Conscious Beauty And Beautiful Minds: Interview w/ Sarka Halas
Sarka is the founder of Sarka Botanicals, a skincare brand that takes a modern approach to the classical apothecary. As a trained herbalist with over 20 years of experience, Sarka came to beauty with a desire to draw on the enduring wisdom found in western herbalism, Ayurveda, and Traditional Chinese Medicine as the foundation for functional skincare. Sarka believes there is so much we can learn from the traditional use of plants combined with a science-backed understanding of their applications. She has always taken a pragmatic approach to beauty and believes the best skincare blends traditional botanical wisdom with studied, proven actives to respect and address the needs of the skin.
Sarka has been a lifelong advocate of healthy living and wellness, and long before it hit the mainstream she stood by the belief that healthy skin is skin in harmony and balance. Working with plants for many years, Sarka believes that in addition to sleep, exercise, and the right nutritional foundation, botanicals are one of the key pillars for living well. She loves to work with adaptogens, antioxidant-rich herbs, medicinal mushrooms, and common, everyday plants that have a long history of use.
What was the first beauty routine you adopted as a child or teenager? Which emotions do you connect with this memory?
My first beauty routine was discovered in my grandma’s kitchen in the former Czechoslovakia while she was mixing calendula and horsetail salves. I couldn’t believe that plants could be used this way and I read everything I could get my hands on that summer. It was after that summer that I started adding plants to my skincare routine. The feelings I connect to this memory are a simple elegance, comfort, and happiness.
CONSCIOUS BEAUTY — What meaning do you give this term?
Beauty that is responsible and accountable to people and planet.
Which aspects of sustainability in beauty are especially important to you?
Ingredient sourcing is very important, people forget that plants are resources and can be overharvested and pressured in their natural habitat. Ingredient supply chains can be very opaque and unsustainable and it’s really important for brands to make the right sourcing choices (sometimes that includes using synthetic ingredients that have a smaller ecological impact).
Sustainable packaging is also very important given that there is so much excess packaging in the beauty industry. Sustainable packaging like glass, recycled sea plastic, and sugar cane are all more sustainable options to plastic packaging.
Preserving plant biodiversity is a major concern because it is critical for the health of the plant. Plants can often become threatened or endangered due to overharvesting or habitat loss and this puts pressure on entire ecosystems. For me, it’s important that brands take advantage of upcycled ingredients, safe synthetic ingredients and other sustainable options.
When do you consciously feel beautiful?
When I am outside in nature with my family, a day spent with lots of fresh air and the sun on my skin.
Did your approach to beauty change within the last 1–2 years?
I am moving away from brands that use trendy, exotic ingredients in favour of brands that are transparent about their sourcing. I have also taken a more minimal approach towards skincare. I am using multifunctional products that can do more, so that I can use fewer products.
How would you like to see the image of beauty change within the next 5 years?
Less waste, more inclusivity and more visibility of women of all ages, especially in the 40+ age group. They are still so underrepresented in beauty and this needs to change.
What or who inspires your beauty routine?
Women who are taking care of themselves, staying vibrant and curious and aging well. My mother inspires my beauty routine, she has always loved natural products and a healthy lifestyle.
What is your best beauty advice to others?
Embrace your age, but take care of yourself inside and out, it is a life long and consistent practice involving nutrition, exercise, and the right mindset.
Follow Sarka Botanicals on Instagram.
Demee Koch about the MEDIUM interview series on CONSCIOUS BEAUTY:
Hello! I am a serial entrepreneur with more than 2 decades of experience in the health & beauty industry. This interview series is intended to create awareness about the movement of Conscious Beauty.
We are in a beautiful time of Conscious Beauty — you may have heard of this term, but what does Conscious Beauty mean, and why does it matter?
For us, beauty is a way to love — it is about self-care, art, nutrition, exercise, life, self-love. I invite you to become part of a movement that re-defines beauty. Let’s empower beautiful minds.
Thank you for being the change. I’m looking forward to learn from you. Reach out to me via LinkedIn.