Local and organic have become the standard of what people put into their bodies, and there’s been a shift in cleaning products in the home leaning toward environmentally friendly. While what’s going in our bodies has sparked a movement in healthy eating, what’s going on them is a surprisingly overlooked in discussions of health. There are very few Federal Drug Administration regulations for the body’s largest organ, which has a 64% absorption rate. Contemplating this in the middle of the night four years ago, Larissa Thomson was compelled to open a store with a highly edited selection of clean beauty products to create an awareness of toxic products and their healthy alternatives. She opened Onda Beauty in New York, and just this past Memorial Day opened a second location in Sag Harbor.
As someone who has always been health and wellness oriented, Thomson says clean products were difficult to find more than a decade ago. “People spend a lot of time eating healthy and using clean products in their homes, but put toxic products on their bodies, hair, and face,” she shares. “You spend all of this time eating clean and then put on these toxic ingredients. What’s the point?”
For more than 20 years Thomson has traveled to Tulum, Mexico, a sensory place that instantly lowers her stress level. The smells, colors, textures, and feeling of the place inspired the concept of Onda Beauty and its design to be a place that felt like a destination itself. Along with the personally vetted selection of clean beauty products, Thomson employs an educated staff that discusses the importance of these types of products and their benefits, as well as working with individual customers to develop a customized transition into clean beauty. This in particular is Thomson’s favorite part of the job.
Thomson used Environmental Working Group (EWG) to research products and learn about which ingredients are good and bad, and also tried many of the products herself. “I learned while doing this about the smaller brands and founders, mostly women, and discovered they were all coming from a really passionate, personal, and motivated place,” Thomson shares, adding each has their own incredible story. “There’s trust, transparency, and authenticity behind the brands. You feel that.”
As former fashion editor, Thomson keeps a tight edit of brands and specific products from various lines, something she has done her entire life. All products are effective and do not contain any chemicals. Hair, skin, body, bath, fragrance, super foods, and more from over 75 brands are available, as are specific spa services like facials and massages.
Sag Harbor is a place particularly special to Thomson, and she wanted to show Onda Beauty’s commitment to the community with a special treatment called the OSEA: Hamptons Beauty Facial. The restorative, replenishing and invigorating facial uses OSEA products, which embody the core elements of wellness: ocean, sun, earth, and atmosphere. The treatment hydrates and plumps skin, boosts radiance, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Estheticians and massage therapists have created other treatments that are both result and naturally driven with different modalities like microneedling, microcurrent, LED, oxygen machines, and more that have natural perks like face lifts and tightening while nourishing the skin. There are also CBD wellness experiences available.
For keeping skin healthy and hydrated during the winter months, Thomson says diet is going to play a big role. “The Beauty Chef brand, which is a pre and probiotic based brand, works from the inside out,” Thomson explains. “It’s all about creating good gut health. The Collagen Inner Beauty Boost is the equivalent of drinking five glasses of water. Hydration in winter is essential, we all get so dry.”
Exfoliation is key in removing dead skins cells to allow other natural products to penetrate and hydrate the skin. Thomson recommends an oil cleanser to pull out impurities as oil combats oil, and a hydrating quality face oil that can be absorbed more easily after exfoliation. At night, a balm or rich cream seals in moisture as skin dries out while sleeping.
“One thing I always recommend is retinol,” Thomson shares. “A gentle retinol serum helps skin cells regenerate and is balancing and helps with fine lines and wrinkles. It’s only used at night because it reacts with the sun. I’d never go without this.”
Open year-round, Onda Beauty hosts private-invite social shopping events for various businesses to generate interest and knowledge of clean beauty and the business. They will also bring in various lines and brand representatives to offer an educational experience as new lines and products become available. Facials, massages, and intuitive readings are available throughout the year.
Though the switch to clean beauty and embracing a new routine may seem daunting, Thomson says it sounds more in-depth than it is. “I’ve timed it,” she laughs. “It takes under five minutes. But is it worth it to you to take care of your skin?”
Onda Beauty is located at 42 Main Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, visit ondabeauty.com.