More than 25 years ago, Tammy Fender became a pioneer in the natural, plant-based luxury skincare industry. She innately recognized the interconnected nature of wellness and plants, and she dove into the world of plant medicines, physiological systems and holistic healing.
While working as an aesthetician, she began blending her own custom-made botanical formulas using pure, ancient plant remedies that evolved into her unique and proprietary blends. Those, in turn, launched an award-winning skincare collection—and a luxe spa in West Palm Beach. Since then, she's gained a reputation among beauty editors and celebrities—from Gwyneth Paltrow to Julianne Moore—as a holistic skin guru.
I caught up with this Florida girl to learn how her fascination with the plant world inspired a holistic beauty line and the "slow beauty" theory that's quickly becoming a trend for the health-obsessed.
Why did you decide to create this line of natural, plant-based skincare?
When I first began working as an aesthetician, more than 25 years ago now, I knew that treating my clients with natural remedies, and tapping into the ancient wisdom of holistic medicine, was the safest and most effective way to bring a healthy glow to the skin. But while I searched high and low for products that would be both luxurious and natural, there was nothing on the market. So I started making my own customized natural blends, using rare and potent herbal remedies. The results spoke for themselves, and, happily, word spread.
Tell us more about "slow beauty."
These days, everyone has the idea that fast is better—including me, sometimes. But when working with the body, it’s important to honor life’s natural pace. For me, the idea of slow beauty means taking the time to do it right instead of looking for an instant fix, which is not usually lasting, and can sometimes be detrimental. Slow beauty is using curative plant remedies to work with the skin at it’s own pace, encouraging healthy healing and new growth, and bringing out a deep, lasting radiance in the complexion.
Do you consider yourself a healer?
Ever since I was a child, I’ve been interested in both the plant kingdom and in helping people, and I’ve been so blessed to find a way to bring those two passions together, working hands-on in the apothecary where I blend my formulas or in the treatment room. But while I work through the skin, my aim is holistic, encouraging wellness on every level—body, mind, and spirit. When there is balance throughout, a clear fluidity and grace shines through in a glowing complexion.
As a fellow Floridian, what’s your best advice for caring for our skin in this tropical climate?
I’m a huge fan of physical block, and you’ll rarely see me without long sleeves or my sunglasses. When I travel, I always have an eye out for pretty parasols, and my collection is ever-growing. I think that one thing we here in Florida tend to forget, however, is that it’s important to wash sun cream off as soon as you’re able. While these products can be effective at protecting the skin, they aren’t always great at keeping skin hydrated. I apply it just before going outside, and I always allow my moisturizing cream at least 15 minutes to absorb into the skin before I do.
There’s a myth that natural skincare is less effective. How do you respond to that?
Some non-natural products can give quick results by addressing certain skin symptoms, but it always comes at a cost to the skin’s overall health. Quick fixes are just that, and often carry unintended side effects. When we recognize that the importance of what we put onto the skin is just as crucial as what we eat, the choice to use natural remedies becomes very clear. When you eat something with a lot of sugar in it, you do get that initial rush, but we all know what happens next. We have to think about our skincare choices as long term.