“Clean” beauty is having a moment, thanks in large part to its dedicated retail emporium of all things natural and good for you, Follain, founded by DC-area native, Tara Foley. We asked her about her own revolutionary skincare journey, disrupting the beauty retail industry at Follain, and how to commit to a resolution to go clean in 2019.

How did growing up in the DC-area inspire you to create Follain? What made you want to bring a store to Bethesda?

I attribute my “activist spirit” to having grown up in DC and my drive to give back and work for justice. [It] compelled me to major in Public Policy undergrad, work for Legal Aid and other legal internships during college, and then get a job at a law firm [in New York]. It was then, working long hours at that NYC law firm, that I started focusing on my own holistic health and wellness. In my research and obsession with this lifestyle I started [to learn] about the unsafe, toxic ingredients in my beloved beauty products, and was so angry to discover how unsafe these products were – and, that no one was talking about this!

I started a blog in 2009 [to share the safer, high performing beauty products out there], and eventually packed up my life in NYC to work on a lavender farm in France, for a skincare company in Maine, and get an entrepreneurship-focused MBA in Boston, before opening our first store there in 2013.

I always wanted to come back to the DMV [to open a Follain store]. The area’s educated, savvy, health-conscious, and activist customer was always right for us, and was ready for our assortment of the best in clean beauty.

What does your skincare routine look like?

My skincare routine is heavily weighted in the evening, as the skin really benefits from [nutritious products] when it regenerates during sleep.

I’ll begin with La Bella Figura Cleansing Balm – this gently and effectively cleanses skin without leaving a balmy residue and delivers tons of nutrients to the skin. After washing, I dry skin and spritz on Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator – a super hydrating fine mist (smells like marshmallows!) to help repair dry skin and deliver nutrients. [While] my skin is still dewy from the mist, I apply May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon by pressing a small amount of the blue balm into the skin to help soften fine lines and even out skin tone. Finally, I’ll apply a gel eye product or all-over hydration serum like Osea Sea Serum, a water-based hyaluronic serum for dramatic hydration and brightening benefits. Every other night I’ll add either a mask or an exfoliant to this [routine] to help detoxify and better absorb all the products.

In the morning, I rinse with water, apply Indie Lee CoQ10 toner, moisturizer (usually Pai Bioregenerate Rosehip Oil) and finish with Babo Botanicals sheer tinted SPF.


Any beauty/skincare tips or trends you’re seeing for 2019?

We’re beginning to see more and more women (and men!) take at-home skincare treatments, like masking and baths more seriously. I think this is driven by the rise in self-care, which is increasingly important as we’re all overwhelmed by 24/7 work schedules and social.

What would you suggest to someone interested in making the switch? Where does one start without getting overwhelmed?

At Follain we encourage you to start safe, small, and smart:

  • Start by switching out the most toxic conventional products in your household – like deodorants, liquid soaps, and all-over products like lotions and foundations. Follain deodorant and refillable soap are great options to start with.
  • Sample with smaller travel and trial sizes. We have tons of these sizes across every category, and even curate a trial set, the Clean Essentials kit.
  • Finally, gradually switch out the products you’re running low on or use the most on a daily basis.

One of the coolest parts about this entire journey – and the reason why we’re able to grow our business – is that clean beauty actually works incredibly well, and your skin loves the real ingredients in [these all-natural] products. Many customers discover, just as I did, that their clean beauty alternatives make skin glow so much more than conventional products. Once you switch to clean beauty there’s really no going back!


Visit the Follain store at Bethesda Row at 4810 Bethesda Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814 to start your clean journey.