David Pirrotta's Top 5 Picks This Spring

Favorite Things: Spring ‘21 Edition
David Pirrotta's Top 5 Picks This Spring
The spring season is always an energized, hopeful time— we witness literal growth, and experience a sense of excitement and movement in our own lives, too. We often feel inspired, reborn, and ready to kick off new projects. But things this spring feel a little different.

With COVID-19 vaccines in high gear, we’re seeing a new resurgence of hope, and I feel it too. After a recent ayahuasca journey, I found myself reconnected with the old me. I’ve always been a hippie at heart, a little New England boy who ran around the woods, got lost in the snow, played in the dirt. I recognize that part of me still reigns dominant, and is where my heart lies.

I realized that after 2+ decades in the beauty and skincare industry, I’ve lost sight of that earthly connection. I realized I needed to focus my support on discovering and uplifting completely sustainable brands who are doing it like no other. That means truly excellent formulas that are wildly effective, and not just hanging their hat on sustainability as a trend, but taking their time and doing it right. It’s this eco-minded reconnection that distills my absolute fav products for the season.

1. Wonder Valley - Olive & Lotus Exfoliant

I’m a die-hard Wonder Valley fan and I can’t deny it, but this product really gets me excited. Mechanical exfoliation hasn’t been as popular as it used to be, and we get it. Liquid exfoliators are great. But this super delicate, super fine powder is such a treat. I use it every morning mixed with a little of the Wonder Valley oil cleanser and it’s such a gentle, deep, exfoliating cleanse.

The packaging for the exfoliator is Japanese-inspired, stunning, and recyclable. And, of course all the ingredients are totally clean and natural. Not only are her products amazing, but I have so much fun using them.

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2. Ingredients Nasal Spray + Throat Spray

Ingredients is a brand near and dear to me. I am intimately acquainted with the founders and formulator. They are people I trust who have shepherded my career and aligned with my values about ingredient-and-eco-integrity in a profound way.

All of their products are top tier, for accessible prices. Their products have very high organic percentages compared to many brands that throw that word around. They’re plant-based, and instead of simple water, they use botanical hydrols. The packaging for Throat Spray is recyclable glass and the Nasal Spray is packaged with bag-in-can-non-aerosol which is crucial. Their boxes are composed of non-toxic inks printed on FSC paper. 

I’m hyper-aware of my sinuses during the season of allergies, so I swear by these two products every single day after the shower to keep my breathing easy.

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3. Natureofthings - Face Essence

I adore this essence. It’s so hydrating, I almost don’t need anything over it in the warmer days to keep me dewy and refreshed. I have access to so many products at any given time, but really I’m a less is more guy. Don’t do more if you don’t need to, and this essence really locks things in for me. Their ingredient integrity scores them amazing on the INCI list— I just love what they are putting out into the market.

Balancing Facial Essence
Balancing Facial Essence

Made without alcohol or harsh astringents, our formula uses bioactive ingredients to refine pores, absorb excess sebum, and balance pH levels. Botanical antioxidants combined with French thermal water and Swiss apple stem cells stimulate skin cell production and protect against environmental factors that lead to visible signs of aging. Korean seaweed and mallow extract combat redness and hyperpigmentation to brighten and even skin tone.

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4. Lesse - Ritual Serum

I have to admit, I’ve been pretty over face oils for a while now. I used to have an issue with cystic acne growing up, so oils I am wary of. Most of them just break me out or sit on top of my skin, and I mean, how many oils can one possibly have? I’ll tell you how many. One. This one.  

The Ritual Serum is unparalleled. After I use the essence, if I need more moisture I dab this on and it penetrates my skin perfectly with no oily residue, it never breaks me out— in fact it helps clear breakouts— and the ingredients are all ethically, small-batch sourced. It’s rich in omegas and beautiful lipids, turmeric, minerals, and calming powerhouses like calendula and rosehip. And of course, the packaging is super sustainable.

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5. Sandor Shampoo + Conditioner

This duo is so clean, and so sustainable from shipping to empty bottle. The packaging is all make from either recyclable or compostable materials from mushrooms, so I literally throw it in my garden after. Can you imagine? This has to be the future. We all need to get on this ride. Sandor is really creating incredible product, but their outlook on sustainability is bar none what everyone should be following.

Other packaging is 100% post industrial aluminum scrap, while inside, it’s all locally-sourced ingredients. It’s farm-to-medicine cabinet in its purest form, and my hair loves it.

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I feel like I’ve always worked with brands that were a little before their time, and I’m ok with that. I want to support brands that understand sustainability as a means to live consciously, not as a buzzword to make sales. I’m making small changes in every aspect of my life, from going plastic free at home and buying bulk for glass jars in the kitchen, the laundry room, etc, to really doing a spring clean out of my inventory to focus on what the world needs.

Sustainability is luxury, when you think about the thoughtfulness behind it. Luxury becomes comfort. When you’re comfortable with yourself and your choices, you feel empowered. That’s the energy I’m taking with me into spring 2021.

Written by Nicole Lesmeister

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