Written by Molly Watman. Photo of our Columbia Street shop by Julia Newman
We ladies of the Brooklyn Herborium follow nature as closely and purely as possible. We obsess about our sources, what’s in our food, our air, our water. We live in what can only be described as a state of constant crunchiness. Then we realize that in some cases, a little intervention is acceptable, or in fact, needed. We have an abiding love affair with science, so if a completely organic, preservative-free, traditional medicine-based skincare regime isn’t quite solving the issue, we bring out the big guns.
We still use all the highest quality ingredients, organic or sustainably wild-crafted if available, and stay true to traditional botanical oils, seed butters, and floral essences. But we add powerful active ingredients like hyaluronic acid, DMAE, vitamin A, B, C and E, CoQ10 and alpha lipoic acid (created from vegetale matter at an organic lab). Sometimes, you just need a boost to reach a healthy, beautiful state. Note: We don’t use Phrenology in our Advanced Skincare Regime…anymore 🙂
Ok, let’s start first with our preservative – Phenoxyethonol. It’s a “nature identical” meaning it’s the same compound that’s found in green tea, only it’s made in a lab. It works to stop bacteria from growing in any product that contains water mixed with oils and botanicals (a microorganism’s dream environment). We use very low concentrations (under .5%) – well below the recommended non-irritating level of 2.2%. Here’s some well accredited research from the Journal of Toxicology on this ingredient’s safety in skincare. In an ideal world, we would make everything in the moment we needed it, and preservatives would not be a factor. But since we want to share these amazing formulas with you, we need to be sure that they are free from bacteria. And this is the best possible natural preservative.
Next is deciding what your skin needs (if anything at all):
- Dehydrated, Mature, Chapped, and Scaly Skin … Use Edith Rose Cream
Roses have traditionally been prized for their healing beauty, but now scientific studies have shown that the rose is indeed a powerful source of natural beauty enhancement. Extraordinarily humectant (meaning it draws and hold moisture) Rose essence in distilled form makes up the base of Edith Rose Cream. Roses are filled with anti-oxidant vitamins that help our skin function more cleanly. The scent is purely from this lovely ingredient without any added fragrance.
- Mature, Dry + Oily Combination or Sun-Damaged Skin … Use Vita-C Wild Berry Treatment
Within a few days, the wild berry acids will encourage gentle peeling. This is a good thing. It helps remove dead and oxidized cellular buildup. When you have reached that point, stop using and wait a few weeks before starting a new round. We find that Vita-C is especially helpful to clear sun damage from summer skin going into the autumn season.
- Mature, Dull, Wrinkled, Sagging and Lifeless Skin … Use Magick Potion Lotion
Magick Potion Lotion is the best way to naturally remove fine lines, dark spots, blemishes and years. This unique and naturally-based treatment is loaded with powerful active vitamins, anti-oxidants, lipids, hydrators and even cellular matrix enhancers. Multi-fruit acids and the “wonder-oil” that comes from the meadowfoam plant, all in a pure rosewater distillate base that gives Magick Potion Lotion a heavenly light feeling. Prepare for profoundly transformative results. Absolute beauty to compliment your own.
- Immature, Blemish-prone, Oily and Problem Skin … Use LOMAH
Can be used 3 ways (daily cleanser, light moisture lotion, breakout treatment). How can the same product be all these things? Made with organic milk and raw honey, this cleansing lotion possesses the unique ability to exfoliate (milk’s lactic acid works wonders in cleaning out pores) and hydrate (honey is famously hydrating). Incidentally, honey and other LOMAH ingredients are naturally anti-microbial and effective against breakouts. Easy on sensitive skin, LOMAH helps balance over-active oil production while gently healing skin damaged from harsher agents used in the past.
- Bags, Dark Circles, or Puffiness Around the Eyes … Use DMAE Firming Eye Gel
Made with cucumber and aloe juice with a healthy dose of DMAE, the prized ingredient which may cause a slight tingling. DMAE has also been shown to stimulate the synthesis an essential fatty acid that improves and protects cell membranes which have been damaged by free-radicals (oxidation) while boosting circulation. It also causes some degree of skin and pore tightening & people report cumulative effect with continued use of the product. DMAE can’t fully reverse existing facial sag, but it may reduce its further progression.
- Mature + Aging Skin and Make-up Removal … Use Agnes Day & Night Crème
In addition to the powerful cleansing provided by green papaya and pineapple enzymes, this gem contains an impressive arsenal of anti-oxidants and active compounds. Vitamins, pomegranate and rooibos limit damage of free-radicals. The much beloved MSM and DMAE (youth-promoting supplements) along with a synergistic blend of our favorite active herbal oils (evening primrose, rosehip, cranberry seed & carrot!) will boost skin’s natural radiance, smooth & even skin tone, refine pores, and promote a lovely countenance for you to go on your way—night or day. Over 90% certified organic ingredients.
There you have it. All the secret sauces that we keep hidden on the side. Our most powerful antidotes to stressed skin that needs a little extra support beyond what Nature can offer.