An Interview with Botani's Founder
Author: F&F Date Posted:30 July 2017
A chat with one of the original ‘eco-beauty’ pioneers about our body’s largest organ, the SKIN, and how Botáni leads with purity, simplicity and integrity through and through. A chat with Botáni Founder, Naturopath & Herbalist Barbara Filokostas.
What inspired you to bring Botáni to life in the ‘90’s when natural skincare was still considered ‘alternative’?
Botáni was born and inspired by my experiences with clients in my naturopathic practice in Melbourne. Clients often came to me with ‘last resort’ skincare problems (after trying conventional methods) - dehydration, acne, fungal conditions, atopic skin and skin sensitivities.
Botáni has been around for over twenty years. Has the skincare industry changed in this time and how does Botáni maintain a point of difference?
The exciting thing is, more and more people are seeking natural formulas and are becoming wiser about decrypting ingredient labels. We have so many loyal customers and, despite trying other brands, they keep coming back to Botáni because they trust that our products leave their skin feeling amazing, and they believe in what we stand for. Purity, Simplicity and Integrity are at the core of who we are as a brand.
Purity - I personally seek out our suppliers to make sure our raw ingredients are in their most pure, natural form. If it’s certified organic, great, but many of our growers are small operators (e.g. Indigenous communities that supply some of our Australian native extracts) that harvest ‘wild-grown’ plants that are highly nutritious. We also ensure every ingredient is 100% plant based, GMO free, vegan and not tested on animals (this can be an arduous task when we have over 20 ingredients in one product formula!).
Simplicity - Less is more when it comes to skincare - I believe in a minimalist approach: you don’t need a very complicated routine to keep your skin looking good. A well formulated (with natural, active ingredients) cleanser, treatment and hydration product is all you need. Our products are concentrated and multipurpose so a little goes a long way and the whole family can use (most of) them. This saves time, money and clutter!
Integrity - this is really important to us. Integrity throughout our sourcing, manufacturing, distribution and marketing. It’s integral for us:
- To only use ingredients that are 100% vegan and cruelty free– Botáni actually translates to ‘plant’ in Greek! Lots of people are talking about vegan and cruelty free which is great, but we also want people to talk about product safety.
- To have all of our formulas ‘Certified Safety Tested’. There’s a lot that needs to be ‘cleaned up’ in the industry, and in Australia we also have a weak Cosmetic Regulatory system. We are actually campaigning soon for mandatory safety testing #wewantsafecosmetics. The system needs a bit of a shake up!
- To only make claims we can support.
Tell us something we might not know about the skin?
Skin is a living, breathing organ. We absorb over 60% of what goes onto our skin! Many brands continue to use petroleum bases which don’t allow the skin to breathe and function naturally disrupting the natural functions of the skin, our largest organ! Skin rejuvenates at night and there are many products out there (particularly the anti-ageing products marketed for overnight usage) in bases containing petroleum/mineral oils or silicones that suffocate and mask the skin! I use ingredients biocompatible with the skin such as Crambe Abyssinica, Squalene and Jojoba Oil that mimic the fatty acids of the skin that hydrate, repair and protect the skin.
What’s next for Botáni?
We will continue to innovate using superfood, skin-biocompatible and active ingredients. We will campaign for safer cosmetics, and a mandatory ban on cosmetic animal testing. We will also continue to develop our ranges to treat the skincare problems that people all around the world face every day. The skin conditions that deeply affect peoples’ confidence and sense of self-worth.
Your top 3 tips for optimum skin health?
- Water is integral! I know you’ve probably heard this before but it really is. Dehydrated skin is the number 1 skin concern in the world and to get to the root of this problem - we need to treat the inside as well as the outside.
- Make sure your makeup comes off completely at night - cleaning the skin thoroughly (yet gently) is integral for skin health.
- Apply a natural serum that penetrates the skin to nourish it deeply. Our Olive Skin Serum contains 99.7% pure plant active Olive Squalene. It’s biocompatible with the skin (it deeply penetrates the skin, nourishing it without that greasy feel), and it’s actually commonly added to product formulations to deliver actives deep into the skin!
We hope you have enjoyed getting to know Botáni a little better – and if you haven’t tried any of their naturopathically blended active products yet we highly recommend the Olive Skin Serum for EVERYTHING!
Take a look at Botani.