GLOW THAT REFLECTS YOUR INNER SELF ISN’T VANITY, IT’S VITAL.



A GARAGE BRAND UNLIKE ANY OTHER.

This story really begins the first week of June 2002. I was promoted to my dream job at Harper’s Bazaar. At the end of the work week, I headed out to Long Island, where I had a pool-diving accident that severed my spinal cord. The injury was high enough up that I had a twenty-something percent chance of surviving at all.

In those first hospital days, doctors told my family that any movement or even breathing on my own were highly unlikely. Ever. “Sposta qualcosa!” my Italian mother immediately demanded. Move something! And so I shrugged a shoulder. I’d guess it was barely visible, but it was the start of endless rehabilitation and more determination than I can adequately convey.

Conversely, the stronger and healthier I became, the less healthy I continued to look. Skin that isn’t able to sweat—as with a spinal cord injury as high as mine—looks to age rapidly, is prone to breakouts, dry patches, redness and a whole perfect storm of ongoing issues. I stopped looking at my reflection completely. I stopped bothering to get dressed.

Three years later, the day that I finally looked in the mirror was the day that Christopher Reeve died. I’d lost my hero, and the world had lost its best advocate for spinal cord research. I needed to step up.

But I also knew that in order to effectively connect with people I needed to look vibrant and vital and all the other adjectives that a healthy glow conveys. I needed to look like I felt. And then some.

Enlisting the help of my father (are you getting that this whole endeavor was a family affair?), who is both an MD and a homeopath, we began experimenting with proven botanicals and scientific ingredients. Since nothing prescribed NOR over-the-counter had been effective, new combinations and pushing ingredients beyond their known properties was the only way to move into innovative territory. And it worked. After 78 iterations and years of what can only be called ‘one helluva mess in the kitchen.’

That should have been the end of the story. Except that family and friends kept swiping samples of my new skin care supplies. My former Editor-in-Chief from Harper’s Bazaar invited me to tea and a catch-up, and after three years of refusing to see people, I gathered enough courage to step back into my former environment, with an incredible sense of nervousness and unease, so unsure of myself.

Her first comment was, “You look the same, only sitting down!” To which my sister Charlotte replied, “He hasn’t just been sitting there - he’s been working on this,” and she removed an ugly vial of the Smoothing Marine Cream that she’d stolen from my desk. THAT was not the plan. In fact, there was no plan. I’d just wanted to look like myself; all the research and formulation had been a personal project to help give me back my sense of purpose and self-respect.

Well, don’t ever tell a magazine editor about a potential new product. Fashion industry people talk. And talk. Samples were making their way across Manhattan, and a shoot was set up that I didn’t even know about—after all, this was not launched as a business. These ugly glass vials were part of my psychological and emotional recovery from tragedy. There was no packaging. No brand. No anything beyond a few fantastic formulas.

But there was something that mattered more than all the things we didn’t have, and that was that I had a voice again. I had a new way to contribute to others. As we got up and running, I contacted the Christopher Reeve Foundation to see about donating a portion of our profits.

Those funds go toward spinal cord injury research, but also everyday care for people who are impacted by this type of injury. Because making today better is just as important as changing tomorrow. I’m now an ambassador for the Christopher Reeve Foundation, which is an honor I couldn’t have imagined in those days that I wasn’t able to look in the mirror.

Our products revitalize your skin, so you look as luminous as you feel. Because we all glow on the inside. It’s just a matter of setting it loose on the world.

XX
Francesco

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A GARAGE BRAND UNLIKE ANY OTHER.

This story really begins the first week of June 2002. I was promoted to my dream job at Harper’s Bazaar. At the end of the work week, I headed out to Long Island, where I had a pool-diving accident that severed my spinal cord. The injury was high enough up that I had a twenty-something percent chance of surviving at all.

In those first hospital days, doctors told my family that any movement or even breathing on my own were highly unlikely. Ever. “Sposta qualcosa!” my Italian mother immediately demanded. Move something! And so I shrugged a shoulder. I’d guess it was barely visible, but it was the start of endless rehabilitation and more determination than I can adequately convey.

