We have gathered some of the most frequently asked questions about our company and products here for your benefit.
What’s the most common question you get asked by clients?
Most questions people ask are about their skin, either it is too dry, oily, or sensitive. A lot of the skin issues that people are having are because they are negatively reacting to their products, or using ingredients that are too harsh. My goal is always to simplify, and get everything back into your personal balance. This is unique to everyone.
What's your 'secret weapon'...the product that you recommend for almost every client?
Probably the Papaya Facial Renewing Peel, used twice a day it creates an instant change in texture and elasticity. What I love best about this product is that it is formulated using a simple Costa Rican honey base (which is a natural antibacterial) it works on everyone, with ANY skin type and in ANY age range.
Who is the Medi-Spa Facial Line for?
The Medi-Spa Facial Line is suited to all skin types and skin conditions. Because it is custom tailored and can be custom blended to the promote the optimum pH level in each individual according to their needs. We have created a one of a kind mix and blend approach that is completely unique to Raw Botanicals.
Who would choose these Medi-Spa Facial products?
Anyone who is comfortable with organic and custom crafted sustainable therapies will LOVE this product range. Anyone who likes the idea of combining state-of-the-art technology with ancient and natural formulae will certainly want to give these products a try!
What does “Organic” mean to Raw Botanicals?
Our definition of natural: Unadulterated by any unnecessary chemicals. We purchase healthy fresh locally harvested organic & biodynamic Costa Rican ingredients whenever possible.
How should I store Raw Botanical's products?
Never store any of our Raw Botanicals products in your medicine cabinet or refrigerator. Even if unopened, these locations retain moisture and can cause bacteria, yeast and or mildew to grow. This is even far more dangerous than using a toxically preserved product. Never keep any of our products, for more than 1 year.
How much product should I use for my face/body/hair?
Always remember, when using Raw Botanicals products, less is more! By formulating chemical free products, only a tiny but of products is needed to achieve healthy, radiant, supple, skin & hair. You know the old saying “just add water” well with our formulations you literally only just add water. If you’ve applied a facial product once, this is enough, dip your finger tips in water and repeat application as directed online.
What does Biodynamic farming mean?
Biodynamic farming worldwide is generally thought of as an advanced method of organic farming, combining biological practices such as organic methods of soil enrichment and regeneration. The focus is continually attuning the farm to the natural cycles of the land. Here in Costa Rica Biodynamic farming is something that our local farmers have just naturally considered as good old fashioned growing! Raw Botanicals uses this age old farming tradition to source our ingredients, enhance our own garden, and renew skin. The best part for us, is that at our core, we believe our team is creating a better planet one baby step at a time.
What is a Biodynamic “Concentrate” mean in your Medi-Spa Facial ingredients?
From farm, to bottle to skin, all of the Medi-Spa facial range is based on ingredients purchased on Costa Rican DEMETER certified Biodynamic Farms. Each “concentrate” has a highly effective yet gentle combination of precious ingredients that are formulated with our biodynamic actives in higher percentages. You only need a tiny amount and remember these “concentrates” last longer because you use less product to achieve healthier, radiant, natural results.
What are the benefits of Hand-Made, hand harvested Costa Rican ingredients?
Although encompassing only 0.03% of the planet’s surface, Costa Rica it is still within the top 20 richest countries in biodiversity on Earth! Our formulas are not only unique and exceptional by themselves, but they are derived directly, ingredient per ingredient from this rich source of biodiversity, creating a one of a kind product range.
What is the best way to deal with my large pores?
The best way to minimize the appearance of large pores is to exfoliate! This reduces how deep the pore indents into the skin resulting in a smaller pored look. In winter months or dryer climates, be careful not to over exfoliate; we recommend using an exfoliating cleanser (like the Lemon Cleansing Meringue) which contains a small amount of glycolic acid, no more than two times per week and regular use of a AHA exfoliant like the Papaya Facial Renewing Peel every day, morning and night.
How do I use the Medi-Spa Facial Line “concentrates”?
All of our Medi-Spa formulas are designed to dissolve slowly, this helps ensure that the product penetrates all layers of the skin. This is essential in maintaining the skin’s natural hydration and to help fight toxic free radical damages like air pollution and sun.
What tips do you have for clients trying to “come clean/go green”?
