C California Style

JUSTINE KAHN at SKIN REMEDY with her botanical back bar. Photography Nancy Neil.
Plant extracts used in BOTNIA skincare products. Photography by Robert Malmberg.
Flowering kale, grown on JUSTINE KAHN’s microfarm. Photography by Aryana Suarez.
Photography by Nancy Neil.

From the Ground Up

by C California Style

Homegrown and harvested in Sausalito, Botnia is bottled with the purest intentions

After being dissatisfied in the quest to find the perfect organic ingredients for her all-natural skincare line Botnia, Justine Kahn found herself running a microfarm out of her Sausalito home.

Founder of San Francisco spa Skin Remedy, Kahn, who has training in cosmetic chemistry, enjoys complete control over the distillation and blending of her products, focusing on herbs and flowers with well-known healing properties (such as geranium and lavender).

She now grows the majority of her own ingredients for Botnia, supplemented by local farmers when necessary. Kahn’s products, while made of plants and flowers, are not loaded with essential oils, which are strong topically and can irritate the skin. “We employ hydrosols, a diluted byproduct,” she explains. “They contain terpenes (hydrocarbons) and flavonoids (phytochemicals) that can heal the skin.” New for November: a limited‑edition chamomile hydrosol designed to calm acne and skin irritation of any kind.

In the treatment rooms at Skin Remedy, there’s a back bar of elements which Kahn and her associates pull from to create the perfect custom facial. Kahn, a professional aesthetician, quizzes her clients (no matter how many years they’ve been going to her) about their skin, then pinpoints specific, beneficial cocktails of botanicals to treat immediate issues, as well as working toward long-term goals. “I love the term ‘slow beauty,’ ” she says. “It takes time to build up the health of our clients’ skin and to see dramatic results.” Skin Remedy, 3638 Sacramento St., S.F., 415-795-3252; skinremedysf.com; botniaskincare.com.