the lovely ladies of Clary Collection to learn more about the brand’s origin (spoiler alert: it was born in the kitchen!), the importance of organic ingredients, and the future of the brand.
First things first: How did Clary Collection come to fruition?
Denae: “Clary Collection was born out of Jen and I’s friendship and experience with our first pregnancies with our children and our desire to find clean products that actually work with our skin and our kids’ skin. We both had children who were born with pretty sensitive skin and have allergies ourselves, and we were increasingly disappointed with things that we were finding in stores and online. It started as a fun experience to see what we could make ourselves in our kitchen, and it turned into something really exciting and inspiring. So made a balm that we wanted to use for diaper rash, eczema, and really itchy skin, and it was surprisingly effective. It became increasingly popular among our friends and family, and people wanted more, so we decided to give it a try and see if we could sell some. It’s just taken off from there.”
Why was creating a line of clean, natural body-care products so important?
Auerbach: “When you have someone very tiny, born without chemicals on their skin, you want to keep it that way. For Adriel and I, the more we started researching what people were putting on their skin, it was just disturbing. As a mother, you go and search organic skin-care products, but they still contain synthetic preservatives, so I think that was another drive to make our own line, because we can only really trust our own products.”
Denae: Both of us try to be conscious with how we’re consuming and interacting with the planet, but like Jen said, pregnancy and motherhood just kicked all of that into high gear and forced our search to go into hyper-drive. And also, I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten increasingly more sensitive to synthetic chemicals, preservatives, colorings, and fragrances. As that has increased, the need to find cleaner products have also increased.”
The packaging is so chic! What’s the story behind it?
Auerbach: “I was renovating my basement and came across this old shoe polish tin from the forties. I completely ripped off this design because it was so awesome—it was so simple and timeless. I like simplicity in packaging. Today, you see so much branding, and the last thing I want to do is be confused when I go to buy something. I like to see what I’m buying, like with the ingredients laid off right in front of me instead of hunting for them on the back of the packaging.”
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Auerbach: “All of us travel these days, so a lot of friends ask me for a travel-size container of our oil. ‘I can’t travel anywhere without my Clary oil, so I pour it into a plastic container and it leaks all over my bag!’ So we’re going to create a two-ounce Clary Oil, and have also been experimenting with a balancing oil. It’s going to be a roll-on bottle that you can travel with, which contains clary sage and lavender, two things we really love. Lavender is really good for anxiety and anti-inflammatory, and clary sage oil is great for menstrual cramps, so we’re really excited to introduce that to the market.”
Clary Collection products range from $16.50 to $42 on clarycollection.com.
Now, find out how to make a two-ingredient scrub that will brighten skin: