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Meet Kim Guseli from Botanical Skincare Lab

Kim’s botanical skincare: eco-friendly, vegan, sustainable

Looking for something new to treat your skin? Meet Kim Guseli of Hervey Bay, Queensland, who has just released her first range of sustainable, vegan, eco-friendly skincare products under the label Botanical Skincare Lab. Kim talks with JOCELYN MAGAZINE about her new venture and what inspired her to become a professional cosmetic chemist.

Kim’s journey to becoming a cosmetic chemist

Botanical Skincare - Kim Guseli

Kim Guseli and Dexter, one of her two beloved Dachshunds.

One night, Kim Guseli was dabbling with her one of her creative passions—making natural skincare products—when she thought: “How awesome would it be if I could write my own formulas?”

Kim loved mixing the formulas, but following other people’s recipes was limiting her creative streak.

That lightbulb moment soon set the nature-lover on an exciting path of transformation from corporate officer to cosmetic chemist.

“I knew I needed to know the science behind making cosmetics, so I studied to become a qualified cosmetic chemist, and I absolutely loved it,” Kim said.

“I just wanted to keep studying. The more I learned, the more that things came together, and the more I wanted to know even more.”

Now, as a member of the Australian Society of Cosmetic Chemists and the International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists, she has launched her own business: Botanical Skincare Lab.

“Researching all the different ingredients fascinates me, and working out the most effective combinations is captivating. And getting into the lab and testing out my formulas is exhilarating.”

Her business has become her “job” and she gets to do what she loves while helping people take care of their skin.

“I’ve got all the proper equipment. I even had some equipment sent over from France because I wanted all the correct gear,” Kim said.

“The ethos of Botanical Skincare Lab is to provide clean, nourishing, luxury skincare which is scientifically formulated and powered by nature.

“We support local and Australian businesses when purchasing ingredients and supplies. Even my labels are Australian-made.”

Originally from Perth, Kim runs her business from the Hervey Bay home she shares with husband Stefano Guseli, an artist and teacher, and their two loveable Dachshunds Lucia and Dexter.

“I love being able to work from home where I’m with Lucia (black and tan) and Dexter (chocolate and tan) all day long.”

The beauty of skin chemistry

With the excitement of a pre-schooler opening a tub of play dough, Kim wakes each morning thinking of all the fun she’ll have that day with her ingredients.

“I just can’t wait to play with all my ingredients,” she said.

Kim said she was still settling into her daily routine because she often responded to people’s requests on a need basis.

“I want to find out what things people are looking for and make products they want to use.

“If there are any gaps in the market, I love to hear about them because I can write formulas to suit.

“As it is, I’ve got so many ideas for formulas that I want to write that it’s hard to prioritise them.

“And I’m hoping to get some products into some local shops soon, so it all depends on what shops I can get into and how often I need to deliver.

“I like to make everything fresh, so I do it in small batches of about half a litre at a time.

“If you order something from large manufacturers, you don’t really know how long it’s been sitting on the shelf, but this way, I can assure customers what they’re buying is fresh.

“My products have a good shelf life, so they can sit on shelves for some time, but I don’t want that. You can really notice the difference when they’re fresh.

“Why not give people the opportunity to have fresh skincare?

Botanical skincare - chemistry

PHOTO: Shutterstock

Kim’s top 5 favourite cosmetics

Kim has so many “favourite” products that she loves for different reasons, so picking her Top 5 was difficult, but for Jocelyn Magazine, she relented and named these:

  1. Pink Clay Face Mask: “I’ve formulated this so you only need to put a thin layer on your face and leave it on for just five to 10 minutes. I’ve always found the face masks I’ve bought previously I’ve had to leave them on for at least 20 minutes, but for me, that’s too long because you’re limited what you can do during that time.”
  2. Golden Jojoba Face Cream: “This has Sea Buckthorn that gives it the beautiful golden colour I love.”
  3. Velvet Rose Light Day Cream: “I made this one so it leaves your skin feeling really smooth and light, particularly on humid days as we get in Hervey Bay’s summers. It’s lightweight, fast-absorbing and moisturising for when you don’t want anything thick on your face, but you still need some moisturizing. In humid weather, when you get out of the shower and you start sweating already, this cream feels light and cool on your skin.”
  4. Sunflower Cleansing Face Polish: “This one is a cleanser, but it’s also got some ground walnut grains, so it polishes your skin as well, which is really nice.”
  5. Hyaluronic Glow Intensifying Serum: “I didn’t know this formula would make your skin feel so nice. Sometimes if I run out of it and use other things, I can really notice the difference in my skin. I like it when Stefano puts it on too because it makes his skin feel nice.”

Looking for eco-friendly, sustainable and vegan skincare?

Botanical Skincare Lab’s products are eco-friendly, sustainable, and vegan – that’s official!

“When you make skincare properly, it needs to meet industry standards and qualifies for insurance,” Kim said.

“The ingredients used in my formulas are from Australian suppliers and come with documentation certifying the quality of the ingredients.

One of the reasons my products are classed as sustainable is because I make and distribute them mainly locally, so they’re not being transported all around the country and sitting in warehouses.

“Another benefit from purchasing all of the ingredients in Australia is that they haven’t come on ships from overseas so that helps the environment with decreased pollution from transportation.

“We’ve got solar panels on our roof and I make everything in the daytime so the energy comes from the sun. Even my packaging is recyclable.

“My cosmetics are also vegan because they don’t contain animal products and haven’t been tested on animals in any way.

“And, there are no synthetic fragrances and the natural preservative system is Ecocert certified.

“That means too, there are no strong overpowering smells, but only light aromas like the Velvet Rose Light Day Cream that contains some rose water for its skin benefits.

“I’ve done that for people with sensitive skin who might otherwise have allergic reactions.

“Many people are even allergic to essential oils, so I’ve made my products so that people with sensitive skin don’t have reactions to them.”

Visit the Botanical Skincare Lab website

If you’re looking for a new natural skincare line to source online, or are on holiday in the Fraser Coast region and want to check out some local eco-friendly products, head over to the Botanical Skincare Lab website. You won’t be disappointed!

Botanical skincare - chemistry

PHOTO: Shutterstock.

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