Author Archives: W3LL PEOPLE

About W3LL PEOPLE

W3LL PEOPLE (well people) an uncommonly beautiful trio: Makeup Guru, Cosmetic Dermatologist and Treehugger. Together we combine the best in artistry, technology and social responsibility. We handcraft premium quality, natural and organic makeup that's sexy as sin, but pure as a saint.

W3LL PEOPLE

Happy Earth Month! Now, pretty please, stop using “clean”products that are not sustainable.  

As creators and advocates of Clean Beauty, we’ve always appreciated how clean makeup aims to honor so much more than the health of our bodies alone. Using products that are made of non-toxic ingredients that are safe and healthy is clearly a HUGE step in the right direction. But choosing sustainability as a criteria for your beauty choices is really just as important. Who cares if our skin is glowing, if the world around us is dying? 

Though the terms “clean” and “sustainable” are often associated together, they’re not exactly the same thing. Here’s why, a “clean” product may exclude harsh, or even toxic, chemicals, (which is awesome) but that doesn’t necessarily mean the same product has excluded non-renewable materials like propylene glycol, dimethicone and good ol’ fashioned petrolatum. Put another way, a cosmetic ingredient may actually be non-toxic, like dimethicone, but that doesn’t mean it’s renewable. In fact, most forms of dimethicone include petrochemical derivatives. Petrochemicals are processed from petroleum and as we all know by now, petroleum is clearly not renewable. In all fairness, using “clean” non-toxic products can represent other environmental benefits because many of the toxic ingredients that aren’t good for you aren’t good for the planet (plants and animals). But, again, that doesn’t mean they’re sustainable. You with us?

So when a product touts sustainability, but includes any of the aforementioned petrochemicals, the brand is essentially green-washing. This misleading representation is not OK because it makes a company appear more earth friendly than it really is. Not to mention, this kind of marketing essentially steals from the good work of brands like W3LL PEOPLE who are avoiding both petrochemicals and toxic ingredients for the sake of you and our planet.

So, say it with us, clean does not automatically mean green. Petrochemical ingredients like propylene glycol, petrolatum, and dimethicone found in both conventional and clean cosmetics are not sustainable–they’re made from non-renewable fossil fuels. 

The good news is there are plenty of legit brands, like W3LL PEOPLE, who strive to keep you clean, green and glowing! We’ve teamed up with the Environmental Working Group (EWG) who advocate for our health and the environment, i.e. taking on big corporations and Capitol Hill to affect positive change. In fact, we share about 1.5% of all our sales to support their efforts. And we are a founding member of their EWG Verified program. The EWG Verified badge is the gold standard in non-toxic certification which makes it clear, simple and easy for you to know whether a product contains potentially hazardous ingredients. Look for it! And also look for some of those petros we described as those savvy eyes of yours sweep across a product ingredient deck you’re considering. 

Meet the EWG

The EWG, or The Environmental Working Group as it’s formally known, is a third party, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. Basically, all of those questions you might have when you’re buying a new product––  “Are there chemicals in this?” “How was this manufactured?” “Are these ingredients safe for our planet?”–– the EWG vets the products first and has those answers for you. 

Years ago we began the process of getting EWG-verified, and we’re so excited that as of 2016 we officially have our certificate! When you see the EWG-verified mark on any of our products, that means it’s passed the EWG’s strict health & safety standards, and that the product is free of any concerning chemicals. We’ve chosen to partner with the EWG because we don’t believe in creating products that promote a sense of confidence and beauty if the ingredients in them are harmful. We want you to know that what you choose to put in and on your body is healthy and safe, and the EWG makes this easy for us to do. 

If you’re interested in doing a deeper dive on the amazing work the EWG is doing to regulate the cosmetics industry and to keep our products safe, head to their Skin Deep Database. Here you can look up virtually every brand, product, or ingredient and find out how safe it actually is. While you’re at it, head to our page to learn more about how the EWG rates our products!  

Cleaner Packaging = Cleaner Planet 

Here’s the bad news: there’s a lot of waste created in makeup manufacturing. From ingredient sourcing to packaging and shipping and to long supply chains, the cosmetics industry’s carbon footprint is sadly a large one. 

