Natural Beauties :: An Interview with Osmia Organics Founder, Sarah Villafranco

Sarah Villafranco interview

Don’t you always wonder how organic beauty creators come up with their fabulous products? Wouldn’t you also love a look at their beauty routine? We sure would!

Today we share an interview with Sarah Villanfranco, creator of Osmia Organics. We talked about the lovely Osmia serum earlier this year. Osmia deodorant also made my Top 5 list, and I totally love the Lip Luster.

Read on to see how Sarah chooses her ingredients, what inspires her + a look at her own beauty routine…

Could you please share your story, how you became aware of harmful ingredients in cosmetics?

I have always been aware of the quality of ingredients – my mother loved beauty products, and used some pretty luxurious brands. She was a lawyer, and I always noticed how she seemed to slow down, if only for ten seconds, to enjoy the process of putting on her Clarins Face Oil.

Becoming a physician, watching my mom suffer so deeply from cancer, and then having babies of my own may have been the events that made me start to ask questions. I saw how much of western medicine was focused on treating the symptoms, rather than the root causes, of disease. I saw how easily the large pharmaceutical companies convinced doctors and patients alike that their drugs would fix everything. I saw little girls developing way too fast. I saw cancer show up in people that seemed so healthy and vibrant. And I saw so many people not taking care of themselves, both physically and emotionally. All those experiences made me want to learn more (and do more) to promote healthy choices, including what we put in and on our bodies.

How did you choose the ingredients you wanted to use in your products?

After a LOT of research! I have never been willing to sacrifice luxury for lack of toxicity because I simply don’t believe it has to be that way. So, after deciding that an ingredient met my health standards (non-ethoxylated, not petroleum derived, not causing mutations in wildlife, etc.), I would put it to the luxury test. I considered the scent, texture, and efficacy of each ingredient. Only if it felt like something I could picture my mom slowing down to enjoy does an ingredient make the cut. I want busy women (and men) to have more of those moments in their days – where they let a scent carry them somewhere for a moment, or notice the softness of their skin, or just feel nurtured and beautiful. If an ingredient doesn’t contribute to that end result, it doesn’t go in an Osmia product.

What does your beauty routine look like?

It’s so boring, seriously. Because I have perioral dermatitis and sensitive skin, I don’t get to experiment much. I can’t even use oil on my face, which borders on tragic for a potion lover like me. So, I use our Black Clay Facial Soap, Active Gel Toner, and Purely Simple Face Cream every day. I use a sulfate-free shampoo, like Desert Essence. I use an Osmia Body Oil after every shower or bath. I wear one of our natural lip glosses (like Luster or Whisper) when I want to dress up a little. I blow my hair dry about 10 times a year, wear a bit of eye makeup once a month or so. I’m pretty granola about the whole beauty routine, really, so I just try to be gourmet, hand crafted, artisan granola.

What is one beauty tip all women should know?

Curl your eyelashes!

You obviously take the visual aspect of your products as seriously as you do the quality of your ingredients. They are beautiful! How did you come up with your “look”?

I have always loved packaging, and knew that I wanted our packaging to be elegant, simple, and nature-focused, without using kraft paper or burlap to make the point. I hired Willoughby Design out of Kansas City, and they did a great job listening and responding to my vision. I love the hummingbird, because it’s the first sound of summer here in Colorado. And I chose the lupine because it feeds the hummies, occurs in just about every color you could imagine, and grows so abundantly in these ever-inspiring mountains.

While we definitely believe in the health benefits of nontoxic skin care and cosmetics, I always love to know what people are eating as well. What type of diet/foods do you feel have the greatest benefit to our skin and overall good health?

I’ve been a vegetarian since about 2000, and would love to see more people move in a plant-based direction. In general, I try to encourage people to think of food as fuel: simply put, if you put in poor quality fuel (sugar, soda, over-processed foods), you should expect poor performance (acne, diabetes, hypertension). In the summers, I think I eat my weight in kale every week – I blend it in smoothies, juice it, and make lots of salads with it. I eat very little dairy and gluten, as both seem to make my skin more upset and inflamed. And, I love to use fresh herbs and spices to make simple things, like a poached egg or roasted tomatoes, become sublime.

And one last question … who has influenced you in the beauty business?

I think the first person I was aware of, years before I was even in the industry, was Tata Harper – I love that she started small, has a lovely farm, and seems to have grown her team and the business organically, without losing her ideals in the process. I have always had great respect for Dr. Hauschka and Jurlique, as I think both lines use good science, have strong ethics, and believe in quality as the first and most important factor in their products.

Now, there are so many people who inspire me! More and more green beauty brands are springing up, and awareness about using fewer chemicals is on the rise. I hope we can all support each other in this business, remembering that our goal is common – to create beauty products that make people feel wonderful and don’t cause so much trouble for our health or that of our precious planet.

Follow Sarah on Twitter  , Instagram Facebook.

[Image from Osmia]

Written by Liz Thompson

I am an organic beauty expert, writer, and mom of two young environmentalists who can already spot a toxic product when they see one. Read more about me at Organic Beauty, and find me on , Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.

5 Home Spa Recipes

I Heart Lotus Wei Flower Essences