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Southern women know the importance of maintaining healthy skin. Perhaps that’s because, from a young age, we’re schooled on eye serums, face creams and everything in between. If you heard your mother or grandmother speak of the miracles of Noxema, Pond’s or, dare we say it aloud, mayonnaise, you were probably raised in the South. Thankfully, things have changed quite a bit when it comes to having healthy skin, and there are several Southern brands leading the charge. Today, we’re sharing the scoop on three of the luxurious Southern brands that are modernizing skincare in our region and beyond.

Mama Bath and Body

Mama Bath and Body uses real, raw ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil and herbs to create a natural brand with products straight from Mama Earth. Emilie Sennebogen Bryant founded the company in 2002 while working in the film industry in Los Angeles. After straddling the world of skincare and film, Emilie moved to Atlanta to focus on her brand, Mama Bath and Body. Since its official launch in 2004, Mama Bath and Body has grown to be a beloved handmade bath and body brand around the United States. Their offerings include a variety of soaps, oils, men’s products, baby products, bath salts and other items in a range of scents including grapefruit tangerine, honey almond and peppermint rosemary. Each product is created from scratch using the best ingredients available. “We exclusively use essential oils in our products and have for years — long before they became popular. We have also started growing our own herbs and distilling hydrosols, and we are working on a [new] line of skincare products that has been a long time coming,” Emilie explains. In addition to two retail spaces (with a third in the works), Mama Bath and Body products are sold online and in a variety of retailers across the country. Don’t just take it from us: the widespread availability of the line beyond Southern states is a true testament to their popularity and reliability.

Mama Bath and Body founder Emilie Sennebogen Bryant says, “I think many Southern women are taught to take pride in their appearance, and taking care of your skin is the basis of that. We make products that help support this mission!” Image: Kathryn McCrary

The brand uses real, raw ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil and herbs to create a natural brand with products straight from Mama Earth. Image: @mamabathandbody

Pure MD

Nurse practitioner (Masters in Nursing from The University of Alabama at Birmingham) and Healing Waters medspa founder Amanda Gorecki began Pure MD because she saw a need for products that felt good on women’s skin, had a great texture and, most of all, worked. Initially, the products were created specifically for Healing Waters clients. However, after receiving rave reviews from users, Amanda decided she might be onto something more. Now, the brand has products for all skin types and all ages with more on the way. “Recently, we began to target and turn around inflammation in the body. What we found with the whole aging process is that it goes down to the cellular level. More than that, inflammation is the first step in aging. If we can turn the inflammation cascade around, we can slow down the aging process.” If that’s not music to your ears, we’re not sure what is. With a recently launched collection, Skin Dtox, focusing on this very concept, PureMD is facing aging head-on. Beyond creating products that work for anti-aging, Amanda has also focused on a skincare regimen for teens that simplifies a routine into three effective products. Not only are these products easy to use, but they’re packaged beautifully and geared specifically towards teen users. But Amanda says not to let names like “G.O.A.T” (Greatest of All Toners)  and “Lit x 2” (a two-in-one cleanser) intimidate you from trying them for yourself. Essentially, if you haven’t yet, you need to get started with a skin care routine, even if that means using the more simplistic PureMD teen line.

Founder Amanda Gorecki created PureMD’s Teen Clean line with her daughter. The simple, three-step process is not only perfect for teens but also adults looking to get started with a skin care routine. Image: @puremdskincare

PureMD’s robust product selection has something for any skin type. Image: @puremdskincare

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Sapelo came about organically: through friendship. Cindy Edwards and Stephanie Duttenhaver immediately hit it off and decided to take the leap when, as Cindy describes it, “discussions about ‘anti-aging’ products and procedures became more frequent.” That’s when Stephanie shared her desire to create a skincare line, and Cindy jumped at the chance. The rest is history. Savannah-based Sapelo uses familiar ingredients like chamomile, honey and rosemary to bring to life their paraben- and sulfate-free products. “Sapelo represents the future of skin care. We have educated ourselves on skin physiology. We are passionate about healthy skincare, and we believe our brand is the vanguard in a revolution that will change the way the world thinks about skincare products,” Stephanie says. Leave it to two Southern women, inspired by their Southern surroundings, to tackle the skincare industry. In fact, their backyard environment is part of what Cindy and Stephanie use not only as inspiration but as a necessary reminder as well. “We remind our customers to use Sapelo twice a day — just like the tides,” explains Stephanie. The two take pride in their Savannah roots and their thoroughness. “Like great whiskeys, Sapelo is made in small batches in Savannah with careful attention to detail. Like great whiskeys, beautiful skin should be smooth and clean. And better than great whiskeys, you don’t have to advertise your age!” Cindy and Stephanie say with a laugh.

When asked why Southern women are so invested in their skincare routines, Sapelo co-founders Cindy Edwards and Stephanie Duttenhaver say, “Southern women have always placed a premium on all things beautiful. When it comes to our skin, we want to protect it with the same tenacity we do with our pearls and silver.” Image: Sapelo

Truly, Sapelo’s packaging is as luxurious as the feel of their products. You can find them for yourself on their site, at Saks Fifth Avenue or in a variety of spas and boutiques around the South. Image: Sapelo


Looking for even more beauty finds? Head to our beauty archives for all things skincare.

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