Lotions and Potions

Body brews and blends can transform winter into one long spa day

Winter weather presents all kinds of challenges for our skin and nails. For most people, the colder months bring on that all too familiar cracking, flakiness and dehydration.

The fight against seasonal dryness may require an artillery of products, but your self-care routine shouldn’t stress you out. With the right scrubs, oils and nail care, you can transform winter into an extended spa retreat with, of course, breaks to go to work.

Luckily for Hoosiers, there’s never been a better time to seek out locally made bath and body remedies. Here, some of the many options for skin care, all of which will help to make your winter a little brighter and a whole lot smoother.

Granola Girl Skincare

While working on an organic farm and medicinal garden, J.D. Grove learned how to make soaps, salves and lotions using the plants they were growing. She fell in love with the alchemy of making skin care products and decided to start her own business in 2009 named Full Moon Milk Soaps.

Out of Full Moon Milk Soaps came Teehaus Bath & Body, which was recently rebranded as Granola Girl Skincare. Grove’s line is inspired by the ’60s countercultural ideals and aesthetics.

“Granola Girl Skincare offers a whole body daily beauty routine,” says Grove. “Everything from bar soaps and lotions, to facial care, shampoo, conditioner, natural deodorants and essential oils. And it’s all clean, green and girl-powered.”

Grove runs the Greencastle-based Conspire: Contemporary Craft Grove handmade arts and goods boutique, a shop that sells products by more than 125 regional artisans. It’s also at Conspire where Grove crafts her own line of plant-based and minimally packaged skin care products.

Granola Girl Skincare is available online and in stores around the state. Her natural and nourishing products can help reduce the effects of dry skin and hair.

“I believe in really simple, effective ingredients,” Grove says. “I make two moisturizers, Gaia Cream and Queen Bee Cream, that are tough enough to keep skin supple in the winter. I double up with the Flower Child Face Cream and Raspberry Serum in the harshest part of the winter to protect my face.”

Grove distributes her products with plastic-free, minimal packaging. She says her highest priority is to create products that help people and reduce wasteful practices.

Information: granolagirlskincare.com.


Christy Rose, owner and product designer of KBShimmer Bath & Body Inc., believes your hands tell your story.

“From a firm handshake, to holding hands with a loved one, to texting on your phone, your hands are visible to the world in every interaction,” she says. “I think that when we feel beautiful about our hands, it is easier for our confidence and inner beauty to shine through.”

KBShimmer produces an array of nail polishes, body lotions and hand care products with unique colors, elegant scents and glittery shine. Online shoppers can pick out everything needed for at-home hand maintenance, including nail coats and finishes, cuticle oil pens and creams, manicure shots, lotions and sugar scrubs.    

Driven to do something beyond working a stressful day job, Rose founded KBShimmer in 2008. She wanted to create her own products to enjoy during her nightly routine of a long bath, a good book and a pedicure.

For the first few years, Rose operated her business out of her home in Terre Haute with the help of her husband, Jason. In 2011, they moved manufacturing to their current warehouse within the same town. They now ship their shimmery products to customers all over the country and even internationally.

Rose says that although going to a salon can be amazing, she designs her products for women who want the satisfaction of indulging themselves at home.

“It can be a great feeling to do the perfect manicure yourself, or to take time to use a scrub and lotion,” she says. “That bit of pampering can change your mood and make you feel beautiful.”

Information: kbshimmer.com.

New Harmony Soap Co.

One day, Jim and Stephanie Spann watched a television ad for a smoking cessation patch, and a light bulb flicked on. “We realized soap and body care products are delivery platforms for chemicals that can either heal or harm,” Jim says. “We set out on a mission to develop a line of all-natural products that are loaded with healing ingredients optimized for skin absorption.”

In 2012, the couple founded New Harmony Soap Co. At first, they sold their homemade, natural soaps at local farmers markets. Since then, their business has expanded into online sales and two retail stores in Indiana, one in New Harmony and the other in Nashville. 

New Harmony Soap Co. focuses on natural skin nutrition and educating consumers on how to take better care of their bodies, whether the forum be in their stores or online. Their soaps are composed of carefully researched, harmless natural ingredients, like botanicals, fruits and plants, which are proven to improve skin health.

But the Spanns make a lot more than just high-quality soap to help your skin through winter. They also create relieving balms for various skin conditions, bath salt body soaks, facial toners, lotions, shaving and beard products, and much more.

After using their cold-pressed soaps, Jim recommends trying their quick and convenient after-shower nutrition mists. “In 30 seconds, you can cover your entire body with fast-drying moisturizers that are infused with aloe vera, rose hips, sea buckthorn and a special probiotic,” he says.

Using New Harmony’s shower mist is just one way you can lock in its nutritional ingredients and keep your skin in tip-top shape.

Information: newharmonysoap.com.

Bell Natural Therapies

Six years ago, Christy Bell gave homemade candles to her massage therapy clients and family members for Christmas. Following their positive feedback, she tried her hand at creating different body oil blends and skin scrubs. The response was outright demand.

Clients wanted to purchase more of her remedies at any time of the year, so she made her skin care products an integral part of her massage therapy practice known as Bell Natural Therapies. She now sells her handmade, small-batch products out of her massage clinic in Bloomington.

Bell uses simple, chemical-free ingredients that are pure and natural. Her salt and sugar scrubs are made from organic olive oil or coconut oil. Her favorite scent combinations include vanilla and rose, and lavender and sage. A signature lotion she uses when giving massages is her Lavender Coconut Butter Whip, a soothing combination of whipped coconut oil and lavender essential oil.

As an herbalist and homeopath, Bell considers how different herbs and botanical substances in her products can improve one’s mental and physical health. For instance, she explains how lavender naturally relaxes anxiety and muscles, while also being antibacterial and antifungal. 

“I value the different states of mind and healing essential oils and herbs can bring about,” says Bell. “And I also enjoy making a quality product that people love.”

Information: bellnaturaltherapies.com.

By Katie MacDonell