We know we need to focus on what we put in our body, but what about what we put on it?

Today we speak with Jessica Morelli, the founder of all-natural, plant-based skincare company Palermo Body, about how using all-natural products can benefit our bodies and our environment.

Splendid Spoon: Hey Jessica! Tell us about yourself and your journey in creating Palermo Body.

Jessica: I’m a native Californian, based in NYC. Just over eight years ago, I started my natural skincare business, which focuses on nourishing your skin with plant-based ingredients. After learning about the many benefits of natural ingredients, and experimenting with making cold process soap, Palermo Body was born.

At the time, there were very few truly natural skincare options available. I wanted to create completely natural products that I could feel good about using. Now, Palermo Body is a full line of face and body products that provide your skin with what it needs to be healthy and beautiful.

SS: Why should we be using plant-based skincare?

JM: Your skin and body can truly understand natural ingredients. Plants are made up of all the components that keep us healthy and thriving. There’s already been a resurgence of eating unprocessed, complete, and organic foods. Now that’s happening with what we put on our bodies as well.

SS: What’s your favorite all-natural skincare ingredient?

JM: Anything rose! [Careful now, not rosé — Ed.] Rosewater; rosehip oil, powder, extract; rose essential oil.

SS: What should we eat and drink for glowing skin?

JM: Definitely eat raw nuts for their beneficial oils, and raw vegetables for the skin-nourishing vitamins! Hydration is key, and drinking water is super important; however eating your water is another great way to stay hydrated. Many fresh fruits and vegetables are over 90% water [Tomatoes, cucumber, blueberries, zucchini, and melon, to name a few. — Ed.] and have electrolytes that naturally help you stay hydrated.

SS: What rituals do you follow to better connect with the planet?

JM: When I was young, my mother and grandmother took me to pick berries and vegetables on local farms. Living in the city, this isn’t easy to do. To mimic this as closely as I can, I go to the farmers’ markets and cook meals with ingredients that have been grown within 100 miles of the city. I’m so grateful to local farmers for providing us with the spoils of country life here in the city.

SS: How do you stay grounded when you live in NYC?

JM: I have to admit, I struggle with this. I practice yoga and find that when I do so regularly, I’m physically and mentally healthier. Sometimes I’m so distracted in class that I can’t even stay in step with the instructor. But, by the end of the class, I always manage to come back to my breath and focus on being in the moment.

SS: Can you share a DIY recipe to make a natural skincare product at home?

JM: Our Coffee Body Scrub is a huge hit. [We can vouch! It smells and feels so good! — Ed.] Here’s a simplified recipe, made with easy-to-find ingredients.

DIY Coffee Lemon Scrub by Palermo Body


2 tbsp shea butter

2 tbsp coconut oil

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup fresh coffee grounds

3/4 cup cane sugar

20 drops lemon essential oil


Melt shea butter and coconut oil in a double boiler or microwave until melted but not hot.

Mix coffee and sugar together. Add both to medium sized bowl.

Add shea butter and coconut oil and whisk together.

Add olive oil and whisk together.

Add essential oil, mix once more, and move into a clean jar.

Use as a whole body exfoliant and moisturizer or as a lip scrub. Make sure you use it within four months.