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Since 1996 the team at Benedetta has been turning to the earth, with intention, in the crafting of their line of fresh aroma therapeutics.  Plants and botanicals are very much at the heart of the Benedetta regimen.  Julia Faller, a wife and mother of three, is the company’s  founder and formulator of their trademarked holistic skin care approach.  Some twenty years after Benedetta’s official launch, the California-based company continues to thrive on her gift of intuition and commitment to blend Farm-Sourced® botanicals with complementary chemical constituents, always adhering to organic and biodynamic practices.  We caught up with Ms. Faller after a chance sampling of the company’s Rosemary & Geranium Creme Facial Cleanser.  They had us at Geranium!  And, as its packaging reads, “Your skin deserves this cleanser!”

Let’s begin with Farm-Sourced®…  From where did you coin this term?

Skin care products are only as effective, nourishing and revitalizing as the raw ingredients used to produce them. We know this to be true and hold this at the heart of every preparation we create. And the raw ingredients are only as alive, vibrant and energetic as the methods used to grow, harvest and procure them. There is a vitality, a vibrant life-force, that is transferred from seed to skin when the integrity of the entire journey from seed to bottle is honored.

At Benedetta, we are meticulous about honoring this entire process. We coined the term Farm-Sourced® to represent exactly what this approach to sourcing raw materials entails. The basic definition is to refer to a botanical that is as close to its earthly source as possible, and not altered in a laboratory to mimic a nutrient. It represents a standard of excellence that requires ingredients to be intentionally cultivated on a farm, ecologically harvested in the wild, or found in the sea.

Our high standards don’t stop there. Farm-Sourced® also refers to the way the botanical is handled after harvest. Conscious and careful processing of the plant material, in accordance with energetic principles, is critical to keeping the plant viable and active. If the plant material is harvested and then left to sit for days, the vitality and effectiveness of the botanical is compromised. Additionally, transportation and storage is an important component in adhering to Farm-Sourced® guidelines. Once received in our warehouse, ingredients are stored in a climate-controlled environment and housed in glass, stainless steel or coated aluminum for optimal endurance and viability.

Farm-Sourced® Definition: The basic definition of Farm-Sourced® is to refer to a botanical that is as close to its earthly source as possible, and not altered in a laboratory to mimic a nutrient. It represents a standard of excellence that requires ingredients to be intentionally cultivated on a farm, ecologically harvested in the wild, or found in the sea.

  • We truly are a Farm-sourced® Food for your skin company
  • We are fortunate enough where we often get to know when a raw material is harvested or processed. This allows us to ensure we are getting the freshest, most vibrant, quality ingredients.

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You have alliances with farms from Albania to Fiji.  Your team goes to in its harvesting.  What do you look for in these partners?

The most important aspects I look for when building partnerships with farmers or distributors are:

  • Authenticity / We require Certificates of Authenticity for places further away
  • Certified Organic & Biodynamic
  • Ethically harvested
  • Quality distillation process (not burning oils)

When we can’t purchase directly from farmers, we have alliances with distributors who work directly with the farmer to meet our standards.

 

The most important theme that came from my time living in an ashram was learning the importance of Intention with consciousness through serviceThis includes consciousness in the way we move our lives forward making effort to leave no room for doubt.

Can you tell us about the years you spent living in an ashram and how that experience was integral to the Benedetta ethic? 

The most important theme that came from my time living in an ashram was learning the importance of Intention with consciousness through service. This includes consciousness in the way we move our lives forward making effort to leave no room for doubt.

Much of the service I did was to cook for other householders and on occasion for our teacher. The idea behind our practice was to be in the consciousness of truth with intentional reverence. This practice of service was encouraged and taught as a means of experiencing selflessness. This form of surrender comes from your heart and not your head.  So in the case of cooking it was first to have a knowledge of preparation with a surrender of self through breath and conscious reverence for the receivers.

When we are able to have that consciousness our abilities become boundless.  The intelligence from our hearts becomes more obvious than from our minds. It is in this heart intelligent place where all things are possible and intention takes shape.  The root of our breath with each inhalation and exhalation give us liberation. Our surrender to these mindful moments is where true power and truth lie and ultimately where true care can be understood for others.

Benedetta formulations would then be the energetic consequence of intentional thought and doing.  It is with dynamic intention that all preparations are made with conscious intent for the wellbeing of the intended user.

Lastly, marrying the science of the botanical world with the physiological needs of the skin, creates the Benedetta line of skin nutrient care.

You use the term “marry”, which brings me to my next inquiry…  Benedetta is noted as a pioneer in this process of “marrying essential oils to a base as clean as they are”.  Give us an example of how you accomplish this? 

