The beauty products invite thoughtful usage.
While in acupuncture school a decade ago, Kirsten Cowan started experimenting with pure plant and essential oils — out of necessity. She couldn’t find conventional products that wouldn’t irritate her sensitive skin. Cowan never imagined that what began as a hobby would blossom into a business. Three years ago, she launched Angelica & Peony, her line of handmade natural beauty and health products. Named after two flowers that are the “quintessential healing women’s herbs” in traditional Chinese medicine, her microbusiness is based out of her East Oakland home workshop, where she concocts her facial serums, healing oils, and balms in double boilers and slow cookers.
All Angelica & Peony products invite users to take time for themselves: gently rubbing the best-selling facial oils into the skin after a shower, taking a long whiff of the Ginger Menthol balm to open the sinuses, or massaging Tranquil Palace healing oil into the abdomen and warming the area with a heating pad to help relieve menstrual cramps.
“Beauty isn’t about pursuing an unattainable ideal. It’s about those moments where we can slow down and give ourselves care and pleasure,” Cowan said.
The entirety of her work as a maker and physician of traditional Chinese medicine is in pursuit of the single goal of aiding people in healing. Angelica & Peony products are sourced with great care and made in small batches without preservatives. They are designed to provide the benefits of Chinese medicine in an accessible, aromatic way.
Cowan also develops custom facial and healing oil blends, practices acupuncture, and leads wellness workshops and classes. Her dream is to one day open a combined retail and practitioner space in collaboration with other self-care purveyors — to bring all her efforts under one roof.
Find Angelica & Peony online, AngelicaAndPeony.com, through select acupuncturists and estheticians, and at Concept Forty-Seven and Wild Child boutiques in Oakland.