Skincare that breathes life into local economies

Vendor Profile: Evan Healy

Evan Healy was raised in a health food store. Her parents owned one in San Diego, CA and she spent her childhood working and playing within its walls. That background set her on a path toward holistic wellness; first as a body care buyer, then training as an aesthetician and going on to earn degrees from the International Dermal Institute and the British Institute of Homeopathy, then eventually starting her own product line featuring simple, plant-based, certified organic ingredients.

Healy's line of skin care products are all made by hand on the premises of her 26-person operation in California. She sources plant material directly from small, regional farms in various parts of the world: a widow's group in Ghana provides her with raw, unbleached shea butter at fair-trade prices and self-governed women's co-operatives in Morocco are responsible for sustainably harvested argan oil.

The Wedge has been selling Healy's products for more than a decade, and has served as a proving ground for her philosophies, both in terms of skin health and in responsible sourcing. Nowhere is this truer than in the story of her hydrosols. Also known as flower waters, hydrosols are produced by steam distilling plant materials and are an important product in Healy's line of facial tonics that restore skin's pH balance. They are commonly produced as a by-product of the essential oil industry, which is where Healy had been getting her hydrosols in the early 2000s. But in 2009, she became acquainted with a farm in eastern Washington State devoted purely toward producing a higher-quality hydrosol with plants grown and distilled on-site. She wanted to switch her sourcing to support them, but she needed a testing ground. The Wedge was eager and willing to sell these new products, and soon sales took off.

With the support of Wedge's members and customers, Healy's product line has grown, which has meant an expansion in her relationships with small-scale, organic certified growers and distillers in Washington. What started with one farm is now seven, with an eighth joining the operation this summer. By taking a chance that people would support a more sustainable product, Healy has created a space for an entire economy to flourish that didn't exist before.

These farmers go out into their fields to hand-pick flowers like rose geranium, lavender and lemon thyme, and then the harvested plant material gets gently and precisely brewed with water in a large copper cooker. As the plants are being distilled, micro-particles of essential oil release into the distillate, giving it its aromatic scent, which eventually separate as the collected hydrosol cools. These are then be bottled at Healy's production facility on a made-to-order basis and shipped to the Wedge, where they are a staff favorite.

These products, along with the rest of Healy's line have been given the special honor of the Wedge Award, given to companies that meet our highest standards of responsibility and excellence. Discover for yourself the radiance that comes from products that nourish both your skin and the lives of small-scale, sustainable producers.

All images used with permission of Plant Devas Inc