Ask Nancy

  • What makes Botanic Organic products unique?  
    • If you're already conscious about the foods that you eat, and the way that they're prepared and grown than the next step is to bring that same awareness to your skincare products.  Botanic Organic prides itself in using only the purest, cold pressed, raw organic oils to craft our formulas. We source artisan-distilled, organic plant distillates for our creams, lotions and hydrating mists, and we use fair trade, organic shea butter for our lotions and balms. Pure essential oils give each of our products a delightful and unique scent which will make you feel like you've made a trip to the spa. We believe that the end product is only as good as its building blocks and so we go the extra distance to source these potent, vibrant and nutrient rich ingredients so that you your skin will radiate health both inside and out.
  • Where do Botanic Organic’s ingredients come from?
    • Botanic Organic ingredients are sourced from a few carefully chosen, highly reputable companies located in the United States. Many of the ingredients sourced from these companies are themselves grown/processed in the US, but some exotic ingredients are made from plants that aren’t grown locally and these are sourced internationally. For example, the shea nilotica butter we use is a premium Fair Trade shea butter produced from the fruit of the Vitellaria Nilotica sub-species of the Karite tree which grows across Northern Uganda. The nuts are sourced from organically grown trees and harvested by a 1600 member women's cooperative who are paid fair trade prices 25 - 50% above the rates women earn in the local markets.  The shea butter nuts are cold-pressed without any chemicals, and the butter is filtered and packaged into sterile containers for shipment to the company we buy from. They repackage it in their warehouse without further processing and sell it to their customers (us).
    • All of the organic ingredients used in our formulas are USDA certified organic.
  • What is an essential oil?
    • Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They are powerfully fragrant and are non water-based phytochemicals made up of volatile aromatic compounds. Although they are fat soluble, they do not include fatty lipids or acids found in vegetable and animal oils, so they are very clean, almost crisp, to the touch and are immediately absorbed by the skin. Pure, unadulterated essential oils are translucent and range in color from crystal clear to deep blue. They are usually prepared by techniques such as steam distillation, cold pressing or solvent extraction.
  • Does Botanic Organic recommend anything for acne or breakouts?
    • I always recommend a gentle approach to helping the skin heal, rather than the overkill approach to use harsh and drying products. For more information about why plant-based oils are great for acne you can read this blog post.

      Even though it may seem counter intuitive, using our Pomegranate & Argan Oil Serum is a great way to balance sebum production and help to repair skin in general. It’s ingredients are both antioxidant and antibacterial. You can pair a tiny pump of this serum with our Cucumber & Calendula Nutrient Mist. Both products will help with moisture and oil balance and will also help to repair and prevent future breakouts. They can be used in the morning and at night. If desired, you can keep the oil content very low and add more of the mist to create a very light emulsion. I actually mix both in my hands and then apply or you can spray the face first with the mist and follow up with applying the oil serum. Whichever the case, it is always easier to apply an oil serum with an already damp face.

      Secondly, I would recommend our Raspberry & Green Tea Daily Defense Moisturizer which contains 11% non-nano particle zinc oxide for an approximate 15 SPF protection. Zinc oxide can provide both sun protection and help with acne. I’ve heard from many of our customers that they really like this moisturizer for problem skin.
  • What are the benefits of using essential oils in skin care?
    • Essential oils contain potent medicinal and cosmetic properties, and can work to support the body’s own healing system. Many of them have antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit skin. They can also provide aromatherapy properties that can either calm, or elevate mood and these can provide an additional value to skincare.
  • What is a hydrosol (plant distillate)?
    • Hydrosols, also known as a plant-distillates, provide natural fragrance as well as herbal therapeutic properties. They are created by steam distilling plant materials. Hydrosols have similar properties to essential oils but in far less concentration. Plant material is steamed with water in a large copper alembic still. The steam fills the pot and as it rises, causes the glands of the plants to burst and release the oils and essence of the plant into the steam. The oil rises through a condenser and collects in a separate vessel. This is what we know as essential oil. The fragrant water that was steamed with the original plant material is known as a hydrosol or plant distillate. You can find more information here.
  • What are the benefits of using a hydrosol in skin care?
    • The chemical components in the hydrosol are primarily acids, which are hydrophilic (water-loving). As such they acidify the water and happily, bacteria do not live well in acidic environments. Acidic environments are astringent and so the hydrosols are useful in skin care products to constrict and contract the tissues. This slightly acidic nature helps to restore the acid mantle of the skin. With a pH between 5-6, they are perfect for use in facial mists or as part of a lotion or cream. Additionally certain plant distillates are particularly well suited to topical use on skin. The plant distillates that we use in our products contain beneficial phytonutrients, are anti-inflammatory in nature and have anti-oxidant properties.
  • What is the main difference between your products and the ones I buy from the drug or department store?
    • Mainstream, department store brands tend to use primarily synthetic ingredients. Even products labeled natural may contain harmful chemicals that have been isolated from natural plant ingredients. In such cases the term naturally derived may give consumers the illusion that they are purchasing a safer product when the reality presents an entirely different picture.
    • For example, the surfactant sodium lauryl sulfate has long been implicated in conditions such as skin irritation and other health hazards, but most consumers don't realize that this potentially detrimental chemical can easily fall under the all natural label. Sodium lauryl sulfate is derived from coconuts and has sometimes been slid into natural cosmetic cleansers and household products under the guise of "natural plant-derived surfactants". Although SLS originates from coconuts, the chemical is anything but natural. The real problem with SLES/SLS is that the manufacturing process (ethoxylation) results in SLES/SLS being contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which is a carcinogenic by-product. In order for a skincare product to be considered truly natural, it should not contain any of the following type ingredients.
      • GMOs (genetically modified organisms)
      • parabens
      • petrochemicals
      • phthalates
      • sulfates
      • synthetic fragrances
      • synthetic dyes
      • triclosan
    • Botanic Organic goes a step beyond  “not containing harmful ingredients”. Our oils are not just natural but also unrefined, cold-pressed and organic, meaning that they have color, scent and a list of amazing phytonutrients. The same is true for the plant extracts and plant distillates used in our formulas. We create skincare products that are natural and safe so that our consumers can benefit from these amazing ingredients which are VERY different from the ones found at the local supermarket or department store.

