Founder of Earth Harbor Ali Perry-Hatch on Skincare Alchemy
If there is a lesson we have all had to learn together in 2020, it is to find light in the darkness. Whether we have found light by learning how to bake sourdough bread from scratch or by investing in ourselves by going back to school, we have all had to find a way to get through this year by making time for ourselves.
Whether you call it divine intervention, destiny, or luck, the universe has a way of changing all of our important life plans. No one knows that more than Earth Harbor’s founder, Ali Perry-Hatch. When she was about to enter a Ph.D program to continue her education as a health engineer, she almost lost her life in a car accident. Leaving her temporarily both physically and mentally disabled, she fell back into a low-maintenance hobby—making holistic skincare.
“If it weren’t for those hardships wrought on by the accident, then I would have never started Earth Harbor! As time goes on, I continue to incorporate as much of my health and engineering roots into Earth Harbor, and my goal is to tie them together as closely as possible as Earth Harbor continues to evolve,” Perry-Hatch tells Kinder Beauty.
Starting Over to Going Strong
Perry-Hatch’s roots are as humble as they are whimsical as the first products of her skincare line were produced in her treehouse kitchen. Just a few years later, Earth Harbor has expanded to two dozen items and has caught the attention of Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Elle, Vogue, and, of course, Kinder Beauty.
“I think the biggest win has been Earth Harbor’s strong brand identity and unwavering mission from the very beginning. When you’re a grassroots company like us, those characteristics, plus extremely focused work, and (if we’re being honest) luck are what set Earth Harbor apart from the thousands of other beauty brands out there. I was a one-woman-show until earlier this year, so I still can’t wrap my head around how quickly Earth Harbor has been proliferated!”
We first met Ali Perry-Hatch at Indie Beauty Expo 2020 in Los Angeles. Anyone could see her beaming smile and her long, bouncy curls from a mile away, even if her modest rainbow display of Earth Harbor products was often hidden behind the crowds and other mile-long booths. When many of the other brands were selling the latest in anti-aging creams, serums, and peels with ingredient lists as long as the line to get into the expo, Earth Harbor offered transparency, simplicity, and sustainability. Earth Harbor also offered something rarely found in the beauty industry as it encourages low-waste consumption: skincare alchemy, or skincare cocktails.
“[Skincare alchemy] is the concept of customizing skincare rituals through mixing, blending, and layering. It evolved organically as I found myself doing so with my skincare creations to make each function and adapt exactly how I wanted and needed them to. I’ve practiced herbalism for over a decade which I feel really lent itself to this modular and personalized approach to self-care as well," Perry-Hatch said. Through skincare cocktails, Earth Harbor makes every one of their products multi-functional and customizable, which in terms has allowed Perry-Hatch to develop a fan base of all ages and skin needs. “I personally have very sensitive skin, so I make sure everything is formulated with even the most sensitive skin types in mind. Between that and our aforementioned skincare cocktails, we’ve found that Earth Harbor has truly captured a vast spectrum of skin types and skin goals and concerns while still sticking to our strict formulation guidelines, including being purely plant-based.”
Sustainability and Greenwashing
Beyond multi-functional and accessible skincare for all skin types, Ali Perry-Hatch has made sustainable sourcing a priority, by means of her packaging and ingredients.
“Sustainable sourcing is key for both the long term beauty of our planet and humanity; that’s why it is so incredibly important to Earth Harbor. It’s something that is too easily brushed under the rug (*cough* Tragedy of the Commons *cough*), but that we made a conscious decision to bring to the forefront of our products, our brand, and our product life cycles. We feel it’s the right thing to do, even though it requires significantly more transparency, research, money, time, stepping out of comfort zones, etc.”
It is no surprise to find out that the majority of green initiatives in mass beauty brands are a mere marketing ploy and nothing short of greenwashing. There has not been a new regulation passed in Congress since 1938, leaving the cosmetics industry to be less regulated than electronics and tobacco.
“I’d like to see clean beauty (and the beauty industry in general) become more regulated at a policy level,” Perry-Hatch said. “I’m constantly shocked by all that I see beauty brands can get away with in the United States when it comes to labeling, claims, ingredients, and much more. Clean beauty itself is largely made up of indie brands, and as an indie newcomer, lax regulations made the beauty industry easy to enter; but honestly, I would still really appreciate stricter rules like in the European Union (which we are getting certified for as we speak) to ensure safety, efficacy, and more transparency to help with conscious consumerism. Sustainability is always something that can be improved upon as well; indie brands are known for always paving the road less traveled in that sense, but we all still have a ways to go.”
During a year where we have seen mass destruction of our rainforests, close to 1.5 million deaths from COVID-19, raging wildfires across the West Coast of the U.S., as well as many other natural disasters, we applaud indie beauty brands like Earth Harbor for encouraging sustainability through self-care, and by not choosing their ego over our ecosystem.
Earth Harbor’s Glow Juice can be found in Kinder Beauty’s December Orchid Collection. To try out skin alchemy for yourself, purchase the Glow On kit to experience all four items featured in a Kinder Beauty box this year.
Use code “Kinder20” for 20% off your order.