But here’s the good news: we’re on a mission to majorly minimize that carbon footprint, starting with the way we source our formulas and the way we package our products. If you shop a plastic W3LL PEOPLE product, you can be sure it was made from recycled plastics and is recyclable, and for paper-based items, we choose to use sustainable FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) paper. FSC-Certified means the paper material is harvested and produced in a socially and environmentally responsible manner from start to finish. Our Nudist Eyeshadow Palettes, for example, are all made using FSC-certified paper. 

Completely eliminating waste from a cosmetics production standpoint isn’t possible just yet, but where there’s a sustainable option available, we choose it every time. We’re excited to continue implementing sustainable, earth-friendly production  methods into our makeup and hope to say bye to plastics altogether in the coming years. 

Progress, Not Perfection 

As a company, we get that it’s a big job to say bye to unnecessary waste entirely, but the earth is worth it to us. While we can’t promise perfection, we can always promise you progress, and our partnership with EWG, as well as our sustainable packaging choices, are really just the beginnings of what we think we can accomplish for mother earth! We’re a pleasantly diverse mix of nature lovers, beauty junkies, crunchy granola hippies, wellness enthusiasts, and believers of choosing better, which is why we’ll take the earth-friendly option always, even if it means a little more work. 

We’re raising a plastic-free glass to our earth this month and every month, and hope we can all work together to make our planet a healthier place to live! 

Clean Beauty For All

We’ve spent over 11 (!) years challenging conventional beauty norms by creating non-toxic, plant-based cosmetics made from clean, good-for-you ingredients that deliver. While we like to consider ourselves the OG’s of the clean beauty world, it’s been amazing to see so many new clean beauty brands emerging with a similar mission to create products that are clean and free of harmful ingredients.

The one thing that hasn’t been so amazing is the price tags on clean beauty products. We often hear the argument that the steep prices of clean beauty are a result of the very high-quality, organic ingredients brands will use in their products, but we think that’s mostly BS.

We don’t believe that clean beauty should be an exclusive club or that you should have to spend crazy amounts of money to make good choices for yourself. Non-toxic cosmetics should be accessible for everybody, and we’ve been on a mission to make it happen. 

Our Pricing 

A lot of people ask us, “How are you able to list your products at such an affordable price point without sacrificing quality?” The answer is that it was an active choice. Originally our pricing did hover in higher-end clean beauty territory, but we began to realize how many people weren’t able to purchase and enjoy our products because it wasn’t in their budget. We’re W3LL PEOPLE, not “ W3LL 1% PEOPLE”, so we leveraged where we were within our growth as a brand and searched high and low for better cost efficiencies to cut prices. We are so proud to say that this choice was one of purpose and that we were able to elect price reductions without changing a single formula or sacrificing quality in any way in order to make it happen. 

Our Partners 

One of the other major, must-mention reasons why we’ve been able to make clean beauty accessible for all is because of our amazing partnerships with brands like Target, Ulta, and Whole Foods. As clean beauty begins to become the norm, large brands like these have reach and credibility that help us put clean beauty in places beyond coastal cities alone, and to do it a more accessible price point.   

As clean beauty expands, so does the ingenuity, the ingredients, and the means to make products available at an affordable price (which we’re super excited about). Because clean beauty is growing so quickly and is in much higher demand, than say, 11 years ago, more clean ingredients are available for use now that weren’t necessarily tapped in the past. On that same note, formulators are learning more and inventing new techniques and formulations for the clean beauty world because it’s slowly becoming the standard. All of these together mean we get the awesome job of bringing you high quality products that won’t make your bank account run for cover. 

Our People (That’s You!) 

At the core of all of our decisions, however, is you guys; the people that make W3LL PEOPLE what it is! One of our founding pillars at W3LL PEOPLE was that if you’re going to wear makeup, then it should be good for you. We looked around and saw so many conventional brands–– both the luxurious and affordable–– packed with ingredients that posed genuine harm on peoples’ health, and as our brand took shape we felt compelled to make sure that the cosmetics we were creating were not only clean, but accessible enough to make starting a clean beauty journey an easy, enjoyable choice. When we made the decision to revisit our pricing and partner with larger brands, it was because all of you, our customers, made it clear that clean beauty was important, but it was hard to get. 

