Best of Washington: Health & Beauty

BY The Editors | January 6, 2017 | Feature Features

We are a town of beautiful ideas, of course, and all of the big ones—from the arts to design to food—take center stage throughout the next 12 pages. Bonus: Our readers choose their favorites in everything from fabulous retail to dining. Here's to a new year of discoveries.
Sarah Damelio's Skincando is the culmination of years of searching for the perfect natural ingredients for skincare products.

Some people travel around the world in their 20s to find themselves. For Sara Damelio, her global journey was all about finding the best organic ingredients for her beauty treatments. The founder of DC-based Skincando spent much of her formative years fighting problem skin, but it wasn’t until she decided to forego existing products in favor of creating her own that she found a solution. “I assumed if I used all of these expensive products, my skin would be flawless,” she says. “But it only got worse.” After an internship at National Geographic (where she would spend her lunch hour in NatGeo’s library studying beauty practices from other cultures), she set off around the world in the name of research—and continues her fact-finding trips today. “Provence, Bali, Paris, Brisbane. In Bali, they use an ayurvedic sugar treatment. In Provence, it was lavender. Whatever grows locally, you tend to see in the beauty treatments,” she explains. “I was in Cartagena, Colombia, three days ago having a natural pedicure. They use a lot of coconut oil and indigenous herbs.”

Her Skincando brand includes both the popular Combat-Ready line and Skincando Luxe, both made of all organic products. Damelio’s company has been in expansion mode recently. She partnered with Salon Bisoux in Del Ray, Va., to offer eco-skincare consultations and natural makeup makeovers; she opened an organic facial room at the Emerald Door Eco-Spa in Silver Spring, Md.; and she’s soon releasing two new products under her popular Combat-Ready line, a 16-ounce balm ($115) and an 8-ounce unscented body wash ($20). She also plans to add organic facial rooms to spas around DC this year and, of course, continuing her global search for the best in skincare. “My mission is to bring green beauty to DC,” she says. “This is the evolution of it. It’s farm-to-face.” Follain, Union Market

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