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Best of Beauty: Top back-to-school health & beauty goods made in St. Louis

Blissoma Herbal Gel Cleanser, A+ Perfecting Serum and Clay Renewal Treatment Mask
Blissoma Herbal Gel Cleanser, A+ Perfecting Serum and Clay Renewal Treatment MaskSonja Shin

Be green. Buy local. We have so much amazing talent in St. Louis! There are so many great things being made here! This Examiner shared some of our favorite health & beauty picks on KPLR 11 News for helping kids look good, be healthier and less stressed as they go back to school. Here is the video and below it more details on what I recommended.

Blissoma Stress Relief Serum & Kind Therapy Balms made in St. Louis
Blissoma Stress Relief Serum & Kind Therapy Balms made in St. LouisSonja Shin

Easy, Natural Skin Care. Skin can be quite challenging in the pre-teens, teens and twenties. Help them establish good skin care habits now with a few easy steps using all-natural, organic skin care from Blissoma (blissoma.com). Here are some great choices for kids with oily, acne-prone skin from the line:

  • Free Rejuvenating Herbal Gel Cleanser and Makeup Remover ($32)
  • Smooth A+ Perfecting Serum ($26)
  • Refine Clay Renewal Treatment ($31)

Skin on the body can break out too. To prevent "bacne," try Kind Soap Tea Tree Rx Natural Remedy Soap ($8, kindsoap.com). Kind’s Eco Soap Bags are also really popular with college kids. Put in a bar of soap and use it to clean and exfoliate at the same time. You can also use the bag to store soap bars. Kind soaps also have great natural aromatherapy benefits. Kids can get energized naturally in the morning with the Eucalyptus Spearmint and unwind at the end of the day with Lavender Fields.

To make things super easy, Kind also makes a fantastic All Purpose Gel ($18, kindsoap.com), which can be used to clean the body, shampoo hair and for shaving – very popular for families – one bottle does so much and has a refreshing, peppermint scent.

Multi-Tasking Fragrance. A new scent is great at the start of a new season. How about a scent that also moisturizes? Dab on all-natural Kind Solid Perfume ($14, kindsoap.com) at the pulse points for a lasting fragrance and smooth it on hands and elbows to moisturize dry skin.

Aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is a powerful way to help what ails you naturally. You can do everything from soothe headaches to give yourself an energy boost. Here are some really effective local choices that are great in schoolbags:

  • Blissoma Stress Relief Serum – this mix of chamomile and mint eases headaches, tension, stiffness, insomnia and nerves with over 95% organic ingredients ($11, blissoma.com)
  • Kind Therapy Balms for Sinus, Stress, Headache and Energy – a quick sniff of any of these balms quickly makes life a bit better. Rub them on skin for lasting relief (KindSoap Boutique in Webster Groves)

Sudsy Soapery is another local company that makes some amazing natural aromatherapy products. Their Seven Springs All Natural Soy Candles with Pure Essential Oils ($6-$11) are highly fragrant while still being all natural. Soy wax is ideal because it’s non-toxic, burns cleaner than paraffin and doesn’t create that soot that blackens walls and your lungs with petrochemicals. Essential oils are also way better than synthetic fragrances, which have been linked to all sorts of health hazards. Sudsy Soapery All Natural Soy Candles are also much more fragrant and more affordable than most natural candles. They’re made available in two sizes (2 oz. and 8 oz.) and made with essential oils like lavender, spearmint, lemongrass and tea tree. You can find the Sudsy Soapery line at Soulard Farmer’s Market and on sudsysoapery.com.

Antioxidants. Help kids kick the soda habit and keep them from complaining about how boring water is with antioxidant-rich teas. Traveling Tea, based in Maplewood, has a ton of great choices, including white and green tea, which have tons of antioxidants, mixed with fruits like pomegranate and mango. Herbal teas are great iced and contain no caffeine. Flavors like Carmelized Pear, Raspberry Apple and Peachy Peach (travelingtea.com) keep drinks interesting even without sugar. But if you still want a caffeine boost in the morning, try guayusa. It has as much caffeine as coffee but with antioxidant levels as high as green tea. Traveling Tea has guayusa in several different varieties like mint and ginger/citrus.

Another great way to get add antioxidants to your child’s diet that’s unlikely to get complaints is with dark chocolate. Cocoa powder has been found to have more antioxidant power, polyphenols and flavanols than fruit powder. When choosing chocolate, the darker the chocolate the better in terms of health benefits (just keep the chocolate to about an ounce a day due to the fat and sugar content.)

Kakao Chocolate (with shops in Maplewood, on Jefferson in the city and now in Clayton), has all sorts of outstanding confections made with dark chocolate. They get really inventive and mix it with things like ginger, cinnamon, chile peppers, chai tea, sea salt – even tomato!

(This article originally appeared on Hello Beauty.)