Farmaesthetics founder Brenda Brock is widely considered a noted trailblazer in eco skincare. Daughter of a seventh generation Texas farming family, she has successfully translated her traditional herbal recipes from kitchen chemistry to modern cosmetic manufacturing.
The result? A line of herbal products that compare in effectiveness with leading dermatological brands (without the toxins).
All of Brenda’s formulations are made with whole herb and natural ingredients that retain their 100% natural status and certified shelf-life without utilizing any synthesized nature-identical compounds. She is passionate about traditional herbalism and working with nature to bring only authentically natural products to market.
Named on Women’s Wear Daily’s List of The Green Brands Defining Organic Skincare, the products are made with certified organic herbs, flowers, oils and grains. This pure skincare line was first made available at an organic farm stand during the summer of 1999 and today is used in spa treatments at such prestigious resorts as the Mayflower Inn, OH! Spa at Ocean House and Four Seasons Resort Spas in California.
I caught up with the eco beauty entrepreneur to find out more…
How did the brand start?
I have made my herbal preparations all my life and gifted them to friends and family, but I started selling them as Farmaesthetics at a friend’s organic farm stand in rural RI in the summer of 1999. It was a summer project with my women friends who are growers and farmers, and we wanted our little girls to know that products did not grow on shelves.
What is your philosophy?
I’m not sure I have just one. I am interested in learning from those with knowledge and of cultural approaches to health and beauty throughout history. I love learning of the disciplines, philosophies, and practices in diverse rural settings, but most of all I am interested in the thread of truth that winds through all of it and links us all in a web of well-being.
How are the products different to others in the same category?
Farmaesthetics is rural American herbalism, where we utilize whole ingredients in combinations that create a benefit delivery based on the whole, rather than one single latest, greatest, star cosmetic ingredient.
This whole herb approach utilizes the thousands of constituents that are in each ingredient, not just a few isolated ingredients extracted by a lab. This kind of product formulation is not the norm in cosmetic manufacturing, and what you get is an herbal formulation that works on every level- not just topically. So many skincare lines on the market today entice us with claims that your skin will look better. Our commitment is that your skin will be better.
Why is natural and organic so important to you?
Natural, organic ingredients are vital, alive and when grown or raised ethically and organically and handled respectfully, they combine appropriately with other ingredients in stable wholesome ways that the body recognizes and can fully utilize to nourish the skin and the environment. This green approach to creating skincare products is inclusive, so no one area is ever sacrificed to provide benefits for another. In other words, every step is in synch with the next to create a cycle of nourishment where all benefit. This is one way of understanding sustainability.
What ingredients are the heroes in your products and why?
There are some ingredients I use more than others, but overall, there is no one ingredient that I value more than another. I have a very egalitarian relationship with my ingredients, where star power is not in one single herb or flower, but in the cooperative combination of ingredients to deliver.
What does Farmaesthetics use as a preservative?
We do not use an external preservative system that is added to the product. Our formulas are preserved during the making, by adding each ingredient at the right time, in the right percentage, at the right temperature and in the correct combination and in doing so, they become stable. This is the heart of traditional herbal formulation. The preservation system is inherent in the formula; it is not an added something at the end.
This kind of product formulation is not the norm in cosmetic manufacturing, and what you get is an herbal formulation that works on every level- not just topically.
In short: Traditional herbal formulation has its rigors with very narrow parameters that must be adhered to. Not a lot of man- made razzle-dazzle, just strict adherence to the principals that have been in place for thousands of years, and voila: certified shelf life.
Any celebrity clients?
Yes, quite a few high profile clients from various fields: politicians, country western singers, actresses, writers, comediennes, and of course, domestic divas.
What’s the one thing people should be looking for on the label before buying any beauty product?
100% natural. Certified organic products (not to be confused with ingredients) can be tricky, as there can be varying degrees of artificial or synthetic ingredients in products and they can still get an organic certification. Also look for nature identicals, this new and confusing term that is starting to crop up in the industry. I think Mother Nature might take offense to that!
What are your everyday beauty essentials?
- Fine Herbal Cleanser
- Sweet Milk & Lavender Bud Facial Exfoliate
- Nourishing Lavender Milk
- Complexion Conserve
- Fresh Water
- Fresh Veggies (as much watermelon, cucumber and beet juice as I can get in)
- 8 hours of sleep a night
- Fresh flowers on my nightstand
Find our more here
Brenda Brock, a repeat guest on The Martha Stewart Show, has also been named one of Martha’s Natural Beauty Gurus.
Honored by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People and Ideas Behind Today’s Green Design and one of The Purists: Five Entrepreneurs at the Forefront of the Natural Beauty Revolution by Luxury Spafinder, founder, formulator and CEO Brenda Brock’s formulations represent 100% natural sustainable beauty from American family farms.