The Skincare Line That Realized ‘Natural’ Isn’t What You Think
Bee Simonds, Owner of H IS FOR LOVE
My name is Bee Simonds. I’m a mama of two young kids, and I own a boutique skincare line called H IS FOR LOVE. I’m interested in everything! I love learning, so I’m inspired by my work tremendously. I’m always challenged and grateful that I get to do what I love for a living. I live in a small town called Spokane, in Washington state, so I keep my sanity by traveling as much as possible. This year I’ll be going on an ingredient sourcing trip to Indonesia for the third time in my life and India for the second.
H IS FOR LOVE is a luxury botanical skincare line using plants in their whole form. We use age-old methods to produce extracts in-house and we work closely with the farmers that grow our herbs. It’s really about slowing down and taking time; from sourcing to the gentle handling of each ingredient. The result is potent, fresh, and highly effective skincare.
H came to be by accident. In 2010 I learned how damaging our current food system is. There was an illness in my family so I took it upon myself to learn how to heal the body with food. It took time, but it worked, and that opened my eyes to just how off-course we are when it comes to food culture in this country. By the time that illness was being managed by using food as medicine I’d developed a discerning eye when it came to reading ingredient decks. I started looking at my skincare products and was in shock to discover that the term ‘natural’ means nothing. But I had an idea: If plants could heal the body from the inside, why wouldn’t that be true of what we put on our skin?
So I dove down a rabbit hole of research and development with the intention of creating skincare for myself. I knew I could make products that were effective predicated on the knowledge that plants communicate in the same language as the human body. What I didn’t anticipate was the response. My skin changed dramatically within the first six months, and because of that friends and family wanted in on it. What started as a tiny side business became official in 2015 when I launched my website. We’ve been growing steadily ever since
Although we make skincare, our purpose is much more than that. We believe in the body’s innate ability to heal itself, and that everything we could possibly need can be found in abundance in nature. I use my platform to promote a life of wellness by approaching every area of life as self-care. What we eat, what we use to clean our homes, what it means to be a consumer in today’s fast-paced, checked-out world. There’s a better way. My dream is that when people experience H, they’ll see that healing, harmony, and true luxury can all be found in nature, and that that learning will plant a seed that affects every other part of their lives for the better.
In addition to approaching skin with the whole body in mind, I make it a point to be available. Over email, direct message on Instagram, and sometimes phone calls, I talk to people about their skin concerns and help direct them on a path specific to their needs. This involves skincare, food, lifestyle, stress, and more. H is about human connection. I’m over big business. As a consumer I want to know the story behind what I use and buy; that there’s a human being I can know and connect with. I think a lot of people are starting to feel that way as well.
Another thing that makes H different is that each in our line is created for all skin types. Our products are gentle, formulated with base oils high in linoleic acid, then paired with stabilizing oils. Rather than creating a line of skincare offering multiple products for every skin type, I took my understanding of the body and our outermost layer and made products that bring every skin type into a place of harmony. The body is always seeking balance. Plants, when paired in perfect measure can give skin what it needs to balance itself.
We care a lot about this issue, so from the beginning all of our packaging and shipping materials have been recyclable and reusable. Our jars are all glass, even down to our trial size products. We’ve chosen to avoid foil samples because after a lot of research I discovered that foil packets and pouches can only be recycled in 30% of the U.S. We recycle most everything that comes into our studio, and we purchase from small suppliers and farmers that we know care about their environmental footprint.
On a personal note, I talk a lot on instagram about going back to our roots when it comes to food, skincare, clothing, and home goods. I share about my favorite brands that have a story behind what they make, and I encourage people to save up and spend a little more on things that will last them a lifetime; things that are good for them and the environment. Making those choices is not only good for our future, but for our souls. It feels good when the things that surround us echo our values.
We believe wholeheartedly that NATURE IS ENOUGH, so everything we do is aimed at respecting the natural world.
Of course you know this is like picking a favorite child! I’ll play though: POLLEN Illuminating Mist. It’s our rose hydrosol based toner/floral mist/multi-tasker. POLLEN is perfectly pH balanced for facial skin, so after cleansing with tap water (which, depending on where you are in the country, can be very alkaline or acidic) it quickly re-sets the skin, preps for application of oil and/or balm, and sets makeup with a dewy glow. It can be used throughout the day as an aromatherapeutic tool, and I always mist my lashes with POLLEN for perfect application of mascara. Those who don’t think oil is for them change their mind when they pair our oils with POLLEN because skin needs both hydration and moisturization in order to be fully satisfied.