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Author Katarina Todorovic
Katarina Todorovic
Created on Aug 24th, 2023
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Økologi Botanik 2023: Plant Based Skincare!

In the world of skincare, where innovation and nature intersect, one name stands out as a beacon of sustainable beauty: Chelsea Villela, the visionary founder behind Økologi Botanik. With an unwavering commitment to plant-based excellence, Chelsea has redefined the way we approach skincare, infusing her creations with the power of botanicals. As the driving force behind Økologi Botanik, she has not only crafted a line of products but also a movement—one that champions the harmony between skin health and the environment. In this Delivery Rank’s article, we delve into the inspiring journey of Chelsea Villela, exploring how her passion for holistic wellness and her expertise in botanicals have blossomed into a skincare revolution that's as unique as it is effective.

Can you share the story behind the inception of Økologi Botanik? What inspired you to create a plant-based skincare brand?

I have always been in love with skin care. I had acne as a teenager in the 80’s and early 90’s and the way we thought about treating acne involved a lot of harsh, irritating ingredients. I was left with dry and scarred skin. I thought bad skin was just my lot in life that it would always be the bane of my existence. It wasn’t until I was in my 20’s when I had cystic acne that I learned how healing botanically based products were. After that it became my passion to research and find the best, most healing botanicals.I started Økologi Botanik with a line of natural probiotic deodorants but my first love was skin care and I knew that is where I wanted the line to evolve. The same month I launched the deodorants on Etsy, I started going back to college to eventually get my degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Arizona. During my summer and winter breaks I developed a line of plant based skin care. Working in a lab at the University gave me invaluable skills in running my own formulation lab and I eventually got a degree in Organic Skin Care Formulation which really gave me confidence as a formulator. I still work full-time in cancer diagnostic research and run Økologi Botanik in my spare time. 

In a market saturated with skincare products, what unique philosophy or approach does Økologi Botanik bring to the table that sets it apart from other brands?

I understand that there are a lot of great skin care products out there. When I got started I wondered if it was worth it to enter an already saturated market. What I discovered however is that formulating skin care is an art, and there is always room for beauty and art. You would never tell an artist: “We already have so many paintings, don’t bother”. Indie beauty brands bring their own artistic eye to what they create. Formulation is about creating a story with your ingredients. The scents, texture, botanicals, hue and aesthetic of your bottles and labels all play a part in creating a feeling around your brand. There is a scientific, technical aspect when you get down to creating a product but in order to make something great and swoon worthy, you have to tap into your creativity. My products are plant based but also many of them are Beegan. That means that they are generally vegan but we also use bee produced ingredients like bee pollen, honey and wax in some products. I am really proud of the Bee Love skin care line that is now a feature in many spas and shops around the country. 

Plant-based skincare has gained considerable popularity recently. How does Økologi Botanik leverage the power of botanical ingredients to create effective and sustainable skincare solutions?

Education is key. Since the 1950’s there has been a push of “better living through chemicals”. When it comes to skin care, this simply isn’t true. On line, on social media and in lectures, I like to emphasize the amazing benefits of using botanicals. One example is that of a rose. A rose has as many as 500 different chemical compounds. Some are responsible for scent, for healing and color. When you have a compound synthesized in a lab you may have one or two benefits? Bee pollen is another example. It is filled with enzymes, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. It does incredible things for the skin. Calendula, chamomile, oils from jojoba, rose hip seed, sea buckthorn - these ingredients have amazing healing powers. They can repair your skin, diminish fine lines and actually stimulate collagen and elastin for healthier looking skin, at any age. When you use them together in a formula, you can see undeniable benefits. 

Building a brand requires connecting with consumers. How do you communicate the values of sustainability and plant-based skincare to your customers to create a meaningful brand-customer relationship? 

Besides engaging with people online and in social media. I like to create connections with my customers by really making sure they feel valued. I always write personal notes on every single order that is shipped out and I often offer them little extra samples. I even started adding stickers to orders that customers seem to love. I try to reach out and make sure they love the products and let them know I am there for them if they have any questions.  I am very accessible. 

Looking to the future, what innovative developments or product lines can we expect from Økologi Botanik as you continue to lead the way in the plant-based skincare sector?

I am always researching and formulating new products. I like to be connected to knowing new, cutting edge ingredients. Of course, with plant-based skin care, new and cutting edge probably means the benefits have been right in front of us. But we are always learning new things. For example astaxanthin is the marine algae that flamingos feed on that make them pink. It is recently found to have photoprotective and antioxidant capabilities and is an excellent antioxidant. I have been experimenting with this ingredient in an eye cream that also uses a stable form of vitamin c. 

Also in the pipeline is a body duo that includes a creamy body polish with magnesium and a firming body butter with vitamin c, caffeine and some of the fabulous bee ingredients I mentioned before. I want every single product to be the best thing someone has ever tried. Oh and by the way, it is the best skin care I’ve ever used. 

If you would like to find out more about Økologi Botanik, visit https://www.okologibotanik.com/

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