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I come from a background in green technology and natural supplements, frequently traveling between the U.S. and Asia and lived out of my suitcase for several years. As a Korean-American, the famous 10-step routine was ingrained in my system, and I spent so much time refilling small travel containers with all my skincare. Then when I turned 40, it was visibly noticeable that the products stopped working for me, possibly from ingredient immunity, and instead harmed my skin with breakouts and blemishes.
One day, I was visiting a close friend of mine who was pregnant in her late 30’s and her face was glowing with no sign of large pores and fine wrinkles. She was the first to introduce me to natural skincare products. But the price of natural skincare products was a bit overwhelming. This led me to my journey to research and experiment with natural ingredients to create a skincare product that will help hydrate and fight premature aging with less steps. Furthermore, it was vital for me to continue with the concept of sustainability and the use of natural, plant-based ingredients.
Many brands use water as the main ingredients. According to the United Nations (UN), water scarcity will be exacerbated due to increasing demand, climate change, and global pollution. At Botanical Republic, we only work with certified organic floral and herbal distillates also known as "hydrosol" in replace of water. I never thought I would become a natural skincare formulator. My original plan was to partner with a contract manufacturer and create custom formulations. However, the more research I did on natural ingredients, I became intrigued. To find out the benefits of a particular ingredient, I began testing ingredients on myself and attended school to become a skincare formulator.
Botanical Republic was officially launched back in January 2020. Unfortunately, a couple of months later, we were hit with the COVID-19 pandemic, and we had to temporarily suspend our operation. This whole pandemic was a wake-up call for all of us and I feel like it raised the bar for the beauty industry, as it taught us to focus more on living a healthier and sustainable lifestyle and I truly believe that many skincare consumers will gravitate towards the principles of the conscious beauty that Botanical Republic believes in.