July-August 2013 | Shop Talk

Shop Talk

Skincando, Imagine Baby, FlyFit Aerial Yoga and more

That Can-Do Spirit

Four years after starting Skincando out of her Silver Spring kitchen, Sara Damelio came out with her first product in 2004: Combat-Ready Balm, a moisturizer that fights eczema, sunburn, insect bites and blisters. Now the eco-beauty company is winning shout-outs for its green approach to skin care, and its products are in more than 40 boutiques around the country.

Damelio—who used a KitchenAid hand-mixer and experimented with 1,000 different batches before getting the skin cream right—uses organic ingredients and hand-crafts the products in micro-batches. They’re free of fragrances, dyes, parabens and petrochemicals.

We loved the nongreasy, but super-thick Brew Lip Balm (.15 ounces, $12), which softens, doesn’t rub off and tastes yummy. The Eye Balm (.5 ounces, $45) and Miracle skin cream (.5 ounces, $30) also smelled great and did the job without leaving a sticky residue. Both work well for combination skin.

And just in time for summer, Skincando offers Combat-Ready Bug Repellant (2.7 ounces, $17), an all-botanical product to use against mosquitoes, ticks and other biting insects. Like Combat-Ready Balm, it’s included in a care kit sent to the military in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Damelio established Operation Sand Flea after a soldier in Iraq sang the praises of Combat-Ready Balm. The nonprofit has equipped more than 10,000 servicemen and women with Skincando products.

For the rest of us, the balms and creams are available at www.skincando.com as well as local pharmacies, salons and boutiques such as the Village Green Apothecary and Ginger in Bethesda, The Emerald Door in Silver Spring and both Brookville Pharmacies in Chevy Chase. (See www.skincando.com for a complete list.)

Made in the Shade

Your baby has slick wheels, sure. But how do you protect the little one from sun, snow and wind? A droopy blanket over the Bugaboo won’t do. Enter The Shade from Bethesda-based Imagine Baby, an e-firm that marries form with function.

Made of a silky, breathable synthetic, The Shade easily attaches to the hood of the stroller or car seat. It has an SPF of 50-plus to protect against UVA/UVB rays, dries quickly after a rainstorm, and sports a mesh window for playing peekaboo. Best of all, it comes in stylish solids: black, gray, red and pink, for $35.

Bethesda’s Lauren Lang, the company’s founder, came up with the idea after pinning blankets on the strollers of her two boys one time too many.

For more information, go to www.imaginebaby.com/theshade.

Whose Goggles Are These?

Put an end to swim goggle confusion with STUDS—small, round silicone ID tags that strap onto goggles like a watch ($4.99 each).

Monica Mastal of Chevy Chase and Carrie Hillegass of Washington, D.C., got tired of buying their kids swim goggles that promptly got lost. They set out to create something decorative to personalize goggles as well as backpacks, lunchboxes and sneakers. The result was STUDS, which come in flower, sports and peace sign designs as well as a DIY neon green version that can be personalized with a Sharpie.

STUDS are available at Sports Extra, PJ’s Sports and Anglo Dutch Toys and Pools in Bethesda; Capital Sport and Swim in Kensington; Core 72 in Chevy Chase, D.C.; and at www.sports-studs.com.

Brain Trust

The Brain Sentry Sensor, attached to a sports helmet, registers when a player suffers a major impact and should be examined by a doctor.Here’s a sobering statistic: More than 50 percent of high school football players don’t report symptoms of a concussion when they have one. So coaches and parents need another way to monitor potential brain injury. Enter Greg Merril, CEO of Brain Sentry.

The Bethesda resident was the founding CEO of three wellness and medical product companies and has won awards from Popular Science and Businessweek. He’d been exploring assessment technologies for military brain injuries when he realized there was a need for those same technologies among children and athletes. “The biggest problem was that no one knew who needed to be assessed,” Merril says.

“The players don’t report their symptoms and the volunteer parents who coach often don’t know.”

The Brain Sentry Sensor ($59.95 each; $49.95 for 21 or more from brainsentry.com) provides an answer. It easily attaches to a sports helmet, and when the helmet registers a major impact—one hard enough to cause a concussion—the device flashes red. This signals that the player should be examined by a doctor.

Georgetown University’s lacrosse and hockey teams used the device this past season. And starting this fall, the sensor will be used by other local teams, including the Performance Lacrosse teams in Bethesda and Rockville.

Defying Gravity

Photo by Jim Campbell/omlightphotography.com Take your yoga practice to the next level (literally) with FlyFit Aerial Yoga at Level Fitness in Cabin John. This mash-up of yoga and Pilates ($30 for one class, $75 for a series of three) involves poses and trapeze-like flips done in a silky fabric sling hanging from the ceiling.

“Aerial yoga brings regular yoga students to new heights by challenging their sensory receptors and causing them to leave their feet behind and find their center and control in the air,” says Adriane Morgan, Level’s director of fitness.

The sling can also function as an aid for those who have injuries or balance problems.

301-229-0080, www.levelfitness.com

Openings & Closings

Core 72, a yoga and sportswear clothing store, has opened at 5502 Connecticut Ave. NW, near Chevy Chase Circle. …Uptown Cheapskate, a consignment store chain for pre-owned clothing and accessories, has opened at 1038 Rockville Pike in Rockville. Unlike many consignment stores, this one makes cash offers for clothes so you can go home with money in your pocket. Spend it there and you’ll get 25 percent more than the cash value. …In Chevy Chase, DESSANGE Paris salon and spa has moved a block or so north from its former digs to the airy space at 5468 Wisconsin Ave. that once housed Mervis Diamonds.

Cynthia Hacinli lives in Chevy Chase and has written for GQ, The New York Times and National Geographic Traveler. Send Shop Talk ideas to editorial@bethesdamagazine.com.