Consumer habits are evolving, people have started to be concerned about what they are putting into their bodies, which in turn initiated a clean eating movement across the world. Now the emphasis pivots to what they are putting on their face. While commercial beauty brands are restructuring their beauty strategy, natural beauty products such as Tata Harper are feeding the needs of the new green consumer.
The rise in clean beauty is no surprise. Tata Harper goes beyond being a clean and natural brand. They are a green beauty brand that formulates their products from 100% natural and non-toxic ingredients. Tata Harper said, “I feel that clean beauty is a great effort that the industry has made to ‘clean up’ their cosmetics because they’ve been using a lot of controversial ingredients for a long time and are trying to rid their formulas with that. At the end of the day, that’s what everything should be – that’s the baseline – but that’s not what we do. We do so much more than just avoid a few controversial ingredients.”
Unreserved interviews Tata Harper, founder of natural skincare brand Tata Harper.
Why did Tata Harper decide to create clean beauty products?
My brand and brand philosophy was born from a life-changing event when my stepfather was diagnosed with cancer. I became aware of the toxic load and chemicals that were in all of the products we were using. Looking behind the curtains of the products, I was disappointed to learn that many used the same toxic ingredients like “antifreeze” and other harmful ingredients that belong in a car and not on people’s skin. When I started to engineer my line, I wasn’t looking to replicate products that were already on the market, but my founding philosophy was to give the skincare industry a fresh start with highly effective and luxurious anti-ageing beauty products that are completely free of synthetic and chemical ingredients.
What did you discover about traditional beauty products?
I believe people deserve beauty products that deliver the results they want, without putting their health at risk. As a company, we seek to challenge the assumption that ‘natural’ means less effective. I’m passionate about promoting a modern, health-conscious natural beauty lifestyle that’s committed to safety, honesty and sustainability but this doesn’t stop at the high-performance products we are creating. Through learning more about toxins and chemicals that are in so many of the everyday products that we use, I am constantly conscious about what myself and my kids are putting in and on our bodies and how we treat the planet.
What’s your advice for ageing gracefully?
Ageing gracefully isn’t about trying to look like a 20-something. It’s about living your best life and having the physical and mental health to enjoy it. I believe it is very important to focus on a healthy diet, exercise, take care of your skin, be happy and keep your stress level down. When you’re young it’s important to start building a good regimen, focus on keeping your skin healthy and hydrated to prevent visible signs of ageing for as long as possible. Consistency is key for maintaining beautiful skin, and it all starts with the order you apply your products from cleansers to your treatments. To maximize the efficacy of your skincare, I suggest applying products in order of lightest to heaviest molecular weight. This way, small molecules like those in essences can absorb into the skin before larger molecules, like the ones in face oils.
What is the Farm to Face process that Tata Harper stands by?
We are completely vertically integrated, so we formulate, batch, fill, and ship all of our products from our farm in Vermont. Every single step in getting one of our green bottles or jars into your hands is done by a Tata Harper employee here on our Vermont farm. We don’t outsource to companies or take shortcuts, we do it all ourselves – without compromising.
Our products are not subcontracted to a third party who requires us to produce minimums that would leave our products losing freshness while sitting in warehouses. Instead, we operate like a self-distributing food company so we can be sure that we are always shipping the freshest product. It’s done the long and hard way, but to us, this is the best way and the only way we’ll ever operate our company.
From the very beginning, we refused to use any synthetic or hazardous chemicals even in the extraction processes of the ingredients. Instead, we process everything ourselves or buy from our suppliers around the world. The ingredients we grow on the farm are hand-picked, then completely dried. Then we do a process called ‘garbling,’ where the ingredients are rubbed by hand on a screen to break them down. Finally, we combine them with a carrier oil and gently heat them to extract all the oils and key nutrients. Then they’re strained and become our Estate Grown Beauty Complex before they are bottled up and shipped off straight from the farm. It is farm to face skincare because we use the real thing, the original natural ingredients, and make products that are completely fresh when they reach our customers.
Traditional skincare products are made with synthetic ingredients that are cheaper, easier to work with versions of natural ingredients. They use a lot of preservatives, so when you’re buying a product it might already be 2 years old when you open the box. Although the method is unique and complex, controlling every stage of the process on our farm ensures that we are consistently making products that are as fresh and potent as possible. Freshness is so important because as a product ages its ingredients change and break down, and won’t give you the benefits it were intended to. With a truly fresh product, you’ll get the best results possible.
How is Tata Harper different from other clean skincare brands?
We source only the highest quality natural ingredients, the most innovative green technology available and include as many as we can in every formula to make our products as effective as possible. I work with our in-house team on every step of the process, from conceptualisation to formulation to packaging, to create all of our products. We are completely vertically integrated, so we formulate, batch, fill, and ship all of our products from our farm in Vermont. We grow some of our ingredients on the farm organically through regenerative farming, a practice that enables carbon drawdown, helps to rebuild and restore the soil and source the rest from around the world.
What is your green goal for the future?
The future of sustainability for us is to end single-use products and I am proud to say that we have launched our first refillable product, the Water-Lock Moisturizer. We’ve been working on refills behind the scenes for a while now! First, we’re doing refills for our bestsellers and eventually our entire product line. I hope that this is something that other beauty brands begin to adapt because it is so crucial in reducing the industry’s environmental footprint.