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Susan M. Parker

So, you want to be a skin care formulator…Yikes!  Where to start?  Formulating is like building a house, you decide upon the theme you want your house to emulate, then lay the foundation, build up the walls and stories and finally fill it with special things that you love.  Creating a formula is the same. 

When I first began my journey, I had no idea where to start.  In my last blog, I introduced you to Formula Botanica, and online school for all that is skin and haircare, as well as a course on managing your skincare business.  One of the first things I learned was that all formulas start out with foundation products such as carrier oils, butters and hydrosols. 

Part of the learning curve was to do my research on these multitude of products, and there are a ton to chose from!  In the case of carrier or fixed oils I was introduced to (and in my opinion) the bible of carrier oils, Power of the Seed, Your Guide to Oils for Health and Beauty by Susan M. Parker.

Susan Parker

Susan M. Parker is the owner and founder of Solum & Herbe, a skincare company that uses a wide range of natural oils to create nourishing, natural personal care products.

Her early background includes art school major, fine art print studio partner, herbalist, and mother.

She used her training in herbalism to become a formulator of herbal products and start a small business that she ran for over 20 years. During that time, Susan wanted more information on the lipid carrier oils so began her study of them.

Twenty two years formulating and creating herbal topical skincare products led Susan to research and write the book on carrier oils, Power of the Seed; Your Guide to Oils for Health and Beauty, to more fully understand and appreciate these often underappreciated oils. 

Susan now teaches on-line courses and runs a membership site on all aspects of these important oils. She lives and works in Portland Oregon.

Power of the Seed, Your Guide to Oils for Health and Beauty

Susan Parker book

Fixed oils play a large part in most all commercial beauty treatments. Power of the Seed offers instruction on how to use these oils to create topical skin care, cosmetics, and massage oils. Additionally, Susan M. Parker presents advice and in-depth information on the different types, sources, uses, and structures of these precious oils. Over ninety rare and common oils are comprehensively treated, along with suggestions on how readers can use them to create their own original “recipes.”

Power of the Seed is the newest release of Process Media’s popular Self-reliance Series that presents important DIY information in a visually enhanced easy-to-read and understand manner.

Not only does Susan share her wealth of knowledge with us through her book, but she hosts online master classes, blogs, and a membership site to all things carrier oil related.    

You can reach Susan by e-mail at and be sure to visit her website at

Join the lipid membership:

Visit the Facebook page:

You are in for a treat!

Happy formulating!

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My Formulation Journey

The motivation behind developing a skin care brand came directly from a need to offer something special and unique to our guests at the Bed & Breakfast. We asked ourselves; “How could we differentiate our skin care line from every other brand out there?” The answer is that we base the natural ingredients in our formulations on the magical botanical abundance of our own gardens and in the cornucopia of nature’s gifts found all over the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. The hurdle was learning how to formulate a natural green beauty skin care line, safely, correctly and with a unique twist. My formulation journey began with the international online learning platform called Formula Botanica.

Formula Botanica Graduate

Formula Botanica is the leading online teaching institution for organic formulation and indie beauty entrepreneurship. They are on a mission to teach the world to formulate organic cosmetics with plants, flowers and herbs. Formula Botanica empowers their students with the skills to change their lives through organic skincare.


I embarked on this journey in 2016 by tackling a rigorous curriculum that was made up of eight comprehensive courses in organic skincare formulation. They included Diploma in Organic Skincare Formulation, Advanced Diploma in Skincare Science, Certificate in Organic Anti-Aging Skincare, Certificate in Natural Cosmetic Preservation, Certificate in Facial Masque Therapy, Certificate in Chocolate Spa Products, Certificate in Cosmetic Stability Testing and Natural Cosmetics Tutor Training.

Tutor Training Program

It took me about two years to complete all eight courses and then another two years to create the products and the brand. And what a journey it has been! The philosophy behind formulating natural skincare is a lot like our philosophy about cooking and baking here at the B&B. Start with the freshest and most natural ingredients and you will produce fabulous products, ones that we are proud to share. Besides the products, the next step was to create the branding and packaging. Our jars and bottles are made of recyclable glass and the logo design influenced from our gardens.

I hope you enjoy the products as much as I enjoyed creating them!

Formulating natural skin care products truly is an empowering skill, which you can learn as well. Thousands of Formula Botanica graduates lead the global green beauty movement. Their customers love their beautiful botanical serums, balms, toners, cleansers and lotions. You too can create an indie beauty business that impacts on the world around you, creates a life you love and teaches people about the benefits of natural ingredients. Go to for more information!

Formula Botanicals

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Our B&B

Picture of Sea Cliff Gardens - lawn with fence and flowers

Our elegant gardens add even more character to our lovely bed and breakfast. They are full of color and life year-round. The gardens are shared with approximately 2,000 guests each year and feature over 10,000 plants of about 200 different species, and have also received National attention on a feature with Garden Design Magazine. The beautiful environment, comfortable & immaculate suites, delicious & hearty breakfast all contribute to providing first class accommodations to discerning guests.

Get more info here.