Food For Your Skin: Scratch Goods


I live right around the corner from a little beauty shop called Scratch Goods. I had always meant to stop in, but with the cold weather I am rarely out walking. I had no idea that most of the Scratch Goods space was dedicated to a mask bar. The mask bar is much different than a facial: the Scratch Goods gals actually take the time to walk you through how to take care of your skin at home, what ingredients help fight your problem areas and all the in between. With a recent change in my health, using all-natural products is a very important thing to me and I am so happy to have found this new resource! A MAJOR plus: most products range from $14-$18.00: very affordable compared to $60 bottles of all-natural skincare sold at Sephora or Nordstrom. While I am not in any way knocking those brands, this just goes to show you that there are some affordable, organic ways to take care of your body.

Scratch Goods began out of a personal need for natural, affordable skincare. Co-founders Maureen and Elizabeth, high school friends now living in Chicago, realized that while they were eating clean, their personal care products were still laden with questionable ingredients. Knowing that 70% of what is applied to our skin is absorbed into our bodies, they slowly purged from their homes everything containing parabens, sulfates, pthalates, synthetic fragrances + dyes.

Replacing these items was much more difficult –  truly natural products were hard to find, and came with high price tags. So they rebuilt their own personal care regimen from scratch, in their own kitchens. Their requirements for product development remain the same today: food-grade ingredients that are safe enough to eat, fragrance from pure essential oils only, and zero water, eliminating the need for synthetic preservatives.

Here are five (slightly shocking) things I learned today:

  1. Coconut oil shouldn’t be used on your skin: it blocks the skin from releasing toxins from the body.
  2. Caffeine is great for aiding in lightening dark spots and assists in anti-aging. Scratch Goods works with Dark Matter Coffee in their mask selection.
  3. You should be putting on a hydrating spray before you apply oil to the face: water is the only liquid that can penetrate to the third layer of the skin.
  4. Jade rolling can work wonders for you: jade has healing properties and can be put in the fridge or run under warm water to help decrease facial inflammation.
  5. Pure activated charcoal helps fight breakouts and blackheads.

Here are some 100% all-natural products I would recommend: Charcoal Mask: $17.00, Cleansing Oil: $14.00, Lash + Brow Oil: $18.00, Lavendar Mint Soak: $20.00.

The Roscoe Village space offers their full range of fresh, handmade seasonal goods as well as an interactive mask bar for guided, self-service facials.  However, Scratch Goods is expanding to a larger store in the West Loop.

*While these services and products were provided complimentary, I only share places and products that I truly believe in. As one of my doctors recently told me, “Don’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t smear on a sandwich.”

<3 Al


Foreign Skincare Takes Off In The US

Photo: R29

Photo: R29

Skincare overseas, for example Korea and Japan, is serious business. It is a daily essential that involves many, many steps and is quite exhaustive. Yet, in the US, we are still trying to figure out what the wonder is behind Korean skincare. Beauty blogger Coco Park recently discovered Korean beauty care in her Korean-American boyfriends parents bathroom, and decided to check it out for herself. She went from using only a few products a day…to 17. On her blog, she says that she saw an immense difference in just three weeks, and her red spots and pores have essentially disappeared.

When you think about it, the invasion of Korean beauty products started a while ago. More specifically, in 2011 when companies started introducing the originally based Korean BB cream. BB cream is said to be an all in one product that will take care of the skin. Soon, American companies started producing their own versions, and we have BB creams, CC creams, and so on. As it turns out, this was just the Americanized version of Korean skincare because in the US, we like to keep things simple. In reality, we should also be scrubbing, moisturizing, cleansing, and treating.

Now that the beauty obsessed in the US are starting to reap the benefits of foreign beauty traditions, other interesting new treatments are starting to pop up. Two weeks ago, I got my monthly facial. I was surprised in my sleepy state of mind when something ice cold rolled around my face…under my eyes, down my nose, on my neck…it never seemed to stop. While reading Refinery29 this morning, I discovered that it was an ice roller. Essentially, this is a fancy substitute for throwing some spoons in the freezer. The ice roller can swiftly clean up the look of tired eyes, redness, puffiness, and minor bruising. My first question is…where do I get my hands on one?

For more information on best Korean beauty products, I would check out:

A Beginner’s Guide To Korean Makeup

Soko Glam

Peach and Lily

Photo: R29

Photo: R29