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 Natural Awakenings Lancaster-Berks

GSL Organics Founded by a Mom On a Mission

Candy Ann St. Martine-Pack, founder of Green Street Luxuries (GSL) Organics apothecary, never intended to start a natural skin care products business. In 1991, when her infant son suffered from severe eczema, allergies and asthma, she became a “mom on a mission” to help her family.

“I wanted to help my son get well without using harmful drugs or chemicals. My father used to give me honey when I had a cough. I became curious about what our ancestors used for ailments,” she recalls. She spent a lot of time in the library researching holistic living and later created what would be her first GSL Product, After Shower Extra Moisturizing Cream. It remains her best-selling product.

In spring of 2009, St. Martine-Pack began selling her products at a local farmers market. By that autumn, she opened a retail store. The current GSL Organics line includes moisturizers, salves, sugar scrub, exfoliants, bug spray and more.

 St. Martine-Pack firmly believes that what is put on the body is just as important as what is put in the body. Her products are formulated to naturally help improve skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, dry skin, sensitive skin, acne and rosacea. She affirms that all GSL Organics products are free from parabens, sulfates, petroleum products, mineral oil, formaldehyde, phosphates and synthetic fragrances. She uses vitamin E as a preservative.

The natural healing ingredients she uses include extract from calendula, a flower in the marigold family. “It has internal and external healing properties,” she says. Her carrier oil of choice is olive oil, which she says is rich in antioxidants that help fight free radicals on the skin. “The combination of calendula and the antioxidant properties of olive oil offers an amazing blend of healing properties.”

St. Martine-Pack does not recommend applying oils directly onto the skin because they may clog pores and cause blackheads and discoloration. “Applying it pure does not penetrate to the dermal level, which is where you want the good oils to go. When you emulsify good oils into a cream, they are able to be absorbed at the dermal level.”

Raw ingredients are used in GSL Organics products, and because nature is imperfect, products may vary slightly in color. Shea butter is not naturally white, but can vary in tones from cream to light orange, with a strong, earthy scent. It has a high moisturizing content and can provide some protection from the sun.

Many women are stymied by crepe skin on the neck and chest, which St. Martine-Pack says can often be lessened by regular exfoliation and moisturizing. Sugar has glycolic acid, which helps exfoliate. “We have a natural sugar scrub with a carrier oil. In a pinch, table sugar mixed with suds from bar soap can also be used. Moisturizer should be used year-round, with a lighter blend for the summer.”

GSL Organics’ popular pet products are back for the summer. The line for dogs includes flea and tick repellant, which has a safe formulation of essential oils for dogs. (St. Martine-Pack emphasizes that cats are sensitive to essential oils; cat owners should consult an integrative veterinarian before use.) The dog shampoo has a combination of calming essential oils to help with allergens and skin issues.

As a small-batch company, St. Martine-Pack says all products are made as ordered and crafted seasonally to guarantee freshness. She can also customize a formula to omit a particular ingredient a customer may not want. She is the point of contact for most customer correspondence and firmly believes in listening to them to understand what they may or may not truly need.

St. Martine-Pack is a certified aromatherapist and also leads classes to educate people about natural skin care solutions. Her son, now age 31, is doing well, his eczema is long gone and he has few problems with allergies. “I’m inspired to educate people about better ways to heal the skin. You are what you eat—and what you put on your body.”

GSL Organics is located at 216 S. Church St., in Quarryville. For more information, call 717-844-1444 or visit