By Blake Hemmel
From an early age, DeeAnn Tracy Brown was exposed to the power of natural healing and the importance of promoting health. Essentially growing up in the back of her mom’s herb shop in Flagstaff, DeeAnn learned a lot about herbs and botany at a young age. She later attended the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine, working under master herbalist Michael Moore.
Having a diverse background in herbal medicine, DeeAnn decided in 1993 to start Peak Scents, a company dedicated to providing potent, pure and all-natural skin care products to its clients. She worked closely with her sister, Denise Tracy, developing natural products in a time where there were no truly natural skin care products on the market.
“We first started selling at my mom’s store [Winter Sun Trading Co], and now we work with about 500 stores all over the country. Our goal was to create products that were healthy and good for people,” said DeeAnn.
It was difficult at first, as their natural products omitted toxic preservatives, shortening their shelf-life. But that didn’t stop Peak Scents from catching on and achieving success.
“There was so much education going on, and once people were catching on to what they were putting on their bodies, they just really ate up our products, and we created a very strong, loyal following, and then they would educate their friends, so it kind of became a cascade of learning,” continued DeeAnn.
DeeAnn says organic skin care is important because everything that we put onto our skin is absorbed into the body, affecting the liver, kidney, brain, hormones, the endocrine system and thyroid. “The skin is our largest organ. We absorb most everything that comes in contact with our skin, and most skincare products, even to this day, are just filled with toxic ingredients.”
In order to avoid harmful chemicals, DeeAnn consults with the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which provides a database of harmful ingredients that should be avoided in the production of skin care products. Many companies, however, still use these chemicals, according to DeeAnn.
“We’re just very conscious of what goes into our products, and basically we always say ‘if you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin.’”
Peak Scents’ newest product line is called Rose Phyto3, which harnesses the power of Rose and Acai stem cells, peptides, super fruit and herbal extracts.
Continuing a tradition of collaboration, DeeAnn consulted heavily with her sister Denise in the development of the new line. Denise, founder of The Super Salve Company, has a lab in New Mexico where most of the products are produced naturally. Together, the sisters have created the skin care lines Power Repair by Sister Creations and Body Nurish.
Based in Flagstaff, Peak Scents also sells products in many health food stores around the country. This month, the company will partner with the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM) in Tempe, which hand- picked Peak Scents products to be sold at its medicinary. DeeAnn is also excited to start working on a new line of organic hair products.
To learn more about DeeAnn Tracy and Peak Scents, visit peakscents.com
Blake Hemmel is a journalism student at the Walter Cronkite School. He enjoys writing about climate, sustainability and the outdoors.
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