Meet the Powerful Natural Skincare Line That’s Making “Wildcrafted In Wyoming” a Thing
About halfway up the Wildflower Trail that winds around Jackson Hole, the world-class Wyoming ski mountain that is blanketed in bright blooms with enchanted names like “fairybells” and “Indian paintbrush” in the summertime, there is a simple plank-and-rope swing. It looks out over the entire valley, and offers a moment of respite to weary hikers. “It’s my thinking spot,” Kendra Kolb Butler says of the vista where, two years ago, the idea for Alpyn Beauty, her new standout three-piece botanical skincare line, took shape.
“These plants find a way not only to survive and adapt, but to thrive even though they are exposed to sun, extreme temperature swings, low humidity, and lack of oxygen”—just an average day at 6,237 feet above sea level. What if, she wondered, we could somehow harness this natural defense response to help weather-worn skin battle the same elements?
There was certainly a local need for such a remedy, which Kolb quickly learned when she opened a beauty bar on Jackson’s main drag in 2016, shortly after moving to the popular resort town from New York City with her husband and their infant son. “There was no other apothecary in town,” recalls the beauty industry veteran, who previously helped build the best-selling Dr. Dennis Gross skincare brand, where she served as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications.
Kolb’s goal was to bring “clean and clinical” products—cherry-picked selections from brands such Dr. Gross, Tata Harper, and Suntegrity—to a customer base with skin that was in special need of damage control as a result of the area’s high altitudes. Her “city-chic, mountain-minded” approach went over so well, she opened a second location three weeks later providing her with the perfect sample audience for her own burgeoning skincare endeavor.
“Clients were coming in saying that they needed more moisture, or they were looking for something that worked better on dark spots because they were outdoors for the majority of the day at very high elevation," Kolb says—not unlike those aforementioned plants and wildflowers.
With the help of local farmer Curtis Haderlie, she created what she calls her “Plant-Genius Complex." The blend of wildcrafted anti-inflammatory arnica and chamomile is sustainably foraged from local forests and combined with nourishing borage, sage and calendula that is hand-cultivated by Haderlie at elevation for optimal potency.
It’s a cocktail that's at the heart of Alpyn Beauty’s debut product offering— an ultra hydrating Melt Moisturizer, a non-greasy Line Filling Eye Balm, and a particularly desirable Creamy Bubbly Cleanser that exfoliates without stripping the skin; the streamlined trio of products was promptly picked up by Goop and Credo when it officially launched this past summer.
“Wildcrafted in Wyoming” certainly has a nice ring to it. But Kolb is a realist when it comes to results. “Five ingredients are not going to change the physiology of the skin,” she says firmly. Which is why she was adamant about adding things like bearberry leaf and licorice root to brighten dark circles; and papaya fruit and pomegranate fruit ferment to gently refine surface texture. Pink quartz mica blurs imperfections and gives all three formulas a rosy glow, similar to the color of the Grand Tetons at sunrise and sunset.
While the latter ingredients are "obviously not from Wyoming,” Kolb explains that she and Haderlie are dedicated to leveraging Jackson’s botanical bounty to bring innovation to the natural beauty industry. “There are actives out there and I want to find them,” she continues, hinting at some soon-to-be-disclosed discoveries around the complexion-enhancing properties of local huckleberry, and chokecherry, which could make their way into new Alpyn launches slated for early 2019, she says. Just in time for the ecstasy—and the skin agony—of peak ski season.