Her name is Svetlana Petrova. She decided to study the whole process of creating organic cosmetics and beauty care products. So, she made Botanistika
Let me introduce you an exceptional woman, Svetlana Petrova. She is a graduate from the Teaching University, she works and lives in Moscow and teaches English to pupils aged from 7 to 17. From her childhood she felt that “how” and “why” questions revealed the secrets and made her feel more conscious. At one moment, she realized that she started to be more and more attracted to gain some knowledge about organic cosmetics and beauty care products. Not exactly in products but in manufacturing and fabrication of it. Now, as she says, beauty products manufacturing became her real life passion. Her motto is: “If you can do something helpful – share it!” That’s how it all started. Having such constant and pro-active attitude a new journey started and turned her life into a new direction. So let’s share some useful knowledge.
How it all began, tell me more about your first experiences or some mistakes maybe?
I started thinking of cosmetic and beauty products when I felt that face creams I was using didn’t work well. To tell the truth they didn’t work at all. So I started serious researches, learned from the Net almost everything I could find about base of creams, about active ingredients and agents, about preservatives and emulsifiers. Was it too difficult to start making face and emulsifiers? Was it too difficult to start making face cream for my personal needs? Surely yes. Despite the fact I studied the whole process of creating beauty products, I was still afraid of making them. The other difficulty was to find a supplier I could trust to buy from. Moreover, I felt it was not enough to understand the chemical process in the skin. I had to study further on: how to solve the skin problems, how to formulate natural and organic beauty products, how to combine oils, botanical extracts, essential oils, emulsifiers, and finally, how to incorporate ingredients into skincare.
So I started to study again, this time aiming at certificates. Though I had made hundreds of creams and only when my “tested” friends said creams were working perfectly I felt I am able do my best. Now I am confident to make beauty products, I have sufficient experience in making them (for about 10 years), I have taken courses on chemistry and natural skincare in Moscow (Astarta School) and international School of Natural Skincare (UK accredited online course). Now I feel confidence in: percentages and weight conversions to define my products, formulating and creating own recipes and in selection of ingredients to match the needs of any type of skin.
Where do you make your magic and how do you get your hands on all necessary ingredients?
Having enough available space, I organized personal lab at my home. But, in the beginning, the real problem was not a space for my business but finding high quality ingredients which work well in the skin. For example, I have learned that there is an only one producer of CO2 plants extracts in Russia (that is called subcritical but not supercritical complex of biologically active lipophilic compounds). And I have also learned that the fabricator sells for large brands only in enormous amounts. Therefore, I asked my husband to help getting the stuff for my production, because he is genius in these sort of business talks! So, within 2 weeks I had everything I needed! From that on I can get any useful ingredient I am dreaming of and the creation of organic lotions, creams, serums for any purpose or a customer is made smoothly.
What is the quality difference of your hand-made created organic products in contrast to well known and admired brands?
The matter is large brands can have everything, but they don’t use it in the proper amount. I’ll describe it later on. Non-organic ingredients in skincare products mean ingredients which are made in synthetic way or out of mineral oils. To tell the truth mineral oils are potentially dangerous for all types of skin. The example of an organic ingredient is”organic silicone”. It’s produced out of olive oil and do not harm your skin or hair. But it helps not only to look better and brighter but to moisturize and soften your skin or hair. While synthetic silicone don’t allow your hair or skin to breath and actually may be ruining hair structure if used often. Synthetic silicones are hard to remove from the skin, the film they produce promotes the development of bacteria and it often leads to irritation and rashes.
So I decide to use only organic ingredients and that’s why my customers use to say “I’m happy! My skin is alive now!”. Most often, the feedback comments are: “Your cream is applied and absorbed perfectly. I need just quite a small amount. I love the flavors. They are so gentle…”. So as you can see I can make people happy, which is quite rewarding.
