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Kiran Stordalen

Kiran Stordalen – Co-owner Interview

What motivated you to launch intelligent Nutrients?

Intelligent Nutrients developed out of a need to rethink beauty from the inside out - for the whole person. We saw beauty beginning with the platform of ‘what we put in are bodies’ is the essence of true beauty and wellness. From there, we went to create a line of truly unconventional products with our hero product a supplement - Intellimune. Horst Rechelbacher, the founder of Intelligent Nutrients and Aveda and also considered "the father of Safe Cosmetics", was determined to take health and beauty to the next level. As a salon owner and renowned hairdresser, he was really the first to see the importance safe, pure, non-toxic beauty. He was always very focused on eliminating harmful ingredients and replacing them with safe alternatives.

Horst left Aveda determined to make certified organic, sustainable, inside-out beauty the benchmark for cosmetics. In 2008, we launched the first USDA certified organic hair care line. Today, my business partner Nicole and I, are continuing to expand the business with safety, efficacy and purity at the heart of what we do – it’s something we live, breath and believe in very much.

Are there any important lessons your husband Horst Rechelbacher learned from Aveda that helped shape the brand?

“To do better all the time, to turn to nature for solutions and to do it responsibly, sustainably and with compassion. Horst strongly believed that the future of beauty was in creating safe, non-toxic products.” He felt an obligation to clean up the beauty industry, not to talk about change but to develop products that set a standard for safe chemistry.

What excites you most about skin and body care these days?

I love seeing amazing raw materials come to life in products and demonstrating that true luxury and environmental responsibility can coexist. Now more than ever, naturals can offer real efficacy and that’s a new development – unleashing their potency and seeing visible results is really exciting. So many of these ingredients offer up intense hydration and are powerful antioxidants. In tandem, with light therapies and lasers – skin and body care has never looked better.

Your website expresses concern over the safety of our bees, not something you typically see connected to beauty products. Can you talk about the link?

Horst and I lived on farm in Osceola for many years experimenting with different farming techniques and essential oil distillation among other things. It gave us a pocket-sized window of understanding into the delicate and intricate relationships of the natural world. We always kept bees through The University of Minnesota Bee Squad, and after his passing the HMR Pollinator Project was established.

There is ample evidence that pesticides are contributing to colony collapse disorder and if it continues, our food supply and planetary life will be in jeopardy. Bees are the canary in the coalmine and they are bigger than all of us. So for us, organic growing methods really do matter – that’s our link. The farm has become a learning site for scientists, beekeepers, students and educators in the hope of making a meaningful difference for all-important creatures.

Science is vital to your products. What is the source of your plant technology? Do you have in-house scientists working with you? And how do you arrive upon the balance between science and the wisdom of the natural world?

We’ve been in this business a long time and have cultivated deep relationships with experts in variety plant based disciplines including ethno botanists, food scientists, nutritionists, aroma therapists along with masters in plant-based cosmetics R&D from around the world. All are incredible resources that complement our internal staff, together we seek out the most advanced, efficacious plant based raw materials for our products. In our case, we use the wisdom and wildness of the natural world as inspiration and the power of 21st century technology equally in our product development process.

What are the three most important things we can do to take care of our bodies and our skin?

One of the best things you can do for your skin is to protect it every day from UV radiation with an effective sunscreen. It’s nothing new, but sun exposure prematurely ages skin breaking down collagen and can also cause skin cancer. Hands down, staying out of the sun is the greatest skin care practice. Secondly, it’s never too early to start thinking about using anti-aging products whether it’s plant stem cells and bioactives, glycols or natural retinols. Taking a preventative approach to your skin care routine will yield better results in the long term – don’t wait until fine lines start to appear. And lastly, if at all possible, try to keep stress at a minimum by enjoying the things that are important to you. Stress and anxiety wreak havoc on the mind and body on a cellular level, deteriorating your whole system, so relax and go easy on yourself.