A little over a year ago, I was introduced to a fantastic skincare brand called Botani. Born of herbalist and naturopath Barbara Filokostas’s passion to help people attain their best, healthiest skin, each cream, serum, scrub and mist is formulated using only plant-based ingredients. Every Botani product is a combination of pure botanical ingredients and scientific innovation to ensure they give you the best possible results without affecting your body in any way.
Before I go on about the amazing Botani products, I feel the need to apologise. I’ve been using a few of the products for a year now (which is why I can say they are fantastic!) and I should have shared my experience with this brand earlier.
What makes these products so special is that each of these products has some amount of the lipid squalane, which is derived from the olive seed. The beauty of squalane is that is mimics the body’s natural moisturising system and hence is more easily absorbed for faster results. As humans, we are all born with squalane in our bodies, however the levels of squalane reduce with age and it’s imperative to restore them because squalane works as an antioxidant, helps slow the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, protects the skin from UV damage, prevents the appearance of spots and generally keeps your skin looking young and healthy.
I truly believe that my skin favours squalane over other oils (though I still like to use them). Another thing that makes Botani products so special is the love, affection and thought Barbara puts into each one. She tries her best to ensure you get the best possible ingredients at prices that are accessible. I’ve met her, and she truly radiates her passion for skincare that looks at beauty as a whole. With that kind of approach you can only expect Botani creams, serums, mists and scrubs, everything really, to be effective in the gentlest way. Here are some that I reach for over and over and over.
Botani Rose Whipped Hydra Mask
A recent addition to my Botani collection, this mask is a skin-saviour. I use it when my skin is feeling taut and stretched, has been whipped by cold wind when on vacation, as a prep step for makeup before a night out, after a night out when I’m nursing a hangover – you get the idea. Every time I feel my skin needs a lil somethin’ somethin’ I slather this on.
From the moment you open the tub – it’s faint, refreshing rose scent instantly making you forget the day’s stressors – till you splash your face with water to wash it off, using the soufflé-light Botani Rose Whipped Hydra Mask is such joy! Each time you swipe on a thin layer of this whipped cream you’re feeding your skin with Botani’s signature ingredient olive squalane, as well as crambe abyssinica seed oil, rose damascena flower oil, Australian native mountain pepperberry, natural betaine and olea europea fruit oil which together hydrate and prevent further loss of moisture, strengthen the skin’s natural barrier, prevent premature ageing and ensure the skin is smooth and supple.
Left on for 15 minutes, my skin looks brighter and any signs of fatigue, redness or flakiness disappear once I’ve washed it off. My skin feels revived, it’s smooth to touch and fine lines are softer. I usually follow with the Olive Repair Cream Day Night Moisturiser to lock in hydration. Used before makeup, it gives the skin an intense shot of hydration, nixing any dry patches to ensure makeup glides on smooth and skin looks radiant through my foundation.
I love the Botani Rose Whipped Hydra Mask so much, I’ve gifted it to my mother-in-law who has rosacea. Using it a couple of times a week has calmed her skin and reduced the redness as well. If you’re looking for a mask for sensitive skin, or one that will help you restore bounce, smooth skin and brighten it, the Botani Rose Whipped Hydra Mask is the mask for you.
Botani Exfoliating 2 in 1 Scrub and Mask
I absolutely love, love, love this mask/scrub. I usually avoid physical scrubs because they tend to further dry out my skin. Not this one. A blend of natural jojoba beads, oat bran, Australian bentonite clay, Australian quandong and papaya extracts it smells like a breakfast bowl than a scrub and works like a dream.
I’m a firm believer that regular exfoliation (with the right exfoliator for your skin type) – along with adequate hydration is the key to healthy, beautiful skin and I use this as a scrub or mask one to two times a week. When I’m in a rush, I use the Exfoliating 2 in 1 Scrub and Mask as, well, a scrub. The jojoba beads and oat bran gently remove any dead skin leaving my complexion bright and smooth. On days when I have a little more time, or have set aside a few moments for an entire pampering sesh, I use it as a mask letting the bentonite, Australian quandong, papaya extract and bentonite clay sit on my skin and deep clean pores, fight free radicals and stimulate blood circulation. My skin always feels cleaner, brighter, smoother minus the drying effects some other physical scrubs can have. The Exfoliating 2 in 1 Scrub and Mask is truly one of the better scrubs I have used, and I urge you to try it.
Botani Olive Skin Serum
I love face oils, and I started using this one the day I got it in late January 2016. Within a couple of days the fine lines that surface when my skin is dry, and that tightness I feel near my nose had disappeared. My skin felt supple and hydrated. The Olive Skin Serum is light, and easily absorbed so you can use it during the day in Singapore’s hot, humid weather. It doesn’t feel greasy and I didn’t experience any breakouts because of this. Needless to say the little bottle soon became a permanent fixture in my beauty routine. Read more about it here.
Botani Olive Repair Day Night Moisturiser Cream
Ideal for dry, mature skin, this has my name written all over it. Like the Olive Skin Serum, it is packed with squalane and lecithin, but also features sweet almond and jojoba oils, grapefruit seed, calendula and chamomile extracts, French lavender oil and natural vitamin E. My initial thought when I dipped my finger into the pot was, this is rich and was afraid it would be too heavy for Singapore’s humid climate. I was wrong.
Thanks to the squalane present, it sinks right in, without making you look greasy. A little bit, massaged into the skin keeps it feeling comfortable throughout the day, ensuring it doesn’t look or feel dehydrated and the area around my nose doesn’t feel tight or stretched after spending a day in air conditioning. Recently when on a vacation in Bombay, I used it extensively to provide relief to taut skin due to the cool, dry climate. If you’re not into oils, and wouldn’t dare try the Botani Olive Skin Serum (though I urge you to, even if you have oily skin), you should use this cream. It helps restore lost moisture, plump fine lines and maintain an even skin tone without being too heavy on the skin. Given its ingredients, it’s perfect for all skin types as well.
Botani Soothing Facial Mist
When it comes to using face oils, there’s no one “right” or “best” way to use them. However, in my experience, I’ve found they get absorbed better when used together with a face mist like the Botani Soothing Face Mist. A quick spritz – that delivers a fine, even mist all over the face – before applying the Botani Olive Serum or the Botani Acai Berry Anti Oxidant Serum helps the serums sink in without a trace. Word of caution, don’t get it in your eyes!
Thanks to ingredients like rose water, chamomile, grapefruit seed extract and aloe, it’s also perfect for use when you’re on the go or got too much sun and your skin feels hot or flushed. Or if it feels dehydrated when you’ve spent an extended amount of time in air-conditioning. It seriously helps calm and soothe the skin leaving it comfortable and revitalised.
All the Botani products are free from nasties like petrochemicals and mineral oils, benzoyl peroxide, parabens, propylene glycol, sulphates, detergents, animal derived ingredients, synthetic emulsifiers and fillers, artificial fragrances or colourants making them safe for use on sensitive skin or if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. You can get your hands on Botani products at Love Organic (for my Singapore readers) or from Botani. And if you’re in North America, you can try A-Pure.com. I hope you enjoy using them as much as I did!