Natural Skin and Body Care Products Made in Central Oregon
Artisanal, plant-derived oils, lotions and body scrubs line the walls of the sunlit shop at Angelina Organic Skincare on Bond Street in Downtown Bend. Local and national spas as well as individual customers rave about the products found here, which the owner, Angelina Swanson, proudly makes and formulates in Central Oregon.
The now-thriving company has humble and practical beginnings. It began when Swanson was a rafting guide in Arizona. She was looking for a way to soothe her heels, cracked from the desert heat. This led to her first product line, called Skin Doctor.
From there, Swanson continued to add to her base knowledge in botany and biology obtained in college. Eventually she began working with cosmetic chemists, Ayurvedic practitioners and estheticians to build a line of natural skin and body care products, made locally in Bend since 2001.
The Angelina Organic Skincare shop relocated from a house on Hill Street—now Swanson’s vacation rental—to Bond Street in 2014. The storefront’s ambiance is light and Aesthetic Minimalist, which translates to fresh and soothing upon entering. The modern space radiates its own healing energy, showcasing the beautiful bottles of salves and creams on the shelves, leading back to the lab where all of the products are made.
“Some companies talk about being natural and artisan, but we actually make all of our products right here in the store,” says Swanson. “Since everything is made right here I can really control the quality of the products and the ingredients that are used in them.”
“Some companies talk about being natural and artisan, but we actually make all of our products right here in the store.” – Angelina Swanson
There are only four people who have the responsibility of actually making the products here, each working on a few specific items each day. The makers are deeply involved in and passionate about the process.
“We even make our own herbal infusions,” explains Swanson. “We make sure everything is always fresh and up to our standards.”
The ingredients used in their products are ethically-sourced through organic, fair-trade and local farms, including Tumalo Lavender Farm and Dancing Bee Acres, whenever possible. The preservatives used are all plant-derived and no artificial fragrances are used.
“Our products actually work,” says Swanson. “That is what I love about them! We use high-quality ingredients and let our customers know what all of those ingredients are. We don’t hide anything.”
Angelina’s products are also medical grade, meeting FDA requirements to be sold by dermatologists and medical aestheticians. Angelina Organic Skincare is bridging the gap between medical grade and artisanal skin care, as many skin care products currently meeting medical requirements are not artisanal or natural.
“Our products are formulated to nourish with the goal of helping the skin find its own equilibrium and become, or remain, healthy on its own,” says Swanson. “We focus on providing products that are natural, effective and gentle for everyone.”
Being gentle is especially important, as Swanson wants to ensure the products are safe and effective for customers with sensitive or damaged skin.
Swanson says that a lot of the products are actually created after she gets requests for certain things directly from customers. There is extreme care taken into ensuring the products are just right before they are sold to the public, which can take as long as five years. The makers, including Swanson, test the products on themselves first, and then send them to an esthetician or dermatologist for feedback.
“I want to provide our customers with the best, always,” says Swanson. “It is inspiring to hear a customer tell me how well our products have worked for them when they stop by the shop. I love knowing that what I am doing is working. It keeps me excited about doing it.”
Angelina Organic Skincare products can be found online, as well as in many local shops and spas that use and provide artisanal skin care products.