Tracy Ahern goes for what she believes in and isn’t afraid of a challenge… or the impossible. She understands what it takes to truly adopt self-care and ensuring that your skin is strong and healthy. Let’s face it, we all have different skincare routines but Aú Natural Skincare is here for everyone. Using all natural ingredients, the different products are also safe for the environment. Every time you take care of yourself, you are also helping the world as a whole! From rocky roads to smooth sailing, Tracy Ahern brings health and strength into her customers’ lives…so find your perfect fit today!

Do you remember the moment you thought of developing this idea? Tell us more about it. 

Yes, it was a couple of years before I founded Aú Natural Skinfood – My son ( then 14 years old) who has a very allergic skin, had an awful reaction to a natural sunblock that I had purchased and paid a fortune.  It was the middle of the night – I had him in a cold bath, trying to calm his inflamed skin. This was for us the same story that had repeated over years – I was honestly over it and just felt so desperate for Sean, with Red hair and very white skin, and and when playing sports, he needed some serious sun protection.  I started to investigate how to make sunscreen — Now our On The Go powder is the end result of many years of making and testing products in my kitchen.

What are some obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?

Obstacles – have been HUGE – when you want the impossible, people just think you are crazy!  Packaging has been my biggest nightmare.  Why do we want/need excess packaging?  It makes us feel better maybe?  But what does it do to the planet??  I have overcome some obstacles by not listening to nay-sayers, it just slows everything down, I start small, lead by example, hope that my community will listen and celebrate what I do and just keep trying to consciously do better by the this planet (habitat) that we all share.  I may not always get things right first time, but I do start and improve as I go along.

What do you believe makes your brand stand out more than others?

We have Manuka Honey – This ingredient is AMAZING – scientifically validated to improve the skin’s barrier function. We only use medical grade 16+  Manuka honey & Manuka Oil and we use it in concentrated form.  We offer this in an endlessly refillable solution – I believe the first cosmetic company in the world to do this.  We deliver directly to our subscribers – no wasted costs or extra miles.  What you see is what you get – we are transparent all the way and very connected with our community.  Oh, and we LOVE LOVE Bees!

(Complete the sentence) Every person should have

“Our Multifunction Lip Balm” when they leave the house, because it is a medicine chest in a jar. It’s amazing for your lips – you can eat it and it will not compromise your gut health.  Perfect cuticle repair cream.  Amazing shaving nick healer, stops the bleeding, and creates a barrier for fast healing.  Child falls down, no problem! Put this immediately on the graze or scuffed skin, keeps infection out, slows bleeding, prevents scarring by moistening the scab whilst healing.  Soothes and takes the itch out of insect bites. Latest discovery with this product, is if you have a mask on, put a thin layer on under your mask and your skin will be protected and less likely to get sensitive or little bumps. – List goes on and on ……..

Do you think it is possible to get to a point where most products are safe for the environment? 

NO I don’t think so – not in my life time.  Companies continue to put profit over people and regulation is not there. People have FOMO and they want the next amazing “something” in a jar with glittery packaging, while we have consumers demanding this at a cheap price.  Companies will run at the opportunity to deliver what they want.  We need to rise up, demand better and have more rigid control.  Do you know in Victorian times women and indeed men used make up with lead and arsenic which they applied onto their skin in the name of beauty, andin many cases it killed them. The absorption ability of our skin is incredible — just think about nicotine patches.  My advice to everyone, is read what you are putting on your skin, be informed and make small conscious changes for your health.  Support companies that hold people and planet up over profit.

Share with us a healthy motto that has helped you throughout the years. 

An apple a day keeps the doctor away!   It’s true and simple!

What does beauty mean to you?

Our tag line is “Fearlessly Healthy Faces”.  I believe this and of course, I wear a little make -up from time to time, but I believe beauty is when you have a good skin with a good barrier function where you embrace your imperfections, and you don’t have to hide behind a thick layer of make up because society demands it.

During quarantine, how did you use your time?

Quarantine for us was HUG. I had 3 of my 4 adult children come home with their partners and one of my grandchildren.  My other daughter and her husband had my second grandchild in lockdown.  My daughter Makaela is is a Chef so we ate very well — quite literally we ate our way through quarantine. As an essential business due to hand sanitizer and Manuka honey, we continued to trade, we sent our staff home and my family and I did everything else from our home.  My grandson got into bed with me every morning at 6 am and wanted stories, so honestly it was chaotic – a great family experience loads of laughs, home made pantry ready face masks.  My grandson Theo who is 41/2 tells me “Nana lockdown was the best time of my life!”

Share with us something about yourself that most people do not know. 

I was born in Zimbabwe and lived there until 1986 – Africa is in my soul, I love the colour, the music and the culture.  While I am married to a Kiwi and we have a family and life in New Zealand, my heart is in Africa with their many causes.

What comes next?

Goodness – how long have you got – Personally next on my bucket list is to walk the Camino track (whenever the boarders open).  I am completing an MBA at the University of Canterbury.  We have new products being released over the next 12 months that totally eliminate single use plastic. My current passion project is building a home based “uber” model that will create future employment opportunities designed to empower women through the creation of an accredited learning platform that will lead to financial independence.

By Alexandra Bonnet