This Beauty Product Is What You Need For Your Pandemic Wedding
Devon Watson Photography

Having a traditional wedding during the pandemic is difficult. In fact, it’s nearly impossible. Even if you’re able to put together all the elements of the ceremony and reception in the same way that you would have before COVID-19 ripped through the world and changed the way we live, making guests feel safe is a priority.

This was top of mind for my (now) husband and me when planning our recent nuptials. Since J.R. Watkins was part of our engagement story, incorporating the brand into our special day made sense. The brand’s cleansing hand elixirs are the perfect way to keep hands clean, and they come in the prettiest packaging that go along with any wedding theme.

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Made from natural ingredients such as calendula, rose water and cactus, J.R. Watkins hand cleansing elixirs feel silky and keep hands just as moisturized as they keep them clean. The items are also packed with alcohol to target bacteria and other elements that a hand sanitizer would, but their junk-free nature allows you to use them with peace of mind that they won’t end up on the FDA’s recall list for containing traces of poisons unknown to the public (like some hand sanitizers that we had to return before the wedding).

The elixirs come in a tiny one-ounce tube that literally fits in your pocket, and they don’t need water, so they’re perfect for when you’re on the go. Before COVID-19, I had been giving them out to friends with babies and small children as an easy way to keep hands clean while at the park or anywhere outside of the home where there’s no sink available. For me, they’re a must-have when I’m flying. I feel like my hands get so dirty from touching things on the plane.

While we also had a hand sanitizing station and plenty of places for guests to wash their hands at the wedding, these sexy little keepsakes simply complemented the event. For many people it won’t replace their traditional sanitizer, but instead might be an additional layer to add moisture to otherwise dry and overly cleansed fingers and palms.

We placed the elixirs right below the seating chart for guests to grab one (along with a mask) before they sat. My mother was especially excited about them because she’s been using the brand for decades, their ointment being a cure-all anytime my siblings and I were sick or hurt. Now, it’s becoming a household name for the family that I’m creating with my husband since it’s a part of our story.

We got married during a pandemic, and J.R.Watkins was there to keep our hands clean and our guests happy.

Shalwah Evans is an associate beauty editor at ESSENCE.


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