A BUSINESSWOMAN inspired to find a solution to her young daughter’s multiple skin allergies and excema is celebrating 20 years of her business producing organic skin care products.
Sussex mother Charlotte Vøhtz was in despair as her baby daughter Sandra battled sore and irritated skin and began searching for natural products that would be gentle on her sensitive skin.
But she found that even so-called natural skin care brands used almost entirely synthetic ingredients.
“From that moment, I realised that we are all children of the chemical age and that man-made chemicals profoundly affect us all,” she says.
She was spurred on to create her own organic creams and salves tailored to suit her daughter’s skin. Charlotte says, “My motivation came from wanting to help treat the skin problems Sandra was suffering with. As any parent of a child with severe skin problems will know, it can be a long and frustrating battle to find treatments that work.”
Above: Charlotte Vøhtz, and top, with her daughter Sandra today
Her business, Green People, was launched in 1997 after years of product research and development, promising never to use synthetic chemicals or aggressive ingredients or to test on animals. From the first stockist of one local independent health store in Sussex as well as a growing online presence, Green People has continued to grow and has won more than 140 awards.
Charlotte was also instrumental in designing the first standards for organic beauty with The Soil Association and later in setting natural and organic cosmetic regulations.
“The buzz we get from knowing we can make a difference makes it all worthwhile,” says Charlotte.
Maintaining healthy skin – the natural way
Here, Charlotte explains the importance of eliminating harsh chemicals from your daily skin care routine, and her favourite ingredients and methods for maintaining a healthy, balanced complexion.
Out with the harsh, in with the active
Up to 60 per cent of what you put onto your skin can be absorbed into your bloodstream. So as well as opting for a heathy diet, it is just as important to consider what you put on your skin. Choosing products that contain only the purest ‘hard-working’ ingredients can make all the difference to how you look and feel. Shea butter, rosehip, calendula, avocado and aloe vera have been used as part of skin care routines for centuries and are all excellent examples of natural, active ingredients that are full of nutrients that benefit hair, scalp and skin. Switching to organic products is an easy step to take and will help you to avoid the toxins found in mainstream products.
Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate!
Exfoliation is one of the most important parts of any good beauty routine and will help to keep skin soft and smooth. Properly exfoliating with a microbead-free scrub will remove dead skin cells, unclog pores and allow moisturisers to penetrate more deeply. As well as using an organic exfoliating scrub, I highly recommend using a body brush for a couple of minutes each day before getting into the shower. This will improve skin tone, stimulate circulation, kick-start your metabolism and help to break down cellulite.
Thoroughly removing make-up and daily grime will keep your skin looking healthy, unblock pores and improve absorption of serums, moisturisers and oils. Double cleansing is the most effective way to rid your skin of left over make-up and remove impurities. You should start by using an oil-based cleanser, massaging it into the skin in small circular motions over the entire face and neck and wash off with lukewarm water. Follow this up by using a water-based cleanser, which will remove any residue that may have been missed on your first cleanse. Choose good quality, certified organic cleansers that are free from SLS and alcohol denat as these will strip skin and lead to dryness, irritation and inflammation.
We have been using essential oils in our products at Green People since we started as they are beneficial for so many skin conditions and ailments. The natural aromas will also help to relax your mind and rejuvenate your senses. Essential oils should never be applied to the skin or hair undiluted so make sure you choose a high quality product that has been mixed with a carrier or base oil. For our 20th anniversary Damask Rose and Orange Blossom special edition collection, we’ve collaborated with a leading essential oil expert to create exquisitely complex natural aromas. Our Damask Rose Cleanser contains essential oil blends with calming Rose Otto at its heart and top notes of soft jasmine and lemon. This skin-smoothing cleanser locks in moisture and keeps your skin soft, balanced and hydrated.