“If you’re not doing anything with your hands why do you need them?” That was the question of Inga Vyugova, who along with partner Sasha Kamenskikh, began putting her hands to use in spring to form It’s Me, a new cosmetics company. The pair, both from Russia with jobs in the education world, were inspired by companies like Lush, which use a minimal amount of ingredients to make all-natural products. Now, the pair has begun selling their all-natural (and vegan friendly!) deodorant, shampoo, hair balm and body bars.
We crashed one of their “deodorant-making parties” to see how it’s made and test out the stuff for ourselves.
All products are 60rmb, on the pricier side for deodorant and shampoo. But there are a few personal and ethical reasons to spring for a homemade product over cheaper store-bought brands.
Transparency. I usually use Clinique Moisture Surge. Here’s what’s in that: dimethicone, butylene glycol, trisoloxane, silybum marianum, camellia sinensis, saccharomyces lysate extract, sucrose, trehalose, thermus thermophillus ferment, sorbitol…that’s less than half.
Here’s what in It’s Me’s deodorant: Baking soda, corn starch, coconut or avocado oil, essential oils and Candelilla wax. That’s it.
Cruelty Free. Sasha and Inga don’t test on animals, unlike many large cosmetic companies, who actually do their animal testing in China. To name a few: Avon, Estee Lauder, Make-up Forever, and Clinique (noooooo!).
Zero Waste. It’s Me has a “zero waste” policy. There’s no packaging except for reusable metal tins, which you’re encouraged to reuse for a 10% discount.
Sasha began experimenting with scrubs and body butters about three years ago, and only began bringing her products to the public at Commune Market this year.
Shampoo and Hair Balm. The lavender shampoo and hair balm look like purple macaroons with white sprinkles. They’re little round bars, with a soothing lavender smell and a dash of peppermint. The shampoo bar is easy to use: run it from root to tip on wet hair, like a Stone Age comb. The balm was a bit more difficult to work into the tips of my hair—perhaps too much wax. So it looked a bit dry at the ends, but the bars didn’t weigh down my curls like most shampoo-conditioner duos.
By Sasha’s estimate, the shampoo bar and hair balm should last two to four months dependent on length. Seems right, since it’s quite easy to control the amount you’re using. Costs 120rmb for both shampoo and balm and when bought as a set you get a bigger tin container.
Deodorant. It looks like lip balm, but smells like a fancy day spa due to the tea tree oil. It works like a charm to mask smell (a friend told me I smelled ‘like the sea’) but you will sweat more than if you're used to store-bought antiperspirant. I had to reapply at midday, which is alright, since the small size (each tin is 50g) makes it easy to carry around.
Sasha estimated the container to last three months; I’d say half of that, since I had to use it twice a day.
Massage Bar. Aka soap. There is a coffee scrub bar with coffee grounds to exfoliate the skin, and a sweeter smelling cocoa and shea butter body wash for after the shower. These bars last three to four months.
How To Order
Through WeChat: itsme_sh, or the occasional Commune Market. Free delivery for orders of 2+ products.