8 Questions With Mary Ahern of Bottega Organica

Bottega Organica

Solar Infusion at Bottega Organica

We’re welcoming Bottega Organica to the Integrity Botanicals lineup today, and to give you some insight into what makes this line so special, we spoke with the formulator behind the scenes, Mary Ahern. She shares her thoughts on why Bottega Organica belongs in your hands.

Tell us about the anti-aging research behind Bottegga Organica’s products. What are the star anti-aging ingredients and how do they work?

Dr. Alimonti, our head scientist, has been studying the molecular mechanisms of aging for the past ten years and is the most prominent scientist worldwide in this field. Dr. Alimonti developed a scientific method to select plants with anti-aging effects. He just published his discovery in a prestigious medical journal, Nature Communications. Using his method we were able to select several plants with great anti-aging activity. Salvia haenkei so far has the strongest activity and is incorporated into all the products.

How does Bottega Organica source its ingredients and what are your priorities?

Our sourcing starts at the base of our ingredients as we are involved in the extraction processes. We use our olive oil from the farm in Italy for all solar infusions. We are sourcing much of the botanical material from both farms now, either through wild cropping or organic growing. When necessary for supplementing our plant supply, we have strict standards for selecting certified organic materials. All other ingredients, such as glycerine and Shea butter are certified organic and ethically harvested. We are in the process of developing the upstate farm to be able to produce the amount of plant material and spring water needed to make our own hydrosols and essential oils. Our goal is to formulate products that we would be able to produce from the ground up!

What is special about Bottega Organica’s manufacturing process? How and where are the products created?

Our products are currently manufactured in small batches at our upstate New York apothecary and in Italy, near our farm. As our production grows and develops upstate we will be able to make all of our products at the farm apothecary. Currently all creams and a new formulation of the extra nourishing face formula (vanilla) are hand made there.

Can you talk about the concept of synergy when working with natural ingredients to formulate skincare? How is it relevant to Bottega Organica?

Synergy is a very important concept for Bottega Organica. From companion planting at the farm to formulating products that contain botanical extracts that interact on a cellular level. There are many areas where the whole is greater than the simple sum of its parts. Working together is a constant theme in organic production as there are no synthetic binders or fixers.

How do you manage to formulate products without preservatives and why is that important to you?

We address natural preservation throughout our process. In formulating, we select plants that have the duality of fighting mold and bacteria while increasing elasticity or stimulating cell production. Proper emulsion chemistry (using ingredients, ratios and temperatures that bind and hold water) is critical in controlling water activity in our creams. Steam distillation of plant material is used for all water elements and our olive oil is a great preserver of all our oil infused ingredients.

Can you tell us about the concept of Natural Inhibitors of Senescence (NIS) and the importance of olive oil in your line?

When a plant extract has a high level of anti-aging activity it acquires NIS status, it becomes a Natural Inhibitor or Senescence.

Pure olive oil from pesticide-free same-day cold-pressed olives is a rare find. We produce our own to ensure purity which is essential for its anti-aging and cosmetic activity. Aside from containing several powerful anti-aging molecules (polyphenols are the best known) olive oil is great for extracting NIS from plants and then delivering them across the superficial skin layers.

In addition, pure olive oil has cleansing/pore unclogging  action and because of its great stability it does not need preservatives. It is such an important cosmetic ingredient that it must be self produced as there is a high level of sophistication in the so called extra virgin olive oil available commercially. 

Vegetable glycerin is a common ingredient in your formulas. What is its function and why is it used?

Our glycerin is pure, certified organic, soy derived and contains no Diethylene glycol or Ethylene glycol. It is a sustainable ingredient as it is organically grown and is NOT sourced from Palm, which is over harvested with devastating effects on the environment, animals and the communities around it. Our primary reason for use is for its solvency action which aids in extracting botanical properties from plant materials without the use of alcohol. In formulations, it is invaluable as a natural source ingredient that has the ability to soften skin by retaining moisture and is helpful in pulling oxygen into the skin.

What is the Bottega Organica experience like in your words?

We hope that the Bottega Organica experience is part of a positive change in the way we think about   all products that we use in our lives. We want to inspire confidence that natural organic products are also effective.

We have a great offer to celebrate the launch of Bottega Organica at Integrity Botanicals… Get a Free Trial Size of the Eye Illuminate (5ml / $49 Value ) with any Bottega Organica purchase of $60 or more. Code: BOTTEGA

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About Susannah Compton

Susannah Compton is the founder and formulator behind Florescent, a line of 100% botanical perfumes she blends in small batches from organic and wild crafted aromatics. Plant-based skincare and cosmetics are a way of life for Susannah, who writes about clean beauty and the benefits of botanical ingredients for No More Dirty Looks, Thoughtfully Magazine and Integrity Botanicals. Florescent, however, is Susannah’s personal expression of healthy beauty. Susannah has been working with botanical aromatics for years, blending first for therapeutic purposes before delving into the art of perfumery. Having rarely experienced the depth and complexity of true botanicals in conventional perfume, she learned the art of blending and created what her heart desired — a scent that would move her the way perfume should. In search of those elevating, ethereal bouquets of scent, Susannah honed her skills behind the perfume bench. She launched Florescent in the spring of 2015 to share the lush experience and pleasing ritual of real perfume.