Clark’s Botanicals started in 2002 when a tragic accident left founder Francesco Clark paralyzed from the neck down and with central nervous system trauma that severely impacted his skin function. Without the ability to sweat out toxins, Francesco’s skin became congested, dull, inflamed and prematurely aged. When conventional products failed to help, he became determined to create his own solution to heal his skin. He teamed up with his father - a medical doctor and homeopath - and turned to nature’s most radical plant extracts, enhancing them with leading-edge skincare science and creating innovative new products that would become Clark’s Botanicals signature products, Nourishing Youth Serum and Smoothing Marine Cream.
We sat down with Dr. Clark this week, in honor of Father’s Day, to interview him about the father-son collaboration at the root of the brand; his lifelong devotion to homeopathy; and the thoughtful and deliberate formulations that were the result of their passionate work together.
What was Francesco like as a kid? Francesco was a wonderful child. He was very active, always involved in new discoveries. He was a blessing for a tired father.
What is your funniest memory of Francesco growing up? Francesco had a penchant for throwing his entire face into his older brother’s birthday cake every year, for about four years. He’d sneak out of nowhere and it would just happen. What a blessing.
Can you tell us what you do? I am a physician. I practice traditional medicine and homeopathy in New Rochelle, New York.
Can you tell us why you combine the two? I like to complement traditional medicine with homeopathy, to achieve better results and the healthiest environment for patients.
Homeopathy follows the school of thought that treats the body and ailments with the most natural ways possible, using dilutions of medications to make your body think you are taking the medication, causing a positive immune system response.
I became interested in homeopathy after seeing all of the secondary effects of traditional medications on the body. It was eye-opening to see everything that was being done in France and Germany, and I learned a lot from all of the research that they lead with.
Tell us about healing Francesco’s skin all those years ago. I started by looking at basic, neutral carrier oils and adding botanical and medicinal ingredients, one by one and see what effect it would have on the skin. Francesco later named the first two products Nourishing Youth Serum and the moisturizer version, Smoothing Marine Cream, and people really liked the effects they saw on their skin after using the two products.
How did you come across the benefits of Jasmine? Nature magazine and JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association), as well as looking at countless different medical journals for scientific research on how to stimulate and rebalance the skin. We certainly did not go into the process thinking about Jasmine, but we discovered the positive effects from all of our learnings.
What is it like to combine your love of natural remedies with medicine? It feels natural to integrate natural remedies and medicine, and it has been done throughout ancient societies. It’s interesting to see the development of medications as well as natural remedies, and I become energized to see it evolve.
What do you hope for the future of Clark’s Botanicals? I want people to understand the intention behind the products and thoughtfulness behind the ingredients in the quality of the formulations. They take years to research, and I view each product in the same way that I view each homeopathic medication or remedy that I use on patients.