When you glimpse weeds below your feet, what springs to mind?
Herbes Folles thinks it is a plant with powerful healing properties. This brand is on a joyful mission to celebrate the potency of plants humans have considered undesirable—weeds! The sustainable brand creates balms, mists, and oil cleansers with ingredients such as Poppy, Wild carrot, Plantain weed, St. John's Wort, Purslane and Nettle. They’re challenging the categorisation of certain plants as nuisances, and questioning the environmentally toxic solutions humans have created to kill them.
Read on to learn about founder Mariana Santos’s brilliant vision.
Describe the moment that birthed the idea for Herbes Folles
Studying the “Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine”, I stumbled upon a page about a very common weed in Portugal—purslane. I was amazed by its properties, realizing it is actually a super plant! I started researching other weeds, and the conclusion was the same: weeds are some of the best plants we can find, and they are literally at every corner! I must confess that my rebellious nature identified with the weeds’ rebellious nature also… Apart from that, I’m a person to whom justice is a central value, and realizing that these plants are being misjudged (and worst than that, poisoned—just as much as we are because of the herbicides still used) fired the desire to give them the place they deserve, creating a beauty brand around them. I must say I was in a very pivotal moment of my life: new mother, changed country, living for the first time in the countryside, studying again. I knew I wanted to create something of my own, and this idea totally fitted in with my desires.
What was the vision for the brand?
Creating sustainable, beautiful and nourishing skincare products, using the simplest plants: I love the idea of valuing common, everyday beings—that we almost forget about, despite their great importance. I’m also a supporter of simple beauty: I think there’s an important environmental intelligence and elegance in using fewer products that can perform more functions. And thus, Herbes Folles’ 4 products can perform at least 8 functions!
What’s a defining piece of feedback you’ve had about the brand that validated what you’re doing?
Many people state they love what I’m doing, and for me that’s major. Each time I receive good feedback about the products, it’s huge for me. There are people that say I have helped them build a skincare routine, and that they never had such beautiful skin as now!
How has your upbringing influenced who you are today?
There a few facts about my upbringing I would like to highlight:
I was raised mainly by women, which makes me a feminist, huge admirer and lover of us all.
My mother was an avid reader, which made me also an avid reader. Nowadays a lot less as being a business owner takes me a lot of time, but I still LOVE books and words.
Being raised in a very economically comfortable family, I was soon deeply touched and enraged by the fact that most people don’t even have access to the most basic things. That makes me quite aware of otherness, as well as wanting to contribute to a better, different world.
What’s been the most valuable beauty advice you’ve received?
To love myself. I’m still learning how to, but there’s nothing more valuable than that.
Describe your beauty routine and the one product you can’t live without.
What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty… I think it means to be connected with your inner spark, and being able to see it in others (both human and non-human). For me the beauty of life is diversity: it’s amazing to see the array of different colors, shapes, smells created within (and with) planet Earth.
What has your role at Herbes Folles taught you about yourself?
That I need to work on my patience! Being an entrepreneur requires a big, big dose of patience and maturity—which I didn’t have before this process started. Also, that I’m a big dreamer, and that it is not so bad to have my feet more on the ground.
Who inspires you most in either life, beauty, fashion or music?
In life—my daughter
In beauty—Liah Yoo
Music—That’s a hard one, as music is one of my biggest sources of inspiration! I love Mansfield TYA, Kompromat, James Blake, Pan Amsterdam, Tylor the Creator, Rosalía, Duval Timothy, Conan Osíris, Elis Regina, Noname,… and my list could continue on. ;)
Curated for you, the world & our future. Yuty is rooted in sustainability— which means social equity + reducing waste, leaving the world in a better place for future generations. This is why our panel of experts curates brands that align with your values, while preserving product efficacy. Learn more about the Yuty manifesto and values.