My name is Oyéta Catherine Kokoroko. I am a skincare formulator, founder of Okoko Cosmétiques and a Formula Botanica graduate. Okoko Cosmétiques is a small luxury niche brand that creates clean beauty solutions that boost radiance. I create, develop and handcraft our products and someday I hope to open an Okoko Apothecary Boutique and Spa. In this post, I decided to share my experience studying with Formula Botanica and how it helped me launch a successful beauty brand with a lot of great feedback…all in less than a year. Creating beauty products that truly work is my passion. Formula Botanica provided me with the solid training needed to create gorgeous skincare products that people love.
I started a few years ago as a DIY’er/home formulator. I eventually upgraded from self-taught skincare formulator to professional skincare formulator by intensive study with Formula Botanica. My initial goal was to create formulas that work, that I could sell and that were safe for my customers. Initially I fell in love with their free tutorials (which I found quickly became addictive), and before you know it, I was enrolled in their complete International Organic Skincare Entrepreneur Program where I enjoyed fun and challenging courses and gained priceless knowledge about the industry.
The Formula Botanica program helped me immensely, giving me the confidence to:
The course is very well structured, relevant to the whole industry and developed to a standard that I haven’t found anywhere else.
Since graduating, the products I have formulated have been really well received. Check out what happened in our first year and what people are saying about Okoko here.
The highlights of my experience with Formula Botanica include:
The quality of training
Courses are well-structured ranging from a base course (for those who have no background in skincare formulation, I recommend you enroll in the Diploma course first) to advanced formulation courses that allow you to create hot skincare that stands out. This course was well worth it, and all of the hours and effort you put in will pay off. At the end f the training you will have:
Great support by the staff and students to elevate your formulations
The course is extremely well-organized and help is always available from experienced industry professionals such as Dr. Elham Eghbali (cosmetic chemist), Teresa Foo (Tutor + Founder of Balm Kitchen), Gemma Dickenson (School Business Manager) if needed. Not only do they have great tutors, but you get free tutorials and lessons before enrolling which are easily accessed (and as I noted above, highly addictive! Consider yourself warned lol!). And a ton of resources are available such as suppliers information, research information and more to make your job easier. I have always appreciated the amazing feedback, formulation challenges and assignments given to the students on a regular basis.
Continuing education and post-graduate support
Formula Botanica provides amazing support for graduates! Lorraine, the program Director, and Formula Botanica are truly committed to helping their graduates share their creations with the world. Check out a few blog posts they have written about my fellow graduates that create fantastic cosmetics, including: Lil Fox, Masla Skincare, R Devine Skincare and most recently Nesara by the lovely Nicky Lamba.
In November 2016, I had the huge pleasure of attending Formula Botanica’s annual conference in London. It was amazing to meet my fellow passionate formulators and entrepreneurs in person. And I was incredibly excited to receive my apron (so Beautiful!)
Thank you so much for your commitment and professionalism Formula Botanica! You gave me the tools to build my brand.
Myth #1 60% of everything you put on your skin end up in your bloodstream ?
There are a lot of myths out there in the skincare and beauty industry. Two of the more common ones are that "your skin absorbs 60% of what you put on it” and “anything you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream within 26 seconds.”
These pop-up frequently across the internet in forums, blog posts, infographics and even company websites. So there seems to be a lot of confusion on this topic, and I believe it's important to separate the myth from the truth. It is important to understand that cosmetics are there to provide benefits to the appearance of the skin, and that cosmetic chemists and formulators do NOT want cosmetics to enter your bloodstream because then they become classified as "drugs." The truth is anywhere between 0% to 100% of what you apply on your skin can end up in your bloodstream depending on the ingredient (not all ingredients can actually penetrate the skin), where it is applied (some areas of our epidermis are thicker while others are thinner e.g., eyelids vs the soles of the feet), the delivery mechanism, the environment, the ambient temperature, the product type, etc.
Beauty products that may more easily pass through your skin and enter the bloodstream include: dyes, some conventional perfumes, nail polish and nail polish removers. However, skin care products are typically designed not to penetrate to your bloodstream, but to interact with and improve the appearance of the surface of the skin.
The outer layer of the skin, called the epidermis, is hydrophobic ( i.e., it won’t let water penetrate the skin easily....if wasn't hydrophobic we would quickly take on water during a bath or shower just like a sponge). That outer layer is also lipophilic (oil-loving) and so plant oils will usually be able to penetrate to this first layer of the skin (but not deeper than that).
Essential oils however, because of their molecular structures can penetrate the deeper layers of the skin and end up in your bloodstream. So use of essential oils in cosmetic formulation must be done carefully and typically at very low concentrations. Some categories of ingredients and stronger chemicals found in household products (e.g., some perfumes and aerosols) can pass easily through the skin, ending up in your bloodstream and/or contributing to damage when used chronically and in high concentrations. So, as you can see, the amount of a substance that passes through the skin to the blood stream varies depending on a number of factors. The end result is probably not 60%, but somewhere in the continuum between 0% to 100% may enter the bloodstream.
