We are infatuated with beauty experts, entrepreneurs and products that empower women to take care of their skin holistically. Women in the U.S. are beginning to understand that the hunt for a miracle in a bottle is akin to the search for the holy grail — it simply doesn’t exist. Instead we may need to learn more about ourselves and our skin and develop habits that will take care of it over time. The move to what I call holistic preventative skin care has finally landed on the shores of the U.S. and is starting to take root.
A significant part of this movement is not so much about putting a band aid on skin problems once they occur but taking proactive steps to nurture and protect it so imperfections never have a chance to emerge. Instead of using harsh products and procedures that break the skin down to build it up, the idea is to use ingredients that work with the skin’s natural functions to boost its health and luminosity.
Emma Hardie is a leading pioneer in natural healing and skin rejuvenation and is the most accomplished holistic aesthetician in the UK today. She is known for treating the skin from the bone up.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Emma to discuss her approach to skin care.
How did you land in the skin care industry?
EH: I started out as an interior designer and fell on ill health, which made it not only necessary for me to change my career, but to heal myself. I began researching the details of the human body and discovered that with the right catalyst, our bodies have the wherewithal to heal themselves. Part of the healing process, for me, involved facial acupuncture and exercises, which boosted my body’s ability to heal itself. I noticed that it did the same for my skin. Working optimally, my skin began to rebalance itself and started to look great. I was inspired to show women how to feel and look great by empowering them to heal their bodies naturally.
What is your philosophy?
EH: I developed a facial and skin care range based on the research I had done. Skin is living. I discovered it is possible to optimize the skin’s natural functions by working with it, using hi-tech, plant based ingredients to build it up instead of using harsh ingredients and treatments to fight against it.
What do you love most about what you do?
EH: So much! I love immersing myself in the research — the R & D piece of the work is fascinating. Understanding the human body and ingredients at the atomic level and how they interact with each other is fascinating. I also love educating people on the process — empowering women to heal themselves naturally and see results.
What is the most important piece of skin care advice you give your clients?
EH: Use a nourishing cleanser, moisturizer and SPF product regularly. The emphasis should be on the massaging technique. All must be applied in downward or cross hatch strokes, working with the grain of facial tissue and lymphatics. It brings up the water levels in the skin, allowing products to penetrate deeper into the layers of the dermis and promoting lymphatic drainage. This process optimizes the skin’s ability to carry out its activities at the cellular level. Using a microfiber wash cloth boosts the efficacy of the process. staying out of the sun and drinking water are incredibly important as well. If you are dehydrated the organs of the body can’t work optimally — this includes the skin.
If you had to recommend a single product that you would encourage people to splurge on, what would it be?
EH: A neck product. Beauty does not end at the chin. The neck supports the face and creates a complete structure. It should all be beautiful. The neck and chest area are the loveliest part of a woman, not to mention one of the most erogenous zones. A graceful neck makes one look elegant like a swan and more importantly makes a woman feel elegant. A neck serum enables the skin to absorb creams more readily and together correct issues that may be present. I just love serums.
What is your process for creating products in your range?
EH: It takes passion and loads of work. First and foremost, it’s about the face. Breaking it down and determining what bits deserve the most attention and Emma Hardie love. Teamwork is crucial. The best results come from working in an environment where you have the freedom to be creative and have fun. We also do a great deal of product testing, market research and trials. We are creating products for people we don’t know and that’s hard — everyone has her own preferences for product texture and smell — I want to make effective skincare that makes women feel comfortable. Products that sit seamlessly under foundation, smell pleasant and stimulate the olfactory senses.
There has been a shift in attitudes surrounding the term anti-aging as it relates to skin care. What are your thoughts?
EH: Age has many positives. We become more mature, wiser and more at peace with our surroundings and ourselves. We also begin to embrace change, investing more time in taking better care of ourselves as we get older. We need to work with our bodies to enable them to change gracefully. If we are always fighting against the changes that begin to occur in our skin as we age, we will not look natural. Instead, we can use ingredients that help our skin look and feel great at any age. Fighting age with abrasive products and treatments cause irritation, damage the skin and in many cases accomplish the opposite of what we are trying to achieve.