Begin with small, baby steps, start reading ingredient labels and being curious with what is in your products. Avoid products that lather and strip your skin. I know how confusing it can be to make changes or even know where to start, so take one product at a time. We all want to try and make a difference, maybe you have begun composting and or using recycled and reusable nylon and or cotton grocery bags. Taking care of your skin is a lifestyle choice, keep it simple and honest and the rest will follow naturally.
How do I determine my skin type?
There are 5 basic skin care types: oily, combination, sensitive, dry and sun-damaged. Your skin type is determined by how much or how little “sebum” or oil your skin produces. Genes, diet, stress level, hormonal fluctuations, medication and even your skincare regimen all determine how much sebum your skin produces. To determine your skin type begin here: wash your face, pat it dry, and then take a few pieces of tissue paper and press it onto your face at the forehead, cheeks, nose and chin. If your skin is oily, the tissue paper will stick, pick up oily spots and become translucent. If the paper doesn't stick or pick up any oily spots, your skin is likely dry/sun-damaged. If it sticks in your t-zone (forehead, nose and chin) then you have combination/sensitive skin. Although most women seem to think they have combination skin, I have found quite the opposite to be true. I believe most women actually have dry sensitive skin. I have found this to be true of every ethnicity and age group over the last 20 years. It is what prompted me to develop the Raw Botanicals Medi-Spa Kit. This Kit treats all of these issues when blended/mixed product per product, based strictly on your individual requirements.
How do I apply the Medi-Spa Ylang Ylang Miracle Cream for best results?
For best results, always apply the product to slightly clean and damp skin. Using no more than a dime size amount or less, massage product gently into face, neck and décolletage for 5-15 seconds to allow all herbs and potent organic “concentrates” to penetrate the skin. Adding water to your fingertips, aids in product rehydration and helps to activate product. Make sure to use this technique FIRST before adding more products to your skin.
Do I need an additional SPF for my facial cream?
Yes and No. The Medi-Spa Ylang Ylang Miracle Cream comes with no additional SPF. Its recommended companion is our Raw Botanicals Ylang Ylang UV Protection Cream SPF 20. Again, these formulas were created to work synergistically with our blend/mix protocol. Add 1 drop of Ylang Ylang UV Protective Cream SPF 20, to 2 squirts of the Medi-Spa Ylang Ylang Miracle Cream and apply as directed for Miracle Cream.
What products will give me the most overall benefits?
We believe all of our products achieve the goal of overall benefits to our clients. However we do have product winners, which have rated excellent for specific skin conditions.
- Medi-Spa Lemon Cleansing Meringue (every day use dry/sun-damaged, combination skin types)
- Medi-Spa Papaya Facial Renewing Peel (every day use al skin types, excellence dry/sun-damages, acne, combination, oily skin types)
- Medi-Spa Ylang Ylang Miracle Cream (every day use all skin types, excellence sun-damaged/dry/sensitive skin types)
- Medi-Spa Citrus Seaweed Recovery Mask (every day use excellence oily, combination, sun-damaged, acne skin types)
- Medi-Spa Hibiscus Clarifying Floral Water (everyday use excellence, dry/sun-damaged, oil/combination, acne, sensitive.
Should I expect any stinging or excessive dryness with any of the Medi-Spa Facial Line products?
If you have never used any of our AHA (alpha-hydroxy acids, (such as glycolic acid) or Vitamin C products, you may initially experience mild stinging that should subside after a week or so. Due to the exfoliating actions of AHA, you may also notice dryness in some areas of your face. If this occurs, use the Ylang Ylang Miracle Cream moisturizer over the AHA product. And it is highly recommended to use the Lavender After Sun Treatment (found in the UV Protection Line) which is an AMAZING aloe based product, that is full of skin healing Vitamin C ester. If the dryness persists, use the AHA less frequently. Remember, more is not necessarily better.
If I am using both Vitamin C and AHA products, when should I use which?
Vitamin C, in addition to helping diminish fine lines, is a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from photo-aging (sun damage). It should be used in the morning under a moisturizer and/or a sunscreen. LUCKILY here at Raw Botanicals, we combine a “concentrate” version of both Vitamin C and AHA in our Ylang Ylang Miracle Cream. A great Vitamin AHA product for any skin type is our Papaya Facial Renewing Peel. Our special AHA and papaya extract formulation, helps remove superficial layers of skin, thus improving the tone and texture of the skin. It is best used first thing in the morning and or before bedtime.
How do I know if I am a good candidate to use AHA or Vitamin C products?
