Issue 98 is out now
The Green Parent

By The Green Parent

12th September 2020

Lena Sokolovska is the founder of Uoga Uoga. She lives with her husband and son, aged nine, in Vilnius, Lithuania.

The Green Parent

By The Green Parent

12th September 2020

The Green Parent

By The Green Parent

12th September 2020

In the Baltics, we have a deep tradition of using herbs for well-being and health, making face masks and hair oils at home. Me and my mom would often make some DIY cosmetics for ourselves. Later I also attended various courses on soap making, and creating my own cosmetics. But that was just a hobby, alongside my job in finance.

And then one day I quit my well-paid job with no future plan at all. I wanted to do something that wasn’t driven by money. A year later, my friend and I started Uoga Uoga (uogauoga.com). Our idea was to make fresh masks with berries, hence the name - Uoga Uoga means Berry Berry in Lithuanian. We developed 20 natural products, opened up our online shop and offered our cosmetics mostly to our friends and family. That worked! Now, 10 years later we have over 100 certified natural and organic products, a team of 50 and a strong client base who love our products and share our values.

SELF-CARE SECRETS

I try to keep my 4 step routine each day in the morning and in the evening no matter what, even if I’m out in the forest sleeping in a tent: face wash - toner - serum - cream. Washing off make-up in the evening is so important. I normally use organic micellar water with hyaluronic acid, but if I happen to run out of it, I just go to the kitchen and use virgin olive oil to take my make-up off. No excuses for sleeping with mascara on!

Once a week I go to sauna while my son has his swimming class. After sauna, when my pores are open, I use a clay mask, which helps to clean my skin.

Sometimes, I also make a body scrub from what I find in the kitchen. It takes literally half a minute. Here’s the recipe for you to try: mix 2 Tbs of brown sugar and 1 Tbs of unrefined sunflower, olive or sesame oil. Scrub your whole body in the bath or shower twice a week for a soft and nourished skin.

BUSINESS PLANS

Each year we launch around 20-30 new products and this year will be no exception! We are thinking about new lipstick and lipgloss shades, some new body products. We also will continue on our way to more sustainable packaging. This year we moved all of our face creams from plastics to glass. Next year we are planning to launch a refillable package for our top selling mineral foundation powders. We installed shampoo and shower gel refill stations in some of our shops at the beginning of the year and want to expand our zero-waste policy in the shops next year.

THREE WAYS TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE

1. Start changing the products you use gradually to natural or organic. Start with food, then turn to cosmetics including your make-up, then home cleaning products and so on.

2. Reduce waste. For that you would need to change your shopping routines step by step to avoid excess packaging. Choose good quality things that will serve longer.

3. Make changes one step at a time. I find, that being fanatical often leads to frustration. Even if you forgot your re-usable bottle at home today and just bought a plastic bottle of water, don’t feel bad, because you do have that re-usable bottle at home, and you will not forget it tomorrow. The most important that you know what’s best for you and the planet, and that you try being a better you every day.

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