She has 10 dogs, a couple goats and a serious passion for truth in beauty. Tata Harper made it her mission to develop a skincare line that lived up to its all-natural claims and spent five years researching, testing, working side by side with scientists and creating her product line from the ground up – literally.
And the result is a beautiful thing.
We spoke to Tata Harper at Spa Girls headquarters during her whirlwind fall press tour. With not a stitch of makeup on and her hair pulled back in a thick braid, her skin gleamed and her eyes lit up whenever she spoke of her line and its auspicious inception. Columbian-born and a mom of two, Tata lives on a sprawling farm in Vermont when she’s not on the road spreading the word (herself!) about her products.
“I wanted to make a product that was 100 percent natural,” she says as she gave us the background of how the line came to be. After her stepfather was diagnosed with cancer and told to ditch all personal care items because of the potentially toxic chemical ingredients, she was horrified to find that few alternatives were available among the myriad of skin and body care labels.
Her quest to create a truly all-natural line took her on a global search for chemists and clinical aromatherapists who shared her passion and were up for the challenge of non-traditional development methods. An engineer by trade, she had to learn how the cosmetic industry works (for better or worse) and formulated each and every product from scratch. She sought out the highest quality essential oils and extracts from sources across the globe – Israel, Romania, France, New Zealand to name a few – and created the formulations in small batches in the lab on her Vermont farm, where many of the ingredients are also grown and harvested.
Tata took no shortcuts with the packaging either. The 100% recycled paper label peels back for proper use instructions. The inner label is made of tree-less limestone printed with soy ink and the bottles are recyclable glass.
Each of the 12 products that currently make up the Tata Harper Skincare line are 100% natural, non-synthetic, non-toxic amalgams of synergistic, focused ingredients. All products are highly concentrated so a little goes a long way. As we sampled each, the floral aromas kept the oohs and aahs coming but it was the ingredients (many of them new to us) that made us shake our heads in astonishment. Here’s a sampling of the standouts:
- Regenerating Cleanser: This is my personal favorite and I use it now religiously. The rose-colored cleanser is a blend of pomegranate extract, apricot seed powder, white willow bark and a handful of harmonious essential oils that balance and refresh. For a non-foaming cleanser, it’s amazing how clean it leaves your skin.
- Rejuvenating Serum: Not the typical clear serum, this milky formula is a blend of 25 active ingredients that encourage skin cells to stand up on their own naturally against environmental damage while restoring elasticity and balance. Date and alfalfa extracts are among the surprises on the ingredients list.
- Revitalizing Body Oil: Even the hard-to-impress Spa Boy let out an audible “aaah” when he breathed in the exotic aroma of this body treat. Calendula oil flirts with sandalwood and neroli for a blend that not only excites your olfactory senses but reduces skin inflammation, heals wounds and deeply moisturizes. (Spa directors and buyers, if you’re reading this, it will knock your clients’ socks off)
- Aromatic Bedtime Treatment: One of three treatments Tata developed with a highly sought clinical aromatherapist in the U.K., this hypnotic blend calls on a host of calming oils to lull you into sleepy-time. Dot the oil on wrist and neck pulse points then rub it in your palms and deeply breath into your hands. We were all gaga over this one.
Expressing our skepticism about the promises that skincare lines make through their ad campaigns and labels, Tata left us this little nugget to chew on before she left. “When it’s natural, you get miracles.” We expect more miracles to come from this passionate and dedicated innovator.
Tata Harper Skincare products range from $45 to $105 and are available at tataharperskincare.com.