What inspired you to create your own skincare range?
For more than a decade, I coordinated Helmepa Junior, an environmental education programme for schoolchildren. We provided children with hands-on experience on protecting the environment from pollution through voluntary activities within their community. The knowledge I gained was priceless and showed me that the new generation wants to support clean initiatives that offer them a higher quality of life without burdening the environment. By the time I left, I wanted to do something on my own along these lines; something that would offer cleaner practices, be accessible to all, non-invasive, and that would have a story to tell. That’s when Kear came into perspective! Kear means heart in ancient Greek, not to mention that it is pronounced exactly like “care” in English! Needless to say, we have poured our heart and soul into this project, as we wanted it to be as transparent and “honest” as possible.
How has Greece and your upbringing shaped your business?
I bear the name of the only female philosopher in our history; Hypatia of Alexandria. And because of that, I was always drawn to our history, especially of Classical Greece. To me, this country is more than sunshine, crystal clear blue seas, fresh ingredients, scents and smells. It is a land of history, philosophy, virtue, and democracy. A land of excellence and moderation, of science and arts.
And Kear is the epitome of all this love and respect I have for my country; it includes all that defines Greece and creates a time continuum between the present and the past. Needless to say, that it shows that we still have a lot to learn from our ancestors.
I feel proud that in a small way, I am one of many to pass on the principles and values described in history that my parents and teachers instilled in me since my childhood. Principals such as pride, grace, and honesty, and values such as ethos, dignity, hospitality, love, and passion in everything we set out to conquer. This is the heart of our land.
What has been the high point of business journey so far?
The support and recognition…
When you pour your heart into something new, designing it to the tiniest of details, and never compromising on quality, and this is acknowledged by many … well it is relieving and uplifting at the same time.
We entered various independent awards based on the fact that our products would be judged either by beauty business specialists, or regular women. And when the recognition came, we were so thrilled, so happy and at the same time, so proud that we have managed to bring the old in the new in an efficient way!
And when people tell us how happy they are with our skincare, passionately describing how they feel after using them, how they helped them … well, this is THE highest point. This is what we cherish … and what keeps us moving forward!
List your top 3 key ingredients and why you include them in your products?
This is ONE difficult choice! We are committed to use only natural ingredients for our balms and oils. For instance, the beeswax and olive oil come from local producers in the Peloponnese region, which has one the best qualities in olive oil. So, apart from olive oil and beeswax, that are the base of all our skin care, I would choose sea-buckthorn oil, calendula and propolis. Each one with its own history throughout the eons.
Sea-buckthorn has a scientific name that is actually Greek, and means “shiny horse”. Alexander the Great used to feed his army horses with sea-buckthorn berries, to be strong and healthy.
Sea-buckthorn is a multi-nutrient powerhouse! It is a super source of rare fatty acids that can revive skin cells and keep skin nourished and hydrated, eliminating dryness. It is also packed with antioxidants and vitamins C and E (Tocopherol) that boost circulation and counter the formation of wrinkles.
Propolis is another one of our ingredients nearing a Greek name; it means “defender of the city”. And when you consider what this substance does for the beehive, this name is more suitable than any. Bees produce propolis from tree bark, leaves, and many other ingredients, to seal the beehive from any intruder, making it the most hygienic environment in nature. This substance is a natural antibiotic, disinfectant, antiviral, anti-fungal, and antiseptic product. Propolis balances moisture, heals and soothes the skin, providing a healthier, more vibrant complexion.
Calendula is a plant native to our Mediterranean region; we have it in our gardens for ages. The common name of the plant is marigold, and its essential oil is obtained from the golden blossoms of the plant. Calendula is emollient, regenerating and protective, and is ideal for skin in need of its soothing and calming properties, such as sensitive, irritated, or mature. It is an excellent source of powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that help increase collagen synthesis and contribute to a smooth, even-toned skin that glows with youthful vitality!
Also, calendula and I have a history together; it proved its regenerative properties to the fullest!
What ingredients would you like to see excluded from skincare?
Paraben, synthetics, phthalates, talc.
All these that are known to create multiple issues. We are all now aware, as it has been documented, that Nature can provide us with an abundance in effective solutions; it just needs research and time to come up with the right percentages.
You are stranded on (or travelled to) a deserted Greek island. You can only take 1 product in your skincare range, what would it be?
This is a tough one. I adore ALL our products! Each one has its own story, properties, ingredients, and value.
So, judging by the location – it is an island, probably sunny since it is in Greece – I would take the AntiOxidant Face Balm with me.
Let me explain why:
First of all because of what’s inside: It is rich in sea-buckthorn oil with more than 60 antioxidants, amongst them powerful lycopene, that neutralise free radicals and protect against sun damage. Lycopene promotes collagen production and reduces the DNA damage leading to wrinkles. It also contains propolis to balance moisture, heal and soothe the skin.
Second, because it is multipurpose; I would use it on the face, neck, décolleté, around eyes, on lips, body and even hair to tame frizz.
Lastly, I wouldn’t have to worry about leaving it behind; this miracle product comes in a glass jar that is reusable and recyclable.