Meet the Maker: Jessica Morelli of Palermo Body

Meet the Maker: Jessica Morelli of Palermo Body

We love sharing the stories of the makers who create the amazing products that we feature each month. Especially when they happen to be a badass #girlboss. Jessica Morelli is no exception. Standing her moral ground for clean beauty and creating natural skincare products that are as beautifully packaged as they are effective, Jessica has nailed it. Expect to see a lot more of this gorgeous brand.

Describe your journey, how did you find yourself starting Palermo Body?

I started making natural skin care products just over seven years ago with the values my Sicilian Grandmother instilled in me as a child. I loved the idea of using natural ingredients to achieve healthy beautiful skin so I began researching their benefits and started creating products I wanted to use. As friends and family became interested in them I began selling my products at local markets and saw that there was a need for more natural skin care options for people to use. Over the years, I continued to grow my knowledge of natural ingredients and last year decided to create a cohesive line of products that have real purpose for your skin.

The name Palermo Body is a tribute to my Grandmother and where she was born. She was a huge inspiration in my foundation principle of using only natural ingredients. My intention is to make products she would have liked to use.


Photo by: Amy Schneider

What makes you most excited about clean beauty and this industry?

I think the most exciting thing right now is how receptive the market is to the natural skincare movement. Beauty/Skincare consumers want to be educated on what goes on their skin and are shifting their preferences towards using products that are good for them.

Additionally, there are so many wonderful people creating natural skincare and I am lucky to meet them regularly. We are in a consumable market and I feel our products can work together to fill the needs of everyone. The clean beauty market has everything now, from scientists creating lines to self-taught people like myself so there is something for everyone.

Where do you source your ingredients from and where are your products made?

Most importantly, I find my ingredients from sustainable and fair trade sources that are either organic or wild harvested. I use a number of suppliers that pride themselves on providing the most ethical, fresh and highest quality ingredients available. I am so thankful there are many suppliers that share the values on which Palermo Body was founded.

All Palermo Body products are made by hand in our Brooklyn, NY studio.

How do you choose your ingredients?

When formulating a product, I begin by identifying what it is that I want the product to do. Then I choose each ingredient to accomplish the purpose of the product with mindfulness of its benefits to your skin and effect on the environment. The goal is to create a balanced product by using the ingredients in the optimal ratio in order to make it effective and comfortable to use.

IMG_6522 What are your favorite ingredients to work with and why?

Roses!! In every form available. I love that this flower we find so beautiful holds eternal beauty in itself by being one of the most youth persevering ingredients out there. Roses can be used in many forms such as rosehip oil, rose water, rosehip powder, essential oil, and even the petals themselves. While each can be used in many different ways their benefits are absolutely remarkable and are wonderful for almost every skin type. The various forms of roses are packed with vitamins, omegas, and antioxidants while offering immense moisturizing and healing qualities. Whether your skin is dry, sensitive, maturing or even acne prone there is some form of rose that can benefit your skin.

What is your most beloved product by you/your customers?

100%, my Regenerative Facial Serum. It’s not only my best selling product but I literally have it on me at all times. I use it twice a day, and it’s amazing how much better my face feels when I use it regularly. It’s a concentrated blend of oils all chosen to help nourish your skin and promote cell regeneration while still being super light and fast absorbing. I can put it on moments before leaving the house and never feel oily – which is so important!

What does your personal beauty routine look like?

I’m all about minimalism and my products play into that. The products are packed with effective ingredients so you get the most value for your time. Mornings usually start with a “minute mask”. I put a small amount of my Vitamin C Facial Mask into my palm and add enough water to make it thinner than if I was doing a full treatment, and then exfoliate my face for 45 to 60 seconds. I leave the mask on while I brush my teeth then rinse the mask off. I follow the mask with a few spritzes of my Hydrating Toner and Regenerative Facial Serum and that’s usually it. If I’m wearing make up that day, I’ll apply it and then set it with a few more spritzes of the Hydrating Toner and I’m on my way.

palermo_7ResizeFor a full facial treatment, I would start with my Botanical Facial Steam to help open my pores before applying the mask, a bit thicker than before, leave on for 15/20 min and finish with the same steps as above.

For my body, I try to exfoliate twice a week in the shower using whichever of my scrubs I happen to be loving at the moment. Then follow immediately with a generous application of my body oils. I tend to lean towards the Repairing Body Oil in the morning and the Hydrating Body Oil at night based on their essential oil blends.

What makes you feel beautiful?

Being comfortable is always at the top of the list when I feel beautiful. Whether in my favorite jeans and top or in a fancy dress, I have to feel comfortable in what I’m wearing. I also love to have the time to pamper myself either before I go out or even if I’m staying in, I feel most beautiful when I take some time for myself.

What is your philosophy on makeup and which, if any, products do you use?

On a daily basis, I rarely wear make-up but I always love what adding a little bit can do. My must have are a good concealer (I use and love RMS), mascara, and most importantly a good brow brush grooming product. I have thicker eyebrows and feel I always look a bit more put together when they are well maintained.

Do you have any advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs?

Stay true to the values that inspired you to get started. I started making my products before the clean beauty movement and often got asked to make products that weren’t inline with my vision and values for the business. It’s difficult to tell someone willing to pay you for something that you aren’t willing to make what they want, but staying true to your values is what will set you apart. I am grateful that consumers have now become hyper-aware of the importance of natural skin care, and it feels good that they can appreciate the products I’ve been making all along.

Can you share anything you are currently working on for future release?

I definitely have some new products in mind for 2016. Things are a little too early on to give any proper hints but in the coming months I’m excited to be teaching some classes in Brooklyn and look forward to having the opportunity to meet customers face to face.


Palermo Body’s “Regenerative Facial Serum” and “Hydrating Rose & Chamomile Toner” were featured in our February Clean Beauty Box. Learn more about these products and our box here.