After enjoying healthy, clear skin for a number of years, when I reached my late 30s I started to suffer breakouts which often left noticeable pigmentation. Products on the market for “acne-prone skin” were more geared to oily skin types, which really dried out my skin, compounding the problem.
I became interested in the effects of plant-based ingredients on the skin, as well as the impact on overall wellbeing. Initially I trialled individual carrier and essential oils, before starting to experiment with combinations of oils as my kitchen turned into an apothecary of botanicals.
I undertook a series of courses in skin care formulation and the use of essential oils in order to cement my knowledge and ensure that I was using essential oils diligently. After several months, I was highly encouraged with the results of using these oil blends to clean, nourish and protect my skin. I increasingly focussed on blends formulated with lighter plant oils, therefore minimising the risk of causing congestion and breakouts. My skin visibly improved. I started making products for friends and family and was delighted with their feedback. Realising that my products could benefit others too, Apothaka® was born.
Apothaka® has evolved with my deepening knowledge of skincare, product formulation and skin health. I'm really passionate about the use of the right ingredients in robust formulations and my aim is to ensure that anyone with a desire to look after their skin is able to do so using high quality, simple but effective products. Cleverly and uniquely formulated with lightweight ingredients which won't clog pores. Improving the way your skin looks and feels, and making your skincare routine an enjoyable experience: bringing the spa experience into your home! I strongly believe that less is more and that healthy skin can be achieved with just a few simple steps. I'm committed to continuously expanding my knowledge and expertise in order to further inform my product development. I have a Level 4 CIBTAC award in Advanced Skin Science, which has proved invaluable in understanding the impact of specific ingredients on skin health. As such my focus is on developing core products that maintain a healthy skin barrier. Whilst my initial focus was solely on plant-based ingredients, I have become more cognisant of the fact that where an ingredient comes from (i.e. whether it comes from a plant or is made synthetically in a lab) has little bearing on how it impacts on skin health. So I focus on all ingredients that support skin health, also trying to take into account their impact on the environment (which isn't as straightforward as we're led to believe!). This is a constantly evolving area and I think it's really important not to be swayed by labels that can mislead and oversimplify the issue (e.g. "zero waste", "plastic free", "natural skincare", "clean beauty" to name a few).
My products are all made in the UK, and I currently focus on just a few key products but each year I expand my collection with carefully chosen formulations. Skincare shouldn't be overwhelming so my aim is to keep things simple for you!
Natasha Dauncey, Founder of Apothaka®
List of charities Apothaka donated to since launch:
The Joseph School – Haiti
50% of Haitian children don't have the opportunity to attend school. The Joseph School believes that through education students will teach and empower hundreds— transforming the future of Haiti.
The money went towards health assessments & medical needs, a food programme which provides locally grown food for the students’ meals, and some desperately needed books.
DENS - Dacorum, Herts
This wonderful local charity supports and empowers those in my area that face homelessness, poverty & social exclusion, by providing access to temporary accommodation, food and provisions as well as supporting them with the development of skills and confidence to build a better future.
NHS Health heroes (Healing Hands – Hemel Hempstead & Kings College ICU staff)
Apothaka donated a number of larger hand cream samples to a local initiative in the area, Healing Hands, which gets much needed skincare products to front line NHS workers. A batch went to Hemel Hospital and in total, Apothaka has donated over 70 samples, including some to local NHS staff in Berkhamsted and to King's College ICU staff (thanks to Yasmine @peels_masks_and_scrubs who has been doing an amazing job of getting goodie bags to the wonderful staff there)
Young Minds UK
My incredible daughter raised over £1,000 for Young Minds a few years ago when she did a 5-mile run, aged 8. Given how the pandemic has affected the mental health of so many, it felt like the right choice to support Young Minds this year.
Stephen Lawrence charitable trust (now called Blueprint for all)– London
Blueprint for all (formerly Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust) works with young people and communities to create an inclusive society in which everyone, regardless of their race, ethnicity or background can thrive.
Their programmes provide inspiration, opportunities and support to talented young people, enabling them to succeed. They work with innovative organisations and businesses to address disparity of opportunity, so everyone’s talents, skills and perspectives are valued. And we empower communities across the UK to tackle inequality and discrimination for long term, sustainable change.
Incredible Brilliant Youth - London
Incredible Brilliant Youth is a fun, innovative youth organisation that was set up in July 2012 to help empower and improve the confidence of young people aged 11-30 through courses, workshops and talks on self esteem, beauty, education and employment. To date they have worked with over 2000 people across the South of England.
After the success of the IBY Complete Hair and Makeup Artist course in the Summer, all six graduates went on to paid work on photoshoots, adverts, TV shows and films. How amazing is that, especially in an industry that's been hit so hard by COVID19?!
Emergency Medical Aid for Ukraine
My Slovakian friend, Michaela Ruby is working closely with an amazing Slovakian charity ADRA which is based at the border helping with emergency medial aid purchases and transport to Ukraine. Apothaka, together with Luneia Skincare donated a proportion of sales from a collaboration to these efforts.