Raleigh Portrait Photographer for Creative Small Businesses

Foraged Skincare with Atlanta Based Forest Things

Peaking out among a row of booths at the Indie Craft Experience here in Atlanta, was a creeping vine encircling a little sign reading 'Forest Things.' It looked so wild and mysterious next to the standard booths with jewelry or leather bags, the gardener in me couldn't help but be immediately curious. 

Natural and Foraged Muscle & Joint Salve for Humans; Dog Paw Salve for Dogs - handmade by Forest Things

It turns out that Forest Things specializes in handmade herbal skincare where owner Kelly Ridenhour gathers fresh plant material to make her lovely forest goods. 

I usually don't gravitate towards shops selling skincare products, but lately, I've been experiencing skin and hair problems, and I feel the culprit is all the typical chemically enriched stuff I've been using for far too long.

Over the past few years, I've noticed certain things like shampoo or face wash that I used to buy with purpose (like frizz control or acne) will work at first but then eventually stops working or creates new problems. I have to rotate skin & hair care products every few months to keep my body from becoming immune to them.

Basically, I'm finding it's better to go for things that are gentle with natural ingredients proven to be safe and healthy for you.

I loved Forest Thing's whole premise: foraged skincare created in the forest and made with the forest. 

The best part is that Forest Thing donates 10% of all profits to non-profit organizations. Currently, they're supporting the Old Growth Forest Network, an organization that aims to identify and protect one forest in each county in the USA. Forest Things is also looking into supporting non-profits that focus on providing summer camps to urban children who may not have experienced a natural, old-growth forest. If you know of any, let Kelly Ridenhour know!

Here's a little breakdown of what I purchased from Forest Thing!

Little Wolf Salve

Ingredients: Camellia oil*, safflower oil, calendula*, beeswax, (non-GMO soy) Vitamin E oil, and lavender essential oil*.

* certified organic 

Dog Paw Salve for Chester via Forest Things

// What DOES IT DO?

A little salve for your (wolf) pup's skin. Ever notice cracked paws or an occasional scratch on your dog's nose? This little tin of salve is great for massaging into your dog's paws, nose, or hot spots. 

// Why do I like it?

Every once in a while, Chester has an issue with his paws. Our backyard is a little overgrown and he loves being in it, so there's bound to be a little scratch or two every now and then. I love that there's a little balm to sooth his little paws, especially in the summer when sidewalks and asphalt can be hot on his feet!

Also, Kelly has a husky and I grew up with huskies so that little connection made up 90% of my reason to purchase. 

>> Visit Forestthings.com to see when this salve will be up for sale again<<

Angry, Hot, & Sore No More

Ingredients: Grapeseed Oil*, castor oil*, st. john's wort (w), agrimony (w), lobelia (w), cayenne*, local beeswax, (non-GMO soy) Vitamin E oil, and essential oils of lemongrass* and eucalyptus*

*certified organic
(w) wildcrafted

Angry, Hot &amp; Sore No More - sore joints and muscles salve infused with wild harvested plants - Forest Things

// What Does It Do?

This salve is for sore joints and muscles, and helps promote circulation where you're sore. Just rub in to those little points of pain and relax!

// Why do I like it?

I've been experiencing a little bit of neck stiffness and knee pain lately. There's  a lot of little factors as to why, but I won't bore you with all that nonsense. I put this stuff on last night and felt near immediate relief.

>>You can purchase Kelly's Angry, Hot, & Sore No More salve on her website<< 

// Wishful Thinking

The only thing that's a little frustrating about these tins is that you sort of have to sit there a bit to get any on your fingers to work into your skin. I noticed Forest Things makes a balm stick for natural mosquito repellent. I'd LOVE this stuff in a stick applicator for easy application. 

I'd also like if the instructions on the packaging had a note about how much to apply or if some of the ingredients may cause issues for some people. I understand that these tins are tiny so there's not a ton of space on the label for information. The product listings on the website do give disclaimers and more specific directions for use, so maybe a little note on the tin directing customers to the website for this information would be helpful.

// Questions

1. Do you use natural, herbal skincare products?

2. Have you ever bought skincare products for your pet? Feeling sort of silly about it, but those paws get torn up!!

Disclaimer: I was not approached by Forest Things, Kelly Ridenhour, or anyone associated with Forest Things to write this post. I just fell in love with her business & products as a customer and wanted to share my thoughts on them with my readers! All photography in this post is © Christina Conrad, 2015.

Christina Conrad