Our promise is that we’ll always keep working to bring you innovative plant-based beauty that performs, and to do it at a price that isn’t out of reach. 🙂 We hope you’re along for the vibe. 

Conventional to Clean: Getting to Know Your Ingredients

 

How many times in your life have you purchased a favorite mascara, lip gloss, or foundation and taken the time to sit down and actually read the ingredients listed on the back of the bottle or tube? If you have, then you’ve probably been met with a handful of hard-to-pronounce words, many of which you’ve likely wondered should even be in a product you’re putting on your lashes and lips! If eating “organic”, shopping responsibly for food, and taking the time to look into the ingredients listed on the foods we eat feels like a part of the everyday now, then why has it taken so long for skincare and beauty products–– things we also put on and eventually absorb into our bodies –– to catch up?! 

While shopping for clean makeup and skincare products is getting easier than ever before, understanding what’s actually clean and what’s not is a little bit trickier. There are lots of labels, ingredients, and mixed messaging on what’s actually a clean product and what’s hiding in your traditional makeup products. On top of that, the F.D.A. cannot require companies to submit safety data before they market a product, adhere to basic manufacturing standards, register with the FDA, or report problems or adverse events that consumers tell them about. That basically means the cosmetics industry has been self-regulating for years, and the contents of our products have suffered because of it. 

Because we want all of you to become discernible shoppers as you peruse the beauty aisle, we’re diving into some of the questionable conventional ingredients used in most makeup products and shedding some light on how to read ingredient labels so that you feel confident and clear on what you choose to put on your body. 

Let’s Discuss Dimethicone 

Dimethicone is one of the most common ingredients found in makeup products and is known for its ability to create a smooth, finished sheen on the skin (which is why it’s often found in primers and moisturizers) and its ability to help makeup wear longer. Dimethicone also acts as an emulsifier to keep products from separating and going bad too quickly. Dimethicone is considered an inert, benign ingredient meaning that it’s not toxic for your body, but it’s potential to irritate skin can still be a bit questionable. 

Though Dimethicone can exacerbate existing skin issues by creating a sort of dirt & bacteria-trapping barrier over the skin, the main reason we’ve chosen not to use Dimethicone in our products is because of its known harmful effects on the environment. Dimethicone takes a long time to break down, and any product you use containing the ingredient usually finds its way into our water systems, hurting aquatic life once its dumped into our oceans. Furthermore, Dimethicone is made from a base of silica which is made using hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons are a petrochemical with the fossil fuel family, which as a whole is definitely not sustainable or renewable.  

If we’re looking at the shortcomings of Dimethicone, then we can’t ignore the original source from which it came: Silicones. Silicones can be tough to avoid and identify in beauty products because they are disguised as so many different names. Though silicones are considered low-hazard for humans, some types of silicones– specifically siloxanes and cyclomethicones– can be harmful to our environment. Research shows that once these silicones are washed down the drain (from hair and skincare products), they can emit toxic qualities that can bioaccumulate in aquatic organisms, which can eventually kill off fish and other wildlife. 

Sulfates Suck…Here’s Why 

Another commonly used ingredient in conventional beauty products are sulfates…you’ve probably noticed this because of all of the shampoo bottles and beauty products touting “sulfate-free” labels as of late. But what are sulfates, anyway? Sulfates are surfactants, or, molecules that can attract both oil and water. Sodium lauryl, ammonium lauryl, and sodium laureth are all ingredients from the sulfate family that are commonly found in beauty products.  

The main function of sulfates is to help products create lather, effectively lifting oil, dirt, and product build-up off of our skin and hair and rinsing it down the drain. Though it’s accepted as a safe cosmetics ingredient by both the FDA and the much stricter E.U. standard, they’ve garnered a bad reputation because they strip skin and hair of oils that balance and maintain our bodies’ natural processes. Sulfates are often too aggressive and can leave skin dry and parched, and leave hair straw-like and thirsty. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate can also contain a contaminant called 1,4 Dioxane, which can cause kidney and liver damage if you’re exposed to it in large amounts. Using products with sulfates won’t likely cause damage to your body, but why products with sulfates if there’s a clean, sulfate-free alternative? 

