Health December 29, 2008

Locally Grown Skin Care

Diligent skin care isn’t just a matter of vanity in the Wood River Valley—it’s also an important matter of health. Taking the high altitude, low humidity, wind, and nearly endless sun as a collective call to arms, four local women have created their own lines of skincare products designed to protect and heal skin in our climate.

Bonnie Holmes Skincare

Ketchum resident Bonnie Holmes was diagnosed with skin cancer while in her mid-twenties. This startling experience filled her with questions about prevention, and she used her background in biology and physiology to investigate the skincare products available to the general public. The more she found out, the more disappointed she was.

Since then, Holmes has spent more than 20 years as a licensed esthetician, and her passion for the art and science of the industry have motivated her to develop her own line of skincare products. “I wanted to give clients ways to have at home what they enjoy at the salon,” she explains.

Holmes challenged the chemists she worked with to use only the best, plant-based ingredients, and to eliminate any non-essential ingredients. The Bonnie Holmes® Skincare line now offers 16 products, along with a simple usage regime.

Believing, however, that skin care is more than skin-deep, Holmes says that dedication to products alone will not create healthy skin. She advocates regular exercise—getting oxygen into the body—as her number-one health and beauty priority. Next, she emphasizes that drinking an abundance of water and eating healthy foods (mainly fruits and vegetables) are essential to keeping skin healthy. Finally, Holmes encourages people over the age of 25 to exfoliate their skin regularly and protect it daily with a serious sun block.

“As long as you’re alive and breathing, your skin will try to be perfect,” she states encouragingly. Helping it along with conscientious protection only makes sense.

Nancy Kelly 24/7

Nancy Kelly, owner of Studio 5B, also encourages a sensible and simple skincare regime. Her focus is on preventative maintenance and repair of long-term damage. “The better someone’s skin looks, the more motivated they are to take care of it—and the better they feel about themselves,” she states.

Nancy also worked with a chemist to develop her own line of products, touting her mantra of “cleanse, correct, moisturize, and protect.” Since the mid-1990s, Nancy has offered her 24/7 Skincare line to devoted clients, many of whom are recovering from plastic surgery or healing serious sun damage. All products in her line are hypoallergenic, reflecting her belief in extremely gentle treatment of sensitive skin. The 24/7 Skincare line offers a variety of products, including a number of different types of sun blocks.

Both Nancy Kelly and Bonnie Holmes agree that the facial skincare regimen (cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize, and protect) should extend to the neck, chest, and hands. The sensitive, delicate skin in these areas will respond well to quality treatment.

Silvia Tobler’s PURE


Silvia Tobler, owner of PURE Skincare and Cosmetics, came to the health and beauty industry from the retail side, seeking to provide high-quality, natural products. While working in the upscale retail industry in Jackson, Wyoming, Tobler noticed that, due to a lack of skincare sources in the area, people were buying their products online or on visits to metropolitan areas. In response, she opened PURE of Jackson to fill a retail niche.

Observing a similar market in Ketchum, Tobler opened PURE of Sun Valley and expanded her original inventory of smaller lines featuring natural ingredients to include a number of high-quality lines, from Kiehl’s to Cellex-C. Following her instincts, Tobler recently developed a line of PURE products including a skin moisturizer, shampoo, hair conditioner, and body scrub. The new PURE products are citrus-based, from pure plant extracts.

Pamela Rae’s Solavie

Another locally owned company, Pamela Rae’s Solavie Ventures, Inc., sister company to Solavie Spa Retreat in Ketchum, has recently launched its own specialized skin- and hair-care line. Solavie’s new Enviro-type® line consists of six groups of products specifically designed to be used in six designated ecosystems: desert, mountains, plains, shore, tropics, and urban. Along with providing high-quality products, one of Solavie’s goals is to simplify toiletry packing for travelers.

If necessity is the mother of invention, then our high-altitude climate triggered “maternal” instincts in the right women!


Eleanor Jewett lives in Hailey with her husband, Eric Rogers. When not writing for the magazine, she stays busy running a landscape company with her husband and working on a Master’s degree in Education.


This article appears in the Winter 2004 Issue of Sun Valley Magazine.