The German based skincare brand Studio Botanic has dedicated itself to minimalism, from formula to design. An uncomplicated, less is more approach to skincare, easy-to-use products and chic, gender-neutral, timeless packaging that combines the traditional and modern aspects of nature and technology. We spoke to its founder Alexander Hartan on what makes the brand.
What led you to the beauty and skincare industry and starting Studio Botanic?
Many natural cosmetic products I got to know did not meet my requirements in their existing form. Having previously worked in the cosmetics and ingredients supply sector, I had acquired the necessary knowledge about the operational processes of cosmetics production and therefore, I wanted to create my own natural cosmetics based on a new approach and ideas.
For me, the focus was not only on the ingredients, but especially on the minimalist fragrance - it should appeal to both women and men. This led me to the basic idea of Studio Botanic. The "STUDIO" represents creativity and modern technology and "BOTANIC" for its natural aspects and traditional botany.
What is minimalism to you and why was it the inspiration behind Studio Botanic?
The minimalist design is an expression of our time - again! But it is also timeless, because time is temporal!
Our minimalist design is certainly influenced by minimal art - not only visually, but also conceptually. Here, we are mainly concerned with standardisation and the reduction of materials used through thoughtful industrial design and layouts. For instance, we use simple white standard tubes and lids that are available to every brand and this helps reduce wastage.
We have also incorporated the universal language of emojis into our design because simple imagery is also the most reduced form of communication. The innovation here is much more about the product inside the tubes than about its off-black and white design. In today's world, design can only be seen as a repetition or a beautiful new combination. New design draws on the history of design and art.
I understand that your guiding principle, when it comes to making products, is “less is more”. Can you share with us what you mean by that?
Making a product that is purely plant-based, natural and long-lasting is not new, but it is still very much on trend – and of course it is better for the people and the planet. The principle “less is more” was my starting point on how I wanted to package STUDIO BOTANIC as an innovative natural cosmetics brand.
This is not only reflected in the contemporary, minimalistic packaging but is an optimal function of the product itself, which is created with as few ingredients as possible and as many as necessary. After all, less is more but too little becomes less than zero! When it comes to fragrance, we deliberately avoid strong natural perfumes or high concentrations of essential oils. Therefore we rely on the natural scents of the necessary ingredients, which smell as good as they are effective.
In the hypermarketed world of beauty, we are constantly being told we need more beauty products. How does Studio Botanic stand apart with their minimalist and unisex approach?
In the end, it is all about the product itself. We always ask ourselves: does it offer an attractive natural alternative?
In line with all trends, we always try to do things a little better and pay attention to a few factors that are important to us: our products must be purely natural and plant-based and everything must be free of animal testing and animal suffering, which we underline with official certification labels from Europe. The scent of the products must always be light. This also underlines our “less is more” in design and the entire unisex identity of STUDIO BOTANIC. We then underline all this with high-quality production in Germany.
We pay very little attention to gender when creating the products and their skin differences. Much more important is the skin care needs and sensitivity. Is it dry, is it oily or is it particularly sensitive? Besides, it is important how the product works and how it is felt by the user. With our facial care creams, serums, toners and oils, we actually address all skin types, care requirements and skin problems. A classification according to gender makes little sense here.
Which are your personal favourites from the Studio Botanic range and why?
When it's colder, I mainly use the Skin Cream and the Hydrating Serum. The Skin Cream is very rich, but also absorbs well and is not particularly greasy. The mixture of vegan waxes, olive oil and the passion fruit oil "Passioline" results in an excellent blend for dry skin in need of care. The Hydrating Serum corresponds perfectly to this for the care of facial skin. It is absorbed and leaves the skin feeling smooth. It optimally cares for sensitive skin with hemp, passion fruit extract and rose water.
When it is particularly warm, I usually recommend the Caring Face Toner and the Cold Cream for daily care. The toners optimally nourish and clarify the skin and are also refreshing and provide sufficient care for normal and stressed facial skin. This is made possible by a variety of antioxidant and nourishing extracts from Witch Hazel, Kidney Vetch and Passion Fruit. For their refreshing and clarifying properties, we added Rose and Cucumber water as well as Peppermint and Neroli water. The Cold Cream is the lighter refreshing alternative to the Skin Cream, but it is also an all-rounder that keeps the skin soft and nourished.
For the many who are looking to “live smaller”, it can be difficult to get started. How does Alexander Hartan do it?
Sustainability is a process of improvement. Being vegan and natural is our holistic basis on which we produce better cosmetics, according to the motto "less is more". As I have mentioned, I prefer different products at certain times of the year. Depending on the season, you can use 1 to 2 products and not 10. Your skin will thank you for that.
Another tip is to use the skincare products with the right tools to get the most out of them. I love to squeeze the cream out to the minimum with our Bunny Tube Key. This way I use 100% of the tube's contents and minimise wastage.
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About the writer
The beautiful half of the successful travel influencer @TodayWeExplore, Cheryl also heads the marketing at Asian Beauty X. When she isn’t trolling the internet for beauty trends, or dreaming up travel vacays, you can find Cheryl sipping ’Gram-worthy cocktails at some trendy bar.