Like silicones, products containing sulfates that get washed down the drain can also be toxic to aquatic life. Silicones are also considered “persistent” by scientists, meaning that they remain in the water and air long after they’ve washed down the drain. 

The Perils of Parabens 

Much like “Sulfate-Free”, “Paraben-Free” is another claim you’ve probably seen on lots of products in recent years. Parabens are one of the most popular (and harmful) ingredients used in beauty and skin care products. At their most fundamental level, parabens are preservatives that are used to keep formulas fresh and to extend the shelf life of products. One thing to note is that not all preservatives are bad. Natural preservatives like Caprylyl Glycol do the same job as parabens but without the toxic stuff, and you’ll want these in your products if you want them to last more than a few weeks! The most common conventional preservatives used in beauty products are methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, and ethylparaben. While they prevent the growth of bad bacteria and mold inside products, they mimic estrogen in the human body and have been linked to reproductive issues, hormone-related cancers, thyroid issues, and obesity. Traditional parabens also negatively affect the environment and have been detected in surface waters, fish, sediments, and have the ability to kill coral. 

Instead of Parabens, we use Tocopherol (also known as Vitamin E) in our products. Vitamin E acts is an antioxidant that acts as a natural preservative without all of the negatives. Bonus points for Vitamin E because it also encourages cell regeneration, fights against free radicals, and can reverse signs of sun damage and pollution damage on the skin. 

Looking at Labels

Unless you’re a chemist (we’re not), reading and understanding ingredient labels can be a pretty daunting task. Skimming through the back of a label and pinpointing words that look familiar is one thing, but actually knowing what each ingredient is and what it does to your skin or hair is another feat entirely. But not to worry: We’ve gathered some basics for you to reference as you become a label-reading savant. 

The first thing to be aware of as you read an ingredient label is that each ingredient is listed in descending order of concentration. For example, our Bio Correct Multi-Action concealer’s first ingredient is Castor Isostearate Beeswax Succinate, and while this might be a long, suspect looking ingredient, it’s actually just a castor oil and beeswax-derived natural polymer (repeating chain of molecules) created through heat and vacuum. There are no chemicals used in the creation process and it’s a completely clean ingredient. Other ingredients like Tocopherol and ascorbyl phosphate might sound chemically-laden, but they’re just the fancy way of referring to Vitamin E and Vitamin C, respectively. 

Other ways to become a well-informed shopper is by looking at the logos on the products. While the FDA has only banned 11 (!) ingredients from being used in cosmetics products, the European Union has banned over 1,300 ingredients and raw materials commonly used in beauty products. If a product or line you’re using meets E.U. regulations, you’re already on the right track. Other logos to get familiar with include the following: 

Leaping Bunny Certified 

The Leaping Bunny Certified logo means that the company performs no animal testing of any ind on their products. It also means the company doesn’t purchase any ingredient, formulation, or product from a supplier that conducted or been a part of any animal testing on said ingredient. 

EWG Verified 

The Environment Working Group verification logo means that a product was vetted through EWG’s rigorous inspection process and was deemed completely clean and free of any ecotoxicity or contamination concerns. This logo also means the company behind the product uses production practices that are safe for both the environment and the manufacturers themselves. 

AVA Certified

AVA stands for the American Vegetarian Association. This logo means that the product is either vegetarian or vegan. 

EcoCert Certification 

When a product features this logo, it means that the entire supply chain, from the raw materials used to the finished product are heavily audited by EcoCert and are guaranteed that the most environmentally friendly and socially conscious practices were used to develop the product. 

Here are some other logos you can find on our products: 

Thankfully, shopping clean is getting easier than ever before and because transparency is finally becoming an important aspect within the beauty industry, discovering clean brands that are truly clean (like us!) takes a lot less effort than it did in years past. 

Got any questions about our formulations and processes? Reach out to us at customerservice@w3llpeople.com and we’ll answer all of your clean ingredient questions!

Not Convinced on Clean Yet? This Documentary Will Change Your Mind.

