An Interview with Heather Urquhart, the founder of Huna

An Interview with Heather Urquhart, the founder of Huna

This season we're featuring HUNA's nourishing vegan body balm in our Winter box. As fellow farmers, Heather and her partner Corrado grow many of the plants they use in their products on their farm in British Columbia, Canada. We sat down with Heather to learn more about how she got started.

Heather, founder of HUNA


Q: What is the inspiration for starting HUNA?

A: The inspiration behind Huna started with a lifelong passion for skin-health, clean beauty, and botanical science. I struggled with my own skin issues related to an autoimmune disease, and I believe in natural plant-based remedies.  I also believe in the power of education so I hit the books and pursued my studies in herbal medicine and plant-based healing, which supported my healing journey with my autoimmune, and also gave me the inspiration and skills to launch Huna. My vision is to merge the worlds of herbalism, botanical science, and luxury beauty to create a line of products that harnesses the healing power of plants – and with that Huna was born!


Q: We love that you grow over 30+ organic ingredients that you use in your all-natural skincare! Can you tell us a little bit more about your farm and how you grow things?

A: Growing and nurturing our plants has become a fulfilled passion and purpose of mine. Huna is truly unique because we grow dozens of organic medicinal botanicals on our 30-acre organic and regenerative farm in beautiful Monte Creek, British Columbia, Canada.  We lovingly grow and hand-harvest the medicinal plants, meticulously hand-process them, then we use them to develop Huna's exclusive Proprietary Active Botanical Complexes.  Each plant is carefully hand-harvested at the peak of optimal ripeness, which captures the plant's potent phytoactives and bionutrients. This is what makes Huna products so fresh, so special, so high-performance, and so incredibly effective.


Q: How has your background in botany and herbalism informed the creation of your skincare products?

A: From the inspiration and spark of an idea for a new Huna product, to the advanced scientific research and development we conduct at Huna, to the specific product formulation and ingredient selection- all aspects of Huna’s product development process absolutely have deep roots in botany and herbal medicine.  Every one of our Huna product formulations and Huna Proprietary Active Botanical Complexes is based and rooted in traditional herbal medicine and advanced modern botanical science, with a luxury high-performance result.  Additionally, our company is deeply sustainable and earth-conscious, so we carefully consider our products, practices and impacts on mother earth and all her inhabitants.


Q: There’s a lot of greenwashing in skincare. Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do to help the Earth?

A: Absolutely, ugh- not a fan of Greenwashing at all.  At Huna, we live and strive for sustainability in both our business and everyday personal lives.  We honor this with our in-house standards and qualifications to ensure all Huna products embrace the concept of healthy, mindful + conscious-living.  That means all of our products are formulated to be Organic, Plant-based, Sustainable, Ethical, and Biodegradable.  It means our packaging is mainly recyclable glass with aluminum components.  We compost and recycle a lot at the Huna Farm.  We develop our own organic plant-based fertilizers for the Huna Skin Nutrition Gardens.  We are currently conducting R&D to develop an innovative new way to compost and decompose hydrocarbon-based waste at the Huna Farm using fungi.  This is really cool because we’re testing whether we can successfully compost a waste product that was previously un-compostable.  Huna is not your average organic skincare company.  Our sustainable values and commitment to the earth run pretty deep.

Q: What is one thing you do to live well every day?

A: Living well to me means finding little moments in each day for self-care. I try my best to do a deep meditation every morning, and I usually follow it with stretching and yoga.  I also make time to take a hike up the mountain on our farm every morning with my bulldog bestie Henry.  I often end the day with a hike with Henry too, and sometimes I will squeeze in a mid-day hike if I’m having a stressful ‘one of those’ kinda days.  I also always make time for my skincare routine- both morning and night.  These little but important daily self-care practices keep me feeling grounded, balanced, and I feel like I’m taking good care of myself.


Q: What is your beauty or skincare routine?

A: My beauty routine begins internally, providing my body with essential hydration and nutritious foods.  I eat a healthy organic whole food diet, take herbal supplements and probiotics, and I keep hydrated with water and herbal teas throughout the day.  I then implement that same philosophy into my skincare routine, giving my skin the delicious nutrition, it needs.  My skin routine stays pretty consistent in that I always have a twice daily cleanse/treat/moisturize routine and a weekly exfoliate/mask regimen.  But I do switch up the products in my skin routine based on the seasons and how my skin is responding. I love to intuitively listen to my skin’s needs, and we try to encourage that at Huna as well.


