Céline, could you tell us about yourself?
I’m a naturopath, specialising in aromatherapy. I launched Ma Thérapie in April 2018. It’s a range of organic cosmetic treatments and nutritional supplements.
Could you tell us about the origins of this product line?
Having spent several years as a practising naturopath, the idea came about quite suddenly. I was in the habit of supporting my clients by taking a holistic approach to their skin problems. I provide them with the keys to a healthy lifestyle, nutritional advice, and micro-nutritional guidance and I systematically lead them towards using natural treatments. I very quickly developed a desire to create my own treatments. Consequently, I set myself up in a little home workshop, where I started to create my own serums and bodily oils with very simple, pure raw ingredients. Plant-based oils and essential oils: I counted the drops and mixed essences to achieve concentrated, effective results. My clients and friends loved what I did. They encouraged me to launch my own label. That was the start of a long journey, as the regulations governing cosmetics are constantly changing. The first step was to look for an ethical laboratory that would meet my requirements and which uses plant-based, organic ingredients with natural or solvent-free preservatives to formulate its products.
Can you describe the essence of your products?
Products that have an active effect on the beauty of your skin and the balance of your whole organism. They respond to an approach that deals with both inner and outer beauty. A range of products that care for your skin and the environment, with pure, highly concentrated, organic ingredients.
What was your aim when you launched your label?
To create a niche, high-quality organic brand with a simple, elegant and recyclable design. To develop a clear and effective range that takes the basics of beauty into account, responding naturally to the skin’s actual needs: cleansing, moisturising, outer and inner protection. I think that we need to simplify our daily beauty routines and get back to basics with high-quality products with as little processing as possible – just like the food that we eat. One of the major principles that I was taught as a neuropath – and something that has also guided me as a product designer – is that the products we put on our skin should be safe to eat. I try to get as close to this as I can.
Who are your products aimed at?
Women, at least for the moment. Sensitive women who care about organic products, nature, and responsible consumption. Women who understand that attractive marketing promises don’t work. Women who want to get back to basic, pure treatments that don’t have sife effects. I’m also thinking about creating a range for men with two or three essential items.
What’s the best way to store your products?
My range of products is packaged in very high-quality bottles. They are made from purple glass to protect the ingredients from UV rays and to preserve their properties while also enabling them to be kept for longer. Once they’ve been opened, cosmetics can be kept for eight to ten weeks at an ambient temperature of twenty degrees Celsius. The nutritional aspects in themselves can be kept for three to four months without any problems. I advise my clients to keep serums and creams in the fridge when they go on holidays if they choose to leave them behind.
How do you balance your family life and your entrepreneurship?
It’s a challenge. Everything is very fast paced. I need to be well-organised. It’s also essential to take time for yourself, so you can focus on what matters and convey a positive impression. That’s what I try to achieve at least once per week (when I’m not stuck dealing with emergencies): a yoga class, an energetic massage, a workout, or whatever.
Can you tell us the right instincts to follow in temrs of nutrition and caring for your body and face?
The first thing to do is to restore your inner moisture with a glass of water or two, served at room temperature. Then you can spray your face generously with rose water, allowing it to soak into the skin. Then, start the day with an Ayurvedic infusion or half a lemon with warm water: this allows the digestive system to restart quietly. During this period, apply a serum (such as Ma Thérapie sesame and carrot serum to nurture your appearance, or the rose serum to nourish dry skins). Finish moisturising your face and neck with an argan honey orange treatment, enriched with natural hyaluronic acid. At breakfast, stay away from high glycaemic index foods such as fruit juices, jams and spreads, or white bread. Instead, opt for high-fibre foods like fruit, chia seeds, flax seeds, wholemeal sourdough bread, almonds, and nuts. Dump jam in favour of oilseed purées (almonds, walnuts, peanuts), and avocados or oily fish if you enjoy a savoury breakfast. These foods are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which the skin needs. In the morning, supplement your nutritional intake of omega 6 and vitamin E with three Hydra capsules (evening primrose and borage) to nourish your skin from the inside (which is very relevant at the moment to prevent your skin from drying out in the cold).
What’s the best thing to do after the end of the party season?
Sleep, spend time with your loved ones, step away from the buffet and give your digestive system a rest with a plain diet of green vegetables for two days.
How would you like to develop the Ma Thérapie brand?
I can’t go into too much detail, but I’m already working to implement a system to refill bottles (bulk packaging is the future of cosmetics). Apart from that, I’m working on an independent retail network: a beauty concept store, a high-quality organic point of sale, a highly-targeted pharmacy, a boutique hotel, spa luxury treatment centre. Ma Thérapie is starting to achieve a wider distribution. Recently, the Michelin-starred chef, Christophe Aribert, came to see me about some food therapy, working with the benefits of the ingredients in Ma Thérapie products. It will be incorporated into Maison Aribert, a hotel with a wellness zone and a fine dining restaurant.
Photography: Valerio Geraci – Text: Caroline Balvay – Translation: TextMaster @thesocialitefamily