I am Justine, the founder and CEO of Botnia. I started working as an esthetician in 2002, and after eight years of working in spas, I realized I couldn’t do all that I wanted for my clients’ skin with the ingredients and products available to me. They were marketed as though they were excellent for all skin types, BUT they were made for the masses and not customizable for individual needs.
I started to notice that not only were the ingredients in these products not helping to heal, but they were also causing damage. For example, there were many alcohols that dry out skin, synthetic fragrances that irritate and inflame, and dangerous chemicals used to preserve that are toxic to our bodies and the earth.
Raised by hippies in Vermont, I have always valued organic food and body products, because by nature, they are grown in the sun and are all natural (not filled with chemicals).
I began my mission to help people understand that our skin IS our body. What we put on it will eventually be working its way through our entire system. So, if we want to be healthy, we have to start seeing our skin as part of a larger system.
This motivated me to figure out which ingredients positively impact the skin.
While getting some training in cosmetic chemistry at the Nova Studio in Richmond, CA, I became very clear on this: simple skincare is more effective and healthy. I also understand now that products can be preserved with natural ingredients.
In December 0f 2010, with deep motivation to create something that would truly serve each individual’s needs and desires, I opened Skin Remedy, a luxury spa in San Francisco, CA. Using my new energy and excitement from all that I had learned, I designed the business to be able to customize each client’s experience in the treatment room. This is when I began to develop my signature collection of powerful, raw ingredients that I would use to formulate the perfect remedy for each person’s skin.
Six years later, I expanded on what I’ve been developing and using in the treatment room. I teamed up with an incredible scientist to create a complete line of science-based, truly organic skin care. We craft both retail and spa products that both my clients and my estheticians love and that truly loves your skin.
Who is this scientist on my team? Clayton is a Stanford-trained biologist who worked as a plant biologist at the Carnegie Institution. Before working together, we were friends. Whenever we would hang out together, we would spend our time geeking out about chemistry, biology, and the amazing powers of plants. A couple of years ago Clayton started joining me in the lab on the weekends, and now he is our incredible Chief Scientist at Botnia. His expertise and passion for plants are in each and every one of our products. While Clayton no longer works at Botnia HQ on a daily basis, he continues to consult with us on new product development and all our formulations.
The newest addition to the Botnia team, Sara comes to us from the publishing industry, where she edited a wide variety of lifestyle books, from cookbooks to gardening books to health and wellness titles. Now she’s our manufacturing specialist and communications lead. She loves being Botnia’s air traffic controller: balancing our schedules and deadlines and figuring out just what to do and when. Sara’s passion for healthy living, an eagle eye for typos, and deep and abiding love of podcasts makes her the perfect partner for Botnia.
We are proud to say that our formulations bring estheticians and consumers like you easy access to healthy, effective, science-based skincare.
We pour our hearts into our work and we are so excited to share our products with you.