“Pure Skin for Life” is the mantra of Elaine Falstrom’s Pura Vida Botanicals, a new green and organic spa located in downtown Santa Barbara.
Pura Vida Botanicals opened for business in early September and shares the same salon space as Polish, an organic nail salon owned and operated by Susan Culver. From bamboo flooring to organic cotton balls and ramie washcloths, the salon makes an effort to be as environmentally friendly as possible.
Pura Vida Botanicals—a name inspired by the Costa Rican mantra, pura vida—features salon-exclusive skin care and makeup lines that maintain healthy skin. A babies’ line, “Baby Naturals: For the Baby You Love,” a men’s skin care line, and even dog shampoo are also offered.
Falstrom says that all her products are biodegradable, 100 percent vegan, and are in recyclable packaging. Products are not animal-tested, are paraben- and fragrance-free, formulated with natural and organic pharmaceutical-grade ingredients, organically grown botanicals, pure essential oils, and herbal infusions.
Falstrom prefers to keep her skin care and makeup lines exclusive to her salon to ensure that clients are educated and get products best suited for their skin care needs.
Since Falstrom’s daughter grew up with severe allergies, Pura Vida Botanicals began in the form of baby products. The need for baby products made with natural ingredients was the driving force behind the skin care line. The older her daughter grew, the more variety Pura Vida Botanicals added to its repertoire, as Falstrom created products to complement more mature skin types and needs. Her makeup line launched seven years ago.
Falstrom earned her esthetician’s license when she was 17 and worked in the field to pay for her college education. A Santa Barbara resident for seven years, her business took root with at-home makeup parties. Since then, her business expanded through word of mouth.
Most of Pura Vida Botanicals’ products, which were created by Falstrom, are at least 89 percent organic; she is always coming up with ideas for new products by paying attention to what clients need or want. A product to look for within the next few weeks is Sunbutter, the Pura Vida Botanicals take on protective sunscreen.
One of Falstrom’s main interests is to educate clients about skin care and the ingredients present in the products that they purchase and use on their skin. She also makes it a point to learn about her clients, their lifestyles, nutrition, and their skin concerns and apply the information to her services and consultations.
Falstrom says she understands the notion that “green” means chic, which translates into expensive. However, she keeps her products at reasonable prices, since her goal is to provide good products that yield results in order to generate more repeat customers.