Instagram Made Me Do It: Herbivore Botanicals, Why Green is the New Black

by Solenne Kamba

Illustration by Janelle Burger

Beauty meets green and conscious

Julia Wills and Alex Kummerow, husband and wife, created Herbivore Botanicals in 2011. Alex was having skin issues, and Julia used her naturopathic knowledge and a soap-making kit to craft what quickly became a life changing adventure. Her hobby then turned into an Etsy store, turned Instagram sensation today. The soap Julia created then became very popular, and she to quit her job to pursue the venture full-time.

Since then, the range of products has grown organically and now includes bath salts, bath soak, face and body oils, toner, soap bars, face masks, beard tonics, skin elixirs, body polish, lip balms, all of which can be purchased through the Herbivore Botanicals website, Etsy, and selected independent retailers.

To this day, their soap is still handmade by Wills’s father. Herbivore Botanicals Is playing with big sharks of the Cosmetics industry, but still manage to keep their brand personal, family focused and friendly.

Why we’re obsessed with Herbivore Botanicals 

All their products are created with natural ingredients, plant-based food-grade cold-pressed oils, steam distilled therapeutic-grade essential oils, GMO free soy wax, recyclable and reusable packaging, many certified organic ingredients. It’s totally without any synthetic ingredients, parabens, sodium laurel sulfate, phthalates, chemicals, mineral oils, petroleum. But most importantly no fillers. This ensures that (almost) every ingredient is an “active” ingredient.  Plus the line is 100% Vegan with no animal testing whatsoever.

When you ask, Herbivore listens, (re)creates, and delivers. Wills explains to the LA Times in an interview that they take all customer request seriously. After launching a clay soap in 2011 and receiving requests for other facial products with similar ingredients, Julia and Alex went ahead and created a Pink Clay and Blue Clay masks. Because your voices matter.

Why it’s life-changing

Herbivore is bringing fresh vibes to the beauty industry. Sourcing the most luxurious and therapeutic ingredients from around the world., the brand’s ingredients can’t be created on-demand as they would in conventional labs. They have to discontinue products from time to time if they run out. It was the case with their Hinoki Cypress Bath Soak. “We were unable to find large enough supplies of the Hinoki cypress oil needed for it,” says Wills to the LA Times.

Why it’s Instagram famous

While what’s inside Herbivore products is what keeps us coming, their color revealing glass bottles and jars is what first attacks us to the brand and what truly makes their brand an all around Instagram hit. The thoughtfully designed packaging and its minimalistic feel transcends the hippie reputation that natural brands know so well into the millennial age in a matter of a (later)gram post.

The aesthetic was a throwback to luxury perfumes from way back. We felt like, when we put a natural product into luxurious packaging, that we had something new, especially in 2011,” said Kummerow in an interview to the Los Angeles Times. She adds : “It is our artistic outlet. We don’t aim to develop something from a commerce point of view as much as we aim to develop things that we love and are obsessed with and [reflect] who we are as people.”

Why we (still) have a few favorites

You need (don’t you?) everything they have, but you can try a few for a starter:

Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist
This coconut water is infused with youth-boosting hibiscus flower petals and moisture-enhancing rose to tone, hydrates, and soften all skin types. Summer essential.

Lapis Facial Oil
Lapis Lazuli (stone of ancient Egypt) acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial liquid gold that aids in reducing redness and clarifying the complexion.

Coco Rose Body Polish
This gentle exfoliating blend of Virgin Coconut Oil and delicately floral Moroccan Rose will leave your skin soft and hydrated with a light scent of coconut and rose petals.


Why you need Herbivore Botanicals

With their intoxicating scents and luxurious textures, Herbivore Botanicals reminds us that shower time can turn into a full on beauty ritual on the daily. Because of their amazing branding and transparency, this Instagram friendly brand just restored our trust in “natural”cosmetics. Because all (so called?) natural brands aren’t created equal, Alex and Julia’s duo has proven that cosmetics can truly be problem solving and be 100% natural. Beauty meets green meets luxury. Who wouldn’t need that ?

 Credit ph: and Instagram @herbivorebotanicals

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