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If you could bottle the sunshine of the California coast and infuse it into a beauty brand, you would get Bathing Culture. The sustainable body care company that (appropriately) launched on Earth Day in 2016 was founded by childhood buddies and outdoor enthusiasts Spencer Arnold and Tim Hollinger, who started out hand-making soap as a respite from office-bound day jobs in their hometown of San Francisco. Fast-forward to today, and the brand has caught the attention of Goop and Huckberry among other specialty retailers.
Bathing Culture’s origin story is one that celebrates both a love of the outdoors and a love of washing the outdoors off your body at the end of a long day. (According to Arnold and Hollinger, the duo had a long-standing joke about never being able to get squeaky clean after a day of biking and trekking around Northern California.) Enter: A brand that doesn’t take itself too seriously but uses organic, biodegradable, plant-based ingredients to create effective soaps that evoked the distinct scents of mountains and beaches that they frequented.
The curated assortment of products — which includes a nourishing multipurpose oil, refreshing hand sanitizer, bath salts, and more — are all made with the same rainbow-infused juju that makes these body products a veritable experience. (Seriously — when I use this body wash, I can picture myself in the movie of my life, dancing in a fresh summer rain shower.) Below, I’m outlining my personal Bathing Culture faves — and why they’ve earned a permanent spot in my body care routine.
Bathing Culture’s hero product is a modern classic for a reason; the woodsy-herbal Cathedral Grove scent invigorates the senses, and the non-stripping formula is packed with good-for-your-skin ingredients like aloe juice, olive oil, and shea butter. Plus, the refillable bottles are a stunning example of making sustainable practices an easy part of your personal care routine. If you’re not ready to commit to the 16-ounce refillable glass bottle, Bathing Culture also makes an 8-ounce bottle from 100% recycled PET plastic (pictured above). You can also find an IRL refill station at select boutiques nationwide.
Face mists are instantly refreshing, especially when kept in the fridge. This spray feels and looks like regular H20, but with an added aroma of invigorating neroli and rose. It’s not a hit-you-over-the-head fragrance, but rather smells like something a Bridgerton character would spritz to refresh her complexion after a promenade through the gardens. I keep it on my desk at all times for mid-day pick-me-ups, and it leaves my skin feeling balanced and dewy.
I will tell you right now: I feel like a freakin’ Greek goddess when I use this body oil. After showering, nothing feels more indulgent than anointing myself from the neck down with the brand’s golden jojoba-and-sea-buckthorn-infused oil. It has the same invigorating scent as the Mind and Body Wash – which you can also get in perfume oil rollerball form, FYI. The texture is hydrating but not too greasy, which I can appreciate. (And don’t get me wrong — I love a lotion but there’s something especially luxurious about an oil.)
I know what you’re thinking — a $75 towel? But here’s the thing: at 31” by 67”, this extra-large linen actually makes for the perfect throw blanket. I especially love it for sitting outdoors since it’s so lightweight and soft. Each towel is hand-loomed from deadstock Turkish cotton, and no two are exactly alike. I’ve spent many a sun-soaked afternoon laying on it on my Greenpoint fire escape.
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