For those who wish to learn more, I recommend you read Lorraine Dallmeier’s article “Can Cosmetics be absorbed into your bloodstream?” where she demystifies what substances can and cannot penetrate the skin, and what really ends up in your bloodstream. Lorraine Dallmeier’s is a scientist (biologist) and expert skincare formulator in addition to being the Director of Formula Botanica Organic Skincare School.
Introducing the gritty black ingredient that will purify your skin - Activated charcoal
Because.... you want to treat your skin to a fresh start !
Activated charcoal is one of the finest natural adsorbent, purifying & detoxifying agents
If you’re looking to pull all the gunk you don't want, like pollution and dirt, out of pores, this one is a must in your skincare routine.
It helps remove toxins, impurities, and other harmful substances from your skin, leaving you with stronger, healthier skin. No wonder why we call it “ The Black Diamond” It truly does wonders ❤
Activated charcoal is well know for:
It is also a great ingredient to support skin subjected to pollution & stress, also as a help and support in “Detox " skin program, and as a support for acne-prone skin (it has some anti-bacterial properties)
" I like to use it as a spot on treatment on small blemishes and leave it overnight. In the morning, simply wash it away and follow with a purifying serum & 1 or 2 drops of antibacterial essential oils." - Oyeta
Activated charcoal is found in our purifying face mask " La Dtox Noire " designed to deep cleanse, remove impurities, dirt & pollution from your skin leaving you with a cleaner, more radiant skin.
How do I use " La Dtox Noire " Face mask?
Activate about 6 bamboo spoon face mask for 4 bamboo spoon water. Apply to entire face and let it dry for about 25 mins. Depending on your skin type, use 1-2 times a week for normal to dry skin and 3-4 times a week for combination and oily skin. Follow up with face oil " LES 16 PRÉCIEUX " to calm and re-hydrate skin.
Why are plant oils perfectly adapted to your skin needs?
Normally, skin is maintained in a healthy condition through nutrients supplied from a healthy well balanced diet. Unfortunately, in today's busy world many of use do not eat as well as we should. The good news is plant oils are like food for your skin. They contain nourishing molecules your skin needs to be healthy and beautiful. Unlike many other ingredients, your skin can actually metabolize the fatty acids and nutrients in your face oil, which usually penetrates the upper layer of the skin, supplying nutrients and forming a thin, protective barrier.
A well-formulated face oil can easily replace your conventional creams and conventional (filler-rich) serums by providing your skin with the essential nutrients and molecules it needs to be healthy, protect the body from environmental stresses and look gorgeous.
Whether you are concerned with dryness, fine lines, acne, scars etc., using a well-formulated face oil can provide: fatty acids (omega 3, 6, 9, phytosterols, squalane, etc.), antioxidants, vitamins (e.g., vitamins A, D, E, K) anti-inflammatory and healing benefits, skin protection and skin repair, etc. It also helps to keep your skin moisturized.
If you want to try something made for you, Les 16 PRÉCIEUX ™ is OKOKO’s precious beauty oil to revive and bring glow. It is blended from 16 of the rarest and most efficient oils to enhance your skin's natural beauty. With a high concentration of active ingredients (organic unrefined prickly pear oil, marula oil, baobab oil, vitamin C + CoQ10, etc.), this silky-smooth dry oil soothes, nourishes and helps provide a youthful glow.
Each drop of this bright orange treasure contains a powerful blend of plant-based active ingredients that will infuse your skin with the essential elements for its vitality and youthfulness.
We encourage you to embrace a healthy diet (including whole foods based, balanced diet loaded with antioxidants) which is beneficial for natural beauty. Here's a few tips & recipes (from Oyeta Kokoroko) you can make at home fast to radiate from the inside out.
A few steps to beautiful bright skin (scroll down for recipes)
1- Drink water, and more water, lots of it! Your skin will look plumper & more radiant
2- Add loads of COLOURS to your salad: Start with a green background (spinach + kale), then slice some carrots, add a couple red chunks, make it yummy with avocado and don’t forget to top it with antioxidant rich lemon juice! (See my detailed recipe below)
3- Replace unhealthy snacks with small fruits & blueberries. Add them to your salad, dessert or smoothie and give your skin an extra collagen boost! You can never have too much of these vitamin C rich goodies
4- Invite your girlfriend for a cup of green tea or roobois and enjoy! (they’re rich in antioxidants that help prevent signs of aging & skin damage)
5- Make sure not to miss my top 5 Superfoods for super health & instant radiance (join my live webinar & learn how to get your glow back FAST)
Make your skin glow recipes
- 1 bunch kale
- 2 apples
- 1/2 lemon
Put in blender and blend until smooth (makes 2 servings)
Gentle Detox Salad
1- Add the vegetables in a large bowl and toss to combine.
2- Add the olive oil, lemon juice, cider vinegar (optional) and sea salt in a small bowl and whisk gently.
3- Pour the dressing over the salad and mix to combine
4- Serve and enjoy
Gentle Cleansing citrus water
1- Cut the apple & ginger in slices and add to the water.
2- Squeeze the citrus (orange, citron, grapefruit) into the water. Personally, I like to cut my citrus in slices and let them macerate in the water
3- Let your drink macerate in the fridge for a couple hours and enjoy.