By Janet H. Cho
The Plain Dealer, Cleveland
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Using her background in organic chemistry, entrepreneur Sandra Bontempo has created a line of locally-made, egg-based beauty products containing ingredients from free-range chickens, scented with essential oils.
FreeRange SkinCare founder and President Sandra Bontempo created her first egg-based skin cream for her then-four-month-old son, whose severe eczema and atopic dermatitis made him break out from other baby lotions.
A fourth-generation soap and lotion maker and entrepreneur, Bontempo grew up on her grandparents’ farm in North Ridgeville where they grew or made everything they ate, and nothing was wasted. Tinkering with the simple ingredients in her kitchen, “it wasn’t until I started incorporating the egg that he stopped having the flare-ups,” she said.
The eggs came from the family’s 17 serama chickens, and the more she applied the cream, the more her baby’s symptoms calmed down.
Using her background in organic chemistry, she started making other products like soaps and lotions, some with the egg whites, others with eggshell membranes, scenting them with essential oils like lavender and mint (she also makes unscented for sensitive skin).
“Egg yolks help heal sun damage,” egg whites shrink pores, and the eggshells help reduce wrinkles, she said. “There is so much in this egg that is so good for your skin,” and is more easily absorbed than other beauty products, she said. Just as farm-fresh eggs taste better than the commercially produced kind, Bontempo believes the skincare benefits from their eggs are superior, too.
Bontempo grew her business by word of mouth, one friend referring another, and started making regular appearances at farmers’ markets with her friendliest chickens and roosters. Her most popular rooster, Winston, is a certified therapy rooster who visits nursing home and battered women’s shelters.