Kinkō co-founders Chelsi Ostreich and Fanny Coste

The first thing you will notice when walking into the beauty aisle of any store is that we finally have more choices when it comes to clean beauty.

The latter half of the last decade saw beauty companies across the world growing more interested in natural and socially conscious approaches, including local deodorant company brand Kinkō. And as the pandemic rages on, we’re seeing these companies, including Kinkō doing what they can to give back.

In 2019, friends-turned-Kinkō-co-founders Fanny Coste and Chelsi Oestreich developed a deodorant that works with your body’s microbiome—the community of microorganisms that live on the skin—for better skin health. They focused on responsibly sourced ingredients that are nontoxic to the skin and also prioritize utilizing the latest developments in microbiomics and biotechnology. 

The fledgling brand was doing well in the all-natural beauty space when COVID-19 hit, and they knew they had to use their knowledge and resources to help. So, Kinkō switched their focus to developing a hand sanitizer that kills germs and is safe for the skin.

While the rest of us were panic-buying toilet paper, the duo was racing to find ingredients for their hand sanitizer in the dwindling marketplace. They were able to buy the last bottles their supplier had for packaging and found ethyl alcohol at a reasonable price at a time when the commodity had seen a sharp uptick in its price. After that, the rest was relatively easy. “Most of the raw materials in our formula are also in our deodorants, so we had them in stock,” Coste says. “Standard hand sanitizers contain carbomer and glycerin, so it has been harder to source those materials, but we use alternative ingredients that feel much better on the skin.”

The result is a hand sanitizer that is clean, vegan, and cruelty-free; it contains 65 percent ethyl alcohol, which is above the CDC minimum to kill germs on the skin. It also has prebiotics and postbiotics to balance the skin’s microbiome for better skin health, as well as ingredients that moisturize and soothe the skin.

Kinkō's hand sanitizer contains 65 percent ethyl alcohol, which is above the CDC minimum to kill germs on the skin.

Now that the hand sanitizer has been developed and packaged, it is being given to those who need it most. Kinkō is donating its hand sanitizer to hospitals, medical facilities, and homeless shelters across Texas. They will also be giving donations to small businesses across the nation on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

“This pandemic is uncharted territory for our world. When the panic buying started, and masks, gloves, and sanitizers were unavailable for the people who needed it most, we knew that we could help,” Ostreich says. “We know we are a small part of providing hand sanitizers, but to be able to get it into the hands of the people who are keeping us safe and healthy means so much to us.”

If you are a small business, essential employee, or medical worker, you can fill out this form to request a hand sanitizer be sent to you at no cost. 

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