For Chrissy Fichtl, owner of botanical soap company Apotheke, making her own cleansers came as naturally as cooking. Disheartened by the lack of homegrown beauty products at the farmers’ market, this former chef gathered her provisions (olive oil, oatmeal and a DIY soap kit) and whipped up a line of natural body care goods using her favorite healthy ingredients.
Three years later, her company is a Brooklyn Flea fixture beloved for its ultra-gentle products. Apotheke’s paraben-free soaps are made with essential oils (no dyes or perfumes), cocoa butter and extracts from spearmint and lavender.
The soaps come in 32 made-to-order combinations, but our top pick is for the dogs: The summery Pipa soap ($7)--initially intended for Fichtl’s finicky dachshund--wards off mosquitoes with citronella, soothes skin with rosemary and wakes us up with a fresh eucalyptus scent. Besides the nourishing bars, we also love the sweet-smelling jasmine-and-tuberose candle ($25) and the almond-oil-and-beeswax balm ($20), a quick fix for dry knees and elbows.
Up next are hydrating floral-essence waters, which you can nab at the Flea and on Fichtl’s Etsy shop. Or, if you want to make your own basil-and-coconut-oil cleansers, sign up for a one-on-one soap-making lesson at her Brooklyn studio ($100 for three hours).
There’s no better way to come clean.