Our Story

Our first test session with essential oils from Florihana, a 1 lb block of beeswax, and some utensils we had around the house

It all started on a stove top.

Little Otter Skincare started in 2017 on our kitchen stove. After learning more about plant medicine from a friend who is a former biotech clinical researcher and herbalist, I began researching the formulas behind luxury skincare lines and building my own apothecary of essential oils and organic skincare solutions.

I tinkered with formulations over an improvised double boiler, borrowing my husband Chad’s Glencairn glasses and droppers, writing down measurements and mixtures, and upcycling jam jars and lip balm tubes to house a collection of natural and organic oils and balms.

Living in Atlanta, most weeks C and I put more miles on our bikes and walking than in our cars, but in our cleaner commutes we noticed a pattern of the pollution in the air and environment around us creating blemishes and problem spots across our faces.

So we began creating natural skincare products for ourselves — sourcing GC/MS tested, certified organic ingredients from a distillery in France and raw beeswax from a fourth generation beekeeper in Florida.

We shared our favorite formulas with our family and friends, wrapping up handwritten packages of face oil and lip balms a few years ago. When our favorite people began asking when and where they could buy their new favorite face oils and lip balms, Little Otter became more than just a hobby.

Thank you for believing in our work and mission.
Jess Hunt-Ralston and Chad Ralston


Our launch. Earth Day 2019.


Our Philosophy

Duhatao, Los Lagos, Chile. Fall 2018.



e believe that healthy, radiant skincare routines should be easy, effective, ethical and affordable.

We create visibly balancing, deeply nourishing formulas from the very best natural and organic botanicals to heal, protect and provide skin with rich, powerful plant-based nutrients and oils that have been used for centuries to keep skin healthy and happy.

We believe that our skin should be supported and free to reflect the clear, bright, vibrant glow of life that’s inside each of us, that verdantly connects us to each other and our earth.

Little Otter Plastic-Free Lip Balm


There is powerful medicine within the plants on our planet. Our ingredients are vegetarian and non-toxic. We use GC/MS tested, certified organic, pure steam-distilled and cold pressed essential oils. Our ingredients and products are never tested on animals.

Little Otter is and will always be free of synthetic chemicals such as parabens, sulfates and petrochemicals. The majority of the skincare you use can be readily absorbed into your bloodstream. Yet, look closely at the ingredients on many luxury skincare products and you’ll discover a lengthy list of synthetic and toxic chemicals, cheap fillers, proprietary “fragrances” and dyes that irritate and harm the human body and the environment.

We believe in whole, natural, healthy ingredients that we proudly share on the back of every bottle and balm we make.


Little Otter provides products at a fair price to customers, with fair pay to workers. Our skincare is less expensive than most other luxury skincare brands because we don’t use inflated profit margins to pay for complicated packaging, expensive ad campaigns, trade secrets, or social media stuff. We just make great skincare that is fair to people and the planet.

Plastic bottle on beach in Chiloe Island, Chile. A travesty.Duhatao, Los Lagos, Chile. Fall 2018.


We think plastic packaging is B.S. By 2050, there may be more plastic than fish in the world's oceans. We’re working hard to go plastic-free, zero-waste in every area of our lives, including through our work with Little Otter.

That’s why our lip balm tubes are 100% free of plastic and are 100% compostable, why our products are shipped without plastic materials or packaging, and why we offer a reusable glass bottle and aluminum cap option — as well as a washable and reusable plastic pump. Less plastic. More purpose.


Borrowing from the 1% for the Planet initiative, we devote 10% of Little Otter's annual net revenue* to organizations working tirelessly to keep our water clean and our wild places green. That's why you see 10% for Clean Water on every tube, bottle and box we make.

Learn more about 10% Back to Clean Water Work.