Launched back in 2004, the Botanicals brand had humble beginnings, with the first products created in a restored stable in a small Leicestershire village. Since then, they’ve gone from strength to strength, and are now one of the leading providers of natural and organic skincare. The aim of the brand is to provide a range of personal care products which harness nature and are safe and kind to your skin.
They are dedicated to ensuring that all of their products are 100% natural. All of their ranges are produced in small batches, and preserved in a natural way to ensure that their customers always get the highest quality products.
We were lucky enough to get a few minutes with Wendy Sterling, the founder of Botanicals, and find out a bit more about how and why she started the company, and what to expect from the range.
It’s lovely to meet you Wendy. Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions for us.
It’s an absolute pleasure. Thank you for inviting me.
You launched Botanicals back in 2004, after your daughter suffered a bad reaction to a product that called itself ‘natural’. Did you envisage that the company would be such a success, and still going strong 10 years later?
What I learned over ten years ago about cosmetic labelling, fuelled a passion that became the driving force behind Botanicals. I realised that creating natural, organic alternatives to petro-chemical based skin care was to become my life purpose.
I knew that if I stayed true to my purpose (without compromise), the products would sell themselves and that the business would grow ‘organically’. Which is exactly what has happened.
What would you say is the unique selling point of the products that you sell?
Authenticity, combined with respecting and harnessing nature’s wonderful natural resources.
What is your skin type, and which products do you use from the range to suit your skin?
My skin is very different now to how it used to be. Prior to becoming enlightened about the beauty industry, my skin was dry and unbalanced. Now it is healthy and quite good for my age, I think.
What do you think is the most important consideration when choosing skincare products?
Read the back of the label. You can only make informed choices by doing a little bit of personal research and deciding which ingredients you are not comfortable with. The beauty industry is not regulated in the same way as the food industry, so terms like ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ are very misused. (A product labelled ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ could potentially contain a tiny percentage of natural or organic ingredients, and certainly not enough to have any beneficial effect.)
If someone is new to the Botanicals range, what would you recommend to get them started?
We offer free samples, try me sets and trial sizes. Most of Botanicals products are multi-functional – which helps when getting started. Our award-winning hero products are our best-sellers.
In the skincare world, there’s currently a lot of discussion about the use of parabens in products. Could you explain a bit about what they are, and why you choose not to use them in your products?
When I first did my research – over ten years ago, I was staggered to find that 99% of all personal care products (including those for children) contained a group of preservatives called parabens. Commonly known as methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben and butylparaben, they are used to prevent microbial contamination and extend shelf life.
Research shows that parabens, particularly when used together as a group, can cause allergic reaction and skin irritation. But my greatest concern was in reading research papers that linked parabens to hormone disruption.
My personal opinion, where there are grounds for concern is why take the risk? We have choices, and there are now lots of products available that don’t contain parabens.
Do you have any plans to launch any new ranges in the near future?
Creating new formulations is what I enjoy most! I’d love to develop a men’s range next.
That sounds exciting! Also, as per all of our Erisea interviews, we’ve got a cheeky little question if that’s OK?
‘What’s currently in your handbag?”
A small notepad, pen, packet of tissues, a bunch of old receipts and bits of paper ready for the bin, and a ‘Living Nature’ lipstick (we don’t produce colour cosmetics, but Living Nature has a great range).
Thank you so much to Wendy for taking the time to speak with us. The beauty team here at Erisea will definitely be adding some things to our skincare collections.