Looking for a skincare product that isn’t tested on animals or contains unhealthy chemicals? ELLE met with Rachel Nye, self-confessed bunny-lover and founder of BOTANē Skin Actives to discover more about this local botanical skin care line that promises healthy, gorgeous-looking skin…
What’s the story behind BOTANē?
I have always been enthralled by dermatology. Being trained in preventive and clinical medicine overseas, I was pegged the “Phoebe” (from Friends) of my class - that’s what my classmates called me. I was the one promoting homeopathic tinctures rather than prescribing antibiotics. It took some time for me to figure how to blend natural medicine and dermatology together as a career. It wasn’t until I arrived in South Africa that lightening struck. A local, plant-based, science-backed skincare range was missing here. So I developed one. After three years of research and development, BOTANē was born.
What does the word Botane stand for?
BOTANē comes from the Greek word for medicinal plant - which encapsulates our ethos. Plants offer vital nutritional elements for healing just about anything. And I have made it my professional quest (PhD is next on the to-do list) to utilise the scientific method and support sustainable research on plants for better skin health.
You’re originally from the United States, what brought you to Cape Town?
I had been working on a collaborative public health project with the United Nations Environmental Programme in Switzerland. In 2009, I landed an opportunity to come to South Africa looking at elemental mercury usage in the health care sector.
BOTANē really stems from my public health background, reaching the public via education and advocacy.
What does the skincare line comprise of?
Our skin likes simplicity, less is more – cleanse, serum, moisturise, fruit enzyme exfoliation, eye product and sun protection, I repeat sun protection - that’s it! (Our botanical active sunscreen is debuting soon!) The line promotes a balanced, healthy way of living without compromising our body or the environment.
Favourite product and why?
That’s a tough one; they are all my children, but if I had to choose only one it'd be the Corrective Elixir. It brightens and evens skin tone. Basically its Caribbean holiday glow in a bottle. I am obsessed.
BOTANē in 3 words…
Fresh, living, pure.
Would you call BOTANē a green, sustainable brand?
Yes, very much so. With South Africa being one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, we are committed to supporting sustainably-harvested plants. State and global regulatory agencies are making great strides supporting this cause. I like to think of it as a transformational movement, enabling change from one person to the next – creating awareness about what we put on and in our bodies, what we wash our dishes with and what we put down the drain. Plus, we get great skin out of it using pure plant, fruit and marine actives, herbal extractions, and botanicals oils - what a bonus.
Did I mention I love bunnies? I mean, I really love bunnies. We have two rescue house bunnies (Oliver and Henri) at home (don’t ask to see a photo, you’ll be here for hours). Animals are such amazing creatures; they deserve life and respect – not testing for cosmetic gain.
Something we don’t know?
BOTANē offers professional treatments (fruit peels and facials) super gentle and uber relaxing at our Treatment Studio on 130 Adderely Street, Cape Town. No judgment, or jingly sales people - just skin knowledge and support. Johannesburg we are coming to you next! Bop us an email to book your BOTANē Experience firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Botane Skin Actives, or to comfortably shop in (your bunny slippers), visit botaneskinactives.com