Podcast Interview | Victoria Ratmanova, founder of Naturals Cosmetics
Victoria Ratmanova, founder and CEO of beauty brand, Naturals Cosmetics, experienced first-hand the importance of keeping your cosmetics clear from chemicals. After struggling with skin problems from a very young age, she decided to combined her Grandmothers knowledges from her heritage in the Ukraine with her skills from her biology studies, to create all-natural skincare; without any unnecessary ingredients. During this exclusive interview, Victoria shares her personal story about her childhood, and gives exclusive tips and tricks on how to keep your skin looking healthy and young.
“I was basically forced to create my own cream,
that’s how the idea was born.”
How did you get started in the beauty industry?
Well, in my twenties I had really bad skin; very dry, dehydrated and inflamed. I tried many different products to try and calm my skin down, including luxury brands, but almost immediately I would have a reaction, it felt like my skin was burning. So, I started studying the ingredients to find out what was actually causing the reaction on my skin. I realised most of the creams had similar ingredients. Everything was toxic to me, so I didn’t know where to start. I was basically forced to create my own cream, that’s how the idea was born.
I ended up studying how the plants where working and how they were working with the human body. I already knew that nature had all the answers. When I was a child, my grandmother was growing herbs and fruits in her garden that she would use for her skin. I loved spending the summers with my grandmother. She would send me into the garden to collect blueberries and raspberries, which she would mash up and put on her face. From that moment on, I already learned about the power of nature. When I started my journey in creating an all-natural skincare brand, I started with those natural ingredients. While studying at Natural Healing institute, I learned how to create creams form herb extracts. For the first time in my life, I created a cream that I didn’t get an allergic reaction from and actually worked for my dehydrated skin. I knew this was the solution.
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Last time we met, you told me about how you used to wear a lot of makeup as a teenager.
I started using makeup from the age of seven or eight, performing at our local dancing school. Every week I had makeup on, including fake eyelashes and fake nails. Afterwards my mom would use a regular soap to wash my face. My skin was itchy and dry but I thought that was normal at that time. I remember we had to perform on TV and my dance coach put glitters and stones with a regular glue on my face. I couldn’t remove them so I had to go to school with glitter on my face for a week. Even though I quit dancing when I was 17, make-up became my second skin. I think at that time it was important for me, because it gave me more… kind of a fake confidence.
“I think at that time it was important for me,
because it gave me more… kind of a fake confidence.”
You started your own cosmetics brand a few years ago. How involved are you in the process and what is your biggest challenge in creating the products?
I’m 100 percent involved, I do everything from formulating, choosing the ingredients, the packaging, and even being present in the lab. The biggest challenge for me is finding the right team of people who are on the same wave length. You know, who share the same values of harmony between humans and environment. Sometimes I have an idea at 4 o’ clock in the morning. I often record my thoughts, to share with my team later on.
Why is it so important that beauty products are free of all these unnecessary ingredients?
Natural is more native to us. When we eat organic and healthy food, we feel better, happier, more energised. I feel that it is not only about what you eat, it’s about your complete lifestyle and therefore, you should also care about what you put on your skin. Research already showed that synthetics are toxic to our body, especially synthetic B12, which is toxic to our liver. Also, there is a relation between our guts, our skin and our brain. When I talk about digestion I always think about a story of my granny. Because in Ukrainian culture when a child is born, the well wishes for the parents are usually for the child to sleep well, and to poop well. My granny wouldn’t ask me how I was doing, but how often I pooped that day. She wasn’t a scientist but she knew that if our guts weren’t working well, that would have a big influence on our skin. Our skin is our largest organ and it both absorbs and excretes things. The skin has a protective function. It’s the first thing that meets the outside world and makes sure to protect our body from any unwanted invaders from the outside. The way it functions is through acidic barrier and skin microflora that are on the top of our skin. Microflora is the mix of friendly microorganisms which are essential for health and beauty of our skin. Conventional cosmetics contain ingredients that are just too aggressive for the skin microflora and often lead to a destruction of the friendly microorganisms that protect our skin. This creates a lot of challenges for the skin as well as the body. Research shows a direct relationship between imbalance of skin microflora and eczema, atopic dermatitis, skin allergies and sensitivity. All those aggressive ingredients that are used in cosmetics such as alcohol, destroys these bacteria that are there to protect us.
“The better my skin became, the more confident I got,
the more I started accepting myself.”
What does your morning beauty ritual look like?
It’s very simple, I wash my face with water and I use a rose-mist toner to awaken my skin. Then I apply a hydrating serum around my eye area and all over my face. On top, I use a cream to seal the moisture with it. For the last 15 years I hardly used any make-up. The better my skin became, the more confident I got and the more I started accepting myself. I didn’t feel a need in makeup anymore. There is a direct relationship between how I treat my body, and how I actually feel. My philosophy in life is clear; simple and natural.