Getting creative in a pandemic: Nala moves from pits to palms

The skincare brand shifts to "free-from" hand sanitizer

Credit: Nala

The skincare brand shifts to “free-from” hand sanitizer

“We are definitely not the first to think of this,” says Ada Juristovski, co-founder of Nala. “And if anything, it’s something we are proud to be part of.”

The Vancouver-based skincare brand has specialized in natural deodorant since it launched in 2017, but in February, the founders realized it was time to expand their product line. Despite the difficulty of securing raw materials right now, they felt a responsibility to their community. “As a small company, we have the benefit of being nimble and being able to adjust and rejig our product pipeline,” Juristovski says. Switching focus to hand sanitizer, the team resolved to stick to their “free-from” mandate.

To Nala’s founders, free-from means avoiding the unhealthy ingredients that can be found in many drugstore bottles. The company’s products contain no artificial fragrances or colours, and no carcinogens, parabens or triclosan. “In small quantities, these don’t have any significant effect on the body,” Juristovski explains. “But we tend to use so many products that the accumulation can have a harmful impact.”

Nala’s hand sanitizer is made in Vancouver with eucalyptus, tea tree and manuka oils, all of which have antimicrobial properties: “We want to make sure that every ingredient serves a purpose,” Juristovski says. Lemongrass and lavender floral water were added for a calming scent, glycerin to moisturize and alcohol to do the dirty work.

Pre-orders began last week, and Nala has already rolled out its first shipments. Keeping mindfulness at the forefront, the brand has a limit of four bottles per customer (“There’s still a bit of that scarcity mentality!” Juristovski notes) so there are enough to go around. Nala is giving 10 percent of proceeds to Covenant House Vancouver.

“If there are any regrets, I think it’s that we didn’t do this sooner,” Juristovski says. “But we’re proud to be a part of this indie movement responding quickly to the greater community’s needs.”