Perhaps it’s because I have a daughter who has been interested in skin care since she was a teenager that I’m a bit more sensitive and aware of the plethora of skin care lines that are made of botanics or are labeled organic or natural. Now don’t get me wrong. For more years than I want to remember, I could care less about the ingredients in moisturizers and lotions. If it felt good on my face or body and the advertising promised results, I bought it. Even now I’ve got no problem with the immensely popular skincare products that you see getting reviewed on websites like Reviewing This, especially those that are 100% cruelty-free such as OleHenriksen 3 Little Wonders.
It was only about 10 years ago that I made a concerted effort to learn more about botanical moisturizers and lotions. And truth be told, it has only been over the last couple of years that I actually began to take the time to read all of the ingredients on the back of a package (and not just the slogan on the front before making a purchase).
So last week when my daughter was in visiting, we checked out the newest skin care lines at the drug store. It was then that I began to wonder if gardeners were any more likely to purchase botanical skin care products, or not. So fess up: do you or don’t you??
While you’re ruminating over your answer, here’s a round up of some of the botanical skin care companies that I think are pretty special.
One of the renegades in botanic skin care is Dr. Hauschka. Never heard of it? Don’t be surprised. Alot of consumers haven’t. As history tells it, Dr. Rudolf Hauschka approached Rudolf Steiner in 1967 and asked him: “What is life?” Steiner’s response was: “Rhythms. Study rhythms.” And so Hauschka studied and experimented and found that by using the rhythms and polarities of nature, he could create plant extracts. Based on this discovery, Hauschka and his colleagues opened a holistic pharmacy. Eventually Hauschka met up with Elisabeth Sigmund, a skin care specialist from Sweden, who understood the intrinsic value of medicinal plants and that skin care and the outward appearance of the skin were indicative of a person’s internal health and emotional well being. She and Hauschka collaborated: and that’s how the skin care line, Dr. Hauschka, came into being.
The folks at Dr. Hauschka believe strongly in the power of healing plants to restore and maintain healthy skin. They use Biodynamics, a sustainable type of agriculture, with the goal of making each of the several farms and gardens that they own and operate (some for as long as 60 years) healthy sustaining eco-systems. Dr. Hauschka also supports initiatives throughout developing parts of the world to promote Biodynamic farming as well as economic self-sufficiency.
I first discovered Dr. Hauschka products sitting on a shelf at Whole Foods Market.
Jurlique is a company founded by a chemist and his wife, a horticulturist. Originally they owned a farm in South Australia where they grew herbs and flowers, like calendula, rosemary and lavender. The company, which has been around for 20 years, describes its skin care lines as ‘beauty products infused with living energy from the earth’.
Their products, which they call Biodynamic Blends, are made up of herbs and flowers that are grown in certified organic and biodynamic farms in South Australia. Some of the plants used in Jurlique’s products are: Rose Gallica, Licorice Roots, Black Elder, Arnica, Daisu, Chickweed, Dandelion, Pansy and Sweet Violet.
Aveda, “The Art and Science of Pure Flower and Plant Essences™, was founded in 1978. It sources plants from indigenous communities around the world such as: Cistus from Spain, Argan from Morocco, Sandalwood from Australia and South Africa, and Rose Geranium from South Africa. Each of these products promotes sustainable communities and creates jobs for indigenous people within their communities.
A lesser known company from Australia, Aesop, is committed to using the highest quality plant based ingredients. They recommend that if any product is not used within three months that it should be refrigerated. I’ve used some of their products and think they are excellent (and fun).
And finally, I guess I should tell you that I still don’t buy botanical products 100% of the time. After all, when my daughter (now a skin care expert) tells me that I need to use both a sun protector and a serum to keep my face moisturized and help prevent any more aging, well, what do you expect? I’ve got to follow her advice!!