I marry the intelligence and wisdom of the botanicals in a way that resonates with our vital core and principle functions of the skin.  We all hear from skin care companies that our skin is our largest organ, but what does that mean – holistically?  What is the skin’s function and what does it need to remove waste, nourish, regenerate as it supports immunity and be protected as it protects us?  If we perceive the skin to work in union with other organs, glands, tissues and cells of the body, then we need it to exquisitely cleanse, nourish and protect the flow by feeding the skin both inside, and of course out.

On the contrary, if we abuse these needs with toxins both in and out, then our skin will visibly indicate that to us with imbalance. Some of which includes, premature wrinkling, a-topic dermatitis, viruses and bacterial infections, auto-immune diseases and cancer.  It is the intention and attention of all Benedetta preparations to create botanical synergies that holistically mimic or encourage, [on some level], the skins need to remove waste, nourish, energize and illuminate to the point of balance and harmony.

The process is not always perfect. I choose active ingredients that will incorporate into a base as vibrant or as worthy as they are. The synergies need to be cohesive for this process to work and every botanical used together needs to be as vibrant as the next.  Benedetta is decades ahead of the curve with clean Organic & Biodynamic ingredients.  But it is in the holistic, systemic view of the skin and it’s needs that each preparation is developed.  Knowing what the skin needs to be radiant and thrive is key.  Farm-Sourced® Organic & Biodynamic ingredients is a given as well as how we live our lives.

Using 92% of an Organic material in order be certified, does not necessarily address the real needs of the skin.  Our formulas need and must be synergized with a focus on what the skins needs. In addition, we join other complimentary products with day and night use (appropriately) to achieve long lasting results reaping longevity with use.  In 20 years we have stood the test of time, seeing less aging with better hydration and overall youthful clear skin.

Here is a look at how we accomplish this… Creating our first product almost 30 years ago in 1987, we have pioneered Botanical Skin Care formulas before the recent trend. Without internet recipes in the thousands, but by real botanical and physiological knowledge of what the skin needs, with sourcing that came from travel not a website.  Each authentic, Benedetta formula is developed without labs or mass produced pharmaceuticals, but instead with bioavailable synergies that nourish the body’s ability to heal and rejuvenate and be its optimal best with the following systems:

Water Integration 

  • A system of use whereby water based elixirs and botanical hydrosols are used before oil and cream based products for better hydration and incorporation.
  • Nutrient waters within certain formulas to enhance and bind better hydration without chemical assault.
  • Nighttime Hydrating Elixirs to use alone at night, allowing the skin to breath and encourage greater hydration and balance while we sleep.

5-Step Facial Daily Regimen 

Cleanse 

  • Rosemary & Geranium Crème Cleanser
  • Anti-Inflammatory Crème Cleanser

Repair and protect

  • The Eye Crème

Hydrate

  • Crystal Radiance Hydrating Elixirs:

Drier • Oilier • Most • Anti-Inflammatory

Anti-oxidant protection

  • Precious & Nourishing Oils

Most – Drier • Most – Oilier • Anti-inflammatory

Moisturize 

  • Visibly Radiant Moisturizers

 

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Legend has it that you are known for producing the “best deodorant ever”? 

The deodorant was created solely out of need. After reading a local bay area study that said 1 in 3 women in Marin County (the county just north of San Francisco) had some form of fibroid mass, I wanted to create a fully plant-based deodorant.  The deodorant is made to help stimulate the body to heal itself, which is the definition of holistic.  You can hear more about this best-seller through our website.

For folks who cannot get to you, how can they get their hands on this magical deodorant and the rest of your product line – either locally or through your site?

Our products are available online and in our San Francisco Ferry Building store location. We hope to have more retail stores in the future!

 

Practice kindness. There’s not a lot of kindness in the world, and there’s so much to get upset about. The act of kindness to ourselves, our planet and each other is vital. What are you doing to serve yourself in order to serve someone else?

The (italian) word benedetta translates to “blessed”.  It was placed on the company’s masthead many years ago, with intention.  As we wrapped up our conversation with Julia Faller she offered a parting plug for kindness and heart to heart communication as  practices for honoring the rich bounty among us… “Practice kindness. There’s not a lot of kindness in the world, and there’s so much to get upset about. The act of kindness to ourselves, our planet and each other is vital. What are you doing to serve yourself in order to serve someone else?”  Check out their special pricing this month on their popular (“life changing”) Seaweed Baths!

Author Susan Currie is Managing Editor at BOSTON YOGA and an Associate Editor at LA YOGA magazine. Beyond her contributions to these publications, her words and images have been featured in the Boston Globe, Elephant Journal, Yogi Times, the Huffington Post, Spirit of St. Bart’s and on the cover of the book Moving into Meditation (Shambala) by Anne Cushman. 

Susan is also the creator of the Daily Inhale and an RYT 200 registered yoga instructor. She unpacks her various professional experiences through creative (and yoga) workshops she leads throughout the country. Her new book, Once Divided (Shanti Arts 2016), a blend of visual and verse, is now available in wide release. GRACENOTES, its follow-up, will be published in 2017.