Handmade Organic Skincare
With Botany of Desire
"To me, skincare is just another form of organic, wholesome and delicious food for the body. Using our gardens to grow herbs and our kitchens to bottle the botany, I believe we can create nutrient dense beauty products that take care of our skin and our earth.”
Amanda Smith | Botany Of Desire
Plants have always fascinated Amanda, however, her true passion for botanical skincare alchemy was cultivated during the four years that she managed a wholesale herb nursery in the Byron hinterland by day, while studying Western Herbal Medicine by night. Working with around 200 varieties of herbs and learning exactly how to use them is what led Amanda to experimenting with skincare…“once I knew their place in the kitchen cupboard and the medicine cabinet, the bathroom had to be next”.
Amanda has been creating her own green, eco products for nearly six years, and we are excited for her to be sharing her passion for organic beauty products and connecting people to natural health and self care through botanical skincare here at The Farm.
Learn how to make your own Botanical Skincare
We sat down with Amanda to learn a little more…
What do you see as your must have ingredients in natural botanical skincare?
I squeeze Kakadu plum extract into every recipe I can. This little native fruit is the world’s highest source of vitamin C, which is a crucial building block for thriving skin. Rich in antioxidants that are responsible for restoring our skin’s elasticity (hello healthy collagen production), it strengthens the skins natural barrier (giving you toned and vibrant skin cells.) But it also delivers valuable antibacterial phytochemicals to keep open pores clean and acne at bay.
Native to the Northern Territory, Kakadu plums are an ethical, sustainable and organic ingredient that supports the local indigenous communities immensely.
Calendula is a staple in most of my skincare too, for a few reasons... this vibrant orange flower repairs and rejuvenates skin cells with absolute ease. Using the gentle, yet potent infused oil that's capable of calming inflammation, irritation and soothing redness. Her flowers are a valuable addition to the garden for pest control and enticing pollinators; however, it's her actions in the bathroom that really stand out amongst the other flowers (ingredients). I can’t wait to show you how easy this plant is to bottle. A healthy plant blooms most of the year, here in the Northern Rivers. Harvesting the young flowers, rich with resin, as herbal medicine is potent here.
Rose Geranium leaves are packed full of nutrients, the kind our skin can't get enough of. This aromatic oil is oh so relaxing for our central nervous system, bringing relief from mental and physical tension. I value this herb in my garden as much as in my skincare, as there are so many ways to use the leaves; infused oils, distilled essential oils, fresh facial steams. Rose Geranium embodies the word 'nourish' like no other. Helping heal scars and stretch marks, while deeply soothing irritated and inflamed skin, the distilled leaves and stems of this aromatic herb are bottled to offer a natural astringent the pulls skin cells closer together. Even anxiety can dissolve when rose geranium is in town.
True Rose essential oil is extremely prized and darn expensive because of the fragile flowers. Luckily the hardy and easy to grow Rose geranium shares 30% of the exact same scent and astringent constituents.
Botanical Skincare has the power to affect our bodies in a gentle, supportive and healing way...or hinder, stifle and sabotage those efforts of looking after our self. These plants are all a great reminder of that.
What herbs can you not live without and why?
My short list would have to be:
Calendula, Patchouli, Rose Geranium, Lemongrass, Echinacea, Elderflower, Lemon Myrtle, Red Clover and Brahmi.
I've got three reasons:
1. That's one seriously beautiful herb garden! Imagine all the plants in full bloom. Creating an array of colours, medicinal actions and potential.
2. This collection makes up a beautiful first aid kit for the skin, gut, brain and baby. Easily bottled into infusions, tinctures, essential oils and hydrosols, plus all the teas, massage oils, ointments and skincare that can be crafted from scratch with this beautiful botany.
3. The garden will thrive with these additions. Many entice beneficial insects, produce seeds to collect and you can even propagate cuttings from with ease. Each herb is rich in micronutrients, capable of helping our bodies and gardens thrive.
Where do you start? / What can someone expect to learn in one of your workshops at The Farm?
Start with the products your using now. Read the labels and become curious about what plants you feed your skin, daily. Instead of looking for nasty numbers and weird words, see what ingredients you do know. What oils are used? What plants do you smell? Do you know why that plant was used?
This workshop is a wonderful introduction into the world of DIY skincare.
My aim is to inspire you, empower you and excite you. By working with organic ingredients, my favourite recipes and using practical methods to create gorgeous beauty products, you experience the best of skincare alchemy and see how your bathroom can be stocked with hand-crafted goods, made for you, by you. We cover the basics of skincare chemistry, dive deep into specific plant properties and encourage you to grow a skincare/medicine garden of your very own. Taking you from seed to skincare, with herbal alchemy.
This skincare range allows you to bottle your Byron Bay experience. And indulge in it daily.
Click the button below for upcoming workshops with Botany of Desire…