My skin is moody (like me) and always freaks out come winter (like me). Time and time again I reach for a new miracle tonic to settle breakouts and bring life back to my suddenly sallow face. A recent and quite serious allergy to chemicals transformed my medicine cabinet and now I am entirely re-stocked with plant based skin care.
My hero products are Herbivore Botanicals luxurious face oil, Rose Hibiscus face mist, and brightening mask. Herbivore Botanicals was founded by husband and wife duo Alex Kummerow and Julia Wills in 2011 and continues to spread green love to its cult following of natural beauty enthusiasts (me, Gwyneth). As I type this, face slathered in their yummy pineapple and gemstone Brighten mask (note: it's 10PM- use at night!) I feel the sweet sensation of purification and gleam, also known as botanical success. #itsplantporn
ALEX KUMMEROW, CO-FOUNDER, HERBIVORE BOTANICALS
IPP: WHAT'S YOUR BACKGROUND AND WHAT LED TO THE START OF HERBIVORE BOTANICALS?
HB: We started Herbivore back in 2011. Julia was feeling burnt out at her high-rise city counseling job and decided it was time to take a leap and try something new. I bought her a soap making kit for $50 and that turned out to be the best $50 I have ever spent! Julia’s background as a graduate from Bastyr, a college of natural medicine, is peppered with natural healing and psychology. At the time, I was new into the film scene in Seattle and was happy to help with designing labels and photography/web. Back to the soap making kit - she had 12 bars the first day and we had an Etsy shop three weeks later.
IPP: where do you FIND INSPIRATION?
HB: We are very ingredient inspired. We love plants! We will find an ingredient we know we need to use and design a product that highlights it. Anytime we travel, we always hit the local plant conservatory and/or botanical gardens plus we just started a greenhouse featuring some of our favorites such as Jasmine Sambac, our signature Jasmine scent, and another floral favorite, Tahitian gardenia.
IPP: Where do you source your ingredients from?
HB: We source our ingredients from a handful of suppliers but our main ones are based here in the US and are ethically focused. Some ingredients are also sourced globally such as our Tourmaline from Brazil, clay from France, and Bamboo Charcoal from Japan.
ipp: Why is a “green” philosophy important?
HB: Green philosophy and being a health focused brand is extremely important to us. Packaging in recyclable glass is one of our main focuses for reducing our waste. This does add a lot of cost to our packaging but it is totally worth not polluting the planet with hundreds of thousands of plastic jars. Our planet is being ruined by irresponsible business owners. Some will do anything to lower that bottom line even if that means illegally dumping waste in the water or packaging in eco disaster packaging. We need more regulations that prevent businesses from doing whatever they want. It’s detrimental to the planet. Or, you know, we can just all try a little harder by choice because duh, it’s pretty important for our future.
IPP: What is your favorite Herbivore product?
HB: My personal favorite Herbivore product right now is the Blue Tansy Mask. We live in such a go go society, leading me to make time for myself to be mindful and present daily. A great opportunity to take advantage of some quiet time is to mask. You can quiet your mind and convince it to relax because, hey, you’re still being productive by gently resurfacing your complexion.
IPP: What is your spirit plant and why?
HB: My spirit plant is my “Buddha Belly Plant.” I am obsessed with this plant. Every time I look at it, it is different, maybe it has a flower today and a new leaf coming in tomorrow. It grows quickly and every move it makes feels like a show.