We had the pleasure of interviewing Kristina, the founder and soul behind RUA.
RUA is a modern, minimalistic skincare line made in Norway.
Why did you create RUA?
RUA, a 10 year journey from concept to launch. As a Pisces dreamer, it was created out of my own personal discovery and love for nature. Formulating is my gift and sharing it with the world is my path destined.
The journey began around 2010, a time when I was discovering the dangers in cosmetic ingredients. Several years prior, I had been diagnosed with pre-menopause (28yrs old), told I’d likely not have children, and I wanted answers. Coinciding, I was volunteering for Greenpeace when they exposed several giant beauty corps and the deadly toxins found in their cosmetics. The scientific research was coming into light. Research was being linked to hormonal disruptions, cancers, and the truths about the effects on our ecosystem. This is when the drug store cosmetics went straight into the bin and I returned to nature.
My passion grew over the course of the next years, as did my talent in natural skincare formulation. I advanced by taking weekend courses in London and enrolled in a online school based in the US that taught basic formulation. In 2013, I stood at my first Christmas market and sold my first product. The seed of creating an international brand had been planted.
Fast forward to 2021, I am an award-winning formulator with Diplomas in Natural Skincare Formulation, Cosmetic Science, and Certification in Anti-Aging Skincare.
Before launching RUA in 2020, I dedicated 10 years to mastering my craft. It was not all roses though, in 2017, I was diagnosed with Rosacea. I took notice that my skin was changing, becoming highly sensitive. Factors; environment, stress level, diet, and hormones. Being diagnosed threw up a hurdle in my formulation process. I no longer was solely creating lush textures and lovely scented products, I had a problem that needed solving.
For the following 2 years, I conducted intense R&D until I concocted perfect blends that relieved sensitivity, redness, yet left radiant and glowing skin. During the course of this research, I embraced the environmental activist in me and began experimenting with local Nordic botanicals. To my delight, they were a match in formulating the perfect soothing, yet effective skincare products. Skincare for what I call, delicate skin types.
Today, the results of RUA are; a modern, functional, effective, and sustainable skincare brand. We combine magnificent Nordic nature with the simplicity of the Scandinavian way of life. A true ‘less is more’ skincare routine that invokes desire for timeless quality.
"Research was being linked to hormonal disruptons, cancers. This is when the drug store cosmetics went straight into the bin and I returned to nature."
~ Kristina, founder of RUA
What is your skincare routine?
My skincare routine is simple, cleanse and moisturise.
1. Double cleanse: To remove make-up and residue, I first use a cleansing balm. I follow with a lightweight cream cleanser. Due to my sensitive skin, I prefer cleansers with little to no surfactant.
2. Eye massage: I use Refine Sculpting Eye Wand in combination with Hydrate Elixir nightly. A gentle massage routine that calms the mind while reducing black circles, puffiness, and tones the eye area.
1. Dry brush: I enjoy the ritual of dry brushing before showering. Dry brushing helps remove the dead skin cells we shed in our sleep, and it helps stimulate circulation. I find it also lifts the morning mood and energy.
2. Cleanse: I use the same cream cleanser as in the evening. A gentle cleanser that removes any residue from a morning workout or excess sebum released from night sweats.
3. Exfoliate: I exfoliate more often than recommended. I exfoliate every other day. I struggle with Keratosis pilaris, a skincare disorder that creates a “chicken like” surface on the skin. Small bumps that occur from dryness and in my case, hormonal imbalance. I prefer a physical exfoliator vs. acids. The formula I use consists of honey, rice powder, and Kaolin clay.
• Face - my dynamic duo, Soothe Softening Serum & Hydrate Elixir
• Body - body oil or lotion, depending on my mood and skin dryness
What are your top 3 favourite ingredients and why?
Oo, this is tough! How does one narrow it down to only 3!?
1. CAMELLIA OIL - my favourite oil I fell in love with the pale yellow oil from the very beginning. Its skincare benefits have been used for centuries. It is the secret of the Geisha and it is also favourite to Coco Chanel. The texture feels like velvet, and it leaves the skin feeling like rose petals. I also love it for it’s anti-aging qualities. Derived from the green tea family, Camellia is a powerhouse oil for antioxidants, omega fatty acids, natural squalene, vitamin A, and vitamin E. All key factors in defending the ageing process! Camellia is the 2nd ingredient in the RUA Soothe Softening Serum. It is simply divine.
2. SEAWEED - the Nordic superfood for the skin Seaweed is found in abundance in the pristine waters of the Norwegian North Sea. Its healing benefits have dated back to the Vikings.
• Vitamin & mineral rich • Defends against ageing • Boosts collagen production • Strong barrier protector • Improves skin elasticity • Improves blood circulation • High levels of antioxidants • Protects against UV rays • A natural skin cleanser
Also to mention, an incredibly sustainable cosmetic ingredient. The benefits of seaweed/algae are only yet being discovered by scientists. They are a fantastic alternative to plastics, are organic fertilisers, and can be used to create clean, renewable bio-energy.
3. SNOW MUSHROOM - vegan Hyaluronic acid, what is it? It is a polysaccharide molecule that is naturally found in our body. It helps retain water and keeps tissues lubricated and moist. As we age, production of hyaluronic acid slows down, meaning we need to help boost it with our skincare. Snow mushroom, or Tremella mushroom, is a wonderful source of natural hyaluronic acid. It has exceptional moisture retention properties, binding water 500 times more its weight.
And anti-aging benefits? Oh yes, fungi is high in antioxidants. I love snow mushroom for the texture it creates. The gel-like texture leaves the skin silky smooth, plump, and glowing from it’s ability to retain moisture. But most importantly, it stops TEWL (trans-epidermal water loss). Stopping TEWL is the most crucial step in skincare.
Any tips on applying your products?
From a formulator’s point of view, layering products a certain way will not make them more effective.
Yes, we must apply products to aid in skin penetration and distribution of nutrients where needed, but as far as what layer goes where, it really does not matter.
The products all mix together after application. There is one exception though, SPF. This must always be applied as the final layer.
Let me help breakdown skincare application:
Skin = oil
Water = not oil soluble
Hydration is the KEY in age defence and for healthy, glowing skin. In order for hydration (H20) to enter the skin, oil must be present. When oil is applied, it mergers with the lipophilic (oil) surface of the skin and assets the H20 by distributing it below into the dermis.
Our bodies are made up of 60% water, and as for the skin, this water lays under 5 fatty layers. So, it is not an easy task distributing H20. We want our skincare to be a balancing act of oil & water. Oil opens the pores, thus allowing the water (combined with potent plant actives - especially those high in Vitamin C) to enter the inner most layer of skin. It is here in the inner most layer where our skin cells are produced.
Our Soothe Softening Serum (oil) and Hydrate Elixir (water) work in harmony to distribute all the nutrients and vitamins needed to increase cellular production, replenish moisture, build a strong barrier, and lock in moisture, stopping TEWL.
What is next for RUA?
- We are moving into a new production facility.
- We have been designing new packaging to improve our sustainability and guarantee freshness. Fingers-crossed this will launch in Q3 / Q4.
- We are conducting R&D for a new product.
- We are strategising our growth & financing.
It’s an exciting time for RUA. My seed planted 10 years ago that has blossomed into my reality. It’s pretty wild!