Taking its namesake from its founder Emily Rohr, Rohr Remedy is a skin care line rooted in plant powered solutions. Launched in 2016 and using medicinal ingredients from the Australian Bush like honey myrtle and desert lime in mainstream skin care; Rohr has found a way to trade up the mundane active botanicals like lavender and green tea for something a bit more intriguing—gumbi gumbi lip balm anyone?
Photo: Rohr Remedy
Hi Emily, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
I’m a fine arts graduate, I have worked in Publishing in both Sydney and London; then after a period of working with the Aboriginal Medical Services, I established with my husband Short St Gallery, in Broome WA. Which I still run today, alongside Rohr Remedy.
How did you first become interested in skincare?
I was drawn to beauty from a very young age. Growing up with a dermatologist father meant she has always had a love of skin, and skin care. It is after all our largest organ, and vital as our first point of our immune system. Having fair and sensitive skin meant skin care has always been vital.
What’s the concept behind Rohr Remedy?
I was working with the old desert people the Yulparitja who had never met white people until 1974, they always used bush medicines and would often send me down to collect plants and boil them up. My father is a dermatologist and my father in law started the first chemist in Broome and his father was an apothecarist and we had old formula dating back to the 1890’s so I started combining these traditions. Also the land rights movement, saw many of our mates get land back and they were looking for ways to make it generate income for them. So we started making skin care basing the formula on the family recipes, and adding the bush medicines from country. We work in partnership with Traditional owners who run their own companies. We always felt the best way to go was to create awareness of the amazing potential and qualities of Australian plants, they truly were extraordinary and very unique. All the research is confirming the high anti oxidant content of many of these plants.
Can you share more about how the products are made?
We could imagine it’d be quite difficult combining Australian bush medicines with dermatological science. It has been far more complex than we realised, thank god I had such an amazing chemist that was on tap to solve some of the more complex issues. We also work with one of the best PHD natural formulators in the southern hemisphere, who is originally German, so he bought a lot of new knowledge of Natural pharmacology to the table. Also there has been a huge interest in Australian Universities in studying many of the plants, so there is now extensive research into many the plants, that has been invaluable. We have a great team whose expertise crosses all the science involved, so we have been very fortunate, and everyone is passionate about what they do.
What kind of ingredients do you use and where do you source them?
Kakadu plum is the highest source of vitamin C in the world, and we use Gubinge (as kakadu plum is known in the Broome area0 from the peninsula north of Broome, wild harvested by local families and processed at a plant that has just been finished that is owned and run by local indigenous family.
Proven to have significant anti-microbial activity due to high levels of Cineaole, Alpha-pinene and Linalool, Fragonia is a balanced oil, gentle on the skin. We source this from small batch farmers in the South West of WA.
Gumbi Gumbi contains powerful components including high levels of Pentacyclic Titerpenoid Saponogenins, which are associated with anti-tumour, anti-HIV and antioxidant bioactivities. Studies have also shown antiviral activities against the herpes virus. We source this through an Aboriginal family in Northern NSW.
A rich source of antioxidants essential for cell regeneration, Lilly Pilly extract has strong astringent properties that help firm the skin. Its high Vitamin C and fruit acid content make skin look radiant and youthful. This comes from Northern NSW a mix of small farmers and wild harvested through a local Aboriginal family
Rosalina oil is highly regarded for its antiseptic and antibacterial action as it contains potent anti-microbial properties. It is a topical antiseptic that is gentle on the skin. Again we source this from a South western small batch farmer.
What’s the hardest part of running your own business?
It’s 24/7. It’s all consuming and very hard to switch off. You are pulled in all different directions. However at the same time very rewarding.
Of the products we carry at GUSTO + CO, what are your essentials (ie: if a customer has to start with 1-2 to purchase first), and why?
Definitely the moisturiser. It is packed full of antioxidants and is brilliant for all skin types. You only need a small amount and it goes a long way.
The Lip Balm would be another favourite, it is packed full of antibacterials to heal the lips but also provide a fabulous shine.
Photo: Rohr Remedy
Do you recommend people use your products all together, or are they meant to be mixed and matched with other products?
One of the perfect things about Rohr Remedy is that you can use them in conjunction with each other or use them on their own. We wanted to create products that have a flexible use. A great daily face routine is the cleanser followed by the moisturiser, which provides an instant lift!
Are there any beauty items you find yourself constantly carrying around?
I never leave home without: boab oil, kakadu plum serum, gumbi gumbi lip balm and sunscreen.
What are some new products / projects in the works you’re particularly excited about?
A tinted lip balm, natural wipes….watch this space
What are your "beauty resolutions" for 2018?
Less is more
Make up free unless essential
What’s next for Rohr?