Beauty goes au naturel with Tata Harper Skincare

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For Tata Harper, growing up in Columbia meant that beauty products weren’t just an interest but a way of life. The owner of Tata Harper Skincare remembers watching her mother make her own beauty concoctions at home, and it was not long before Harper began creating her own skincare products as well.

“Latin women are really into beauty, but that’s not why I started it,” she tells the Georgia Straight during a one-day visit to Vancouver form Vermont in July. “My stepdad got sick with cancer and through his whole treatment, we learned how important it is to not put toxic ingredients every single day on your skin, which is your biggest organ, and [that] whatever goes through the skin, goes directly into your bloodstream.”

That is when Harper began looking for beauty products that were 100 percent natural, and when she could not find any, the former engineer decided to take matters into her own hands. Harper spent four years learning about different plants, essential oils, and active ingredients from botanists, chemists, and natural-beauty experts before starting her namesake line, which is made at a 1,200-acre organic farm called Julius Kingdom in Vermont’s Champlain Valley.

“That’s where we have our labs and we make our products there,” she says. “The majority of ingredients come from all over the world. We are only making a small portion of the ingredients, and maybe we bring 100 [ingredients] from all over. We make all the formulas every month, that ways it’s fresh when people get it.”

Tata Harper Skincare include more than a dozen products, ranging from daily facial cleansers and moisturizers, to a “multivitamin” for the skin and an anti-aging serum containing hyaluronic acid made from yams grown in the Czech Republic. Each product contains multiple active ingredients, which Harper explains, are what produce the anti-aging effects.

“These are the ingredients in the formula that are actually doing the work,” she explains. “There are a lot of ingredients that go into a formula that are not necessarily meant to do anything on the skin, but meant to make the formula work, like a lot of emulsifiers…and preservatives.

For women interested in the Tata Harper Skincare line, Harper recommends trying three of the line’s most basic products to start. The Regenerating Cleanser ($82 for 125 millilitres at BeautyMark [1268 Pacific Boulevard]) is a daily exfoliating cleanser that includes apricot seed powder and pomegranate enzymes for exfoliation, grapefruit and bergamot for its antibacterial and detoxifying properties, aloe vera to hydrate the skin, and pink clay to minimize pores and increase circulation.

“You can use it if you have dry skin or oily skin, and it’s such a great way of keeping up sloughing off all the dead skin,” Harper says.

She recommends following up the cleanser with the Hydrating Floral Essence ($71.50 for 50 millilitres), which is a moisturizing toner containing 19 active ingredients, including hyaluronic acid to help skin retain its moisture and minimize fine lines, willow bark to encourage cell renewal, witch hazel to reduce redness, and jasmine and tangerine to restore the skin’s elasticity. Finally, Harper suggests trying the Rejuvenating Serum ($165 for 50 millilitres), one of the line’s most popular products and—with its 29 active ingredients—perhaps the collection’s most powerful anti-aging tool.

“Those three are basic because you cleanse, you hydrate and you rejuvenate,” Harper says. “If you use the regiment completely, it really targets every layer of your skin and every aspect of having vital skin, skin that is really alive and fresh and great.”

You can follow Michelle da Silva on Twitter at twitter.com/michdas.

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