Wall lined with Naturopathica Products
Brand Reviews

Best Naturopathica Products | How Naturpathica’s Wellness Perspective Began and My Favorite Products

Naturopathica Table of Contents

Naturopathica Quick Facts | Naturopathica’s commitment regarding ingredients, the environment, ethics, and EWG and Good Guide Standing

I’ve just come from the Spa | How Naturopathica was Part of the Wellness Movement

Naturopathica Starts Simply | How Barbara Close Started Naturopathica

There’s Value in the Traditional, Too | How Traditional Remedies and Modern Medicine Compliment Each Other

Nature Plus Science | Science Still has a Place in Naturopathica’s Modern Formulations

Best Naturopathica Products | Products and Reviews

Naturopathica Quick Facts

Ingredients | Ecocert certified with 50% minimum natural ingredients; Free from Petroleum-derived products; Free from Synthetic polymers sunscreens, fragrances, colors; Free from Aluminum Zirconium and Silicone; Quaternary Ammonium Compounds and Hydroquinone; Free from Parabens, Phenoxyethanol, DMDM Hydantoin, Diazolidinyl Urea, Imidazolidinyl Urea, BHA, BHT; Free from SLS, SLES, ALES, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Octoxynols; Free from 1,4-dioxane, Ethoxylated compounds, Nitrosamines, Animal Ingredients

Eco-Friendly | Glass bottles, 70% post-consumer recycled plastic, 100% post-consumer recycled boxes

Ethical | Leaping Bunny Certified Cruelty Free, American Botanical Council, the Green Spa and other non-profits in their area

The Good Guide | Not rated

EWG | 1-5

 

I’ve just come from the spa

Spa towels with lighted candles.
Barbara founded her East Hampton spa with the belief that holistic medicine or wellness should be part of our daily lives.

 

Naturopathica’s founder Barbara Close was well ahead of the current mainstream trend of holistic living when she founded her East Hampton spa in 1995.

Wellness and natural then was ‘sort of nut-and-granola back then’, she says, of the slightly hippie connotations that went with healthy living.

Still, the former social worker turned aromatherapist aesthetician persevered.

She founded Naturopathica’s East Hampton spa and lined the shelves with herbal tinctures and balms.

Not everybody got it.

People would try the herbal tinctures and say, “Ooh, these taste bitter,” and that would be the end of that.

Empty apothecary bottles used for holding tinctures and infusions.
Barbara Close lined the walls of her East Hampton spa with tinctures, infusions and herbal remedies.

But for every person who didn’t understand it, there were others who did.

Heidi Klum and Betsy Johnson became fans. Cousin and actress Glenn Close enjoys Ylang Ylang’s calming Bath Oil.

And in 1995, Martha Stewart booked a treatment out of the blue. Close and three assistants prepped frantically, tidying up and spraying the rooms to “make sure they smelled good”. It worked. She liked it so much that carried their $65 travel kit in her catalogue.

Today, Naturopathica’s an established brand carried in over 300 sites. In addition, they have a pretty solid reputation and people rate their products highly.

Naturopathica Starts Simply

Naturopathica Founder Barbara Close
Naturopathica Founder Barbara Close

 

Close hadn’t always wanted to be in the homeopathic business.

As the daughter of a D.C. estate lawyer and a home maker, she initially went into social work.

However, she soon found social work draining.

“It was hard not to feel depleted at the end of the day,” she says. She found stress relief in massages and she eventually decided to make it her career.

To ensure she had the right tools, she went back to school. She studied meditation, herbal medicine, aromatherapy and massage at the New Mexico Academy of Healing Arts.

Wellness isn’t a trend for Naturopathica. It’s an empowered approach to self-care.

Barbara Close

Eventually, she set up shop in Manhattan in 1991. Her spa followed four years later and she created the Naturopathica product line with $75,000 in capital and two investors.

A field of sunflowers grown at a farm. Barbara Close grew some herbs for her products at her family's Virginia farm.
Some of the herbs Naturopathica used were grown at her family’s 550 acre farm in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.

