An important and highly respected figure in the wellness industry, Swedish native Kerstin Florian has created a line of nurturing products that celebrate both the synergy between nature and beauty and her belief that outer beauty is a reflection of inner health and a balanced life.
Kerstin’s daughter, Charlene Florian-Barker, is a tribute to her mother’s philosophy. The mother of two, Charlene serves as the VP of Kerstin Florian International, and is deeply involved in the company’s product development. Her extensive training and travels around the planet have educated her in a host of healing modalities and techniques, echoed in the company’s holistic approach to beauty and health.
Kerstin, was there a defining moment in your life that propelled you on your journey to create products that promote both beauty and wellness?
I think I was born loving beauty. At an early stage, I was mixing fruits from the garden. About 1960, I started to get interested in using extract-based moisturizers and masks. It made sense to me, and I began making masks from fresh raspberries. I was fortunate, as we had a garden full of them. Swedish skin is very sensitive, and the raspberries made a difference, helping to even out skin tone and give a natural moisture to the skin. I came to the U.S. in 1965, and at that time it was unheard of to use fruit and plant extracts in cosmetics. I remember American chemists in general did not believe in the benefits of natural ingredients.
What does beauty mean to each of you?
Kerstin: Well-being, and caring for the total body.
Charlene: To me, beauty is a feeling we have when we are comfortable with who we are. I also think it’s about being the best person we can be – spiritually, emotionally, and physically, taking good care of ourselves with proper nutrition and exercise, and feeling a sense of happiness and peace. Of course, grooming polishes it off.
Kerstin, your products are both luxurious and nourishing. How does the simple act of using nurturing products to care for our skin contribute to overall holistic well-being?
Luxury is the simple moments in life; such as a moment of relaxation, away from the fast world we live in. A bath with minerals and aromatherapy oils is both nourishing for the inner self, and for outer beauty. If we take care of our inner beauty, it will show up in our outer beauty, in our skin, eyes, and hair.
Charlene, how has your own concept of balance and well-being been shaped by your mother?
Kerstin has always been influenced by the intrinsic energy found in all things, feeling the energy of the trees in the forest, the energy of the food we eat, and the people we love. That has in large part influenced the way that I see the world, how I find balance and achieve my own state of well-being. It’s very much these energies that feed my own soul.
Kerstin, do you have plans for adding to your existing product line?
Yes, by promoting the greening of the planet with a line of green products that feature organic, inorganic, wildcrafted, and natural ingredients. We have just launched green Aromatherapy oils for body and face. They are organic, natural, wildcrafted and free of preservatives.
What would make the world a more beautiful place for each of you?
Charlene: The world would be a more beautiful place if everyone could experience peace, love, and health.
Kerstin: For our planet and its people to be loved and cared for. To see our natural resources being cared for, and waste being cut wherever possible.