Anyone from their early 20's and up can benefit from both of these Raw Botanicals (see above) products. In our opinion, there are three important products that should be a part of everyone's long-term skincare routine: an antioxidant such as Vitamin C, an AHA product, and a good sunscreen! The younger you are when you start using these products, the longer you will stay looking youthful.
When should I wear a sunscreen?
EVERY DAY!! UVA or wrinkle causing rays are equally intense all year long and unlike UVB or sunburn causing rays they penetrate through window glass. Both UVA and UVB rays contribute to the development of skin cancer. Therefore, a sunscreen should be applied every day at least 30 minutes prior to sun exposure. Most all of us spend some time outside everyday. It has also been reported that most sun damage occurs in the first 8 years of life! WOW, how many of us had severe sun burns growing up…. almost all of us can probably say yes. During these first 8 years the skin doesn't have as much protection in the form of dead surface cells, and it is more sensitive and prone to sun damage. You only see the damage later in your life in the form of sallow skin, "liver" spots, wrinkles or skin cancer.
If I wear a sunscreen every day, will I not get wrinkles?
Sorry, but No. The sun, although a major contributor, is not the only cause of wrinkles. Wrinkles are a part of the aging process. The question is: how well do you want to age?
Are all sunscreens the same?
No! It is very important for the consumer to look at the active ingredients of the sunscreen, not just the SPF rating. It is known that zinc oxide and avobenzone (Parsol 1789) provide the broadest range of UVA protection. Zinc oxide is a physical sunscreen providing both UVA and UVB protection while Parsol is a chemical sunscreen providing UVA protection only. These ingredients are the only ones that protect against wrinkle-causing long-wave UVA rays. Recent studies indicate that Parsol does not remain active on the skin as long as zinc oxide (it can be broken down by sunlight), therefore it should be reapplied frequently. Parsol may also be more irritating to the skin. Titanium dioxide is another ingredient with strong UVA and UVB blocking capabilities, but it is not as effective as either zinc oxide or Parsol. For prolonged sun exposure, we highly recommend a sunscreen containing both, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, such as our Ylang Ylnag UV Protective Cream SPF 20.
How high of an SPF do I need for everyday use?
SPF (sun protection factor) only represents the sunscreen's effectiveness in screening out sunburn causing UVB rays. It does not measure wrinkle causing UVA rays, which until not too long ago were thought to be harmless to the skin. Researchers have not yet been able to develop a reliable method for measuring the degree of effectiveness of a sunscreen in blocking UVA rays. This is precisely why you need to pay attention to the active ingredients of a sunscreen as indicated in the answer to the previous question. In addition, it is known that the higher a sunscreen's SPF, the more UV rays it absorbs. According to dermatologists, a broad spectrum SPF 15 sunscreen (broad spectrum means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays) is the lowest SPF you should consider for everyday use. Here at Raw Botanicals we have formulated at a SPF of 20 as we believe it is far better to consistently have to reapply sunscreen than to be falsely driven to believe that you are sun resistant at a higher SPF level.
Does the color of the skin determine the amount of sun protection needed?
Yes. The color of the skin, as well as an individual's geographic location, determine the amount of sun protection needed. In general, the fairer the skin tone, the higher the SPF number required, and or the more often you need to apply the SPF. In addition, the sun is stronger at lower latitudes and at higher altitudes (i.e. UV levels in Vail, Colorado are 60 percent higher than those in New York City). Consequently, stronger everyday protection and contestant application is required in Vail than in New York City.
Is tanning in salons safer than tanning outdoors?
No. The beds in tanning salons use unfiltered, long UVA rays, the main cause of photo-aging of the skin. They cause wrinkles, "age" spots and can give the skin a leathery appearance. In addition, studies show that they contribute to the development of skin cancer. For these reasons tanning in salons is no safer then tanning outdoors.
Is there anything I can do to improve uneven skin tone?
Yes. Daily use of our Raw Botanicals Medi-Spa Facial Kit, which has a combination of key active ingredients containing natural alpha-hydroxy acids to remove dead layers of skin, as well as Vitamin C Ester to help inhibit hyperpigmentation (discoloration of the skin). These products can also lighten age spots and reduce discoloration caused by acne. Best used daily, morning and night.
Can I combine these products with those I am currently using?
Absolutely! All of our Medi-Spa facial products are pH balanced in a range that is optimum for product penetration and to aid in building the skins natural defense system against free radical damage. It is not advisable to combine lightening products, Vitamin C, retinol or AHA products with other products containing similar ingredients or ingredients of similar actions.