Originally, some herbs for the products were grown at her family’s 550 acre farm in Virginia’s Blue Ridge mountains. Products were blended at a former auto-body shop. People used stop by asking for an oil change before they realized that the oil being sold was a different type altogether.

Soon, the Naturopathica line expanded to other spas across the country. It is now widely available and is online, in spas, and in several high-end stores.

And recently, going back to her roots, Close opened a new Naturopathica spa in NY’s Chelsea neighborhood.

Juice smoothie with two open kiwis against the glass. One wall of her new NY Chelsea location is a vitality bar lined with tonics and juice blends.
One wall of her new NY Chelsea location is a vitality bar lined with tonics and juice blends.

While it has 6 treatment and massage rooms, it also incorporates other areas that reflect Close’s perspective on total health. One wall has an herbal remedy section with botanical cures and essential oils. Another has a vitality bar with health smoothies. And of course, the best Naturopathica products are everywhere.

It’s a place for total health, which is exactly how Close thinks about what she does.

Our spa was never about beauty and pampering. My real passion is the wellness industry. My real inspiration for the Naturopathica spa was the old European apothecary, where people come in and learn to blend treatments and that whole aspect of curing yourself with natural therapies.

Barbara Close

There’s Value in the Traditional, Too

Barbara believes their value in old-time remedies. The inside of a traditional drugstore or apothecary with walls lines with jars.
Barbara believes their value in old-time remedies.

 

Close believes that we need to bring back the kitchen apothecary.

The kitchen used to be the apothecary. In the home, there used to be a sense of nurturing. We need to bring back and embrace that.

Barbara Close

There are a lot of traditional cures that have fallen by the wayside in modern life. For centuries, people used natural methods to relieve common complaints and address health issues. They were forgotten for many years, but Naturopathica believes they can be used alongside Western medicine.

Traditional medicine bottles with herbs and plant based cures.
Close believes that traditional medicine should be used in addition to modern medicine.

In America, we have lost that whole ancestral knowledge of how to use these ancient healing arts because of the rise of antibiotics and quick fixes.

Barbara Close

However, she doesn’t eschew modern medicine and science. She will go to a doctor when she is sick and she understands what medicine has to offer.

It is just that she believes that there is value in the old remedies that were used for centuries. Cures that were handed down in a family for common aches and pains can help, and preventive care and maintenance in between doctor’s visits is also important.

Nature Plus Science

Naturopathica serum beside a beaker with a flower, symbolizing how Naturopathica takes the best of science and nature.
Naturopathica takes the best of science and nature.

 

I started in the natural space because I believe in clean beauty. I was looking for safer, less irritating ingredients and gentler alternatives.

What I don’t mean is to throw out the scientific cupboard.

I firmly believe science should be incorporated in every product. We’ve got to find things that work and are safer for us, and that’s what Naturopathica tries to do.

New-ingredient technology is constantly emerging, allowing us to push the envelope with formulas that have more powerful ingredients, such as peptides, stem cells, and retinols, but in clean, non-toxic formulas.

Barbara Close

It’s definitely got the organic credentials though. Certified by Ecocert, several products have gone through rigorous assessment to ensure providence.

 

And the EWG ratings speak to a generally safe ingredient selection. I’m generally seeing a group of ingredients that are in the 1-2 range. Ingredients that rank higher are retinol and botanical extracts.

Naturopathica believes in a balanced scientific and natural approach and uses scientific research to create their formulations.
Naturopathica believes in a balanced scientific and natural approach.

Also, the formulations stick to things that work. You’ve got xylitol and glycerin tackling skin dryness in the Aloe Cleansing Gel. You’ve got Vitamin E and Vitamin C working together in the Vitamin C Revitalizing Lotion, which is great. Vitamin A and E reinforce each other and help ingredients penetrate into skin.

I do have a few complaints. I’m firmly against jar packaging and even fragrances from essential oils, and would love to see less of each in the Naturopathica line.

However, Naturopathica is a great line. It’s got a very balanced approach to skincare by taking scientific knowledge and laboratory ingredients and pairing them with really lovely natural items.

