Skin care and soldiers—it’s not a likely combination, and surely not what Sara Damelio, founder of Skincando, had in mind during the creation of what was initially intended to be a natural facial moisturizer. Eight years of research and around 1,000 trial batches later, Combat-Ready Balm was born.
What began as a search to cure her own troubled skin turned into the formulation of a healing salve, relieving common skin ailments from diaper rash and bug bites, to severely dry, damaged, sunburned skin.
When SSG Marc Popchak got a hold of the balm in 2005, it didn’t take long for word to spread about its healing capabilities. He told Damelio that “it was the only product he and his men had used that soothed the itching of their sand flea bites, sunburn, and dry cracked skin.” She was “honored that the troops were reaching out and asking for more” and after personally donating over 1,000 jars to troops overseas, Damelio created the not-for-profit, Operation Sand Flea, enabling anyone to purchase products at half price for a service member in Iraq and Afghanistan. Damelio picks up the shipping cost and includes a thank you note and a mention that it’s a gift from you. Better yet, if you have a loved one enduring the harsh conditions overseas, simply provide a specific address and the package will be sent directly to them with a personalized note.
Damelio continues to whip up fresh batches of Combat-Ready Balm using pure, organic ingredients such as black tea, fish oil, and clove. In 2008, she added Combat-Ready Lip Balm to the line and shortly after, in 2009, the Combat-Ready Bar. Thus far, over 3,000 donated products have been shipped to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Every day our troops endure harsh environmental conditions leading to dry skin, sunburn, and sand flea bites. The season of giving is under way, so log on to www.skincando.com and provide relief to a soldier in need. We can’t think of a better way to give thanks.