When looking for the perfect gifts to bestow on our friends, families and everyone in between (yes, that means you, favorite Thai food delivery guy), we have a set of standards that we try to stick to. This year’s holiday shopping is going to be made much easier by the discovery of Pearl+ luxury soaps. These unisex soaps are lovingly handcrafted in small batches right here in Portland. Add in the affordable price tag and the high-quality, unique ingredients and you’ve got a gift that meets all of our criteria; something we feel good about giving to everyone on our list.
Inspired by her experience in international beauty product development and by her Chinese grandmother (who shared the benefits of pearl), Janet Jay created Pearl+ luxury soaps in 2008. The pearl powder is mixed with natural herbs, essential oils and minerals like rosemary, coconut oil and charcoal to create detoxifying and moisturizing soaps that leave the face and body feeling fresh and soft. Make everyone happy (and beautiful) this year with natural, luxury soaps! The soaps are exclusively available at all four Ace Hotel locations and can be purchased on Janet’s online shop.
E+E: What was the inspiration behind making your own luxury soap?
Janet Jay: As a young girl, I watched my grandmother’s nightly routine of applying pearl cream before bedtime. My career has been in product development for personal care items and in the back of my mind I wanted to develop a product containing pearl. I knew that China had thousands of years of research and use of natural ingredients for beauty and health. Pearl+ luxury soap came about when I moved back to PDX from Japan. I like to support craftspeople here. I thought it would be great to have a local soapmaker handcraft a bar that both men and women could use.
E+E: Tell us a little bit more about the benefits of the crushed pearl powder. It sounds lovely!
JJ: Pearl powder has long been used in China to promote healthy, beautiful skin. It is used in topical products like creams and lotions but in it’s highest grade, can be taken internally for skin benefits. High in minerals and amino acids, pearl powder helps with anti-aging and promotes clear beautiful skin.
E+E: You mention that other natural herbs and minerals are incorporated to the pearl powder to give the soap a more modern twist. How do you decide which herbs and minerals to use? Are they influenced by Portland or the Pacific Northwest?
JJ: I’m always researching other ingredients in both Traditional Chinese medicine and what’s inherent in the Pacific Northwest. We have access to some of nature’s best and richest natural resources here!
E+E: What’s your favorite thing about Portland?
JJ: The natural beauty of the environment fosters creativity.
Written by: Lauren Kodiak