The most unusual feedback was: “Thanks for your shampoo bar! I have used it for a month or so and can definitely claim that it’s stunning. I stopped losing my hair. But I won’t advise your shampoo bar to my girlfriends. Because I want to be the most beautiful among them”.
What are processes that mostly affect the skin?
There are two factors which affect the skin: stress-factor and age – factor. Stress factor destroys proteins and hyaluronic acid in the skin. It also depends on external causes and nutrition too. Or, it can be exposure to dry air, the amount of toxins in the air, cold, dust, the lack of vitamins and microelements and poor nutrition as well.
To eliminate the stress-factor consequences, it is just enough to use high-quality nourishing and moisturizing creams. And every lady should use such skincare creams from even adolescence. Good skincare creams may completely remove the effects of stress on the skin. When speaking about “Good skincare creams” I mean organic cosmetic products with valuable percentage of the ingredients. At the same time most of the mass market products contain only marketing percentage – just to be listed in the composition.
Age-factor means chemical disorders of the processes inside the skin. That is rapid changing’s of enzymes amount, synthesis and breakdown of proteins. Getting older leadsthe accumulation of defects at the cellular and molecular levels. Wrinkles, flabby skin, yellowish spots are the examples of the ageing process.
What is the main task of anti-age cosmetic and what to expect from anti-age cosmetics?
The task of anti-age cosmetics is to slow down natural process of ageing as much as possible. And it is quite real and it is not worth a fortune. Thanks to biotechnology in the cosmetic industry, new components can be input in lotions to meet all the skin needs. For example, if you think that collagen or elastin added to cream will affect the skin condition, then you are mistaken. The size of the molecule collagen or elastin is too large so it is not able to get deep into the skin. It remains on the surface of the skin and only makes the skin look healthy and tighten.
Well, you can ask what to do collagen and elastin? The matter is, we can use special biotechnological ingredient (a kind of special peptide “matrikin”) in creams and lotions, which is able to penetrate deep into the skin and send a special signal: “Hey, we are out of collagen here! It’s time to reproduce the native one!” and then the process of synthesis of its own collagen starts. That is an example of the real anti-age impact.It is necessary to control the amount of enzymes that utilize defective structures. Thanks to biotechnology it is available now as well. And, by using anti-age cosmetic one can expect significant and visible improvement of the skin (fine wrinkles can disappear, the deep wrinkles can be reduced) and rejuvenated look in general.
Your products were thoroughly tested on your friends for years, but do you sell them now?
I sell my stuff from Instagram @botanistika(account created few months ago), but still, most of my customers get used to order by the mobile. Also, there is new shop on my Facebook account. I intend to sell to regular shops but I need more time to run it.
According to the needs of my customers I produce skincare products for:
- Anti-aging factor (for ladies over 40): anti-age serum # 03 and anti-age face cream # 03
- Stress factor (for ladies under 40) face cream # 05, moisture serum # 02 and skin tonic # 01
- Hair care: shampoo bars for oily hair/ for men/ 2-in-1 with conditioner effect
- Wide range of natural soaps (that’s for pleasure): I use different formula.
We need to know more about your favorite stuff, for example that fabulous cake-like cappuccino soap…
If you ask about my real passion, I would gladly introduce my Natural Soaps range. I am really into it because I can create any kind of soap. It depends only on my inspiration or mood what to make and how to decorate it. For example, I am in love with coffee and fruits. So early in the morning I can make (in the Russian we say “to boil soap”) or “boil” Cappuccino Soap to enjoy it one day. Or I can make Banana Soap – I do it by using banana mash. Sometimes I try to make my soaps look like a photo from a book I am reading. Actually I can create soaps using products of nature like honey, specific plants, fruit juice, tea infusions or even real chocolate (it’s my favorite one).
