From its humble beginnings as a homemade remedy to the celebrated status of cult skincare brand, Black Chicken Remedies has grown to become a major beauty success story. Their famed Axilla Deodorant Paste is one of the most highly sought-after natural beauty products in Australia, while their gorgeous skincare line continues to receive the highest of praise both at home and internationally. Here we discover the story behind the renowned brand and chat to founder Chey Birch to learn more about the ethos and driving force behind Black Chicken.
FROM BONDI TO THE WORLD
Chey Birch never intended to start an international phenomenon when she began blending essential oils and botanical extracts in her Bondi Home back in the year 2000. “For years I suffered from irritated skin and sinus issues, but nothing I used healed my symptoms,” says Chey. A naturopath suggested Chey take a good look at her life and the toxins she was unknowingly consuming, which led Chey to examine her soaps, cleansers and scrubs. “The ingredients in these products were synthetic and borderline toxic – and yet here I was lathering myself with these chemicals everyday. In hindsight it seems obvious my skin was trying to tell me something.”
Next Chey began experimenting with natural ingredients to see if she could create natural solutions to help improve her skin. “On my dining room table, in a little bowl with a black chicken painted on it, I began blending essential oils and therapeutic botanical extracts to create a natural remedy for my condition. I had no idea at the time that what I was creating would benefit thousands of people; I was just hoping to help myself,” says Chey. “I didn’t spare anything when creating these products. I used the highest quality natural and organic ingredients I could find. After a while my symptoms disappeared, and friends began asking if I could bring ‘the black chicken’ to their homes - and hence the company was born.”
THE GAME-CHANGING DEODORANT
Black Chicken’s Axilla Deodorant Paste is one of the brand’s biggest selling products, and demand for it continues to grow. This is likely because it is one of the only natural and toxin-free deodorants on the market that effectively protects against body odour while remaining gentle on the skin. “When I made the switch to natural deodorants and accepted perspiration, I realised my greatest frustration was that none of the deodorants I used were effective at neutralising odour…my frustration led to me developing Axilla,” says Chey.
“Many hours of ingredient testing many antibacterial formulations and many willing human’s offering their underarms went into the testing before we cracked it, and found just the right combination of ingredients that is in our much-loved Axilla Deodorant Paste,” says Chey. “We have had so much feedback from people all over the world how can’t live without it. From Bikram yoga lovers to outdoor workers to stressed office workers it gets the thumbs up. Try it!”
NATURAL SKINCARE THAT DELIVERS
Black Chicken prides itself on being a remedial skincare range that harnesses the power of nature to create products with therapeutic benefits. Chey is staunchly against the use of fillers or bulking oils in the range, and she prefers to focus on effectiveness rather than blindly following beauty trends. “Every ingredient in our products is there for a therapeutic reason,” says Chey. “For example, the Neroli essential oil in our Love Your Face Serum helps improve skin elasticity and acts as a rejuvenator for mature and sensitive skins because it is capable of stimulating the growth of new cells.”
Some of the most popular products in Black Chicken’s luxurious skincare range include Balm of Ages, an organic body balm that nourishes dry and cracked skin all over the body, Cleanse My Face, a gentle and calming cleanser that helps restore the skin’s natural oil balance, Complexion Polish, a revitalising powder exfoliant that leaves your face feeling smoother and looking brighter, and ICU Intensive Care Eye Serum, a potent eye serum that improves elasticity while hydrating and smoothing the delicate under-eye area for a more youthful appearance.
Black Chicken has also recently released an exquisite perfume oil called Transcendence. The all-natural roll-on perfume oil instantly lifts your mood and leaves you smelling naturally fresh. The formula is derived from 100% pure plant extracts, and is also completely free from alcohol and toxins. The unique signature blend features intoxicating essential oils including Sandalwood, Geranium Bourbon, Patchouli, Lavender, Carrot, Ylang Ylang and Nutmeg. The perfume oil is actually based on the formula for Black Chicken's much-loved Love Your Body Oil, with sensual tropical hints and deep surf notes.
QUICK Q&A WITH CHEY
Q. What’s your favourite skincare product at the moment?
A. “I LOVE the Cleanse My Face oil cleanser. It truly is life changing. The oils are designed to help your skin balance the sebum production so it works with your body - unlike many cleansers that just strip the oil away, causing the skin to produce more oil. We get dozens of emails from happy customers who have oily skin, mature skin or problem skin.”
Q. What’s next for the brand?
A. “Last year we were catching up with the incredible demand for our products, so now we have a long list of products in our R&D department and will have some exciting new products launching this year – stay tuned!
Q. How do you like to keep healthy and beautiful from within?
A. “A good night’s sleep followed by my morning ritual is very important to me. I meditate for 20 minutes, and then I paddle board and swim 1km every morning. It gets me ready for the busy day ahead and then anything is possible.”
Q. What do you believe makes a woman beautiful?
A. “I think being at peace with yourself shines through…an open honest kind smile makes the world go round!”
By Lauren Dunne