It’s pretty easy to make sure you’re eating well these days. One trip to Whole Foods on Sunday afternoon is proof of that. People are getting the memo that it’s important to pay attention to the quality of their food, to make sure it has more nutrients than chemicals. As long as you’re buying local or organic, it’s a safe bet that you’re making a good choice for your body.
It isn’t quite so easy, though, with skincare. What you put on your body is just as important as what you’re putting in it. But when it comes to making safer, more mindful choices about products, it isn’t so obvious what’s better – and there aren’t many resources, especially in Providence, to seek out help.
That’s exactly what Susan Benzuly and business partner Yolande Muoio had in mind when they opened Evolve Apothecary on Hope Street in November. The store specializes in natural, good for you beauty and home products. Trained as a registered nurse and a personal trainer, Sue says, “I became more and more interested in wellness, and how we prevent illness. The skin, the biggest organ in the body, has so much to do with that.”
When I walked in the door, my eyes immediately landed on a huge display of Rhode Island products. That was the first good sign. The next good sign was that that display held every product that I have on my dresser at home. Evolve carries the full line of Farmaesthetics products, made in Portsmouth, and is the only place in Providence to have figured out how amazing their natural, botanical skincare is. Next to that: JAVA’s green caffeine body and face products, made in Wickford. Their body serum, an intensely moisturizing oil that hydrates and firms the skin, was a lifesaver for me last winter. Evolve also carries other Rhode Island products: Curious Nature Apothecary, Farmacy Herbs, Infinity Apothecary, Cathryn Violet Artisan Soap and The Jam Salves, as well as New Harvest Coffee.
“It’s our offering to Providence,” Sue says. “Here’s your chance for wellness. We’ve done the very best we could to provide people with safe alternatives that really work.”
Delving into natural products can be overwhelming – especially if you have dabbled before and not loved the results, which has definitely happened to me. When natural and organic skincare first started hitting the mainstream, I tried out a lot of underwhelming and expensive products. That’s not the case anymore. What I liked so much about Evolve is that I recognized a lot of the names there, and that a lot of it was a lot more affordable than you’d think.
But, it’s not just about skin care. Evolve stocks products to live a more holistic lifestyle. So yes, you’ll find hair products by Intelligent Nutrients, makeup by Jane Iredale and skincare by Dr. Hauschka, but you’ll also find dish soap, bamboo diapers and household cleaners. One thing Sue loves is the quality of her natural laundry soap. “It costs the same and it works as well,” she says. “It’s been such a surprise.” It’s also a great example of how being mindful about your choices has a bigger impact than just on personal wellness. Yes, fewer chemicals in your clothes and against your skin are good for you, but you’re also making a conscious choice to help the environment. “It goes into the drain,” Sue says, “into the ocean, and into the world.”
769 Hope Street