After falling into some unexpected health issues, Akar Skin Founder, Kate Chen decided it was time for her to do a complete 180 in her life, from leaving her high-stress job to becoming very aware of all the nutrients or harsh chemicals she was putting on or in her body. This led to the birth of Kate’s own skincare line, Akar Skin! When getting started, Kate knew she wanted to create healthy, all natural and clean products free of unnecessary chemicals that damage skin overtime. It wasn’t until Kate took a trip to the Tibetan Plateau that she felt truly inspired. With the Tibetan Plateau’s high altitudes, it is completely free from pollution and is considered to be the 3rd cleanest location on earth, after the North & South poles.
We had the chance to chat with Kate about her journey, inspiration and story behind the brand.
Can you tell us a bit about the Tibetan Plateau? How did you discovery the ingredients there? What is the wildlife like?
I began looking into natural skincare 5 years ago, after a sudden health incident. I took some time off from work and travelled extensively. While on a trip to the Tibetan Plateau, I was stunned by the area’s cleanliness and abundant wildlife. The locals introduced me to wild goji berries and sea buckthorn and I was determined to formulate my collection around native Tibetan ingredients.
How do you source the ingredients from this region?
We partner with a certified organic farm in the area that works with local farmers and engage in fair trade labor.
How did you come up with the name “Akar”?
Akar is actually the name of our local guide’s daughter. He introduced me to her and I loved the meaning of her name, white crystal, which is a symbol for purity; a perfect match with a skincare collection inspired by the region.
Can you tell us about your journey and why it was so important for you to create Akar?
After a sudden health incident which was due to my high-stress job, I knew I needed to make a 180 into a healthier lifestyle, and diet/exercise were only the beginning. I knew if I wanted to be serious about the change, I even had to ditch my toxic beauty products and begin looking into natural skincare.
Where do you find inspiration for your products? Do you find yourself drawn to specific ingredients?
I honestly draw my inspiration from the Tibetan Plateau. Its abundant wildlife constantly moves me to develop new products & recipes for the line. Additionally, we are fortunate enough to live in a world full of plant life with amazing healing abilities, so we also incorporate botanicals from other parts of the world to evolve our products.
What is your most beloved product and why?
They all have a place in my heart, but if I had to choose, it would definitely be the Lush Balance Toning Mist combined with the Neat Remedy Face Oil. Together, they help nourish the skin while keeping problem skin at bay… the perfect duo!
Have you had the opportunity to take a step back and see the industry evolve with the rise of organic and non-toxic products? How does this make you feel?
Yes, and I love it!! Really, this movement goes beyond beauty and is really prevalent across all industries. People are more aware that what they put in/on their bodies has a strong impact in their longterm well-being and, in result, have more interest in taking better care of themselves. I am really happy to be a part of this movement and be to able to offer women & men across the world healthier (and effective) options when it comes to skincare.
What is your own personal skincare routine?
I have a pretty simple skincare routine, but I do it every single day. Consistency is key. In the morning, I like to cleanse with a clay cleanser to lightly exfoliate and detoxify the skin. While in the evening, I always do an oil cleanse to remove all the makeup and environmental pollutions from my day. I follow that with our Lush Balance Toning Mist, which is perfect at balancing the skin’s natural pH balance and tightening pores. It also contains vegan stem cells from saffron that helps your skin repair. Then while the skin is still wet from misting, I apply a few drops of the Neat Remedy Face Oil, perfect at calming irritations and balancing your skin’s oil production. However, I sometimes mix that up with the Desert Rescue Face Oil, particularly in the winter seasons when my skin tends to be drier. To finish it off, I tap in one drop of our eye brightening, puffiness reducing Nutrient Boost Eye Serum for both eyes. And I always apply our lip butters before I leave home and before bed. They are so amazingly moisturizing that I sometimes don’t reapply till I get home.
Can you share any insights or future product launches? How will this be different than your current offering?
We are currently working on a waterless face balm with an ultra anti-aging ingredient that’s rooted in Tibetan culture. The face balm will be a perfect addition to the night routine, acting as a final step after the face oil for radiant skin.
What is your favorite travel destination?
I love being surrounded by nature. So whenever possible, I leave the city and travel to somewhere with fresh air. That’s actually how I stumbled upon the breathtaking Tibetan Plateau.
What is a destination on your bucket list?
Iceland! The scenery looks incredibly gorgeous! …But most likely during their warmer months.