Skin Care Made Locally, Naturally
by Michelle Bense
Candy Pack, a certified aromatherapist, began Green Street Luxuries out of the need to help her own family’s skin problems. “It started to become a business before I knew it was going to be a business,” laughs Pack. When her youngest son was born with severe eczema 24 years ago, she was appalled by the medicines and creams the doctor prescribed to put on her infant’s open wounds. “I read that piece of paper that it came with, front and back—I had to use a magnifying glass because the print was so small.” When she read all the harsh chemicals contained in the tube, Pack says she “threw it right in the trash. I was not putting that on my infant—I wouldn’t put it on myself.”
To help her son, Pack thought back to what our ancestors used—materials like clay and essential oils. She started mixing essential oils in over-the-counter creams, and slowly her son’s skin began to improve. After two-and-a-half years of research and experimentation, her son’s eczema was gone.
Pack began making safe, natural soap creams, lotions and deodorant for her family, and soon friends and neighbors were also reaping the benefits of her large batches of skin care products. Her daughter developed rosacea at 14, and Pack created products to treat that as well. “All of our healing products were made to help a loved one,” she says.
When she retired from teaching at her performing arts school, she busied herself developing a line of creams and other products. Near the end of 2008, Pack and her husband, Freddie, joined the committee to start their town’s farmers’ market, where they started selling products. By 2009, they had a following. Starting out with a 300-square-foot space on Main Street in 2009, the company grew a stunning 1,550 percent within three years.
Now in a 1,500-square-foot store, Green Street Luxuries also includes an organic spa. “Customers asked us to please open a spa with our organic products, and that’s how the organic spa came to be. For each service we have in our spa, I make every single product using pure organic and healing ingredients. Every product is specialized for each person and their specific skincare needs.”
Clients’ needs often direct new product development. In one month, three different runners visited the store, asking Pack about a deodorant and explaining how they had to reapply deodorant during their run. When she made a batch, based on a blend of essential oils mixed with coconut oil—an antifungal—she says the runners loved it. “It was the first time they didn’t have to reapply during the run.”
All GSL Organics products are paraben-, sulfate- and gluten-free. “We don’t put any unhealthy ingredients in our products,” says Pack. “For that reason, all of our products should be kept in cooler temperatures, so they won’t melt or change color.” Pack recommends keeping them in the bedroom, hall closet or refrigerator.
The most popular GSL Organics products are those to treat eczema, followed by psoriasis and acne. “Eczema is America’s number-one skin issue, and we see it on a daily basis,” says Pack. She also has products for rosacea and antiaging, as well as others that are what Pack calls the “fun side”, having essential oil benefits but also having fragrances.
Full of helpful information for skin care, Pack says, “You should never put oils on your skin. They just sit on the top. They’ll discolor your skin, give you blackheads and clog your pores. If you do use oils on the skin, you must exfoliate every day. All oils must be emulsified in cream to penetrate to the dermal level, where skin issues lie.”
GSL Organics’ bestselling product is the After Shower Moisturizing Cream. “For some of our customers with extremely dry skin, eczema and psoriasis, this is the only thing that will heal them,” she says. The cream is currently in the process of getting trademarked and being approved by the National Eczema Society. Pack instructs her clients with all dry skin problems to cut showers in half and frequently moisturize the skin.
Pack will never sell someone anything they don’t need. “If we see that you’re concerned about anti-aging but have acne, first we’re going to get rid of your acne,” explains Pack. “If we cure your skin or make you better, we have a customer. It’s about self-esteem—feeling better about yourself. It’s easy if you follow the instructions.”
The spa at Green Street Luxuries offers numerous all-natural, personalized services for clients with all skin types and issues. Some services include BioMat/LED light therapy, facials, massage therapy, reflexology and hard (noninvasive) waxing. Massage therapist Laura Zepp is certified in deep tissue, Swedish, hot stone, lymphatic, warm bamboo and shirodhara—a hot oil ayurvedic treatment. Lia Turano and Audrey Spence provide specialized facials. Linda Sue Detweiler provides reflexology at the GSL platinum service spa.
Green Street Luxuries also offers workshops and classes, held by experts from all over the U.S., ranging in topic from meditation, soul contracts and affirmations, to making elderberry cough syrup.
“When you come to my store, you talk to the person who made the product you’re using.” Pack and her team are proud to give special treatment to every customer. “No two get the exact same treatment.”
Green Street Luxuries is located at 617 W. Main St., Lansdale. For more information, call 267-879-1554 or visit GreenStreetLux.com.
Michelle Bense is a freelance writer and editor for Natural Awakenings. Connect with her at EditorMichelleBense@gmail.com. November 2015.