A new skin-care store in Bethesda stocks its shelves with nontoxic products
“YOU ABSORB 60 PERCENT of everything
you put on your skin,” says Tara Foley, founder
of Follain, a clean-beauty emporium. “Our
culture is so focused on nutrition and ;tness
that investigating the ingredients we put on
our skin is the logical next step.”
That’s why the 33-year-old D.C. native
and Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart
graduate launched Follain online in 2013.
Now living in Boston, she recently opened her
;fth brick-and-mortar store on Bethesda Row.
She also has two stores in Boston, another
on Nantucket and one in Seattle.
Follain—Gaelic for “healthy, wholesome
and sound”—aims to help women and men
eliminate the harmful chemicals in their
beauty routine, one product at a time. “The
vast majority of our business is skin care,
as opposed to Sephora, which is mostly
makeup,” Foley says. “Our goal is to get your
skin into a really great place ;rst by using
products with wholesome ingredients, and
then add makeup for fun.”
The light-;lled store is set up by category,
skin type and concern, with best-of picks in
each section chosen from Follain’s roster of
more than 75 brands. Testers and trial sizes
are everywhere, and sampling is encouraged.
In-store consultants can help you ;nd and
replace the biggest offenders in your beauty
routine. “A lot of people start their transition
with the products that are the most unsafe—
body soaps and lotions, things that sit on
your skin. And anything that says ‘fragrance’
or ‘parfum’ on the label, unless it says ‘made
with essential oils,’ could contain up to
thousands of different chemicals,” Foley says.
So what makes a beauty product clean?
“Clean beauty is a one-two punch,” Foley
says. “It has to be nontoxic—that’s a
nonnegotiable for us. It can’t be bad for
the planet or for you. It also has to work. It
has to be effective and offer a really great
experience.” That includes skin care, hair
care, makeup and fragrances.
For the curious, Follain’s website lists
more than two dozen ingredients that can
sneak into your beauty routine—everything
from the predictable mineral oil and parabens
to more shocking ingredients such as
formaldehyde and placenta extract—with
an explanation of what each is used for and
what makes them toxic.
Foley personally tests all products Follain
sells. Among her favorites: Josh Rosebrook
Hydrating Accelerator for skin ($35), La
Bella Figura The Clean Slate cleanser ($60),
Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil ($32) and
May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon beauty balm
Follain, 4810 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda, 240-
534-2360, follain.com n