Living in the high desert can be unfriendly to one’s beauty. Skin dries, lips crack and hair frizzles when hot and when cold.

As is tradition in the Wild West, though, those who inhabit the region make do and find ways to thrive despite the elements.

While survival always comes first, there are some Nevadans who make skin soft, lips lush and hair shine no matter how unforgivingly windy, cold or hot this dry Sierra land we live in gets.

Hailing from home, here are some of the most savvy beauty apothecaries in your neighborhood:

Dragonfly Bath and Body

Run by a local family, this place truly has a spot in the community. Not only do they have fun workshops where you can make your own bath bombs, they will make you custom products — anything from shampoo to lotion to lip balm. Tell the owner, Lauren Dunne, what smells you like and she’ll whip something up in the back for you that has the perfect blend. If you’re like me and you have a skin condition, she’ll steer you in the direction of products that can help with relief. She uses all-natural products, and she can tell you exactly what is in your lotion, and unlike the products you buy at TJ Maxx, you actually recognize the names of the ingredients.

Want it? Go to the brick and mortar shop at 728 S. Virginia St. or go to

Black Rock Mud Company

Remember playing in the mud when you were a child and the oh-so-satisfying feeling of squeezing the earth between your toes? You can get that feeling again. Based out of Gerlach, the gateway to the Black Rock Desert, the Black Rock Mud Company is a family-run business that uses the natural clay from the Black Rock Desert to heal your pores with products like its natural mud mask. The clay contains more than 50 naturally occurring trace elements that are beneficial and promote healthy skin, including calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. It’s pricey, but pure.

Want it? Go to

Pantry Products

If you love nature, you’ll love Pantry.

“We aim to be as gentle to the environment as we are to you,” is just one of the statements on Pantry’s website that surely appeals to your inner tree hugger. Not only does Pantry owner Michelle Czarka make scrumptious-smelling skin rubs, beard oils, bug sprays and anti-aging serums, she helps your wallet by giving you 10 percent off if you bring the bottle back to recycle. From the business’s headquarters in the Basement, Czarka whips up everything you need to stay clean, fresh and wrinkle-free. In between, you can attend a workshop and learn how to make natural remedies and dyes.

Want it? Go to the brick and mortar shop at 50 S. Virginia St. or go to

Alsation Soap Co.

This Reno-based soap company was founded in 2009 because too many of the soaps out there just don’t help we Nevadans with our dry skin. If anything, they parch our hides even further. Kathy Bray, the owner, uses an assortment of butters and oils to create soaps that lather up nicely but leave skin feeling soft and smooth. If you don’t want to take our word for it, ask a friend who sews, knits or gardens because a lot of them use Kathy’s products on their busy fingers. They make great gifts if you don’t knit or sew because some of the soaps even come in the shape of knitted mittens and spools of thread. So adorable.

Want it? Go to

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