Hello my NC Beauties,
The past few weeks have been quite busy and my heart continues to be filled with joy and gratitude during this holiday season! We’re working on some wonderful things that we’ll be sharing with you very soon…I can’t wait! I hope that every one of you spent this time doing what you love most and are ready to take on the New Year that lies ahead.
During this time of the year I always take a moment to look back and reflect on things. I started thinking about Natura Culina and how far we’ve come. If you ever wondered where the idea and my passion for natural skincare came from I’d have to say the seed was planted very early during my childhood. I grew up in Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad) one of the most visited spa town in the Czech Republic, historically famous for its healing hot springs. As you can imagine, the experience of growing up in a beautiful European city, that was centuries old and visited by people from all over the world, exposed me to the natural healing powers of various spa treatments like mud baths, herbal wraps and massages. The focus was always healing and improving ones health through ancient rituals that had been used for centuries.My fascination with skin care started at a very young age and I clearly remember one instance where I saved my lunch money to buy a fancy, beautifully scented cream from our local drug store. When I returned home proud of my purchase my mother quickly reminded that my lunch money was meant to be used for lunch not cream. Fast forward a few years and I’m in my early 20’s visiting Germany very frequently after the collapse of the Iron Curtain where I now had access to skincare products from all over the world, I’m talking stores upon stores of nothing but cosmetics and skincare. This might have been nothing out of the ordinary for most, but for a girl growing up in communist Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) it was my very own skincare heaven. Some girls love shoes, others love purses but I love skincare!
Looking back, I consider those to be some of my most educational years. I say this because I spent most of my money purchasing products that smelled nice and came in pretty packaging, I was the perfect consumer, and I tested it all! My little bathroom was filled with glass jars that I would stare at while bathing, wondering if my latest purchase of some “miracle potion” was working it’s magic on my skin.
In my mid-twenties, I was lucky enough to win a Green Card lottery that gave me the opportunity to come to the United States. I didn’t know English very well and I didn’t have a lot of money, but I was a former athlete and grade school teacher so the transition into personal trainer felt very natural to me. I wanted to help people feel good and look good in a natural, healthy way. It was then that I decided to go back to my roots and my passion for skincare. I was going through a challenging time and searching for healing and soothing products. I began researching and playing with essential oils, that lead to blending and testing products I created. Throughout this process I read, researched and learned a lot about all of the harmful toxins and chemicals that most products have and the effects on our health at the cellular level. I became disturbed at the marketing and the lack of awareness of it all so my focus shifted right then and there! It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of things that smell pretty but I wanted to create a line of natural skincare that went beyond the nice smell and pretty packaging.
Since then I’ve seen the natural skincare industry explode. The unfortunate thing is that the industry as a whole still allows for inclusion of harmful ingredients. BUT the good news is that we as consumers can really do our homework and educate ourselves in order to recognize what’s toxic. Let me also let you in on a little secret, most brands use a special font for their ingredients list making it very hard to read – even if you don’t use reading glasses, you’ll need them when trying to figure out what exactly you are putting on your skin. It’s rather shameful!
This entire process led me to Natura Culina where I’ve taken a completely different and minimal approach based on complete transparency. You can take a look at our site where you’ll find a complete list of ingredients for each product. The internet, in all of its craziness, is a great tool and provides a lot of information. I encourage everyone to follow bloggers you can trust BUT always do your research. Do I sound like a broken record yet?!?! I’m a huge fan of the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep, it’s a great resource. Remember that applied knowledge is power and educating yourself is the key to transformation and change.
When I mentioned earlier that I’m filled with gratitude this season, I also meant that I’m grateful for you! For those that have been with me since the beginning and seen Natura Culina evolve and continue to support it, THANK YOU. And to all of you newcomers welcome to NC goodness! I hope you will keep coming back for more. We continue to be skincare ambassadors and seek out products that not only feel good on our skin but are also good for us. I hope that together we can work to change the standards of skincare and that you’ll continue to follow us on our journey this new year. We’re looking forward to growing as a brand but also as individuals and invite you all to join us. Hoping this New Year brings you health and happiness. Cheers to a fresh start!