Samuel Ethnobotanics exists because we felt there was a gap not only in products available, but also in the education of consumers about cosmetics products.
We are scientists and artists who thought that it was high time that a product existed that was free of all the chemistry that has crept into ‘natural’ products over the years.
There was a time that everything which was consumed in the world would have easily been able to be certified as organic. However, as time when on and our society began to industrialize, more and more ‘solutions’ entered our products. What began in earnest soon transition into a necessary cost reduction tactic, leaving the products lacking something that they once had—life.
Once we learned about the insides of a typical product, we started to see some similarities among what was being marketed as different, namely the use of water, palm oil derivatives, synthetic stabilizers. For people used to looking only at the front of the product, these ingredients wouldn’t be of concern—a different story for those who read the back.
We exist for the consumer who reads the ingredients on the back of what they buy and is as concerned about what they put on their body as what they put in their body. So, we saw that there was an opportunity for a reimagined product that was made only out of what the body needed in a skin care product and nothing more. The product would be simple and natural with a few guiding principles.
Our first principal was naturalness. We wanted a product that was made from ingredients which were certified organic and could essentially be eaten. The definition for ‘natural’ is unfortunately up for debate—some would have you believe that gasoline is natural, because it also comes out of the earth. It isn’t. We used the test question: could this product be made without petroleum derived chemistry to define naturalness. If it could exist without chemistry, it is natural, if it could not exist without chemistry, it could not be natural.
Our second principal was direct ethical sourcing. We wanted a product made from ingredients whose origins were known, and thus could be shared with our customers. At the bottom of many plant and seed oil supply chains there are people who are required to pick the rosehip seed or pick up the shea kernel. We wanted to form a company that could honor their part of the supply chain and ultimate facilitate direct relationships with all these people.
Our final principal was non-greasy feel. The best way to achieve our first and second principals is to use only plant and seed oils alone. A challenge with this is that these ingredients can often feel greasy and not rapidly be absorbed by the skin. We knew we had achieved our goal when our product left a silky, dry feeling after 10-15 seconds of being applied.
So we exist to bring all of this to our customers in a single product, and ultimately our goal is to use this single product as a vehicle to bring traditional solutions to a market which seemed to be growing tired to industrial solutions.