How does all-natural skincare products that are made in Grays Harbor sound? It sounded pretty good to Rene’ Bartosh, creator of Pure & Coco, an all-natural skincare product company founded right here in Grays Harbor.
Rene’ has deep ties with Grays Harbor. Both sets of her grandparents were born and raised here. Her parents were both born in Aberdeen. And so was her husband, Steve. “I was born and raised in Eastern Washington and moved to Seattle, then Aberdeen when I was 18 because I had family that lived here still,” Rene’ explains. “I’ve always loved the greenery and trees on this side of the state.”
Pure & Coco Skincare Born Out of Need
They say necessity is the father of invention. In this case it was the mother of invention, because Rene’ needed something for her own skin. “I started experimenting and researching with the products I sell now out of a need for my severely dry, eczema skin,” she shares.
At the same time, Steve was taking classes at The Evergreen State College. He happened to take a class that talked about micro-beads in skincare products. “Those micro-beads were supposed to break down but didn’t – because they were plastic and going down the waterways – which combined with the harmful effects of toxic makeup and the harmful effects it has on the skin; led me down a total rabbit trail,” Rene’ continues. “I’ve always had an interest in natural and holistic remedies.”
That was back in 2014, when Pure & Coco first got its start. “Originally the products – moisturizing exfoliators – weren’t a business idea, I was desperate for relief from the dry, cracked, and bleeding skin on the back of my hands, and lotion and gloves just weren’t doing me any favors,” Rene’ explains. “When I first started experimenting with the product and using it daily, after about a month a co-worker of mine complimented me on my skin, noticing how it looked better, which gave me a light bulb moment.”
Rene’ decided to make some samples for co-workers. She handed them out for free in return for feedback. “They all loved it and wanted more,” Rene’ says “That’s how this got started when I finally realized I wasn’t the only one who suffered from this type of skin condition and knew I could help them too if it worked for me.”
In the beginning, Steve helped Rene’ get the business off the ground, going to Farmers Markets and other events to sell her products. Steve is now a deputy with the Grays Harbor Sherriff’s Department and is more of a silent partner and a sounding board whenever Rene needs him.
Coconut Skincare for Everyone
Today, Pure & Coco has a full line of all-natural skincare products with coconut as the base. Rene’ explains that coconut, besides being all-natural, is fantastic hydration for your skin, without causing breakouts or leaving an oily residue…as long as it’s formulated correctly. “I tried using straight coconut oil on my face and hands but didn’t like the result – oily and didn’t soak in,” she explains. “The key is the exfoliator, sugar, which gently removes the dead skin cells without irritating dry, cracked skin and makes it possible for the coconut oil to absorb into the skin. Sounds complicated, but super easy to use and feels like a spa treatment, every day in your shower.”
Customer favorites include her Moisturizing Sugar Scrubs – which are moisturizing exfoliators – and her Face & Body Cremes. Rene’ says both products pair well together. “The Face & Body Cremes, because of the way I formulated it, it doesn’t wash off when you wash your hands, it’s safe to use on the face, and can be used six different ways, replacing six different products,” she adds.
If you are not sure what to get, Rene’ can help. “I love connecting with people who have similar skin types, and teaching them what products to use, what to avoid, and tips and tricks I’ve learned along my journey that will help improve the look, texture, and feel of their skin without using harsh products or steroid creams,” she explains. “The number one question I get asked is, ‘What do you recommend for dry skin?’ Who better to ask, than someone who’s been in their shoes?”
You can find Pure & Coco skincare products on the Pure & Coco website or at the following local businesses: Spa Elizabeth, The Market Place, Think of Me Boutique online, Tides & Anchors, Ambiance Massage & Spa, Elma Pharmacy and Alder + Co.