the unwash review
Nopalera is a skin and body care brand inspired by the founder’s Mexican roots. The brand focuses on formulations infused with Mexican botanicals, highlighting the rich natural agriculture
of Mexico. Their namesake products include various cactus soaps, moisturizing body bars, and exfoliants. Nopalera has gained a massive audience and beloved consumer base in the few short years since it launched. The brand’s popularity comes as no surprise due to its commitment to providing the highest-quality beauty products. All of their products significantly cut down on water waste which is an ongoing issue in the beauty industry. Through eliminating certain components and ingredients Nopalera can focus on low-waste formulation and packaging that encourages upcycling and recycling.
The brand was founded by professional musician Sandra Lilia Velasquez at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic. With just three years in business, Nopalera has amassed a huge fan base and can be found in stores such as Credo Beauty and Nordstrom. Their fanbase swears by their products and the outstanding payoff. The brand is very much rooted in Velasquez’s pride in her Mexican heritage and doesn’t succumb to Eurocentric beauty standards. Inspiration for the brand came from the resourcefulness and determination she witnessed from her immigrant parents. Velasquez plans for the future of Nopalera to include large enough growth to be able to take other Latina business owners under her wing and provide personalized mentoring to bring more Latinx companies into the industry with confidence.
“There was a lack of high-end Latina brands on the market. A brand like Nopalera was long overdue. The community was ready, and our success is a testament to that”. – Nopalera Founder, Sandra Velasquez
The majority of Nopaleras products use nopal cactus as a spotlight ingredient. Nopal also known as prickly bear is a sustainable crop that can withstand extreme temperatures and have a variety of usages. Nopal is even on the Mexican flag, circling back to Velasquez’s heritage being the foundation for the brand. It’s a valuable food source and crop for areas with severe climates, especially droughts, being one of the most versatile plants. Nopalera’s commitment to sustainability comes from the inside out with their formulas being powered by nopal and conscious ingredient sourcing. The choice of their key ingredient being nopales came from Velasquez being surrounded by them while visiting family and formulating products herself with what was available to her. The brand launched with its zero-waste moisturizing body bars and soaps. Newer additions include their exfoliant scrubs, shower gel, and cactus cream which come in glass and aluminum packaging.
Nopalera is an example of a brand that didn’t need to launch with the sole mission of being sustainable but rather is engrained in its DNA. To us, sustainability isn’t just about the environmental impact but also the impact on people. Nopalera is driven to uplift its community and pave the way for other Latinx-owned brands. This opens the door for brands like Nopalera to be a point of inspiration and set a standard for the simple ways a brand can do better for the earth and our communities.
Their 100% plant-based and biodegradable menstrual pads are carbon neutral by design. The brand uses leftover fibers from hemp oil production to create its premium product line. Regenerative hemp farming uses less water than cotton, grows without pesticides, and reverses the effects of climate change by capturing, securing, and storing CO2 in the ground to improve air and soil quality.
Baba Rivera’s hair care line, Ceremonia, embraces her Latinx roots and creates spaces for the Latinx community within an industry that often lacks mainstream minority representation. Just as we take avid care of our skin, Baba believes we need to give our hair the same TLC to enhance one’s natural beauty – not change it. Ceremonia is a brand inspired by the traditions of Baba’s childhood and the larger Latinx community focusing on hair.
Krave Beauty proved that it’s okay to put your brand on pause to ensure you’re providing the best experience possible for people and the planet. The brand’s return was highly anticipated and worth the reset. Krave Beauty is committed to the long-term investment in making its brand as friendly towards the Earth as possible, all while cultivating an uplifting community of inclusivity. The brand commits 50% of its partnerships to creators of color, those in the LGBTQ+ community, and those disabled to reflect their consumer base in their campaigns.