Photo by David Sherry

Nature’s Gold

Photo by David Sherry

Photo by David Sherry

While we often observe the aesthetic splendor of nature around us, we probably don’t realize the gift of personal beauty it can also provide from oils, seeds, fruits and so much more. That’s the crux of Hemp and Honey Plus, a local skincare line that begins with nature’s gold: hemp seed oil and mānuka honey.

Typically, one’s first thought after hearing the word “hemp” is marijuana. While hemp seeds do derive from the same plants as marijuana (cannabis), they contain less than 0.03 percent of the active drug, THC, and are chock full of other nutrients and benefits. Changing that common misconception and educating others on its nutritional value are what drive HH+’s parent company, Hemp Strong Brands.


Photo by David Sherry

Cousins Scott Sondles and Michael Bumgarner created the company in 2012. Sondles brought a wealth of hemp-seed expertise to the table, a great complement to Bumgarner’s farming background. Combined with their entrepreneurial mentalities and passions for the ingredients, they officially launched HH+, their first line of hemp-based products, in October.

While we can easily be consumed with what we put on our body for the sake of fashion, we often neglect the fact that our skin is our largest organ.

Hemp seed oil is particularly beneficial for your skin because it consists of 80 percent essential fatty acids, which your body needs and craves. That’s also one of the highest percentages of fatty acids among edible plant oils, Sondles said.

Of those fatty acids, hemp seed oil also contains a perfect ratio of omega-3 to omega-6. Too much of the latter is common in most diets due to the excess of processed foods we eat, which causes inflammation. And because the skincare line is oil-based, not water-based like most, it absorbs quickly and keeps your skin moisturized much longer.

The second power ingredient is mānuka honey, which can only be sourced from New Zealand. It contains the most antibacterial properties of all the honeys. It’s even an active ingredient in Medihoney, a medical-grade product used in the healthcare industry to treat wounds and burns.


Photo by David Sherry

The “plus” in the HH+ name refers to other natural ingredients, like grape seed oil, which is great for anti-aging; coconut oil, which is important for sun-exposure care; and matcha green tea, which is full of antioxidants.

While we can easily be consumed with what we put on our body for the sake of fashion, we often neglect the fact that our skin is our largest organ. Taking care of it and supplementing it with nature’s ingredients are sure to provide us with the perfect balance of health and beauty.

The full line of HH+ is handmade and includes bar soap, lip balm, lip refresher, body cream and hand butter. Prices range $4 – $40, depending on the product and size, or $60 for a full kit of everything. For more information, visit