Co-founders Cindy Edwards and Stephanie Duttenhaver met in Savannah in 2012 through their work with nonprofit organizations in the area. PHOTO COURTESY OF SAPELO SKIN CARE
Heeding the lessons from their mothers and grandmothers as generations of Southern women have done before, the co-founders of Georgia-based Sapelo Skin Care launch their coastal-inspired products in the U.K.
Sapelo renewing serum and rejuvenating cream PHOTO COURTESY OF SAPELO SKIN CARE
The fragrant, sour smell of the salt marsh rises from the depths at low tide while crabs and critters scurry to hide under sea rocks and bury themselves in the sand and marsh grasses—all of this mystified by a force larger than ourselves, the tides. The tides of the coastal South have a spiritlike quality to them, inspiring the settings of books, movies and TV shows, and now, skincare.
Sapelo’s anti-aging enzyme mask and milk and honey hydrating mask. PHOTO COURTESY OF SAPELO SKIN CARE
Sapelo Skin Care (sapeloskincare.com), named after the remote Sapelo Island, Ga., was inspired by the tides that are so much a part of co-founders Stephanie Duttenhaver and Cindy Edwards’ lives. “Cindy and I both live on the tidal salt marsh in Savannah, so we have a daily, deep connection to the tides,” says Duttenhaver. “There’s an innate desire to live by the ebb and flow of the tides because it’s a restorative, natural cycle.” Founded in 2015, the skincare brand has slowly grown, available in familiar places like The Spa at Sea Island, and just recently announced its launch in the U.K. “When you look back through history, people have used natural ingredients to renew, restore and heal the body for many years. So, we aimed to harness the power of natural, Southern-inspired ingredients like magnolia and gardenia stem cells to offer a gentler way to rejuvenate the skin,” says Edwards. “We use everything from oyster shells from Savannah, honey from Cindy’s hometown of Claxton, Ga., and seaweed from the Atlantic Ocean all in a very purposeful way,” adds Duttenhaver.
The brand’s detailed packaging with embossed magnolia leaves PHOTO COURTESY OF SAPELO SKIN CARE
At the heart of Sapelo is a mission to improve skin without causing damage or inflammation. “We were both so frustrated by the options that were available to us,” says Edwards. “Our whole lives we’ve been told to avoid getting a sunburn, so the whole idea of burning your skin with acid as an anti-aging strategy didn’t make sense to me. It was against everything we were taught. All the women I knew with beautiful skin had exhibited a lifetime of care.” And so, Sapelo products work to do just that. The duo created a science-based system that mimics the immune response without causing damage, offering safe, effective skin repair by naturally stimulating skin cells, collagen and elastin production. “It was the realization for me of the tides. They surge twice a day, and, similarly, we need to give our skin a surge of hydration and care twice daily,” says Edwards. “High tide brings hydration and nutrients to the shoreline and our products do the same for your skin.”