A Pontotoc resident’s skincare line offers natural soaps, scrubs and astringents.
Written by Eileen Bailey | Photographed by Joe Worthem
Treka Johnson of Pontotoc strongly believes makeup is optional but skincare is essential. She believes it so strongly she started her own skincare line to offer soaps, scrubs and astringents that are made from natural ingredients.
Johnson, who also works in human resources, started Bee Natural Body Essentials almost two years ago when she and her now-15-year-old daughter, Paris, experienced some issues stemming from sensitive skin.
“I have super sensitive skin and so does my daughter,” Johnson said. “She experiences breakouts on her legs during cheerleading season.”
After trying various products, Vaughn decided to research creating her own soaps to help with problems with her skin. Using natural ingredients was key for making her own products, she said.
“I got on Google and looked at various countries and their cultures,” she said. “I wanted to have something that would cross culture lines and help everyone.”
Johnson, who has a multicultural lineage, including Blackfoot Indian, said she started her line with just the basics. She began testing it on various skin types. People with oily skin, dry skin, people with eczema and acne-prone skin all tried the products.
“It just took off,” Johnson said.
Wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the company logo, Johnson talked about her expanding line. She started off with soaps made with all natural ingredients, including shea butter and coconut oil, oatmeal and raw honey, to name a few. She tries to use as many local ingredients as she can — these days she’s in search of a local source for raw honey — and she is able to make substitutions if a client has an allergy to a certain ingredient.
Johnson’s top-selling soaps are oatmeal-honey and turmeric. With a honeycomb and bee embossed on the top of the soap, the products are packed with a Bee Natural soap wrap and then placed in a decorative bag that reads “Handmade with Love” on the side.
The business is a family affair: Johnson is assisted by her daughter, Paris, and her boyfriend, Chris Lockridge. Her products are sold around the country, including Oklahoma, Georgia, Hawaii, Tennessee, Texas and more.
There are other products in the works, such as a shower gel and a turmeric face mask, Johnson said.
Trina Burress of Baldwyn uses several of the Bee Natural soaps for her family. For the past four months, she’s been using the oatmeal-honey soap on her 11-month-old twins to help with eczema, and the soap works so well that if she runs out, she is quickly restocking to keep the eczema from recurring. Burress also uses the soaps on her 2-year-old.
“It works wonders on my son’s skin. I can see results on the first day of use,” Burress said. “Johnson’s products have worked wonders for my family. It is right here in Tupelo and reasonably priced for the results you are getting. It is so satisfying.”
Burress, who heard about Bee Natural Body Essentials on Facebook, said she and her husband also use the turmeric and charcoal soaps for various skin issues and the results are “wonderful.”
“It cleans my face, and it moisturizes it and does not dry it out,” she said.
Daytra Reno of Tupelo also saw Bee Natural on Facebook and ordered it.
“I have been using (turmeric soap) for more than three months now,” she said. “It is a brightener, and it takes away the dark spots. It works so well that I don’t wear makeup because of it. I tell people all of the time about her products. I gave my niece the charcoal soap, and it cleaned up her skin.”
A list of Johnson’s product line includes turmeric, charcoal, oatmeal honey, pink rose clay and aloe vera soaps; sweet mango and strawberry/grapefruit body scrubs; and a facial astringent.
Bee Natural Body Essentials can now be purchased at Reed’s in downtown Tupelo. Elizabeth Rose, manager of Reed’s gift shop, recommends Johnson’s soaps. Rose said the pretty soaps with fragrances that are “crisp and clean” in eye-catching packaging made Bee Natural a “really good fit for our store.”
“It is made by a local person, and we love to support local people the best we can,” Rose added.
For more information about Bee Natural Body Essentials, call 662-205-5625 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.