Communion Botanicals: Simple, natural skincare
A few weeks back, I had the treat of meeting up with Ayla Rose Fahey, founder of Communion Botanicals – a lovely natural skincare line based here in Nelson, BC.
I first discovered Communion Botanicals at our local co-op grocery. A Chinese Medicine doctor myself, I was excited to learn of Ayla’s extensive herbal background – and how she infuses herbal therapy into her products.
I also love, love, love her commitment to using simple, botanical ingredients of the highest quality. For me, this is essential when choosing skincare products (and many, many brands claiming to be “all natural” simply are not – just take a look at the ingredient lists!).
And I LOVE that Ayla’s beauty philosophy is anything but skin deep. Below, you’ll find her thoughts on skincare…along with a step-by-step ritual for nourishing your skin, mind and spirit. Enjoy!
How did Communion Botanicals get started?
I began studying herbal medicine years ago while also working in organic spas as a holistic skincare consultant and product researcher. I would assess whether or not ingredients in natural facial and body care products were as “clean” as the companies were promising. Through my research, I began to see how companies cut corners or were lacking integrity in their ingredients.
As I continued to learn more about herbs and skincare, I felt inspired to create a line of botanical skincare that was ethically made and crafted with the purest ingredients possible. I wanted to create products that used whole plant medicine to nourish the skin and provide results.
I have a very high standard for the products that I put on my own body, partly because I’ve struggled with skin concerns throughout my life. So I began formulating my own skincare, because I knew how pure my own products were. Over time this all evolved into Communion Botanicals.
What are your most popular products?
The Rose Gold Toner is incredibly popular. It has the most beautiful aroma of delicate neroli blossoms and contains carefully sourced pure rose oil. It has a calming effect on mood in addition to it’s skin-balancing and hydrating effects, so I think people appreciate that.
The Cellular Renewal Facial Serum is one of our most recent products but has already become a top seller. It is the serum that does it all – from balancing oil production to treating hyper-pigmentation, firming, repairing, hydrating, and the list goes on. The botanical ingredients in this serum work to deeply nourish the skin and prevent premature aging while also being gentle enough for sensitive skin types.
What herbs and oils do you use?
Because I’ve been trained in herbal medicine and aromatherapy, I am particularly picky about where I source ingredients from. Some of the herbs are organically grown in my very own garden. Others I source from local small organic farmers. And those that are not easily cultivated in our region I source from organic suppliers who are committed to ethical practices. This means that suppliers must take into account the impact their farming has on the land and on the plants themselves, and how they treat and pay their farmers.
Any essential oils I use must have gas chromatograph testing paperwork so I can see if they are pure or not. Many essential oils, especially those that are more costly, like rose and neroli, have been adulterated by the time they reach consumers, so knowing how to discern what oils are pure is incredibly important. I want our products to be as clean and effective as possible, so I am particularly strict when it comes to sourcing ingredients.
What's your “beauty philosophy”?
It seems to transform every few years, but right now I am really appreciating what it means to deeply nourish myself. This can take shape in many different ways, but for me it is spending time in nature, and using products that are as close to nature as possible and that are “alive” with a plant’s vitality. Nature is inherently nourishing and being healthy is beautiful.
Any connection between skincare, self-care and ritual?
Caring for my skin with botanical products has become a large part of how I care for myself. It goes deeper than mere superficiality. I love the daily ritual of mindfully applying herbal oils to my skin and knowing that the intelligence of those plants is providing healing and nourishment on many levels.
Taking moments to breathe in the aromatic oils of a plant or sipping herbal tea can become gateways to moments of connection with ourselves and with the natural world. Pausing and feeling cared for like this can make a big difference for us in a culture where it is so common to move through the day disconnected from our bodies.
could you share a simple self-care ritual or evening routine?
I love the practice of oil cleansing each evening because it easily removes any makeup and cleanses any residue from the skin without stripping it of its important natural oils.
- Apply Neroli + Pink Clay Illume Cleansing Cream to slightly damp skin. Massage in circular motions all over your face, including the eye area, for about 30 seconds, dissolving any makeup.
- Apply a warm damp facecloth for 10-20 seconds, allowing the warmth to open your pores, then wipe away the product. Warm the cloth once more under the tap, wring out excess water, and again hold it on your face for 10-20 seconds, experiencing the warmth of the cloth and calming aroma of the cleanser. Wipe away any remaining cleanser or makeup.
- Mist your face with Rose Gold Toner and apply 4 drops of Cellular Renewal Facial Serum to freshly damp skin and around the eye area.
- I like to finish my evening skincare ritual with an application of Sage + Frankincense Hydrating Whip during the winter months, but for some people the facial serum will feel sufficient.
- One-to-two times weekly, I also add the exfoliating Fennel + Clay Facial Polish to my ritual after cleansing to keep my skin bright and clear.
Thank you so much Ayla! I love your products and your commitment to using botanical, ethically sourced ingredients! I also love your attention to self-care...and simple rituals that nourish body, mind and spirit.
What about you?
Have a nourishing skin ritual or routine? Please share in the comments!