Wildcrafted Skincare: Why Your Skin May Benefit From Using Native Plants
By: Madeleine Wisecup
What is wildcrafted skincare? What are the benefits of wildcrafted skincare? And, what is this new magical “natural” anti-aging alternative to retinol everyone’s been talking about?! (hint: it’s Bakuchiol).
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What is wildcrafted skincare? What are the benefits of wildcrafted skincare? And, what is this new magical “natural” anti-aging alternative to retinol everyone’s been talking about?! If these are questions you want answers to then you’ll absolutely want to tune in to this podcast episode with Kendra Kolb Butler, the founder of Alpyn Beauty — a sustainably sourced natural skin care line formulated with, wildcrafted and hand-cultivated alpine botanicals grown in the mountains surrounding Jackson Hole, WY.
In this conversation Kendra shares all about the journey that led her to launching Alpyn Beauty, how climate affects your skin, the environmental and skincare benefits of using sustainably sourced wildcrafted botanicals, what wildcrafted skincare is, the importance of ingredient transparency when it comes to skincare products, how she defines “clean beauty” in an industry where there is no FDA legal definition for such terms, and so much more! Hit play to tune-in now!
Life is not a dress rehearsal
Kendra Kolb Butler is a wild plant beauty enthusiast, former Manhattanite and 20-year beauty industry veteran who has spent the majority of her career leading sales, marketing and public relations initiatives at leading luxury beauty companies from Givenchy and Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare to Clarins and Coty. Things were going great! But, in 2015, she felt as though it might be time for a change.
“I am a big believer in gut instinct,” she shares. “And when your mind, your body, and your heart are telling you something, well, you have to listen to those cues.” This isn’t always as simple as it sounds of course. Listening to your heart usually means you’re about to step outside of your comfort zone. But, sometimes, stepping outside of your comfort zone is exactly what you need to grow and evolve as an individual.
“I felt like I was living groundhog day,” Kendra tells me. “I just started to wonder ‘what else was out there, what else could I be exploring?’ Life is not a dress rehearsal, this is our life, you know, we only get one shot.”
So, Kendra and her family took a risk. “We left our corporate jobs, packed up everything we owned, and moved out west in search of a different lifestyle.” What was originally supposed to be a few month “break” from the city ended up being an indefinite move to Jackson Hole Wyoming.
What inspired Alpyn Beauty?
The story behind Alpyn Beauty’s launch is an interesting one.
Originally, Kendra’s plan was solely to run a brick and mortar beauty store for the Jackson Hole community. “At the time, shares Kendra, “there was no local apothecary or store dedicated to beauty.” As someone who spent 20+ years in the beauty industry this was disheartening to Kendra. “I really missed having a local apothecary!” So, what did she do? She opened up a brick and mortar store herself.
What she quickly learned was that the high quality brands she was bringing in — brands she loved and had used while living in NYC — weren’t performing as effectively in the harsh Wyoming climate.
“I realized women were suffering from hardships on their skin,” explains Kendra, “which I perceived to be directly related to the harsh environment we live in. I was seeing lots of pigmentation, sun damage, and lots of dry skin.”
Women were coming in with all sorts of skin issues! This shares Kendra is primarily due to the fact that “there’s not a lot of humidity in the environment, there’s severe temperature changes, and low oxygen levels.” All things that contribute to and affect our skin health. “Even my skin had a lot of problems!” she tells me. “Everything I brought with me from NYC to Jackson Hole was not performing for me the way that it was working when I was at sea level.”
This became especially problematic when women started returning high quality skincare products they’d bought from her back to the store. “I had a very high return rate. I would sell something and women would come back two days later and ask “What else do you have? This isn’t making my skin feel hydrated.” How did Kendra respond and what did she do? Click play now to find out!
What is Wildcrafted Skincare?
Wildcrafting, Kendra tells me, is the art of sustainably harvesting a plant from its natural growth environment. As Alpyn Beauty’s website states, “plants that have found a way to adapt, and flourish, in high altitude with low humidity, little oxygen, intense sun, harsh wind, and heavy snowfall.”
Why use wildcrafted and hand-cultivated botanicals? “It’s our belief,” share Kendra, “that when you take these plants and apply them topically to your skin, they will demonstrate the same survival properties on your skin that they demonstrated in the wild.”
Kendra explores this in more detail in our conversation so make sure to tune in to learn more about wildcrafting, wildcrafted skincare benefits, and how Alpyn Beauty’s products are created.
Bakuchiol vs. Retinol
Before chatting with Kendra, I’d never heard of the ingredient bakuchiol so, of course, I was eager to learn more. Turns out that bakuchiol comes from the medicinal babchi plant known for its delicate purple flowers. Within the beauty industry, bakuchiol, has recently been coined as the “natural” anti-aging alternative to retinol.
How did it make its way into Alpyn Beauty’s products?
Kendra was pregnant and breastfeeding when she first started formulating Alpyn. So, visits to the OB were relatively frequent and expected. During one of her visits her OB asked her what products she was using for skincare. “I told her I was using hyaluronic acid and retinol! And my OB was like, ‘No retinol! You may not use retinol when you’re pregnant!'”
As someone who loved using retinol, this news came as quite a shock to Kendra. “I was completely floored,” she shares. “I loved this ingredient and couldn’t imagine my skincare life without it.” So, she started researching retinol alternatives and that’s when she came across the ingredient bakuchiol.
“The results and the clinical studies that were done on this ingredient were showing that it was pretty neck and neck with some of the benefits that retinol was delivering,” she tells me. This includes reduction in fine lines and wrinkles and evening skin tone and texture. Furthermore, the research shows that bakuchiol is not as drying and doesn’t cause skin sensitivity. Sounds like a pretty good alternative to me!
In this conversation Kendra also explores the importance of ingredient transparency when it comes to skincare products, her entrepreneurial challenges and how she overcomes them, how she defines “clean beauty” in an industry where there is no FDA legal definition for such terms, the importance of sustainably sourcing mica, the environmental and skincare benefits of sustainably wildcrafted botanicals, skincare tips, and more! Hit play to tune-in now!