Best of Naturopathica | Products and Reviews

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Tata Harper products grouped together.
Brand Reviews

Tata Harper Makes Us Believe Living On a Farm Is Amazing and Doesn’t Include Any Dirt

Tata Harper Brand Review Table of Contents

Tata Harper Brand Review Quick Facts | Company commitment to ingredients, the environment, ethics, and its Good Guide and EWG standing.

Tata Harper Makes Me Want to Move to a Farm | How Tata Harper makes healthy farm living look effortless

One at a time, Tata Changes Her Products and Ends up Changing her Life |How Tata started making personal care products

Tata’s Vermont farm Julius Kingdom is her Personal Kingdom | How the company does it all from a 1,200 hectare farm

The Bottle is Green and Everything Else is Too | Certified organic ingredients and eco-friendly packaging

Marketing Can Get a Little Out of Hand | How I take some marketing claims with a grain of salt

Best of Tata Harper | Products and Reviews

Tata Harper Brand Review Quick Facts

Ingredients | Certified by Ecocert, GMO Free, Artificial Color Free, Artificial Fragrances Free, Synthetic Chemicals

Eco-Friendly | Glass bottles, and plastic resin from corn, 100% post-consumer materials, soy-ink for printing, some labeled with boxes labeled with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

Ethical | Cruelty Free

The Good Guide | 3.8 on 24 products

EWG | 1-4 Only Available Information is on Old Formulations

 

Tata Harper Makes Me Want to Move to a Farm

Tata Harper dressed in white beside a rustic wooden farm structure.
Tata Harper still looks good even on a farm.

We are the opposite of crunchy granola; we are about showing naturals in their total high-quality splendor, the ultimate luxury.

When I look at Tata Harper’s fabulously shot photos of sun-kissed fields, wind-blown hair, small children and cast of animals cute enough to be supporting characters in Babe, I want to move to Vermont.

That could be me.

No dirt will stick to my clothes, a white wooden house will be my home, and – oh yes, my skin will be perfect as I single-handedly run a skin care empire from my backyard.

Tata Harper on her farm with her kids.
Farm living looks effortless and amazing when Tata does it.

Tata Harper makes the simple life look good.

Tata is the face and brains behind the eponymous skin care brand, and green living seems effortless and beautiful in her hands (or at least her very well-edited photo ops).

Still, all this was a conscious decision.

As her stepfather battled cancer, Tata was often with him during consultations. She was shocked when his doctors started asking questions about his personal care routine.

The doctors were like, ‘We want you to use as many organic and natural products as possible. Don’t use this deodorant, try to use that natural deodorant,’ and I just sat back and was like, I can’t believe this. [My stepfather’s grooming] routine is so simplistic; imagine if the doctors had seen mine!”

She started to realize how daily decisions could have far-reaching consequences, and she began to evaluate her own daily choices.

One at a time, Tata Changes Her Products and Ends up Changing her Life

Tata Harper creates products that are exactly what she was looking for – naturally derived and high performance.

First, the diet was up for a revamp. Then, household cleaning products were replaced. Lastly, Tata tried to retool her extensive personal care regimen – and that was when she hit a brick wall.

I was really disappointed in what I was buying … It was either you bought raw coconut oil and jojoba oil — very basic — or when it had a little bit more going on, then it was full of all the same synthetics that I wanted to avoid in the first place.

Realizing that the products she wanted didn’t exist, she decided to create them herself. She envisioned a line made with cutting edge technology and packed with active ingredients, and all without a single synthetic.

As you can imagine, this took a bit of doing.

There were five years of development before products launched and in the meantime, she and her family moved to Vermont.

Tata’s Vermont farm Julius Kingdom is her Personal Kingdom

Have you been to Vermont?

If ever there were a place that was a poster child for all-natural, healthy living, it would be Vermont. Beautifully forested and sparsely populated, there are hiking and cross-country trails everywhere.

You’d absolutely want to be here if you were an all-natural skincare line, and that’s exactly where Tata HQ is.