Are all AHA products the same?
No. Studies show that AHA products differ from one another in many ways. The effectiveness of any AHA product depends on several factors. For one, the higher the ph of the product, the weaker its action. For example, an 8% AHA with a ph of 2.8 will be much more effective than a 10% AHA with a ph of 4.0. Most store brands, however, don't reveal their ph levels on their packaging and raise their ph intentionally to prevent any possible irritation. That may work for someone with very sensitive skin, but the rest of us are not going to see significant improvements. For that reason we have customized the Med-Spa Facial Line with our personalized “mixing” approach to ensure you get optimal results, based on YOUR needs. An example, in order for a product to be effective, it should contain 10% AHA at a ph close to 3.0 like our Papaya Facial Renewing Peel!
Is it OK to squeeze pimples at home?
Yes & No. Small white heads that have reached the top dermal layer can be gently extracted using two index fingers covered in tissue. If you need to push with any level of intensity then you should stop immediately. This may cause the pimple to rupture internally and spread bacteria from the hair follicle into the surrounding skin, prolonging healing. It can also lead to scarring. Instead, apply some benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and or my personal favorite Apple Cider Vinegar, once or twice a day directly to the pimple. You can also try simple bentonite clay on the affected area over night. Try out Citrus Seaweed Recovery Mask, it has been are most popular breakout buster for years.
Is toner a necessary part of the daily skin care routine?
No. Toners are helpful in removing oil and impurities left behind by a cleanser. Toners, however, do not reduce the size of pores, they only tighten them temporarily. When looking for the right toner, avoid those containing SD alcohol as they can over-dry and irritate the skin. Look for a toner containing an alpha-liopic acid or ALA, like we have in our Medi-Spa Hibiscus Clarifying Floral Water! ALA may very well join the ranks of Vitamin C and E as part of your first-line of defense against free radicals. Known as the "Univeral" Antioxidant, It neutralizes free radicals in both the fatty and watery regions of cells. It directly recycles and extends the metabolic lifespan of vitamin C and it indirectly renews vitamin E.
Is it OK to cover-up breakouts?
Yes. As long as the foundation and the powder you're using are oil- and fragrance-free and non-comedogenic (will not clog up pores). You should always remember to wash off your makeup before going to bed.
What does organic certification mean to Raw Botanicals?
At Raw Botanicals we believe in 100% transparency, that said we formulate process and create all of our products in a manner that we can be proud of. In the meantime for us, this means that we visit all of our providers on a yearly basis (worldwide), and we try to guarantee that their farming practices and facilities are being managed in a sustainable and fair manner. These farmers & facilities are all members of Costa Rican APOT, an association of producers specialized in organic products (Bio) whose mission is to defend the rights of the farmers and to promote the development of an environment-friendly agriculture. In addition, Raw Botanicals is a proud member of the OTA organic trade association, in 2005 we established a small 10 acre farm in Costa Rica; we are currently in the process of seeking biodynamic DEMETER certification for this location. Lastly, we grow what we can in our own little organic and sustainable garden at our Costa Rican facility. INTERNATIONAL INGREDIENTS: We gather our international ingredients from reputable certified organic facilities that produce ingredients that are, Oregon Tilth certified, USDA NOP Certified and ECOCERT Certified. Please se links below to become more educated.
What does OTC, USDA/NOP, and DEMETER & ECOCERT Mean?
USDA..quite the little gem in the cosmetic industry today, however the FDA does not regulate the term “organic” as it applies to personal care products. If a cosmetic product contains agricultural ingredients, and can meet the USDA/NOP standards, it may be eligible to be certified under the NOP regulations. Raw Botanicals has labeled our products with a “certified organic ingredients” seal. As per the USDA regulations, this signifies that our products contain in the minimum at least 70% organic ingredients or “food” groups on the display panel. This FDA/USDA labeling is the result of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's response to a 2005 federal court complaint filed by the activist Organic Consumers Association (OCA), in which it announced that its National Organic Program food standards also applied to cosmetics and personal care products. The USDA stated that it did not matter what type of product was certified and labeled as long as it followed the NOP rules. The USDA organic certification further requires that all ingredients be identified on the product label by their standard scientific names to avoid the use of false or deceptive trade names. At Raw Botanicals we proudly disclose every one of our ingredients and are free to answers questions at any time. Specifically, with our Medi-Spa Facial Line, we have strictly adhered to the NOP guidelines.