Step 1:

I absolutely love the Huna Revitalize Cleansing Crème to cleanse my skin without stripping my skin’s moisture, both morning & night.  My skin seriously loves this stuff.  It is so moisturizing and removes every last bit of my makeup, sunscreen, and grime from a long day.  Even eye-makeup removes easily with the Cleansing Crème.  It leaves my skin feeling perfectly cleansed, soft and smooth.


Step 2:

Sometimes I follow with Huna Botanical Face Mist in the morning or throughout the day, for a refreshing hydration boost…it’s like a thirst-quenching drink for skin.  At night, I loyally use our Huna Exfoliate Fruit Extract Face Toner.  This product is my holy grail for waking up with fresh-looking, clear, bright, and even-toned skin each and every morning.  It is an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) formula made from 100% fruit acid extracts- think oranges and lemons. It also contains strawberries which are a natural source of salicylic acid, so it really busts through blemishes overnight too.  I’m a huge fan of a good dual-purpose product.


Step 3:

I am crazy proud of our Firming Eye Cream.  It is a highly-effective vegan formula made with sea kelp, vegetable ceramides, cocoa, and vegan hyaluronic acid.  It is very lightweight, quick-absorbing, non-greasy.  You will feel it immediately hydrate, soothe, and soak into skin right away.  I formulated it specifically to address all of the key first signs of aging which impact the eye area- dehydration, dark under-eye circles, puffiness, lack of firmness, decreased elasticity, and fine lines.  This puppy is my saving grace.  I am prone to very dark under-eye circles, so I use it day and night.  I am never without it.


Step 4:

I always follow with the Revitalize Age-Grace Face Serum.  Hydration, Antioxidants, and Polyphenols.  You need those three essentials covered every single day to maintain optimal skin health.  This is Huna’s signature beauty staple and longstanding #1 seller- and for very good reason.  The Revitalize Age-Grace Face Serum provides deep phytonutrient-rich hydration- yet soaks in super-fast, feels ultralight and silky smooth.  It delivers potent antioxidant protection to protect skin from the premature aging effects of environmental free radical damage.   Use it in the morning to protect your skin all day, and use it at night to support the skin’s natural repair process.


Step 5:

If I need an extra moisture boost (especially in Canada’s cold winter months), then I’ll use Huna Skin Nutrition Balm to nourish, repair, regenerate, and deeply moisturize my skin.  It makes such a great overnight skin treatment.  The Skin Nutrition Balm is amazing- it instantly moisturizes, and skin looks healthy and nourished immediately.  It really seals in moisture and protects skin from trans-epidermal moisture loss.  I love using it as a nightly facial treatment- it feels really good waking up to baby soft, smooth, hydrated and supple skin.

It’s all about learning to listen to your skin.  Your skin communicates to you constantly, but most of us don’t know how to listen.  A rash on your face is more than just a rash.  It might be telling you that your digestive health needs attention, like perhaps it is trying to communicate a dairy allergy or sensitivity to you.  Learn to listen to your skin, and fall in love with your skin.  Develop a lasting relationship with your beautiful skin- it does so much to protect and keep you safe every day.


Q: What’s next for HUNA?

A: We’re just starting to really grow and come into our own as a company, and we have big exciting plans for a sustainable growing future.  New product launches are coming like the Huna Professional Spa Back Bar line, so our loyal Huna Tribe can go to their favorite organic or holistic Spa and have a luxury Huna Facial Treatment.  We’re also excited to launch Huna Herbal Hyaluronic Acid Serums for specific skin types in early 2022, along with Huna Firming Face + Neck Lotion.  We’ve spent several years developing an innovative plant-based and plant-pigmented color cosmetics line that launches soon, and we have a fabulous Huna Self-Care line with herbal-inspired bath and body care products coming in 2022.


Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share with Earthlovers?

A: I’d like to thank Earthlovers for taking the time to read this interview to learn more about Huna, and for choosing to support companies like Earthlove and Huna.  Not all companies are made the same.  HOW something is made is just as important as what’s inside of it.  Read the ingredients list, but also take time to learn about the companies you choose to support and put your dollars behind.  Choose companies like Huna that put people’s health and the planet’s sustainability first and foremost.  This is how we will shape a better future Earthlovers.  Way to be savvy consumers- thank you and keep up the good work. :)