  • What's the shelf life of Botanic Organic products, given they are preservative-free or have minimal preservatives?
    • In general our products are good to use for at least a year and a half. They are probably safe to use even a little beyond that time frame if they contain a preservative and have been kept in a cool, dark environment.
    • Since we manufacture only in small batches and store our products in optimal conditions, they stay fresh until they reach you. Most of our products are stored in containers that protect the contents from light and contamination.
  • What do you recommend I use in the morning?
    • We recommend a quick and gentle cleanse for morning time. Our Chamomile & Lavender Cleansing Spray is the perfect, easy to use cleanser to refresh and balance skin’s pH. Follow with our Raspberry & Green Tea Daily Defense Moisturizer. The zinc oxide in this moisturizer protects your skin from environmental damage. For women, it’s also perfect for an under-makeup primer to even-out skin tones. We also love the way that it gives skin a dewy glow.
  • Which products would you recommend for my husband?
  • Which products should I use before bed?
  • I have sensitive skin, can I use Botanic Organic Products?
    • Botanic Organic products are perfect for those with sensitive skin. We believe that skincare products should gently restore skin to optimum health and so all of our products are made with that in mind. Please read our ingredient labels to be aware of any specific ingredients that you are aware of having a sensitivity to and avoid these particular products. In general, we avoid using ingredients that are well known allergens, but there are always those who have issues with specific plants.
  • I have allergies; can I use Botanic Organic Products?
    • If you can identify the substances that you have allergies to it’s pretty easy to avoid them by simply reading labels carefully and avoiding the products that contain these ingredients. If you find yourself reacting to a Botanic Organic product for any reason, please contact us and we will be happy to either replace it with another product or offer you a refund.
    • Botanic Organic does not use any of the synthetic ingredients that often cause allergic reactions, however, some perfectly natural and pure ingredients from nature can cause allergies in a small percentage of people. If you have a lot of known sensitivities, it’s always best to try just a little of a product on some part of your body other than your face to test for a reaction before using on your face.
  • Can I use Botanic Organic products with my other skin care products?
    • Of course! It’s a marketing myth that you can use only one product line at a time. That said, once you become accustomed to the beauty and effectiveness of using truly natural products, you may never want to go back!
  • I use an electric cleansing brush in my facial cleaning routine; can I use it with a Botanic Organic cleanser?
  • I use Retin-A in my skincare, can it be used with Botanic Organic products?
  • Botanic Organic has cleansing grains and an oil cleanser. Do you also have a foaming soap cleanser?
    • We do not make any soap-based cleansers. Human skin has an outer, protective layer called the acid mantle. This skin barrier is a thin, acidic film that keeps bacteria out of the skin cells. If the mantle is temporarily removed by harsh soaps or sun damage, the skin becomes susceptible to rashes, breakouts, and infection. We therefore choose to use gentler methods to cleanse the skin without drying it or destroying the acid mantle.
    • We’ve noticed that people prone to acne may want to wash with strong soaps, which can make pH levels more alkaline. Using a gentle, non-soapy cleanser and following with one of our hydrating mists to help restore skin’s acidity will protect this natural barrier to alleviate breakouts and overly dry skin.
  • Why do you use brown bottles?
    • It is because these containers and closures provide the very best physical protection for the fragile cold pressed, raw oil and butter ingredients that go into our formulas. You can find a detailed answer here in this blog post