While working on a research station in the Solomon Islands in 2008, I had to hand-wash all my clothing with a detergent laden with chemicals. I ended up developing a rash that wouldn’t go away and when nothing I tried was helping, I turned to the help of the plants around me and began making my own lotions. This is how Farm to Girl was born. We’re a company focused on creating pure, natural skin and babycare line to help alleviate sensitivities caused by the irritants in current, mass-produced skincare.
I’m an environmental scientist with NASA and SETI and my husband and partner of Farm to Girl is a marine biologist. We both grew up in Austin and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. Our work takes us to remote places, where l have been fortunate to learn from the indigenous women how to use the raw, local ingredients of the area and make pure skin care products, like the organic, virgin cold-pressed coconut oil that is the basis for many of our lip balms and lotions.
For centuries, women of Namibia, Africa relied on traditional botanical oils as anti-aging treatments such as marula and ximenia oils, which I use in our African Line Tamer, Fountain of Youth and Namibian Miracle anti-aging lotions. I’ve found marula oil to be the lightest and most delicate oil I have ever used. With 60% more antioxidants than argan oil, it’s packed with some serious healing power. In fact, Texas Oncology in Austin now recommends our marula-infused Farm to Girl Fountain of Youth Face Cream to radiation therapy patients to help promote skin recovery and renewal.
Throughout our travels, I kept thinking about all the women and villagers I met who make such beautiful natural products but often earn less than $1 a day. I wanted to make as much of a difference in their lives as they have in mine. Farm to Girl was founded to help these women and farmers share their traditional knowledge and ingredients by providing a market for them. The folks who purchase our skin care start to “close the circle” by helping the indigenous women find livelihoods and prosper through fair trade and education. We dedicate 20 percent of our profits to support women’s health and education in the communities where we work. As one example, today we are providing university scholarships to young women in Namibia.
Eco-friendly is in Farm to Girl’s DNA
My background in environmental science and passion for the planet is also reflected in our company’s packaging. We agonize over every packaging decision and have designed the most eco-friendly products possible while still keeping costs reasonable.
Farm to Girl products come only in glass or metal tins because plastics often leach and are rarely recycled (I’ve personally seen too many white sand beaches covered in plastic bottles!). Our jars degrade right back into glass and sand. We chose 100 percent recycled paper labels because they degrade naturally. After some use they do start to rub off, but we believe saving the environment is more important than a label.
As Jane Goodall once said: “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
I believe now more than ever that ingredients matter. For that reason, we use only one to five healthy ingredients in each item – all-natural items like coconut oil, beeswax and honey. Honey is the most hydrating and healthy thing you can put on your lips, and it’s natural anti-bacterial properties make it superb for cold sores. For our First Flower Honey Lip Balm we source organic Yaupon honey from the Boggy Creek Urban Farm in Austin, a small sustainable family farm.
Think of our products as the equivalent of eating a gorgeous organic tomato from your garden rather than reaching for fast food. Every Farm to Girl product has received a #1 rating from the Environmental Working Group. No parabens, no sulfates, no formaldehyde donors and no petrochemicals. Just food for your face with incredible nutritional benefits.
Farm to Girl lip balms, shea butter and marula oil are now available at all Peoples Rx locations!
Dr. Kim Warren-Rhodes grew up in Austin, TX, where she graduated from Westlake High School & the University of Texas. Her Ph.D. Is in environmental science & engineering from Stanford University. She now works at NASA & the SETI Institute, where her research on ecology takes her around the globe to South America, Africa, Asia & the islands of the Pacific. She founded Farm to Girl in 2013 to empower women in the many developing communities where she works.