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Behind the Brand with Francesco Clark of Clark's Botanicals

Posted on 10/28/2013

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A b-glowing.com brand favorite—Clark’s Botanicals—keeps its natural products in the family. Started by father-son duo Harold and Francesco Clark, the skincare line covers you from head to toe with plant-based products that are soothing, healing, and protecting. Right now, you can also receive Clark’s Botanicals Deep Moisture Mask ($22 value) free with any $80+ storewide purchase!

We spoke with Francesco about achieving beautiful skin and got an inside peek at his personal routine. He also told us all about his favorite b-glowing brands, and you can shop his picks here.

What is your daily skincare routine, and how do you adjust it seasonally or as your skin changes over time?

My daily skincare routine is always changing. I swear, I think my skin has ADD! One day it's really oily, and the next it can react so quickly to changing weather and ingredients - it'll feel like the desert. I do have constants that keep my skin in check, though.

For shaving, or when my skin is really sensitive, I use our Soothing Herbal Face Wash instead of shaving cream because it's moisturizing and doesn't leave me with redness. A lot of makeup artists love this to gently remove makeup, especially mascara, without being overly stripping. To get an added, subtle glow, I use it with my Clarisonic in the shower.

After cleansing, I use our Cellular Lifting Moisture Mist as a toner because it helps to prep the skin. This mist is not a toner, but I don't always use products in the way they're supposed to be used. It has botanical ingredients that are naturally antibacterial, so it's a good product if you're breaking out or oily, and it leaves your skin with this lifted look, so … why not? Plus, it's alcohol-free, which means it's never too much, even when my skin is being sensitive. 

My third step is the Nourishing Youth Serum, but only two pumps of it - a little goes a long way. It brings back that rosy glow that might have been lost in the winter, and it has two neuropeptides that help to soften the look of wrinkles. I use this every day, no matter what.

I found that consistency makes for the best skincare routine. I immediately follow this with Anti-Puff Eye Cream, which I keep in the fridge, because the bags under my eyes come out fighting every morning!

A dab of the Smoothing Marine Cream helps to keep my skin smooth, clear, and fresh. Again, you only need very little, and the tingling means the ingredients are working!

Your products focus on rebalancing the skin, and are especially effective for acneic skin types. What are your top tips for someone trying to clear his/her skin and keep it balanced?

The trick to keeping your skin clear and balanced is consistently using a good regime. Your skin needs time to re-balance. The Skin-Clearing Face and Body Wash is something customers use in the shower to ensure they use it every day, and it makes it easy. The Intense Radiance Mask was formulated to make your skin look like you went to a spa, and you can use it as a spot treatment wherever you might have a breakout. Finally, using the Smoothing Marine Cream every day will help keep your pores clear and your skin luminous. 

You used to work for Harper's Bazaar, what did you do there, and has that experience played a role in the development of your brand?

I loved working at Harper’s Bazaar. It felt like one of those moments where you were suddenly working in an incubator where all of these super-creative people got to do what they are passionate about every day.

I was a fashion assistant, and I'd say my top lessons learned there were how important it is to pay attention to detail and to follow through. If you say you'll do something, you' better do it, and do it well. I thrive in a challenging environment because it pushes you to that next level of growth. That's important to me now, too.

Also, there's something to be said about breaking the mold and taking a risk on something. In fashion and beauty, it's important not to just be another something, and confidence really becomes your parachute in that process.

Your dad helped in the development of the initial Clark's Botanicals line. Does he still contribute to new product development?

Yes, my father is very involved in the Clark's Botanicals process. This is a family business and we all help in our own ways. My father is a walking encyclopedia of homeopathy, traditional medicine, and botanicals - so family dinners jump from talking about my eight-year-old nephew's birthday party to how Ginseng combined with peptides can enhance anti-aging properties in skincare. 

You are a National Ambassador for the Christopher Reeve Foundation. How has this experience changed you? What is your favorite part about being involved in this organization?

Working with the Reeve Foundation is a dream come true. Christopher Reeve was my hero before I sustained my injury, and afterwards, he was my beacon of hope. He was articulate and could challenge any scientist, but explain a research study to anyone in a way you could understand in the blink of an eye. My passion in helping find a cure means so much to me, especially with a foundation that can communicate a message and medical funding so effectively. I still get goose bumps meeting other people who sustained, or know someone with, a spinal cord injury and establish a sense of support and hope. It is life changing. 

You are a business owner, an author, AND a spokesman for spinal cord injury survivors. How do you make time for yourself, and what do you do in the spare time that you have?

Time for myself. Tell me what that means? Ha! There are certain parts of my week that are non-negotiable. We have family dinners on Thursdays and Sundays. My mom pretty much cooks a Thanksgiving dinner on those days, and we're from Bologna, so if you love pasta … This is a time for us to regroup and catch up. I have an older brother and younger sister, who are both married, so the dinner table has grown. It's my favorite part of the week.

Finally, tell us something about yourself that people would be surprised to know.

Would you be surprised to know I would wear Lederhosen, growing up in Italy? Would you also be surprised I used to Yodel? Ricola!

Shop Francesco’s Top Picks here, and Clark’s Botanicals here.

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