Tata launched her brand from renovated, gutted barns after scouting manufacturing locations in Vermont’s Champlain valley and coming up empty. She already knew that they were going to produce the product themselves with their own employees. Bringing production on-site just made sense.

She worked on formulations with a few biologists and incorporated Ayurvedic, Chinese and homeopathic medicine in her products. She also consulted with herbalists to see what would rapidly grow on Vermont soil as she wanted to include them in the line.

Today, everything produced in the line is formulated, mixed, packaged and shipped from Julius Kingdom. Forty herbs are grown on site and used in the line, and Tata oversees it all from within a white 1820’s vintage farmhouse set amidst rolling hills.

The Bottle is Green and Everything Else is Too

Tata Harper Green Box with Yellow Ribbon.
Tata Harper’s Boxes are from 100% post-consumer recycled paper.

The bottles lovingly enveloping Tata’s products are green and her accent color is yellow. Still, the fresh, natural colors are more than decoration.

You’ll find a lot of eco cred here.

Bottles are glass to be recyclable. Boxes are approved by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative or are 100% recycled paper. Soy ink is used for printing.

It’s three times as expensive but I just feel better about it.

Tata Harper how her decision to use recycled paper for packaging makes sense.

You’ll find that being green also extends to what’s inside.

The company avoids GMOs, artificial colors and fragrances, and synthetics. In addition, they are certified organic by French-based Ecocert, who evaluates total company processes for sustainability.

Marketing Can Get a Little Out of Hand

The look, smell and skin feel of Tata Harper products are perfect.

You’ll want to smear them on your face, rub them on your body and eat them if you could. The smell does something to your brain and light pink colors speak to the little girl grown up who still secretly loves things pink, pastel, and shiny.

Tata Harper's beautiful products with a flower and shadows.
Tata Harper has products with an incredible look, smell and skin feel.

Still, I’ve looked at a lot of products. And what I’ve found is that while a product may look good, it may not exactly live up to the marketing.

For instance, naturally derived ingredients.

If you think about it, everything is all-natural since everything comes from nature. It can essentially be meaningless as manufacturing processes can contaminate or can completely change the ingredient. Naturally derived doesn’t necessarily mean good.

Claims of results are also often overblown. There are some proven results from some very specific ingredients, but the rest are usually promising fields without real proof.

So, I feel that sometimes marketing for Tata Harper products do sometimes get out of hand, because no, I really don’t know what she means when she says:

As for anti-aging results, our products have some really advanced technology, including muscle relaxing extracts … that topically deliver the effect of an injectable, to minimize and prevent wrinkles…

Nutrition Stripped

I take this with a grain of salt.

Tata Harper products have excellent skin feel and appearance, and I do find some ingredients interesting. Despite the fact that I occasionally think there is too much fragrance and that the term “from natural origin” is misleading, the company is incredible at what they do.

You’ll really want to try to live differently. You’ll be convinced that small changes can impact you and your health in the long term, and you’ll start to scrutinize products to see if they are the safest choices for yourself.

In this, the company is stellar. So, while the value of labels such as “naturally derived” may differ from person to person, the fact that cosmetic ingredient safety and efficacy is now a topic of conversation is a step in the right direction.

Best of Tata Harper | Products and Reviews

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Note: Pictures care of official brand site and instagram.

Brand Reviews

Green People is a Solid Everyday Brand and That’s Exactly How Charlotte Voetz Wants It

Green People Quick Facts

Ingredients | Certified by France’s Ecocert and UK’s Soil Association;  90% active natural and organic ingredients

Eco-friendly | Rent supports the Knepp Castle Wildland Project; Office and Warehouse are powered by clean, sustainable energy from Ecotricity; recyclable packaging such as compostable chips instead of polystyrene.

Ethical | Cruelty Free; 10% of net profit is donated to charities such as Marine Conservation Society, Penny Brohn Cancer Care, and Chestnut Tree House

Good Guide | Not Rated

EWG | Not Rated

The Mom Who Started It All

Green People founder Charlotte Voetz with Green People Scientists
Green People founder Charlotte Voetz with Green People Scientists

You’ve all heard the story before – a mom has child with outrageous allergies, can’t find any product that works, and decides in desperation to make what is needed.

