People who spend a lot of time outdoors in Arizona will tell you it can do a number on your skin — especially if that time is spent in the wilderness. That’s why DeeAnn Tracy (pictured) created a line of products for those who need to protect themselves while hiking, biking or running a river.
Tracy, who founded Peak Scents 27 years ago, used to be a rafting guide on the Colorado River. The time she spent there left her skin damaged, and the products she and her friends used were doing more harm than good. “We were using chemical sunscreen, which was causing reactions,” she says. “We would have rashes, and our skin was just trashed.”
Having studied herbal apothecary at the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine, Tracy was inspired to create creams and lotions that would help heal and protect the skin. “I started making products and giving them to fellow guides,” she says. “It worked really well. People’s skin issues calmed down.”
Tracy and her team create the entire line of Peak Scents products, all of which are plant-based. The products are focused on a single theme, Tracy says: “If you can’t eat it, then don’t put it on your skin.”
All of the Peak Scents products are free of alcohol and artificial fragrances, and are not tested on animals. The team researches ingredients that have been tested and used in labs, then uses that data to create its own unique blends. “[The human body’s] response to plants is incredibly fast and healing,” Tracy says. “I think once you try products with plants, you’ll never go back, because you’ll notice the change in how your skin looks and feels.”
The handcrafted products go through a somewhat lengthy process in order to be most effective. Tracy says the herbs are soaked in oil for 30 days to create a strong enough concoction, which then is hand-blended and poured. “A lot of the recipes we use are traditional, ancient recipes,” Tracy says. “We have the ‘people’s pharmacy’ behind us.”
Products such as the Power Repair face cream are popular among customers who spend a lot of time outdoors. “A lot of our products are for reversing and delaying sun damage,” Tracy says. “People get a healthier glow, and their skin has a more even appearance.” In essence, she says, it’s “skin care for the wild-hearted.”
The skin care line has been a hit with customers, and Peak Scents has built a loyal following. “We have die-hard customers that, 27 years later, won’t use anything else,” Tracy says. “It means the world to me to help my fellow community.”
In addition to creating wholesome skin care products, Tracy is passionate about giving back to the place that originally gave her the idea for her company: the Colorado River. Thus, her partnership with American Rivers, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting rivers and conserving clean water. “Water is life, and it is our lifeblood of the desert Southwest,” she says. “It is very important to me to give back to conserving and protecting future water use for Arizona.”
Peak Scents is located inside the Winter Sun Trading Co. store in downtown Flagstaff, but the company’s products can be purchased online from anywhere in the world.
Editor's Note: Peak Scents also recently opened a retail space, Peak Scents Beauty Lab, at 1000 E. Butler Drive, in Flagstaff. For more information, visit peakscents.com.