There are more than 1,500 chemicals banned outside our country that the U.S. continues to approve as harmless. It's for this reason that Kate Solomon founded Babo Botanicals.
"I did not want to use any chemicals that are risky for our children - or for myself," she says. "Plants have very powerful medicinal qualities, so why not use them?"
Sure, the ingredients might be more expensive, but for Kate, it was important to promote plant use and keep families safe. Babo specializes in all-natural skin and haircare products for the whole family.
"We are surrounded by pollutants, so let's do our best not to use any!" she adds.
What's your background in skincare and beauty?
For over 10 years, I worked at global beauty companies (L'Oreal and Avon) in marketing and product development. I had the opportunity to launch some very large brands into the marketplace and worked in areas of fragrance, skincare and haircare. My passion is developing products with natural botanicals and extracts. With my background, I was able to work with the most talented people in the industry and the world's leading botanists to develop a line of plant-based products and launch my own brand.
Can you tell us the story behind Babo Botanicals?
Babo is the name of my son's security bunny. When I was developing the line, he was calling his bunny "babo." I thought what a perfect name, and I used the bunny on all our packaging because it symbolizes warmth, comfort and security.
At Babo, we manufacture the purest, highest quality and most sensitive hair, skin and sun products made on an organic farm in the U.S.
I am a former Peace Corps Volunteer, so I combined my love, passion and experience to develop a line of botanical products that offer the same level of quality that adult brands have. Babo Botanicals was founded on the principles of delivering smart skin and haircare solutions crafted with rich, botanical, performance-based ingredients for babies, kids and grown-ups too!
Babo Botanicals is celebrating five years this month. I am very excited about our continued growth in the natural baby and salon industries. Babo Botanicals is available at babobotanicals.com, Whole Foods, Wegmans, BuyBuyBABY, Diapers.com, SalonCentric and other specialty retailers and websites.
What inspired you to create your line?
I was pregnant with my first born and wanted a brand that fit my own sensibility - safe and high quality combined with botanicals and performance. I wanted to develop a line for the entire family - a line that a father, mother and child could all use. I was committed to only working with natural ingredients because I was concerned with safety, health and, simply, the power of plants is more superior to any chemicals!
What types of products do you offer? What sets them apart from other products for children?
We offer different product lines created with specific ingredients that speak to the different needs of a child. We use a proprietary Nutri-Soothe® Complex that is rich with anti-inflammatories, anti-oxidants and vitamins in each of our products.
We do not do "all in one" products for a child. For instance, we have a line dedicated to extra dry skin and eczema, a line for smoothing hair, a line for purifying hair and skin post-swimming, a line for calming and soothing - a clinically proven line to repel head lice. And what has been a great winner is our zinc-based sunscreens. All our products use the highest quality of natural ingredients.
Why do children have special needs for their hair and skin?
Same reason why adults have special needs for their hair and skin. Like adults, some children have very dry, sensitive skin, or unruly hair or are exposed to long sun and pool sessions. So, each product needs to address these differences. My daughter, like me, has very curly hair so needs a detangling conditioner to untangle it. My son, on the other hand, is prone to dry scalp, and needs to use the moisturizing shampoo. The unifying aspect of Babo Botanicals is that all products are developed for very sensitive skin and are free of many allergens that affect children and adults.
What are the dangers or risks associated with most commercial products for children?
Like any personal care products on the market, there can always be an ingredient that an adult or child reacts to. So with children, it is always safest to do a patch test on the arm - especially if that child has a lot of allergies.
What types of botanicals do you use in your products?
In all our products, we use chamomile, calendula, watercress and kudzu. Then for each line, we have four to five botanicals like oat, meadowsweet, lavender, tea tree, rosemary, cucumber, jojoba, shea butter and aloe that are used in higher concentrations to address the need.
What do you look for in your own personal care products?
I look at a lot of different things! Ingredients first, packaging, scent, texture and, most importantly, the brand and company values.
What are some of your favorite beauty tips or tricks?
Besides sleep, lipstick and mascara. Nowadays there are great companies like Beautycounter that make natural, tinted lip treatments or conditioners. So my lips stay hydrated and the bright color wakes my face up! My W3LL People mascara brightens my eyes.
People compliment my skin often (I'm 43 years old!). I just use Babo's Moisturizing Shampoo/Wash as my facial cleanser and the Miracle Moisturizing Cream as my moisturizer! I love our NEW Super Sheer Daily Sunscreen (SPF 40) on my face. I can't wait for everyone to try it next month. I am a minimalist when it comes to products. I believe in eating, sleeping and a few products that keep my skin and hair healthy and young looking.