Martha, tell us about your background, training and how you came to start your own skin care company.
I had a natural interest in herbs, and began reading Jethrow Klauss/Back to Eden in my early teenage years and playing around with herbs. One day a friend and I went to Santa Fe (I’m from Albuquerque) and took the backway home. There was an unusual tourist attraction in Golden, NM called the “Glass Bottle Garden”. As this site was originally a stagecoach stop, it was filled with antique liquor and medicine bottles. Our curiosity piqued, so we stopped in. It turned out the proprietor (Ardell) was an herbalist and out of nowhere asked if I would like to study herbs with her. I did, off and on for about 18 months. I moved from NM, and my passion for herbs transitioned to essential oils. About 20 years later, I became a massage therapist and started making my own products for my clients. In addition, I did some teaching of reflexology and aromatherapy. Because of the success I started having with my clients and classes and a brief encounter with supplying Nordstrom with some of my products, I decided to make an over the top natural skin care line that would involve my communication with the plants to guide me and a comprehensive model including nutritional supplements, minerals and flower essences. This inclusive model is still unsurpassed in the current market, even with thousands of competitors.
How is the OHA skin care system different from other brands?
The OHA skin care “SYSTEM” involves a unique blending and layering method that allows clients to receive the benefits of an entire skin care system in 3-5 minutes, two times a day. It is simple, sensuous and super effective! The system includes: 1.Cleanse 2.Exfoliate 3.Tone 4.Treat and 5.Protect. What are the benefits? The benefits include: 1. dewy and moist skin 2. rejuvenating elasticity and firmness 3. reduction of wrinkles 4.bright and even skin tone and 5.noticeable improvement in skin texture. 6.natural UV protection (this term can be translated as supression of UV damage). In addition, the ingredients and packaging are incredibly clean, non toxic to your face, body and the environment. It’s like being able to “get your green on” and being rewarded with fabulous skin.
The biggest concern I hear from women is that they want to be assured that natural/organic skin care is as effective as the department store/drug store brands they’ve been using. What’s your opinion on that?
I can understand people’s reluctance to change, however even with a small amount of research/investigation these same women would discover and should be more concerned about the toxicity that department/drug store brands use. For those companies, marketing is the key factor in their dollar investments, not ingredients. Most of these companies, for example still package their products in plastic. Not only is this hazardous to the environment, but certain components, phthlates for example, leach into the product, then into our bodies and finally into the sewage and water systems. As far as effectiveness, you only need to try the products for a few days to see the response your skin will have. Because we put our money into the ingredients, it shows up on you skin. Specifically we use organic ingredients, that are active on your skin – 2 types of Vitamin E, 2 types of esterfied vitamin C, MSM, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Coenzyme CoQ10, highly unusual and therapeutic essential oils, trace minerals from the Great Salt Lake and Canadian flower essences to achieve overall skin health, deliver anti aging benefits and skin radiance. We are packaged in dark glass, which protects the valuable ingredients and is completely recyclable and non toxic to the water, soil and air.
What are some of the most beneficial ingredients that you use? What are the benefits?
Most companies focus on one or two ingredients. OHA has been designed to showcase a team of expert ingredients, all working together to create an effective skin care system. As a result OHA’s formulations are founded on a different concept from our competitors with intended broader outcomes. We are not just a cosmetic, although we do achieve cosmetic benefits. But moreover, it is both highly therapeutic and medicinal. When you treat the skin, you are after severalgoals such as: great looking skin, integrity of the immune system and support of the skin. The skin being not only your largest organ, but a SENSORY organ. It relays vital information to the brain, and nervous system. The skin’s overall health is connected also to your respiratory and cardiovascular system. In order to try to answer your questions, only beneficial ingredients have been chosen. Alone they would not be as effective as they are in concert with each other. These benefits are: 1. Anti-oxidant 2. Anti-inflammatory 3. Cell Regenerative 4.Lipd barrier protection (AKA Epidermis) 5. Structural support of collagen
Some women seem resistant to using oils on their faces. The Intensive Nutrient Complex contains several oils. Can you help us understand the importance of this serum?
This question is really more about the physiology of skin. To begin with lets create an easy picture – that of salad dressing. Suppose you put in you 1 cup of water and then you add 1/4 cup of oil. What happens? The oil floats to the top and just sits there. That is a good diagram for the skin. Your skin is what keeps the water in your body and in this case your face. Skin cells are mainly composed of lipids aka fats and they form a film comprised of lipids.Lipids are part of oils, not water. In the epidermis this film prevents major water loss, and provides antibacterial and fungicidal protection from the outside environment. In addition cell membranes are composed of fats/lipds/oils and assist with nutrient apsorbtion. Therefore using oils is an essential part of caring for the skin. Not to mention that most anti-oxidants are oil, not water soluable. Now, there has to be some qualifications of oils and their structures. Oils high in essential fatty acids are similar to the structure and composition of our skin. They are easily absorbed and contain vital nutrients to be delivered into the cells. Without natural moisturizing factors, the water in your skin would soon evaporate and the skin becomes dry and cracked. Keeping water in your skin is also key to nutrient absorption as water transports nutrients in and transports waste out of cells. The Intensive Nutrient Complex is made up of many oils rich in Omega 3, 6 and 9′s as well as other essential fatty acids. There are important antioxidants, 2 forms of Vitamin E (tocopherol and tocotrienol), an oil soluable form of Vitamin C (esterfied), Alpha Lipoic Acid, 4 Supercritical Extracts, essential oils of Rosemary, Sandalwood, Frankinscence. This product is designed to be effective in maintaining moisture, nourishing the cells, providing natural UV protection, reducing inflammation and regenerating damaged cells. It is highly absorptive and will not create pimples. It is the most concentrated product we have and hugely popular because our customers find it so beneficial. As a side note, mineral oils and petroleum oils have a much different chemical composition from our skin and provide a heavy film, making it hard for the skin to let anything in or out. They can be useful in extreme cases, like severe diaper rash or sunburn, but OHA has nothing to do with those types of oils.
I love the name of your company – OHA (Organic Healthy Aging). Any advice for healthy aging of the skin in addition to using OHA BioActive Skin Care?
Truly, one cannot “anti-age” but certainly one can healthy-age! As so often recommended, LOTS of water drinking. The addition of electrolytes really helps water keep our bodies hydrated. The extra addition of 3-4 drops of Lemon essential oil help us stay detoxified, and effectively fight viruses and bacteria and makes the water taste lovely. Glass or stainless steel water vessels of course. Also drinking green tea. Supplementation of CoQ10, Vitamins C & E, Alpha Lipoic Acid and enzymes to help us utilize the nutrients in our food – notice many of the same ingredients that are contained in the skin care products. Deep breathing exercises, walking and yoga of course. Plenty of rest. Eat organic and juice whenever possible. Spend at least 3-5 minutes a day saying wonderful things about yourself and to yourself. Be grateful not only for your life, but the beauty that is you.
Thank you Martha for the wealth of information. And thank you for creating the OHA products that we love so much!
To your health and beauty!