By Rina Raphael.
When Tata Harper’s stepfather was diagnosed with cancer, his doctors told him to remove all products containing synthetic materials, such as body washes and shampoos, from his home. In solidarity, Harper got rid of hers too. But she found the switch surprisingly difficult.
“I have always been a serious skin care customer, using the most effective, high-end, high-tech skin care available,” says Harper, who is originally from Colombia and studied industrial engineering in Mexico. “So when it came time to switch to natural skin care, I was really disappointed with the existing offerings. There wasn’t anything out there for women like me, who wanted serious skin care but didn’t want to use industrial chemicals on their skin.”
The most common chemicals in skin care products are parabens, synthetic colors, and phthalates. Harper spent the next few years researching alternatives with scientists in Europe who believed that effective, chemical-free skin care products were possible. In 2007, she founded Tata Harper, an all-natural luxury skin care line that uses multiple high-performance ingredients including Spanish lavender extract to help reduce wrinkle formation and retinoic acid from rosehip seed oil (instead of Retinol) to reduce the appearance of fine lines. Headquartered at Harper’s 1,200-acre farm in Vermont, the brand is now a best-seller at Sephora and hailed as a pioneer in the land-to-face movement. The famously chemical-averse Gwyneth Paltrow is among the company’s robust celebrity clientele.