Prior to the release of this season’s products, founder of skin care company All That Yazz Soap Jasmine Bandali-Alvarado shares inspiration behind her local business.
When the weather cools down, it tends to take time for skin to get adjusted to the temperature change, ultimately leaving many with dry or itchy patches. At the end of the day, keeping skin moisturized all comes down to the beauty products used on a daily basis.
But one local skin care company is doing more than just making bodies feel good and clean. By using materials that have no harmful effect on animals or living things across the globe, NoVA resident Jasmine Bandali-Alvarado of All That Yazz, is taking a small step toward change in the movement against global warming with her line of soaps, candles and scrubs.
Every product sold by Bandali-Alvarado is handmade with natural pigments for color and completely free of palm oil—the most commonly produced vegetable oil. The production process of palm oil leads to extreme loss of biodiversity, according to nonprofit Rainforest Rescue.
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We spoke with Bandali-Alvarado about the impact she’s making in Northern Virginia and beyond, as well as what to expect from her seasonal fall products, debuting soon at local markets.
What inspired you to open this company two years ago?
The whole concept is personal to me. My father used to make soaps, so this is something that’s been in our family for years. Of course, back in the day, there was less emphasis on the oils that really go into soap. Where I wanted to make a difference with my products was by incorporating more of an eco-friendly component. The majority of my line is vegan, and the only items that are not are still vegetarian-friendly. The primary ingredient is coconut oil, which doesn’t require the tree to be cut down.
Secondly, I really love animals, so it was very important to me that they should be vegan in impact, as well as nature. You can have a vegan product but in the process of manufacturing, it might have had an impact on animals or where they live, so mine doesn’t have that. I’m trying to have a small footprint with my business.
You ensure palm oil is not in any of your products. Why is this product so harmful?
In reality, I don’t think this is necessarily a campaign against palm oil but we do need to reduce our dependence. Palm oil is extraordinarily versatile, you can use it as a solid or a liquid form, which is why people use it so often to make products like candy or liquid hand soaps. But in order to cultivate palm oil, you have to kill an entire tree. And to grow more trees, you have to burn the land and replant with many fertilizers to accelerate the growth. Then when you do that, there’s displacement of animals, which is often quite graphic. It’s an entire cycle.
When there’s an over-dependence on something, there’s stress on farmers and companies to keep producing more and more and more. It’s quite apparent that there’s a huge ecological stress on the land and it’s one of the critical factors of global warming. It may not be as big as the beef or auto industry, but it’s big.
What has your experience been like growing your business in this region?
What I really love about Northern Virginia is we have a variety of consumers because our population is so diverse. At the base level, a vegan item will be appropriate for everyone and will be safe for most people. And here, people are so supportive of small businesses and our clientele continues to grow. I love that there’s a push for us to have a range of companies present, no matter the size.
What can shoppers expect of your product line this season?
Fall is such a beautiful, wholesome season. My staples—goat milk and lavender-scented soap—sell no matter what year it is. By the time fall arrives, people want those more because they make for really great gifts.
Additionally, the products that do best in fall are the hand scrubs and candles. When we see the seasons change, our skin builds extra layers and we become dryer, so we have to make sure the moisturizer can penetrate our skin. My gentle scrubs enable your moisturizer to enter the skin. The most popular is the citrus-lemon essential oil and the Fruity Fusion scrub, which reflects the delicious berries and apples that are in season right now.
With my candles, I typically sell fragrances that represent the seasons. This year, I am offering the harvest apple candle, which is spellbinding. It just makes you feel whole.
This month, look for Bandali-Alvarado and her seasonal offerings at the Fairfax Fall Festival on Saturday, Oct. 12, pop-up shop in Clarendon on Wednesday, Oct. 16 and pop-up station in Shirlington on Saturday, Oct. 19. For a complete list of where to find All That Yazz this fall and beyond, click here.