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Interview With Clean Beauty Guru Sarah Buscho

Sarah Buscho is the founder of Earth Tu Face, an all natural, sustainably sourced skincare line based in the Bay Area. She believes that every choice we make has an impact and that what we make, keep, support, wear, and interact with goes back to the Earth either as food or toxins.

Tell us about yourself.

I was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area (San Rafael). I grew up running barefoot and wild in a California garden, weeding vegetables, climbing trees and making things from the plant world. The smells of the ripe berries, flowers, and leaves left a lasting impression. In 2007 I decided to study herbalism at Berkeley Herbal as a step on the path to a deeper connection to nature. Drawing inspiration from the circular nature of ecosystems and the healing powers of botanicals I still have a passion for the natural world and sustainable business.

Why the name Earth Tu Face?

The name was originally pointing to the farm to skin idea. We still grow roses, calendula and lavender in our California garden for our handmade face masks. I think it also speaks to the concept that we have to reconcile our decisions with their impacts on the Earth. We have to face the Earth at the end of the day.

What inspires you to provide natural skincare products?

At the time clean beauty was not popular and it was a project to find clean beauty items. Finding them was next to impossible. Thankfully now clean/green beauty is more mainstream but in the early 2000’s I was making my own products because everything else would give my skin reactions and there were such limitations in the market. Our face wash and face balm are actually the same original recipes from my kitchen making days! After I became an herbalist the creation process took on more depth and complexity. My passion for sustainable business has grown over time. Recently I became a natural perfumer and believe that the art of education is a beautiful lifelong pursuit. Nature and creative solutions that benefit the whole are the forever inspiration.

Why do you think it is important to buy “clean” products?

I think it is important to acknowledge that we are a part of something larger, the Earth. Every choice we make has an impact that ranges from net positive, neutral, or harmful. What we make, keep, support, wear, and interact with goes back to the Earth either as food or toxins. So, buying clean products isn’t just better for you but it is also better for all sentient beings and future beings.

What is your biggest tip for someone looking to transition to a cleaner lifestyle?

It is important to read through the ingredients. There is a lot of green washing these days so read through what is in the product to get a sense of how it is constructed.

What’s your favorite ingredient?

There are so many ingredients to love! Vetiver is one of my favorite botanicals. Both being a regenerative grass and a beautiful complex aroma make it top of the list. Said to aid wound healing, reduce inflammation and nourish tissues – it brings a lot to the table. I love that it is grounding, calming, and has a woody resinous smell. We use it in a few products like our Skin Stick which is a healing salve.

What do you value most?

We value being a small woman run business and being able to produce products in small quantities with integrity. We are still pretty tiny, which gives us the freedom to play with limited edition formulations and special ingredients.

What are your hobbies and how did you get into them?

I love to mushroom hunt. I got into it finding the medicinal mushrooms like Turkey Tails and Reishi while hiking and was then hooked by the process. It is beautiful walking through the forests in the rain. Looking for mushrooms and identifying them is both meditative and highly addictive. Learning about mushrooms is inspiring, there is so much to know! They are a Kingdom like animals and plants. The oldest and largest living thing on earth is actually a mycelium network. Our forests depend on mycelium and some people think of them as the highways of the forests. I could go on all day. It seems like once you start learning about them you become and ambassador of their wild wisdom.

Any habit you picked up while quarantined?

Quarantine or 2020 in general has been really instrumental in bringing me more into the moment. At first quarantine was really stressful. Things were unknown in terms of business and I have a toddler who was suddenly unable to go to school. After a bit of floundering the stress pushed me to something deeper which can only be described as more presence. I get into nature whenever possible even for short durations. I sing (and I cannot carry a tune) on the trail and relish in the beauty of the trees, bugs, and creatures. Just the simplicity of being alive and bringing awareness into the current moment has changed everything. Also, my child has more screen time than before which is just a part of surrendering to what is this year, I guess. There is so much out of our control but finding acceptance (and even moments of joy) is a part of being human.

What’s next for Earth Tu Face?

We launched in Whole Foods Market Northern California this year and also added a new lip balm and hand sanitizer to our assortment. We want to go into the home category a little bit starting with a candle but will always make new face and body care items. Look for us to keep pairing down the waste. We now offer metal caps for our face wash instead of pumps. We are swapping all of our plastic lids for metal ones. We love creating and hope that never changes!