This is the story that predates a lot of those stories.

Back in 1994, Charlotte Voetz found nothing gentle enough for her daughter’s skin on high street shelves. Everything was inorganic or only had a very small percent of organic ingredients.

I’m sure you know what happens.

Baby holding Green People's Organic Babies line
Baby holding Green People’s Organic Babies line

Charlottes took matters into her own hands and created and eventually sold gently formulated, organic only products.

Why is this story different?

There are thousands of stories like this, but this story happened before organic was hip or all-natural was mainstream.

Charlotte was a pioneer in a great position to lead. Early on, she helped UK’s Soil Association set up the governing standards for personal care products after years of telling them that the then-current standard wouldn’t cut it.

She also has a background tailored perfectly for it. Trained as a nurse and knowledgeable in herbal medicine, she spent 11 years in the pharmaceutical industry.

These are pretty impressive and entirely unique credentials, which no other brand I am aware of has and which gives them a ton of credibility.

 

Solid everyday care for you and me

Okay, I love Tata Harper but let’s get real.

With prices in the stratosphere (but products that are absolutely to die for), it’s not something I can use every day.

Green People has safe effective products and is something I can afford for all of my daily needs.

The range is beautifully complete.

Green People's products laid out on a marble table
Green People has an extensive product range

Green people has everything for everyone. It has a men’s line and a line for older people. It produces an Organic Babies line and a line specifically for adolescents and children. There is lotion, shampoo, lipstick and sun protection.

And yes, there is deodorant. 😊

Now, Green People could have focused on playing in the luxury organic space, but I suspect this practicality of purpose and price is integral to Green People founder Charlotte.

Green People founder Charlotte Voetz has a mission
Green People founder Charlotte Voetz has a mission

Her first objective was to help her daughter Sandra and closely following that was the desire to help others.

My mission was to help Sandra first. She was two years old with eczema and I tried to search for natural and organic personal care products, but there were none available. So I thought I could do something for Sandra and help others.

In 1997, this was not an easy task. Organic ingredients were not as easy to come by then as they are now and they were expensive. She could have raised prices but instead tried to keep prices down.

I always wanted to make organic beauty affordable for everyone …

It’s a very practical statement and perhaps kind of plain Jane, but the early days were tough.

She did everything for two years. Her only help was a part time student and production was in a stable warehouse.

It took 3 years to be profitable, and that is a long time.

Most people would have given up, but I think that because she really believed in what she did she stuck with it.

I always felt it was a mission and not a job so I am thrilled that we have been able to make a difference to so many people’s lives.

This is passion with a purpose and those plain, almost utilitarian bottles that you use all of a sudden become everyday poetry.

 

I will buy these products (and you will too)

Green People has over 150 awards
Green People has over 150 awards

I’ve occasionally bought myself some outrageously expensive organic luxury (I’m not telling, it was embarrassingly good but my husband still doesn’t know).

But I will hands-down, in a heartbeat buy Green People everyday without shame.

I don’t know how they do it, but they’ve managed to put together a personal care line made only of very gentle ingredients.

You want to know how it performs?

People with allergies – which is almost everyone these days – do say that it is far gentler than other brands. Skin problems are reduced or completely eliminated.

Allergies are increasing. They affect as many as 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children.
AAFA

Not only that, but a broad cross-section of the population loves these guys.

They have over 150 awards. Natural Health Beauty Awards from the UK loves their whole line and named it the Best Organic line while TIPS awarded their Baby Balms and Toothpaste. The Green Beauty Bible, Janey Loves and Practical Parenting have awarded Green People as well.

They aren’t a flashy brand.

They are a well-researched everyday brand that believes in trying to provide the gentlest possible ingredients to the most number of people, and while that isn’t the most earth-shattering mission statement in the world, it is one of the best.

Best of Green People | Products and Reviews

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