Clean Beauty Q&A with Agnieszka Wilson, humanitarian and founder of Urban WitchesJun 12, 2019
I met Agnieszka Wilson this spring when we were fellow panel speakers for the Kota Alliance, an organization that elevates collaboration across borders for women-centered nonprofits, NGOs, social enterprises and entrepreneurs, businesses and startups that share the goal of improving gender equality and supporting women.
After our panel event, Aga gave me a selection of products from her newly launched line of lotions, serums, balms, and more.
I have sincerely enjoyed trying each of them. The scents provide a sensory experience with each product, and I am reassured to know that the products were created with thoughtful ingredients. My favorite products so far (but I haven't tried all of them yet) include the face serum (I had no idea how much I would enjoy the scent of vanilla!) and the Love Roses Face Cream for mature skin.
What's even more interesting about Aga is her humanitarian work. Please read our Q&A below to learn more about this light warrior. It introduced me to new things that I can't wait to try.
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—Sophia Ruan Gushée
P.S. Aga has generously provided a promo code so you can enjoy a 15% discount on Urban Witches' own skincare line. Use code FRIEND15 It's valid until June 23.
Q: What led you to create Urban Witches?
A: My humanitarian background and mindfulness practice led me to become more aware of how I live my life, and how my choices impact others and our planet. I realized that we all can make a difference, and the power one person has to make a change and inspire others to do the same.
I started Urban Witches because I want to change the way we see consumption. With climate change happening, people getting sicker, and so much waste in todays fashion industry, we all need to become more mindful of our choices. The idea is to protect consumers and our environment from toxic chemicals and share relevant information on how we can all become more aware of how we shop and how that impacts our planet. So many products today claim to be all natural and safe, but when you start digging a bit and check ingredients you notice that this is not the case, and that they get away with chemicals that can have a devastating impact on our health and our environment.
We created our own skincare line because we wanted products that both perform well and are 100% natural and organic when possible. We also wanted our products to be healing to our mind, body and spirit and the essential oils that go into them as well as botanical herbs, all have that impact.
Q: How has your approach to skincare and beauty evolved? What do you do differently today than you did 10- or 20- years ago?
A: When I was younger, I wasn't aware of what goes into beauty products and how much toxic stuff we put into our bodies by using them every day.
But once I started living a healthier lifestyle this became a huge interest of mine and I started doing and still do research to educate myself. I am always learning new things and it wasn't until I stopped using these products that I realized the difference. I recently used one of my old (toxic) foundations and experienced itchy eyes that were tearing all day. Although when I was using it, I never even thought about it, because you get used to these things. It's not until you stop that you realize the extent of it.
Q: How do you take care of—and style—your hair, mouth/teeth, and nails? Any favorite products for those areas or more?
A: I use baking soda and apple cider vinegar to wash my hair and have done it for years. Love it!
And once every two weeks, I use our own deeply nourishing and revitalizing hair mask.
My holistic oral care ritual is all natural, nontoxic, and fluoride-free. My current favorite products come from Nadine Artemis: Living Libations. [Living Libations is a line of products by Nadine Artemis. Nadine Artemis has also authored books, including Renegade Beauty.]
I am amazed by how healthy and fresh my mouth and breath feel. Although it's an 8 step routine that takes a bit longer, my teeth have never been healthier. There is a whole science behind this and how every tooth in our mouth is connected to an organ in our body. An unhealthy tooth means something is up with that organ.
Q: What do you wish you knew sooner about health, wellbeing, beauty, and aging?
A: I wish I had access to Anthony Williams AKA medical mediums books and celery juice earlier in life:) I healed in ways I never thought were possible and am still amazed by its healing properties. The power of food and plants is truly magic and although I have always been a healthy eater there is always room for improvement. And now that I have this knowledge and I have seen the impact I love sharing it with others to help them heal too.
Q: How do you manage motherhood, parenting, being an entrepreneur, and humanitarian?
A: Becoming a mother has been an incredible experience for me and managing everything can be very challenging and overwhelming for sure. Sometimes I feel I am just barely keeping my head above water. I still can't figure out how we do it. It's like we gain superpowers that we didn't know we have. I do try to go with the flow and not stress too much because kids are so unpredictable and I try to work around that and somehow it all works out in the end. As long as you have clear intentions and goals and take actions towards them it works. And don't stress or be too hard on yourself if things don't go the way you wanted! Tomorrow is a new day and sometimes picking it up the next makes all the difference.
Q: What do you wish you knew sooner about motherhood?
A: I don't think that there is anything I wish I knew sooner, but I definitely think that we don't speak enough about birth and postpartum and that a lot of women don't know what is awaiting. Most people I know had a really tough first couple of months and even first year and I feel we are not being prepared the way we could be. We need to start sharing more about our stories and experiences to support others and also push for better postpartum health care and what motherhood means to each and everyone of us, because we are all so different. We also need to stop judging other moms.
Q: What do you wish you knew sooner about parenting?
A: With parenting, I am a big believer in intuition and following what works for you and not what others say. Being a parent comes with big a responsibility to be a good example for your children. For me that has been working out my own issues and figuring myself out so that I don't pass this on to my son. I think it's important to be aware and able to admit to yourself that you are not perfect and that you are open to accept responsibility for your own actions and work them out when it's needed. Step one for me has been to heal and become a better person even if that is a constant work in progress. I do see the impact I have on my son and others the more healthier I become.
Q: How has your idea of beauty evolved?
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