This summer, we sat down with green skincare guru Tata Harper on her sprawling 1,200-acre farm in Vermont, which houses the manufacturing and production facilities for her natural beauty empire. The Colombian-born entrepreneur discussed what a typical day looks like (plenty of meditation, to start), what she dislikes about the American-approach to skincare and the launch of the brand's first-ever products dedicated to acne.
"I typically wake up around 6:15 a.m. and do 30 minutes of meditation. That’s my number one thing. Then after I’m done with that, I check my email. I’m typically at the office by 8:15 a.m. My days, if I’m [not travelling], they’re meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting. So that’s why I actually instituted standing desks [at my office] so that everybody can exercise a little bit. When you’re sitting all day you feel like your muscles are degrading.
"I have lunch between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. I eat everything. I don’t have any dietary restrictions, contrary to what a lot of people think, that I am vegetarian, vegan, raw-food eater. I eat what I would normally eat at home in South America, so it’s typically like either soups, or salad with chicken and potatoes on the side. Just like classic Latin meals. A lot of rice. A lot of beef. A lot of vegetables. At night I like to keep it more simple. I typically have a tortilla with a lot of vegetables and tuna.
"I tend to workout after work. I love to do either TRX or Pilates. I love to go running, and I do free weights and circuit training – a little bit of everything. I don’t have one particular [workout]. Then after I exercise, which is typically around 6:30 p.m., then I have dinner with the kids.
"My kids don’t go to bed at 6:30 p.m. or anything like that. They typically go to bed at 9:30 p.m.-ish. We take a bath together, and either watch a little bit of a movie or we read a book. Then I take them to their bedrooms and I spend a little time with each, getting them each one in bed. And then I meditate again for another 30 minutes; I would say I started that two years ago. I would meditate on the weekend when I would have time, but now I just make time.
On her skincare routine:
"In the morning I typically exfoliate with the Regenerating Cleanser. I use that on dry skin and polish the skin with it really well and that basically removes all the dead skin cells. So that is number one, because everyday you shed dead skin, so it’s important to get rid of it. That way, your products penetrate much better and your skin is glow-y.
"After that I love to put on essence, so I do the Hydrating Floral Essence. I basically saturate my skin with that. Then I do the Elixir Vitae Serum [on my face] and Eye Serum, and the Boosted Contouring Serum on my neck. And then I do moisturizer, and Replenishing Nutrient Complex, which is a face oil. It takes me two minutes to layer it all. I love our Lip and Cheek Tint in Very Naughty. I put it all over and that’s it.
"Then at night it’s very similar but instead of exfoliating like in the morning, I do the double cleanse. So I do the Nourishing Oil Cleanser, which is our oil cleanser, and remove any makeup. It’s effective at removing particles and oils. Then I follow with the Purifying Cleanser, the one for pollution. Then after that, I do the Concentrated Brightening Essence. And then I do the same serum, same everything [as in the morning], but I would do the Boosted Contouring Eye Mask.
"I have very sensitive skin, so if I use things that irritate me, it creates these bumps in my skin. When I was researching to start this company, I would divide my face in quarters, and use this cream over here, use that cream over there. And it was like patchwork. A mess. So that I will never do again.
On her approach to skincare:
"The age of my consumer is all over the place. And to be honest with you, it doesn’t matter what age you’re in. Starting young is the ultimate strategy, because it’s like you’re repairing as you go, instead of the typical American philosophy of waiting until you have a lot of damage on the skin, which is really not the most ideal scenario."
On her new line for acne:
"I love to help people so when they’re like I have this [issue], what do I use? What do you recommend? I had nothing that’s specific for acne. The Resurfacing Mask can help you a little bit, but it wasn’t developed for that. So we really wanted to develop a product that was all about the condition. Because a lot of the time people that have acne, it’s a life long thing. It’s either from foods that they haven’t identified or hormonal imbalances that they have. Rarely is it a simple, superficial skin disturbance because those are really easy to correct. It’s so hard for people when they get to a certain age where they want to take care of their wrinkles, they want to improve firming, they want to do all those things and they just can’t.