When I started to soap I just was inspired to make beautiful soaps. It was a kind of art for me. But it turned out that natural soap making does the same as organic skincare products. There is a certain influence on your skin if you stop washing with industrial soap. While creating a soap I formulate with many oils so that my soap gently clean the skin, but I know how to control the creamy, bubbly, cleansing or condition qualities. For example, if your skin is dry you need soap with low cleansing quality but high in condition and creamy qualities. But you can prefer lots of bubbles soap – there is a way to make the soap. It depends on the oils I am using in the recipe. One of the lots of bubbles secret is to use castor oil, but no more than 5-8% when I created this very soap I used not only cocoa butter, but lots of real cocoa mass(it smells so good).
Some true lines about mass-market lotions and creams:
On average every mass-market cream consists of water and some emulsifiers (that’s nearly 98% of all ingredients), which should improve the effect of cremation of the skin. So that while applying it you have just a pleasant feeling and nothing more. The preservatives go next (they are about 1% in). There are usually several of them. And they are quite tough and severe to the skin because they have to prevent creams and lotions for 2 or 3 years of storage life in shops. And they are in to kill all the bacterium but the matter is they kill the bacterial flora of your own skin – which is too harmful! And to end up with the ingredients there is only 1 % left for active agents or oils in creams and lotions. That would be too little to improve your skin condition. Moreover, there is a special terminology for the doze of active ingredients.There are:
- a marketing doze ( Its aim is just to be listed in ingredients &has no effect)
- a therapy doze (which is going to work well in the skin)
- a curing doze (which treat the skin for problems)
Another reason I wouldn’t advise you to regularly use mass-market or brand’s skincare products is that even if you are eager to buy an expensive one you will definitely buy too little active agents or too severe preservatives or too much cheap and useless emulsifiers.
I don’t forget about fragrance. If you are convinced they use fragrance in creams for your pleasure you are absolutely mistaken! Fragrances are used as they have to “cover” an unpleasant odor from the cheap emulsifiers or strong preservatives. Truly said, most synthetic preservatives or emulsifiers just stink. As I mention above I use only organic ingredients and formulate without mineral oils, parabens and formaldehyde. And preservatives as well. The preservatives I use have Cosmos or Ecosert certificates. The certificates guarantee the natural origin and ecological purity of the ingredient.
And don’t forget that shelf time of organic creams is about 6-8 months. But it’s quite enough time to use a face cream jar to the end.
Why to choose organic and natural beauty products nowadays?
According to the last surveys loads of people refuse to buy mass-market products. And they do it on purpose. Just have a look at the facts: the global natural and organic personal care products marketextended to be valued at US 21 billion dollars by the end of 2024.
Natural and organic skin care will comprise 30.9% of the overall segment by 2024. According to Beauty and Personal Care Global Trends 2018 report 50% of UK consumers prefer products made with natural ingredients, 57% of US woman prefer to buy all-natural skincare products. That means many consumers care about the value the products can offer and the quality of itself.
Nowadays more and more consumers trust smaller business than large corporations and stop buying from brands because they prefer natural local and green skincare products. To my mind this happens not only because the lack of personality and sustainable practice but the belief the brands are unethical as well. I mean mass-market beauty and skincare products contain really harmful ingredients and unfortunately they also contain really useful ingredients but in “a marketing doze” (if they do). A marketing doze is not going to work well for your skin; it is included just to be listed. That’s unfair, isn’t it?
It would be a perfect closure of our interview if you can reveal some of your secrets. Maybe the formula or ingredients you mix in my personal favorite Anti age serum? Thanks in advance for sharing it with us!
Well, I am ready to reveal one of my formulas, your favorite that concerns the “Anti-age serum # 03”.I add 4% Bio organ oil (while the usual mass-market serum have no oils at all) and 7,5 % of active ingredients such as vitamins C and E, hyaluronic acid, grape + lavender/ flax+fenugreek+ magnolia+vine+savory extracts. That is 11.5 % of really working stuff for your skin without traces of harmful substances. While buying a cream or serum or lotion to care of your skin try to find the following mark:” No mineral oils, parabens and formaldehyde donors”. And avoid the ingredients “SLS, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Laureth Sulfate” in hair care products.