In Italian, Benedetta means blessed. That’s ironic in a way because although Benedetta, a Sonoma County-based, 100-percent botanical skincare line, with a preponderance of certified organic and biodynamic ingredients is blessed—blessed to follow the founder’s passion, blessed to work only with the most stellar farm-sourced ingredients—the truth is that Benedetta is the one doing the blessing. Conceived and formulated by master esthetician Julia Faller, this uber-clean, results-driven skincare line with its cornucopia of botanicals, has given its users the gift of beautiful, healthier skin since 1996.
Plant-based and plant-realized long before it was in vogue, Benedetta is the sum total of Julia Faller’s treasure trove of traits. Not just a skilled esthetician always looking for alternative healing pathways, Julia is certified in medical aromatherapy, Biofield Tuning, Jin Shin, and has studied and is well-versed in botanical chemistry, homeopathy, quantum physics, and nutrition. Putting it all together, she developed Benedetta based on her years of research, incorporating details that go way beyond what’s in the brand’s signature glass bottles. For example, after years of doing customized treatments, she realized that it wasn’t enough just to clean the face by slathering on a product.
“I created a facial in a bottle with our Massage-In Cream Cleanser, our signature product. I discovered that if you make a comfortable circle with your mouth, lips wrapped around your teeth, you create a tightening resistance,” she explains. She believes that the yawn-like technique works to strengthen the skin when applying cream-based products. “We refer to it as O.M.R. [Open Mouth Resistance]. “Not only does it aid the better incorporation of the product, it reinforces circulation, elimination, and hydrolipid repair,” affirms Julia.
Rejecting a rote beauty industry with products that teem with toxic ingredients, Julia was motivated to change the status quo, to give her clients and the world something pure. “I wanted to provide a better, more functional system of care that addressed the skin’s systemic health and behavior, void of harmful ingredients,” she says. But the road to success hasn’t been easy. “I created Benedetta out of nothing. No labs gave me support. Chemist friends said I was wasting my time unless I used a plasticide to bind everything together, along with numerous other toxic chemical stabilizers, emulsifiers, and preservatives–to name a few.I was alone with my convictions,” reflects Julia.
“I wanted to provide a better, more functional system of care that addressed the skin’s systemic health and behavior, void of harmful ingredients.”
Yet, this advocate for clean skincare persevered. Today, her products are sold in stores in San Francisco and Petaluma, California, as well as online. Benedetta utilizes Farm-Sourced® living, certified organic, and biodynamic ingredients gleaned from as close to their “earthly source” as possible. Ever an advocate for natural cures and alternative solutions, Julia continues to offer a face-changing alternative to what’s on the market. “Benedetta is a catalyst to improving your skin’s best health, immunity, and overall behavior,” she says.
More on this pioneering collection.
Talk to us about sourcing your ingredients, and is it enough to have clean ingredients?
Most consumers don’t realize that botanical ingredients are typically ladened with propylene glycol and other petrochemicals. When sourcing these raw materials, I look for good growing practices and processes that can increase the efficacy and nutritional profile of that botanical. Taking my time to formulate and understand this became a puzzle I was determined to figure out, and moreover, change.
In this age of internet formulators, clean or farm-to-face, and/or organic lines, seem to speak only to the ingredients. To become a certified organic line you are mandated to use 92 percent organic materials. Many will opt into a preponderance of cheaper materials to make up the mass of their formulas. Therefore, clean ingredients alone do not make a functional product. What separates Benedetta is our use of them.
Why do the products work?
I created synergies using 100 percent botanical efficacy geared towards the function of the skin and what it needs to succeed. Second, I designed a system to be used together and developed the concept of water integration: Water before oil and water synergies alone at night, to balance and allow the skin to breathe. Finally, I developed this practice of interlacing products that worked best in union with one another. This union would prove to activate better hydration at night, and when used with an oil, better lipid or moisturization during the day. Once the formulas functioned individually and together, I worked tirelessly (to this day) in sourcing the cleanest most vibrant ingredients, alway certified organic, ethically grown, and biodynamic.
You also make deodorant, face masks, and more. What are some of your favorite creations?
I truly do create products out of necessity, each having a unique story behind them. Most create products out of trends and what is selling. I never do that. Take for instance, The Best Deodorant, created in 2000. I could not find any natural product that worked, and most had parabens in them. At the same time, there were reports that one in three women in Marin County were diagnosed with some form of fibroid mass or breast cancer, more than any other county in California. I researched and created a 100-percent certified organic, 75 percent of which is biodynamic, that targets the bacteria that often causes the odor. More than two decades later, it is our bestseller.
Your products do not contain sunscreen, but you have a solution.
Our Ombre Del Sole series is our approach to remedying sun and other environmentally caused damage with true protection at your core. Our Defense & Repair Duo and Creme are both designed to address oxidative stress deep within the dermis where it starts. Naturally filtering UVA and UVB rays, while encouraging healthy cell regeneration and renewal.
Facials and Masks?
Of course, we still love hands-on and do continue to provide facial treatments at our Petaluma-sited Benedetta Sanctuary. For at-home use, we offer a Facial Regimen Starter and Travel Set, giving a month supply of our 5-Step Day and 3-Step Night system. We also offer a tightening and detoxifying Seaweed Mask and a brightening Defense & Repair Mask.
Becca Hensley is Editor at Large for Insider's Guide to Spas. Based in Austin, she writes regularly about travel and spas. She believes a good story draws you in like laughter in a crowded room, and challenges you to do it justice. Her work appears regularly in Austin Monthly, Travel Channel, Toronto Star and National Geographic Traveler.