I’ve recently been starting to pay a little more attention to what I put on my skin, knowing that I’d like to eventually switch fully to natural skincare and make-up. Not only better for the environment and my skin, but also another way to support small businesses and become a part of the independent life I’m working on. So discovering MBotanicals has come at just the right time. By really focusing on the most powerful natural ingredients, Rebecca Wright creates simple but effective skincare, soaps & those all important candles. I was kindly gifted a sample of products for review so I’ll start with that & then you can meet Rebecca to discover a little more about the maker behind MBotanicals.
The MBotanicals website clearly details ingredients and benefits for each product, educating potential buyers and making it clear that these products actually work. I like this lack of talking down to customers – it separates the brand from other skincare companies whose idea of ‘natural’ may just be to paste pretty botanical pictures on their packaging (I’m usually totally tricked by that, by the way). This straightforwardness continues with the simple pots and bottles, seemingly looking as though they’re straight from the apothecary shelf, instilling confidence yet again that it’s more about the actual product than the fancy-shmancy that could go with it. So the products themselves? Well, I tried out the Mini (M) Box so I could experiment with a few bits before committing to one. The Hydrating Beauty Balm & Daily Rejuvenator moisturiser are both great little all-rounders, the rejuvenator in particular leaving a lovely softness to the skin and the balm giving a nice sheen without any greasiness. It goes without saying they both smell wonderful, making the experience of applying them both a lovely experience. I’m looking forward to trying out the Exfoliating Bamboo Cleanser as a little Saturday morning treat, it’s something I’ve not tried before in this powered form. The opposite style product to this is the Rejuvenating Facial Elixir – an oil to tighten pores, prevent wrinkle formation & soften the skin. Overall, a great selection of trial-sized products to introduce you to the world of natural skincare. You can see the products themselves this weekend at the London Local team’s Etsy Made Local market, as well as online and at more future markets. Now, let’s meet Rebecca!
Hi! Please can you introduce yourself & your business?
Hi, I am Rebecca the designer-maker of MBotanicals skincare. MBotanicals is a multifunctional and minimalistic natural skincare range that aims to work synergistically with the skin to help keep it glowing, healthy and functioning at its best.
What led you to start a natural skincare business?
I have been interested in formulating for quite a long time. In my early 20’s I would make face oils with my favourite essential oils in a simple base. However, it was only when my son was born, in my early 30’s that did I really start to take it seriously. Although I have been interested in aromatherapy for as long as I can remember, I did a professional aromatherapy massage course which led me to mix balms and oils and then peaked my interest in formulating more complex products. I am mainly self taught, however, I have taken some theory/science based courses since then which has further grounded my knowledge in the art of formulation. A few years ago I decided to focus more on bringing a small range to market in the shape of MBotanicals.
Can you talk me through the making process, including where you source your ingredients from?
I am a bit of an ingredient junkie when it comes to choosing the active raw materials. Most of them are botanical based actives which come from all over the world. But there are also some, lab made ingredients which I simply could not resist – So I would not say that my range is purist but it is as natural as I really want to get it. When choosing ingredients I tend to go on intuition mainly, after thoroughly researching how they act on the skin. It is difficult sometimes as I believe less is more in skincare – I think it is better to have one or two active ingredients at a higher rate than say 20 or more at a lower rate. Synergism is also important when you formulate minimalistically. Cross referencing how different materials work with one another and on the skin is a task that needs a great deal of rigour.
In terms of my processes, I hand make all of the products in small batches in my home workshop at the moment. Depending on the product size I can make 20 – 150 units in one sitting. Some days I am in the workshop all day and other times i am concentrating on formulating, dealing with orders, social media and general paperwork.
What’s your favourite MBOTANICALS product & why?
I would say the Facial Elixir is my favourite in terms of dealing with skin issues in a multi-faceted way – it deals with dry hormonal skin, oily and blemish prone skin as well as being wonderful for mature skin-types . This is due to naturally high levels of essential amino acids, transretinoic acid and potent plant based active ingredients. A little goes a long way with the Elixir and I have had some great feedback.
Can you share what your Etsy journey has looked like so far & what the Etsy Made Local market is about for you?
I have been on Etsy since I started and it was been a great way to meet retailers. However, it is a big and ever growing market so can be a challenge but not unlike other challenges facing a small and growing business. In terms of Etsy Made Local – this has been a great opportunity in terms of getting ‘out there’ and meeting potential customers. The Etsy Made Local teams are well supported by Etsy HQ and team leaders work tirelessly to get great venues and really push marketing. For my brand, I would say participating in markets is probably the best kind of marketing I could do. Meeting people face to face helps build trust with customers which can be difficult in the era of social media and online focused marketing. It is also good for a product like mine – where trying and testing the range is very important. In terms of being in an Etsy group – I can only be positive – there is a great deal of camaraderie and support in the teams I am in. When you work alone and build a business alone, it can be a very lonely place and full of ups and downs, having like minded people who are going through the same issues can really help a lot.
What does an independent life look like to you?
I think it is about being able to do many aspects of business at a time that suits me. I have two children who require attention. Much of my paperwork is completed in the evenings and there are some days where I can work 12 hours and others just a few hours. That is something that can not happen in a strict 9-5 job.
Etsy Made Local Christmas Market (organised by the London Local team) is this Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th December at Hornsey Town Hall, 11am – 5pm. For more details, head to londonlocalteam.com or their Facebook page. *I was kindly gifted an MBotanicals Minin box in exchange for this post but it goes without saying that opinions are my own.