Are you in search of a local, sustainably-made, plant-based beauty product that won’t irritate your skin? Look no further, because Mae Botanicals offers exactly that.
This budding business was founded in 2019 by Dr. Kari Logan, a naturopathic doctor, acupuncturist, herbalist, gardener, biofeedback practitioner, and longtime plant lover.
Logan began making her own skincare products in 2011 after growing tired of searching for items in stores that suited her sensitive skin. For a while, she made products only for herself. After some encouragement from friends, Logan decided to start selling them.
For Logan, interacting with plants has always been second-nature. While her mother’s experience as a gardener and horticulturist ensured Logan’s proximity to nature, it wasn’t until later in life that she took it a step further.
“I was definitely a very strange child, I would lay on the ground and whisper to the soil and the plants,” she says. “Then over the last few years, I’ve brought that to a more conscious level and really started intentionally developing deeper relationships with plants.”
Logan did just that, graduating with a Master’s in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2014 and a doctorate in naturopathic medicine in 2018, eventually starting a private practice in 2017. While there’s no medical recommendations associated with Mae Botanicals products, the herbal and plant medicine components play a big part in both businesses.
“A lot of the work I do in my private practice is around storytelling and how the stories we tell and the things we experience tie into the world around us,” she says. “The relationship we have to ourselves and the relationship we have to the plants and the land really changes so much in our lives.”
Logan hopes the Mae Botanicals products can help assist in this shift in storytelling, equipping every item with its own mantra that customers can use to connect to the plants that made it.
“These phrases are affirmations – I am massaging body butter into my skin and I’m connecting with myself in a meaningful way and I’m connecting with the plants. – That shift in story can be really powerful.”
Mae Botanicals products range from body butter and sugar scrub to facial oils and soap. The one thing they do all have in common – they’re all made by Logan herself. The process is quite intensive.
It starts with plants, the majority of which are grown by Logan from seeds. She then harvests the plants and does a full extraction. Using oils purchased from local distributors, she then macerates the plants in the oils for 6 to 8 weeks. The last step is to press and strain, using the remaining oil for the products.
One notable thing about Mae Botanicals products is not the natural sources in them, but rather what is not in them: essential oils and fragrance oils. Sensitive skin often is irritated by these oils and essential oil production can be detrimental to the environment, so Logan decided to skip them entirely.
“It’s really important that we modify and shift our expectations about fragrance,” she says. “The way I create my products, you’re going to get a more subtle, complex, true-to-life fragrance that’s better in line with more sustainably produced products.”
Some of Logan’s favorites and best-sellers include the Stillness Body Butter ($5), a lavender whipped body butter made with shea butter and mango butter, and the Happy Body Butter ($12), a basil lemon verbena and lemon balm.
You can purchase these skin products online, through pop-up and maker’s markets, or at Sugar Pill in Seattle. Visit the Mae Botanicals website for a full list of products, seasonal boxes, or to sign up for naturopathy and plant-related classes. Maebotanicals.com