Botanical Skin Care

– Posted in: Miscellaneous

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.

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!!

Fran Sorin
The 10th Anniversary Edition of Fran's classic book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, has recently been published. Updated with a new foreword by the renowned author, Larry Dossey, M.D., it has dozens of endorsements from renowned spiritual, gardening, and personal development authors and experts in their fields. A graduate of the University of Chicago with Honors in Psychology and One Spirit Interfaith Seminary, Fran is a renowned gardening expert, passionate gardener, deep ecologist, inspirational speaker, ordained interfaith minister, soul tending coach, and CBS Radio news contributor. See less Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

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Joy December 27, 2008, 5:25 pm

I find the simple and short ingredient list is usually the natural plant way to go for skin. So YES ! I totally agree with you on trying to stay with a botanical skin care .. especially aloe .. it is so gentle and healing for skin. I think baby boomers are better tuned in now a days to this type of attitude : )

Hey Joy-
Great that you’re a natural, plant woman! Yes, baby boomers are becoming more aware AND alot of these companies now have an entire skin care line for babies! Great business idea and again…it makes alot of sense (as our ancestors from thousands of years ago already know)! Fran

Nancy Bond December 27, 2008, 6:14 pm

My step-daughter is an Aveda consultant, and we frequently get gifts of their products. Love them!

nancy-
you lucky lady! are there any products that you specifically recommend?? Fran

Lisa at Greenbow December 27, 2008, 6:25 pm

I don’t use botanicals. I have sensitive skin and I am allergic to many botanicals. I would love to go to a skin specialist to see what they would recommend for me.

Lisa-
Good idea! I have a couple of friends with extremely sensitive skin. They have gone to dermatologists who were helpful in directing them to skin care products that caused no allergies and got the job done!! Fran

Nicole December 28, 2008, 10:06 am

I use only botanical skincare and haircare. I love Jurlique. Also Harnn and Thann, from Thailand, a leading brand in Asia. In Asian spas and salons the emphasis is on natural and botanical products. However Harnn and Thann failed in the US, their flagship stores closed within a year. I order mine from Canada.
Their products are great for travel as they are all multipurpose. The massage oils are also a bath and body oil and hair oil. The shisho hair mask is also a leave in conditioner. I also find L’occitane almond shower oil fabulous- and can be used a body wash, face wash and shampoo.

Nicole-
Thanks for that information. Am going to get on their website later today when I have more time. It’s interesting that they weren’t able to be successful in the U.S. About L’occitane. You’re correct. I like some of their products but find that others have too much fragrance but boy, are they ever successful throughout the world…Fran

Amy December 28, 2008, 3:44 pm

My daughter is allergic to soy, son allergic to nuts, and my husband is allergic to a preservative found in beauty products. All this combines to make it very difficult for me to find things I can use, and trying new ones is always a hazard. I’ve found that many of the natural skin care products contain nut oils or soy. I wish I could use them! I would like to try making my own products someday – I think it would be a lot of fun.

Amy-
Am sorry to hear that. My hunch is the best way to deal with finding products that are free of soy, peanuts and the preservative you mention is to get advice from a dermatologist. I have some friends with severe allergic reactions and have been greatly helped by certain products recommended to them.
And yes, I agree that it would be fun to make your own products. My daughter and I have tried on several occasions. It is amazing what you can come up with and there are some pretty decent books that offer some great ingredients for products. Fran.

Shady Gardener December 29, 2008, 5:14 pm

I was brought up short quite a number of years (15?) ago when I realized how easily topical ingredients are absorbed through the skin. I’ve been a label reader ever since.

Hey Shady Gardener-
Good for you! It’s a great policy to read all ingredients on back of package prior to buying anything! Fran