Conversely, the stronger and healthier I became, the less healthy I continued to look. Skin that isn’t able to sweat—as with a spinal cord injury as high as mine—looks to age rapidly, is prone to breakouts, dry patches, redness and a whole perfect storm of ongoing issues. I stopped looking at my reflection completely. I stopped bothering to get dressed.

Three years later, the day that I finally looked in the mirror was the day that Christopher Reeve died. I’d lost my hero, and the world had lost its best advocate for spinal cord research. I needed to step up.
But I also knew that in order to effectively connect with people I needed to look vibrant and vital and all the other adjectives that a healthy glow conveys. I needed to look like I felt. And then some.

Enlisting the help of my father (are you getting that this whole endeavor was a family affair?), who is both an MD and a homeopath, we began experimenting with proven botanicals and scientific ingredients. Since nothing prescribed NOR over-the-counter had been effective, new combinations and pushing ingredients beyond their known properties was the only way to move into innovative territory. And it worked. After 78 iterations and years of what can only be called ‘one helluva mess in the kitchen.’

That should have been the end of the story. Except that family and friends kept swiping samples of my new skin care supplies. My former Editor-in-Chief from Harper’s Bazaar invited me to tea and a catch-up, and after three years of refusing to see people, I gathered enough courage to step back into my former environment, with an incredible sense of nervousness and unease, so unsure of myself.

Her first comment was, “You look the same, only sitting down!” To which my sister Charlotte replied, “He hasn’t just been sitting there - he’s been working on this,” and she removed an ugly vial of the Smoothing Marine Cream that she’d stolen from my desk. THAT was not the plan. In fact, there was no plan. I’d just wanted to look like myself; all the research and formulation had been a personal project to help give me back my sense of purpose and self-respect.
Well, don’t ever tell a magazine editor about a potential new product. Fashion industry people talk. And talk. Samples were making their way across Manhattan, and a shoot was set up that I didn’t even know about—after all, this was not launched as a business. These ugly glass vials were part of my psychological and emotional recovery from tragedy. There was no packaging. No brand. No anything beyond a few fantastic formulas.

But there was something that mattered more than all the things we didn’t have, and that was that I had a voice again. I had a new way to contribute to others. As we got up and running, I contacted the Christopher Reeve Foundation to see about donating a portion of our profits.

Those funds go toward spinal cord injury research, but also everyday care for people who are impacted by this type of injury. Because making today better is just as important as changing tomorrow. I’m now an ambassador for the Christopher Reeve Foundation, which is an honor I couldn’t have imagined in those days that I wasn’t able to look in the mirror.

Our products revitalize your skin, so you look as luminous as you feel. Because we all glow on the inside. It’s just a matter of setting it loose on the world.

XX
Francesco
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Results and principles aren’t mutually exclusive.
WE DO push ingredients beyond their known limits to be as hardworking as possible, yet easy to use. Francesco’s belief in effectiveness is reflected in formulas that often do double or triple-duty.

WE DON'T formulate with parabens, phthalates, sulfates, hydroquinone, formaldehyde, triclosan/triclocarban, silicones, petrolateum, plastic beads or artificial colors. Our inherent reason for clean formulae is Francesco’s own highly-reactive skin.

WE DON'T test on animals, only friends and family. We are certified cruelty free, vegan and gluten-free. We’re also made in the USA by real people — and grounded in real need.
MEET JASMINE, AKA, “QUEEN OF THE NIGHT”
The star of the show, the rainmaker of the radicals, our proprietary Jasmine Absolute is a catalyzing complex that unlocks change deep inside your skin, allowing all of our ingredients to work harder and more effectively at a cellular level. Rebooting beautiful skin begins here, and not just on the night shift. Around the clock is how we get remarkable results.
“Vanity saved my life”
“Clark’s Botanicals is an organic part of me and my recovery. Everything about this line has a purpose and reason for being, from the ingredients to the packaging. It’s an expression of who I am in its purest form.”
— Francesco Clark
Founder of Clark’s Botanicals
@CLARKSBOTANICALS