If you’ve ever felt like the ingredients in conventional beauty and personal care products you use might be a *little* suspicious, if you’ve ever had any interest in transitioning into clean beauty, or if you have no idea what’s in your products but you’ve never really cared, stop whatever you’re doing and go watch the new documentary Toxic Beauty ASAP. At W3LL PEOPLE, we know a whole lot about the importance of clean beauty and the damage that conventional products can cause, but this documentary was a sobering reminder of how corrupt the conventional cosmetics industry is and the hurt they’ve caused so many. 

The lack of regulation (and integrity) within the personal care and cosmetics industry is exactly why we started W3ll PEOPLE 11 years ago. We believed– and still believe– that no cosmetic product, no matter how desirable it’s made to seem, is worth damaging your biology in ways that can be irreparable. While Toxic Beauty explores the stories of women battling ovarian cancer due to regular use of Johnson & Johnsons Baby Powder (which is made of the toxic ingredient talc), it also takes a deep dive into the toxicity of conventional products as a whole, and the measures that the cosmetics industry (and the F.D.A.) will take to keep consumers in the dark about what they’re actually using on their bodies. 

We’re here to make a promise that transparency will always come first, and that we will never use ingredients that could pose even a potential threat to our health and wellbeing. Here are some of the toxic ingredients we refuse to use in our products: 

Dimethicone

Dimethicone is one of the most common ingredients found in makeup products and is known for its ability to create a smooth, finished sheen on the skin (which is why it’s often found in primers and moisturizers) and its ability to help makeup wear longer. Dimethicone also acts as an emulsifier to keep products from separating and going bad too quickly. It’s considered an inert, benign ingredient meaning that it’s not toxic for your body, but it’s potential to irritate skin can still be a bit questionable. 

Though Dimethicone can exacerbate existing skin issues by creating a sort of dirt & bacteria-trapping barrier over the skin, the main reason we’ve chosen not to use Dimethicone in our products is because of its known harmful effects on the environment. Dimethicone takes a long time to break down, and any product you use containing the ingredient usually finds its way into our water systems, hurting aquatic life once its dumped into our oceans. Furthermore, Dimethicone is made from a base of silica which is made using hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons are a petrochemical within the fossil fuel family, which as a whole is definitely not sustainable or renewable.  

Dimethicone’s one real quality is that it makes skin look smooth and filled in, but there are other clean alternatives that have the same aesthetic effect and aren’t harmful to the environment. 

We use Broccoli Seed Oil in our products for the same filtered-looking effect, and you’ll also get to reap BSO’s nourishing properties, too! 

Parabens

Parabens are a big focus in Toxic Beauty, mostly because they are hiding in just about everything from hand soaps to shampoo to lotions to foundations and lipsticks. At their most fundamental level, parabens are preservatives that are used to keep formulas fresh and to extend the shelf life of products. Not all preservatives are bad, though. Natural preservatives like Caprylyl Glycol do the same job as parabens but without the toxic stuff, and you’ll want these in your products if you want them to last more than a few weeks! The most common conventional preservatives used in beauty products are methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, and ethylparaben. While they prevent the growth of bad bacteria and mold inside products, they mimic estrogen in the human body and have been linked to reproductive issues, hormone-related cancers, thyroid issues, and obesity. Traditional parabens also negatively affect the environment and have been detected in surface waters, fish, sediments, and have the ability to kill coral.

Sulfates 

Another very common ingredient you’ll see on product labels is sulfates. Like parabens, sulfates are hiding in just about everything–– even in toothpaste! Sulfates are surfactants, or, molecules that can attract both oil and water. Sodium lauryl, ammonium lauryl, and sodium laureth are all ingredients from the sulfate family that are commonly found in beauty products.  

The main function of sulfates is to help products create lather, effectively lifting oil, dirt, and product build-up off of our skin and hair and rinsing it down the drain. Though it’s accepted as a safe cosmetics ingredient by both the FDA and the much stricter E.U. standard, they’ve garnered a bad reputation because they strip skin and hair of oils that balance and maintain our bodies’ natural processes. Sulfates are often too aggressive and can leave skin dry and parched, and leave hair straw-like and thirsty. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate can also contain a contaminant called 1,4 Dioxane, which can cause kidney and liver damage if you’re exposed to it in large amounts.

