My name is: Kate McLeod.
I’m known for being: A maker.
I’m talking about: My Body Stones, solid, cocoa butter-based moisturizers that melt on contact with warm dry skin. Every Stone is hand-poured in our Hudson Valley workshop, wrapped in unbleached linen and tucked into our signature bamboo canister. Our entire line is waterless and plastic free.
You can find it at: katemcleod.com.
Before I created this line, I was: A pastry chef who had just gone through a major life change. On the eve of my thirtieth birthday, I called off a wedding, ended a seven-year relationship and moved from Zurich back to NYC into a long lost first love’s studio apartment. It felt like a fairytale, but, as the dust settled, I was confronted and terrified by a deep loneliness, fear and an awareness that I was lost.
What inspired me to launch it was: My sister-in-law forcefully removed a bottle of lotion from my hands and asked me if I knew what I was putting on my body. I had never considered the question. She handed me cocoa butter and told me to go spend some time with myself. Cocoa butter is the best thing you can put on your skin, full of vitamin E and the nutrients to give you a nourished glow. But it wasn’t easy to apply. I took it into the kitchen, applied my culinary skills and, years of tweaking and playing later, the Body Stone was born! I decided to share it because it wasn’t only an amazing moisturizer—and truly, it is an amazing moisturizer—but also it was the self-care practice that helped me pull my life back together. I found that the days I spent time putting my hands on my skin, connecting to my physical body, taking care of myself, were better days. The Body Stone enabled me to tap into a well of strength that I had within, a strength we all have that lies in our softer side. It felt like magic—it still does—and I am honored to share my practice.
How it works is: Here’s my routine: I shower in the evenings. I do a quick dry brushing. If I’m really pressed for time, I just focus on my favorite parts: my bum and the backs of my thighs. Our dry brush is a beautiful speckled blend, a little bit softer than most, but with just the right amount of strength to get the blood flowing. I hop into a hot shower or bath, the perfect calming juxtaposition to the brush. After drying off, I reach for my Stone. It literally glides across my hot skin. I massage it in, brush my teeth and hop into bed. I love the trifecta of dry brush, bath and body stone. Brushing preps my skin (remember, your skin is your largest organ!) to absorb all the nourishing vitamins and minerals in the Body Stone. Do this and I promise healthy, glowing, supple skin in the morning—skin that is glowing and ready for summer.
What makes it special is: Body Stones literally began in my home kitchen with ingredients I had in the pantry, and the formula has not changed as we’ve scaled. Every Stone is poured in our Hudson Valley workshop - there is no lab, no contract manufacturer, no ordered up formulation. We are waterless and plastic free. There is no bottle, no pump, and no waste. At the end of your Stone, toss the last little bits into a hot bath for a deeply soothing, moisturizing soak. Refill Stones can be purchased in recyclable cardboard boxes. Body Stones are 100% plant based nourishment - no water, no fillers. Think of it as a concentrated moisturizer - a little goes a long way - I only use my Body Stone 2-3 times a week. Unlike other body butters that are thick, sticky, and tug - the Stone glides on smoothly and lightly. Most importantly, this is more than a moisturizer. Self care is confidence boosting, powerful magic. The Body Stone is one way, one practice to tap into this. And, last thing I’ll mention, every ingredient is food grade, so while I wouldn’t recommend taking a bite, you could - your baby could - and everyone would be fine.
One thing you can’t miss is: Sunburn healer! The Body Stone is packed with vitamin E, so, if you’ve been getting too much sun recently, as the world and our society opens up, this will soothe and heal redness.
My favorite secret detail is: I love that we are still handmade. We employ a team of pastry chefs that have joined me on our mission to make safe, effective products that bring intentioned moments of care and everyday magic to people’s lives. And we are waterless and plastic-free.
It can help you live your process because: The Body Stone was the practice that materialized during one of the hardest periods of my life. It was my method for connecting with myself, for dropping in and for feeling and processing emotion. The importance of touch, especially our own, cannot be understated. The Stone continues to help me through the rainbow of emotions and days that come my way.