Studio Visit: Caru Skincare

Let’s face it: there are an endless number of skincare companies out there. Most claim to do wonders for your skin and change the way you feel and look. But New York City based Caru Skincare actually delivers on that promise.

Caru uses the purest and highest quality ingredients and is packaged with our planet in mind. The current line includes cold processed soaps, alcohol-free toners made from hydrosols (also known as flower waters) sourced from organic farms and handcrafted facial oils and serums made from botanical oils. The line is not only beautiful to look at, but it smells great and feels lovely on your skin. Not to mention, Caru products make amazing gifts!

Dominique Caron - Caru Handmade Beauty

Dominique Caron is a self-made skincare expert and experimenter. She created Caru products to solve her own skin issues and the result turned in to something she never planned for: a massive success. Caru Skincare Co is devoted to creating high quality 100% natural skincare products that are sustainably sourced and sustainably packaged. The handcrafted cold processed soap is even packaged in plantable paper labels! Read on to learn more about one of our favorite makers on Etsy.

Give us a little bit of background. Where did you go to school, where did you grow up, and how did Caru come about?

I was born in Montreal, Quebec, went to elementary school in Ontario and then moved to Lancaster, PA for middle school and high school. I went to Temple Universtiy for film and then moved to NYC to work in the film industry. After 8 years, I decided that although I loved working on films, the industry was not conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Caru Skincare Co was partly born out of my desire to change my career path. It was also out of a personal need of mine. I couldn’t find a skincare line that was kind to my sensitive, dry, yet acne prone skin and was also healthy, natural and sustainable. So I made my own!

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What is your favorite product in the line?

That’s a tough question! It sort of changes all the time. Right now I’m obsessed with our Rose Facial Serum. It is formulated for dry and aging skin, so it’s extremely nourishing and great for this time of year when the weather starts cooling down. I’m obsessed because it does wonders for me but it also smells just like roses. Yummy :)  

We love the packaging and labels. Who or what inspired the design?

I worked closely with a graphic designer friend of mine to design the labels. I wanted an old apothecary inspired look with a fresh colorful twist. We used old American and Japanese labels as well and beautiful things around us for inspiration. As far as material choices, I would do research as to what materials and processes were the most eco-friendly and design around those. 

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How did you learn how to make all this stuff?

I learned over the years through a variety of different ways. I took some herbology classes, certified aromatherapy classes, science classes, read tons of books and research studies, and did a lot of trial and error at home.   

How do you get inspired for scents and fragrance combinations?

Most of my inspiration for scents and fragrances comes from working with the raw materials. I am constantly buying new oils and extracts just to see how they smell! If I fall in love with one oil, I will try to find a way to incorporate it in a new product.

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Is there someone you would love to collaborate with?

I really love what other small skincare apothecaries similar to mine are doing. Everyone has their own unique personality and it’s really inspiring to see others succeed and create beautiful products. As far as a collaboration, I would love to work with a screenprinter that works with real herbs and flowers and natural dyes to create a custom toiletry bag.  I would also love to work with a potter to create an eco-friendly soap dish.  

What’s next for Caru? Any plans to expand the brand?

Yes! I can’t wait to release new items, which will hopefully be coming out soon. I am always creating new products — it’s my favorite part! However, I can only release a few at a time. The tough part is choosing which one. In a perfect world, the line would include skincare, body care, personal care, aromatherapy, home and cosmetic products. For now, I am concentrating on skincare and body care products.  

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What is your personal morning and evening beauty routine?

The products I use change with the seasons, but I always cleanse my face morning and night. I use one of my facial soaps as a cleanser, then follow by cleansing with a cotton ball and one of my toners. I then mist the toner on (yep, double application!) and follow immediately with a facial oil or serum. Right now I am using the Activated Charcoal + Dead Sea Salt as my cleanser and the Cucumber + Lime Facial Toner.  For a moisturizer, I use the Jojoba Facial Oil in the daytime and the Rose Facial Serum at night. I also use a mask 1-2 times a week. Scroll down for one of Dominique’s DIY face mask recipes!

What do you keep in your makeup bag?

I always have lip balm with me (I make my own…) and either a lip/cheek stain or a powdered blush. Right now I have the Persimmon Vegan Mineral Blush from fellow Etsy shop Simplicity Cosmetics. I’m pretty bare bones when it comes to make up.

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What do you like to do on your day off?

I try to get out of the city and go hiking or go to the botanical garden. Go somewhere where I am surrounded by nature.  If I can’t leave the city, I sometimes end up working on making new products because I tend to get obsessed. I also like going out to eat and watching movies. NYC is so great for good eats! 

What is your favorite restaurant?

Right now I love going to Mar’s Bar in Astoria. Everything there is just amazing. Great food, great cocktails, and an amazing atmosphere. I also love M. Wells Dinette at PS1.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Cleopatra. I don’t know why, but I have been fascinated by her since I was a little kid.

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What is your guilty pleasure? 

Coffee. I just can’t go a day without at least 2 cups. I am seriously addicted! But it’s sooo delicious.   

What do you order at a coffee bar?

That depends on the day. I usually order a cortado. It’s the perfect milk to espresso ratio!  

What about an actual bar?

At an actual bar, it varies depending on the time of year. My favorites are red wine (usually Malbec), Bloody Marys and Gin & Tonics, but I am a sucker for a yummy sounding cocktail with microbatch spirits and herbal or floral extracts.

caru skincare

Oat Buttermilk Face Mask + Scrub 

  • 2 tbsp oatmeal flour 
  • 1 tbsp almond flour
  • 3 tbsp corn meal
  • 1 tbsp buttermilk powder [you can substitute with powdered milk or yogurt]
  • 1 tbsp dried flower powders like hibiscus, lavender or chamomile [optional]

Because this is for your skin, use organic ingredients when possible.

Blend all the ingredients together and store in an airtight, sterilized container.  To use, mix 1 tbsp of whole milk [or substitute with water, apple cider vinegar or honey] to create a paste and then massage onto face.  To use as a mask, leave on for 5-10 minutes.  Rinse with tepid water and wipe clean with a damp cloth.  Follow with a toner and moisturizer.

photos by Jake Benrubi