In Toxic Beauty, a young female med student who has spent the majority of her life using conventional personal care and beauty products decides to test her body’s toxicity levels using conventional products vs. clean products. The differences in her results were staggering and, once you watch the doc.,you’ll probably be ready to toss all of your toxic products and make the swap to clean for good. 

We are so grateful this documentary has arrived and is shedding light on an issue that can no longer be ignored. We encourage all of you to watch it and to encourage your loved ones to do the same! If you want an even deeper dive on harmful ingredients and their clean alternatives, head over to our Conventional to Clean Ingredients blog post to read more. 

Stick It Out This Winter: Must-Have Hydrating Essentials for the Season

 

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Winter skin is real, amiright?!Love winter or dread winter, one thing can be agreed upon: your skin needs a lot of love during these colder, drier, skin-chapping months. Using products that nourish and hydrate should be top priority when it comes to your complexion! In the evenings, after the day’s makeup is removed, relying on heavy-duty moisturizers and oils like our Bio Booster serum lock in hydration overnight for moisturized, brighter skin by morning. But what about in the day time, when, you know, it’s not really preferred to walk into the office with layers of thick creams and serums on your face… (no judgement if that’s you).

 

During chilly months, we’re looking for around the clock moisture for our skin, not just layering on in the evenings, and so what better way to lock in that moisture than through the makeup you wear?! Enter our range of moisturizing makeup sticks. From foundations to bronzers, all of our sticks rely on hydrating bases like beeswax and jojoba oil to deliver and retain moisture to your skin throughout the day. 

 

Here are all of the makeup products you need this winter for skin that’s healthy and hydrated, and for looks that glow throughout the season. 

 

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Narcissist Foundation Stick 

Have you ever been in the depths of dry skin and your foundation just looks completely caked on even if you’re using very little? It’s that chapped, sitting-on-top-of-your-skin look, and it’s not for us. Our Narcissist foundation is made from a combination of castor and safflower seed oils and beeswax for a creamy look that melts into skin easily for sheer but substantial coverage and no greasy residue. We love this formula in the winter because, outside of it basically doubling as a moisturizer, it has a satiny, soft-focus finish that can be built upon for a more dramatic look or worn as a daily, easy-to-use foundation. 

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Bio Brightener Stick 

Tis the season to highlight! With winter comes the holiday season, and with the holiday season comes an onslaught of gatherings, gift exchanges, office parties, and family hangouts that call for some subtle holiday shimmer. The Bio Brightener stick illuminates and hydrates using a triple threat of jojoba, sunflower seed, and olive oil, and gives off a translucent shimmer at all the right angles. We carry this stick around in our purse because we never know when we’re going to want to give ourselves a little brightening pick-me-up throughout the day. Bio Brightener stick comes in two natural shades, the new Golden Glow and the widely-loved Universal Glow, both of which highlight and moisturize for a complexion that could be mistaken for skin that has a summer vacation glow. 

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Bio Bronzer Stick 

Anyone who’s told you bronzers can only be used during the summer needs to be checked! While bronzers aren’t the one to give that natural “I’ve been playing in the snow” flush, they can seriously amp up a holiday or winter look and tone-wise feel completely in step with the season. Cream-based bronzers, like our Bio Bronzer stick, do a great job of blending well for a natural, bright, and overall healthy look. Our bronzer stick in particular packs a hydrating punch with a variety of botanical oils that go on smooth and easily, a.k.a, no ruddy bronze-caking here!  

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Nudist Multi-Use Cream Stick 

And now for a pop of color, our Nudist Multi-Use cream stick is an absolute winter essential for its versatility and ability to nourish and relieve chapped skin. Our cream stick formula uses premium, powerful ingredients like avocado oil, aloe vera leaf, shea butter, and sunflower seed wax among other moisturizing botanicals to soothe irritated, overly dry skin. We use this stick anywhere our complexions could use a little color and brightening! Its smooth and creamy texture is perfect on lips, eyelids, and cheeks, and fits easily in a purse for easy, on the go color. 

How do you care for your skin during the winter months? Shop all of our moisturizing cream sticks and discover more hydrating, skin-loving products on w3llpeople.com!

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