Votary has built a cult following since its launch, thanks to its effective formulas that are made in small batches, in the UK, using natural traceable ingredients and British-made, fresh cold-pressed oils. We caught up with founder Arabella Preston to find out what inspired her to start her brand and how she formulates the products that we just can't get enough of.
What inspired you to create Votary as a skincare brand?
I started making my own oil blends at home when I couldn’t find the perfect cleansing oil. There were a number out there, but they were either made with mineral oil or had emulsifiers or preservatives added to them. I was also blending my own facial oils to use on clients and to give to friends. To be completely frank I never intended to turn it into a business but my friend and now business partner, Charlotte Semler had other ideas!
What makes Votary different to other natural skincare brands?
We’ve never compared ourselves to other brands as we started out on a very clear mission, to develop our love of natural plant oils into a brand that is known for its efficacy and beauty. I switched to an oils-only routine (using a cleansing oil to cleanse and a facial oil to moisturize) around 5 years ago and it worked wonders for my skin, so I am passionate about helping other women (and men) understand the benefits of simplifying their skincare routine using natural plant oils.
Where do you develop and produce Votary products?
Votary products are developed at my kitchen table then made in the UK by a business who specialise in natural plant oils. Not only do they blend our products but they actually make most of the oils we use - it all happens under one roof, a unique situation in the beauty industry.
Your best selling range is the Super Seed, what are the ingredients that make it so super?
Super Seed is a blend of 21 seed oils, everything from chia to borage to broccoli to raspberry to pumpkin - I could go on! I think of it as health food for my skin. Super Seed is our most nourishing facial oil and the seed oils it contains are packed full of anti-inflammatory and antiageing natural goodness. Because it is fragrance-free it won't irritate even the most sensitive skin.
Can anyone use Votary skincare products or is it suitable for a specific skin type?
I believe that natural plant oils suit all skin types. They help dry and dehydrated skin to re-hydrate and recover, they restore a balance to combination skin, they reduce oiliness in oily skin (yes really!), and they reduce the appearance and recovery time of blemishes. They suit ageing skin, hormonal skin, sensitive skin and teenage skin, and of course straightforward ‘normal’ skin. Whatever your skin type, there is a Votary oil just for you.
If someone wanted to dip their toe into the super seed range what would you suggest their first purchase be?
If you have dry, sensitive or redness-prone skin, Super Seed Facial Oil might just be your new best friend! There are very few fragrance-free facial oils available and Super Seed is beloved by countless women who suffer from long-term or temporary skin issues. Having said that, I use it myself daily, I love its simplicity.