Herbier Project and Pharmacopoeia
Herbier Project is a family of biodegradable cosmetic masks that are dry-infused with plant-based formulations. While the plants’ extracts are the basis of these formulations, the plant fibres are the main component of the mask material. When ready to use, the masks can be moistened with water in order to release the active ingredients into the skin. The Herbier Project family has two types of masks: one for oily parts of the face and one for under the eyes.
The project was possible thanks to the knowledge, know-how and participation of the cosmetic development centre Phytosphere Swiss Lab (Conthey, Switzerland) and the plant fibre expert and paper artist Viviane Fontaine (Cerniat, Switzerland). Collaboration with them was fundamental for the development of the Herbier Project. Viviane Fontaine made the mask materials with local plant fibres, while the serums contained in the masks were formulated and made at Phytosphere Swiss Lab.
Herbier Project is an alternative approach to the cosmetic mask typology, which is generally a product that requires multilayer complex packaging and sophisticated textile masks and generates non-recyclable, non-biodegradable waste after its single use. The material basis and production cycle of Herbier Project are an invitation to question single-use products in general (such as bandages, medical face masks, and many more).
Pharmacopoeia is a journal that documents design-based research into the relations between plants and our well-being. The project was inspired by the diversity of local plants collected during a six-month artist residency at La Becque (La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland), exploring how plants have been locally and historically approached by different professions. The journal also documents the development of the Herbier Project as the product family that resulted from these explorations.
Excerpt from the prologue:
Pharmacopoeia is a descriptive and technical catalogue of medicinal drugs, normally published in an official format by different countries. This type of document originates in a historical and systematic way of documenting plants for their healing properties. In the fields of healing (pharmaceuticals) and well-being (cosmetics), the transformative processes of plants have made way for products that we have easily embraced for their practical and efficient aspects. In many cases, it is difficult to distinguish the synthetic from the natural within these products. What does this mean regarding the relationship between humans and nature?
Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.
Fibres of hay and hemp, dry formulation of active serum made with plant extracts
In collaboration with Phytosphere Swiss Lab, Sarah Schneider, Geneviéve Marie-Sainte, Viviane Fontaine Paper Artist