Charlotte Vøhtz is founder of pioneering organic skin care brand Green People. Her journey began 20 years ago after being unable to find truly natural and ethically-sound products for her daughter Sandra, then 2, who was suffering with eczema and skin allergies. On her journey Charlotte discovered the lack of regulation in the organic skin care sector and has pushed tirelessly for this to be rectified.
How has Green People evolved since you first launched?
Green People has seen extraordinary growth since its modest beginnings when it was run from my small kitchen in Sussex. Today the company offers more than 140 products, with over 100 of these Certified Organic by the Soil Association, Organic Food Federation or EcoCert and many more awaiting approval.
Are you working on any exciting projects that you can share with our readers?
To celebrate our 20th anniversary this year we are delighted to be launching two beautiful new special edition ranges. Gorgeous new packaging and the stunning aromas of Rose and Neroli make up these ranges.
It was always my ambition to be able to give back, launching Green People with the mission to give 10% of net profit to charity, over the years we have worked with many charities donating close to £300,000 to date. To celebrate two decades of driving positive difference in the beauty world, we are launching a Change the World in 20 Ways campaign. We are looking for 20 people who want the chance to receive £1,000 each to make their dream a reality in 2017, and change the world for the better.
What sets Green People apart from other organic brands?
From the beginning we have always given total transparency in what we do, disclosing full ingredients listings and organic percentages before it became law to help consumers make informed decisions. To this day we continue to strive for excellence, creativity and innovation at all times, and will not compromise the quality of any Green People product.
None of our formulations or products have been tested on animals and the majority of our products are certified organic by either the Soil Association, the Organic Food Federation or by EcoCert. Our products are registered by the Vegan Society and approved by the Vegetarian Society
What was the inspiration behind launching the brand?
My young daughter Sandra was my initial inspiration to start Green People. Sandra had very sensitive skin and was plagued with eczema. In 1994 I began searching for natural products that didn’t contain harsh chemicals. I found that, despite various marketing claims, there weren’t any truly natural and organic beauty products on the market. This led me on an exciting journey of researching and formulating truly organic, natural products that would help Sandra and everyone else suffering with skin sensitivities.
Describe in a few sentences what your average day is like?
I am always up early for a little ‘me’ time before my busy day begins. I love walking Saffie our family dog and use this time to plan my day. Back at home I make green smoothies for the family. Every day at the office brings new challenges which I love, and yes I do take them home with me and very rarely switch off.
Do you have a hero Green People product?
It is a difficult choice so can I have two? The combination of Age Defy+ Hydrate & Renew Face & Neck Serum followed by Age Defy+ Cell Enrich Facial Oil is a must have for all skin over 35!
What is your beauty ritual?
Avocado in the morning! Always keen to recycle I use the leftover skin of the Avocado from my smoothie and rub it onto my face in the shower. Then my skin gets its morning treat from a blend of our Age Defy+ Cell enrich Facial Oil and Age Defy+ Hydrate & Renew Serum. And for the body? My top tip is to invest in a body brush and to dedicate a minute or two every morning to it. I swear by this simple step to improve skin tone, stimulate circulation, reduce cellulite and to kick-start my metabolism.
Can you tell our readers the story behind Green People’s Shea Butter?
Green People choose the finest natural and organic ingredients to use in their pure, nurturing skin care. With its naturally nourishing and moisturising qualities, Shea butter makes the ideal ingredient in organic beauty products.
Fairly traded Shea butter used across the skin, body and baby care ranges, is collected, naturally processed and sold by a women’s co-operative from a rural community in Ghana.
I had the chance to visit Ghana with Sandra a few years ago. It was very humbling to meet all of the ladies from the co-op and amazing to see all of these women working and empowered and now self-funded due to the vision of one amazing lady called Georgina. Whilst we were there we were able to donate books for a new school that was opening during our visit.
Here at Green People we always try and use Fair trade ingredients where possible, however there is not a very extensive range of ingredients that are available for organic beauty.
When you are not busy working, what do you like to do to unwind and relax?
Walking my dog Saffie, spending time with my family including my lovely grandchildren and of course a glass of red wine!
What is the ethos of the brand?
The company’s ethos is to offer certified organic beauty products and naturally avoid any harsh synthetic chemicals. Green People also operate a strict cruelty-free policy and use no animal derived ingredients.
What are the most common skin conditions and how can they be avoided/treated?
Eczema is a common condition that causes skin to become inflamed or irritated. In the UK it is a wide spread problem with two in ten children and one in ten adults suffering from atopic eczema. Aside from avoiding trigger factors, the most important element of eczema treatment is to keep the skin hydrated by regularly using the right skincare products to help maintain the barrier function of the skin, reducing itching and discomfort.
Green People’s Scent Free range is the premier certified organic brand for sensitive skin in the UK and offers a comprehensive range of Scent Free products packed with over 90% organic active ingredients to restore optimum skin health. It is suitable for anyone with sensitive or hypersensitive skin including those suffering from eczema, psoriasis or rosacea.
Do you have any skincare tips for the change of seasons?
In spring cream cleansers have a tendency to feel too rich for some skin types. Switch to a soap-free daily facial wash which is deeply cleansing yet mild on the skin. Don’t use cleansers containing alcohol (ethanol/ethyl/alcohol) as they strip the skin of essential oils.
Exfoliate your skin regularly to remove excess dead skin cells. This immediately improves the skin’s texture and appearance and boosts circulation. Exfoliating also helps the skin better absorb moisturisers giving your complexion a healthy glow.
Switching to a lighter moisturiser is your most important springtime switch-up, during the winter our skin is prone to extreme dryness from central heating and the elements and needs more nourishment.
As the days get longer and sun exposure increases, using daily SPF protection is essential.
What are your top five tips for achieving beauty naturally?
Reduce refined sugar in your diet
Invest in a body brush and spend a minute or two every morning to improve skin tone, stimulate circulation, reduce cellulite and kick-start metabolism
I can’t live without Green People’s Age Defy+ Cell enrich Facial Oil combined with Age Defy+ Hydrate & Renew Serum as a hydrating facial treat and make-up primer
Start the morning with warm water and a squeeze of lemon juice or lemon slices
Following the warm water a fresh juice is a must! My favourite is blended carrot, apple juice and beetroot with grated ginger, add ice if desired, into this I also put the powder from two capsules of Green Beauty and some Omega Oils.