Makers - Basho Organic Skincare

Interview - Esker
Photos - Basho

Basho believe in the power of organic, plant based skincare; ethically sourced and responsibly made. 
Promoting the often overlooked aspects of skin care, placing everyone's unique, natural rhythms and cycles centre stage.
We talk to Tor and Mimi about the story behind these beautiful oils -

Tell us a little about the two women behind Basho…

We are two friends living by the coast in a small, creative community in Cornwall. The sea has always been a powerful draw for both of us, providing inspiration, immersion and nourishment. Together we swim, walk, find solace and invigoration in this environment. 

The idea for Basho grew organically from a mutual interest in holistic approaches to health and wellbeing. We both experienced some dramatic changes to our skin in our mid to late twenties which prompted in-depth research and the start of some exciting experimentation with our own recipes and remedies. We also learnt to tune in more with ourselves, understanding that our skin was communicating exactly what it needed for us to heal it ourselves.  Discovering more about how our own menstrual cycles impacted our skin and bodies became a core focus for us, as well as the interconnection between our bodies and the ebb and flow of nature and the seasons around us. 

We have always shared a compatible aesthetic, creative vision and a complimentary way of working together. As individuals we have each bought unique and varied toolsets to the table; Mimi's gestural print making and artistic expertise, and Tor's intimate photography have helped to express our idea of what a skincare brand could and should be. Creating thoughtful, evocative and honest content and insight, communicated with simplicity and grace, is something we are both proud and grateful to be able to do together. 

Where did the name Basho come from?

Matsuo Basho was a 17th century Japanese poet famous for his ability to capture and distil the effervescent natural world around him into perfect poetic forms known as haiku. Every element in these poems is essential and considered, and this principle of profound simplicity and necessity is at the heart of our mission to make natural skincare with integrity. So in honour of Basho - a master of the art form - we decided to name our business after him. Everything we blend is essential and chosen with purpose and thought. 
Why did you choose to begin a skincare range? 

We both had a keen interest in skincare, specifically how it fits into a more holistic view of self care. It was becoming clear to both of us that when we paid more attention to our skin, emotions, menstrual cycles, and our lives in general, there was a clear connection between the state of our skin and all of these other factors. We couldn't find an affordable, organic cosmetics brand that reflected this approach and this was the catalyst for starting Basho. 

We felt it was important to make a departure from more mainstream skincare brands whose focus is in a quick fix and not addressing the myriad of other influences that affect our skin. We both really believe in the power of our bodies design and that through observation and compassion we can treat our skin in a much more stable, tailored way, focussing on longevity and lifestyle choices. This is especially important to women whose monthly hormonal fluctuations have a more noticeable and disruptive effect on the skin. Another factor we wanted to bring to the forefront of skincare. 

Our principles are based on providing simple essential skincare, reflecting the flux of our skin, monthly, seasonally and over a lifetime, and providing the simple wisdom of observing your own unique changes. 

Is your background in cosmetics or is Basho a completely new venture?

Basho is a completely new venture for both of us but it stems from a deep seated interest in a plant based approach to health and wellbeing. We strongly believe in the importance of ritualising skincare routines to elevate the simple act into something more powerful. This mindset allows us to observe and connect with ourselves for more harmonious and holistic treatment. 

We hope that our unique backgrounds have helped create a different kind of cosmetics brand; one which places the natural ebb and flow of our skin at it's heart. We embrace the seasonality within ourselves, and celebrate our bodies as they transform and age. We have deliberately chosen to avoid inherently destructive anti-ageing terminology that is an industry standard. We want healthier, not younger skin. 

Being based in Cornwall is the ocean important to you? 

We both have a deep love of the ocean, it is an endless source of inspiration and energy. Like many who live in Cornwall, we feel drawn to its wild beauty and ability to heal and connect us to ourselves and the community. Basho ideas have been discussed on coastal walks and meetings held on beaches, it is an integral part of our lives and is at the heart of the brand.

The ocean is a reminder of the shifting nature of everything around us and is a reflection of our own constantly shifting state. In the same way the lunar cycle affects the tides, we are affected just as much in our own monthly cycles. Drawing links between these universal patterns in nature and our bodies allows us to feel more aware, understanding and connected. 

Without revealing too much tell us about your process and how you blend your oils…

Our products are all tailored blends to suit and treat specific skin types. Not only do we need them to be effective and targeted, but they also need to indulge all the senses. We begin by identifying which botanicals are going to be the most effective and suitable; they all have their own unique qualities, some are rich in vitamins and omegas, whilst others are antibacterial or anti-inflammatory. The scents we choose are complimentary in a therapeutic way and touch on the principles of aromatherapy. Based on this research we create our initial recipes which are developed after testing until we are satisfied that we've created something essential. 

Why is sustainability and the use of natural products important to your brand? 

All of our plant based ingredients are of the highest quality and have been sustainably extracted and responsibly sourced. They are not only abundant in nourishing and healing properties, they work more harmoniously with our skin.
We have the deepest reverence for nature and these botanicals it provides.

As much as we are concerned with protecting our skin from harsh environments, we are also responsible for protecting our precious environment from pollution and waste. We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and produce in small batches to ensure minimal waste. We use recyclable glass bottles and recycled paper and don't use excessive packaging. As our business grows, we want to offer re-fill options to further reduce waste and want to use the brand as a platform to support environmental messages.

Basho Organic Skincare is available in the Esker Store

Small Gatherings