I grew up surrounded by a large Greek family, it was always eventful and colourful with constant gatherings, food and celebrations. I had a special bond with my beautiful grandmother (yiayia) who in her native Northern Greece was known for her ‘healing hands’ and infinite knowledge of herbs and tinctures as natural medicines. I remember her prescribing sliced raw potato and chewing on raw garlic to treat fevers. When I was ten, I remember feeling so wise and proud of all I had learnt from her, I would help her make countless compresses and tonics and we’d talk for hours about the healing power of nature, including the olive. I have fond memories of bathing in olive oil, drinking it daily and even using it in my hair at night as a treatment!
Fast forward a decade, and back in Melbourne, Australia, my days and nights became consumed by ancient herbology books, the principles of Hippocratic medicine, naturopathy, and literature with over 2,000 herbs which I keenly studied in awe of their magnificence! I always remembered with fond memories my yiayia’s stories, including many about the humble olive.
I always knew in my heart the olive had the ability to heal and keep skin soft and supple.
In my twenties, I soaked up the Greek Island sun, breathed in the wonderful aromas of the Mediterranean, and connected with its beautiful and abundant natural beauty. I knew if I wanted to discover the true magic of the olive, there was no better time nor place. After researching the olive and studying its biology closely – I discovered it was nothing short of miraculous. Its pip produces a lipid called Squalene which amazingly mimics the natural moisturising oils found in human skin. Even to this day, I believe there is nothing that can be chemically manufactured by today’s scientists that matches Olive Squalene’s intelligence in hydrating the skin on a deep, biocompatible level.
In the early 90’s I began practising as a naturopath and herbalist, What I saw in my practice compelled me to find a better way to help others every day. There are essentially five main skin conditions people seek treatment for – acne, dry & atopic, mature, sensitive & fungal – and these would often be accompanied by mental and emotional issues as well. My patients would often stay for hours, sometimes turning into a therapy session! When I treat a skin condition, I not only treat my patient’s skin, but look at the entire picture including diet, lifestyle, state of mind, and emotions.
With the true meaning of natural beauty instilled in me by my yiayia, my passion has and always will be helping others put their best skin forward, simply and naturally. I was determined to find better ways of caring for the skin using only pure, plant-based ingredients, and poured my heart and soul into developing the Botani range, (which literally translates into ‘plant’ or ‘nature’ in English), not knowing that in fact I was paving the way for a new era of health-conscious, eco-savvy, green consumers! Back in the mid 90’s, natural skin care was a new concept, and as with anything new, more expensive to develop (still is J)! But through my unwavering commitment, and having treated hundreds of skin conditions over the last 20 years with my carefully crafted creams, herbal tinctures and health advice (and lots of counselling), I have developed a deep understanding of the skin’s intimate needs and how to blend ingredients from nature to truly nourish and heal it.
These days, I’m most passionate about research & development; ensuring our founding philosophies are always respected with the perfect balance of naturopathic principals and scientific innovation. However, I can’t help getting out to chat to our beautiful customers as often as I can. I really shine when I’m connecting with nature, people or animals!
To this day, I ensure each product is meticulously formulated in controlled-quantity batches as I continue to create my own unique, synergistic formulas, sourcing each ingredient myself – only the highest quality wildcrafted, Ecocert or certified organic ingredients enter each bottle (you can read more about our sourcing and manufacturing here).
The same skin conditions I began treating many years ago (acne, dry & atopic, mature, sensitive & fungal skin conditions) still remain the greatest skin conditions people seek answers for today. We now have over 20 multipurpose products to suit every ethnicity, age and skin stage. Our range continues to grow and expand, to meet the ever-changing needs of consumers on their skin health journey.
I am so passionate about Botani’s core values of; purity, simplicity and integrity; they have been integral to our success. The medicinal quality of each ingredient, our belief in simple and natural beauty, a commitment to ecological practices (including ethical sourcing, using only recyclable materials), using only 100% active, unadulterated ingredients in concentrations that are effective, supporting charities close to my heart, and of course no animal testing. Perhaps most importantly, our success wouldn’t be so long lived without honestly delivering on product promises.
At the end of the day we strive to ensure our products help you bring your healthiest skin forward.
I want to wish you well on your skin health journey – whether you are already part of our beautiful Botani tribe (if not, we can fix that here!) or you are discovering us for the first time. I invite you to brew a cup of herbal tea, read our super-informative blog, look through our skin library, and browse our amazing product range. If you have a question, thought or comment, we’d LOVE to hear from you!
To great health and great skin, Barbara xxx