Look, I’ll be honest, my uterus has not been used for its intended purpose yet but I am of the age that everyone around me is using their uterus for its intended purpose and becoming mothers. I didn’t expect watching my friends become mothers would be so emotional, but it has. To watch someone you already love so much, become completely selfless (not to mention literally life giving!) in the act of motherhood has really humbled me.
So when given the opportunity to talk to Raquel Nowak, the founder of Matrescence Skin, I was so excited to hear about her process of developing a skin care line that is dedicated to mothers and mothers to be. If you believe in the idea that one should help themselves before helping others, mothers really need to take care of themselves. And Raquel wants to help them specifically take care of their skin.
Below we asked both Raquel and the lovely (and gorgeously pregnant!) Carly Cushnie of Cushnie, a few questions both about Matrescence Skin and what Carly has noticed since becoming pregnant.
What was the inspiration and influence behind the development of Matrescence Skin?
Raquel: Matrescence Skin was born from one of the most important lessons on my journey through motherhood, learning to mother myself by making self-care a priority. Although motherhood requires a large sacrifice of time as we dedicate so much to caring for those we love, I wanted to highlight that we don’t have to compromise the quality of self-care along the way.
Rituals help to keep you balanced and grounded and I felt that it was particularly important during this transition, so I set off on quest for a ritual that would connect the woman I was before motherhood to the one I was becoming.
My vision of the perfect self-care ritual for mom was one that was uncomplicated enough to fit into her busy schedule, yet refined and would serve as a well-deserved treat. From this we developed our signature Rose Glow Trio — a cleanser, essence, and hydrator — as a simple and effective 3-step skincare regimen that moms can easily master and indulge in.
Where does the name “Matrescence” come from?
Raquel: Matrescence is a term that was coined by Dana Raphael, an anthropologist and doula, to describe the process of becoming a mother and highlights all the aspects of change a woman experiences during the transition.
We found the term to be the perfect expression of our mission as we focus on a holistic approach in developing safe and effective skincare for mothers. Each product is designed to enhance not just the skin but also the emotional well-being, making it easier for women to look and feel their best at every stage of motherhood. Together, the trio is a complete and indulgent experience that appeals to all the senses. The scents we chose are subtle but uplifting while the textures are soft and pampering. The goal is for mom to have a blissful escape and an opportunity to focus on herself with no guilt attached. The ritual sets the tone for the rest of her day and ideally for the rest of her journey through motherhood. This is motherhood refined.
What are some of the key ingredients in Matrescence‘s skin care line and their specific benefits to moms and moms-to-be?
Raquel: We chose a wide range of wildcrafted botanicals that are multifunctional and target multiple concerns because we wanted to stay true to how these elements work in synergy in nature to achieve better results than they would achieve individually. We sourced some of the purest, high-performance ingredients that are powerful but gentle enough for sensitive skin – such as the blend of reishi, shiitake and lingzhi mushroom extracts in our Brilliance Protection Souffle that’s like magic for skin repair and also targets hyperpigmentation and dark spots. We also added a significant amount of soothing and healing extracts like plantain, echinacea and burdock root in our Purifying Cleanser along with natural skin brighteners like bladderwrack, helichrysum and apple extracts in our Brightening Essence.
Each ingredient has been thoroughly vetted to ensure safety during preconception, pregnancy and breastfeeding, therefore we’ve excluded any ingredient that has been proven or even suspected to be harmful to mom or baby. The long list of ingredients you won’t find in our line includes hormone-disrupting chemicals, artificial preservatives or irritating fragrances. All our products ranked favorably in the EWG Skin Deep database with the Purifying Cleanser being EWG verified to meet the strictest criteria for transparency and health.
You have three unique products in the Matrescence skin care line, the Rose Glow Purifying Cleanser, Rose Glow Brightening Essence, and Rose Glow Brilliance Protection Souffle. Why did you specifically focus on these three products when developing Matrescence?
Raquel: My experience as a prenatal wellness expert made me very familiar with the skin issues that women experience during the transition to motherhood due to hormone fluctuations and increased skin sensitivity. We categorized those issues into three areas and developed our Rose Glow Trio as a targeted solution for each. Step 1: The Purifying Cleanser targets acne and inflammation as an incredibly potent antioxidant treatment that deep cleans and calms for perfectly balanced skin. Step 2: The Brightening Essence targets dullness and hyperpigmentation with an infusion of natural refining acids to instantly reveal a brighter more vibrant glow. Step 3: The Brilliance Protection Souffle is designed to balance the skin’s moisture, deeply hydrate and protect against environmental stressors. The result is an overall healthy glow that leaves mom feeling confident and beautiful.
Carly Cushnie, CEO & Creative Director of Cushnie
Have you noticed any changes in your skin since becoming pregnant?
Carly: I’ve been very conscious of taking care of my skin while pregnant, knowing that with so many hormonal changes, a lot can happen to your skin. I’ve definitely noticed my skin becoming drier throughout my pregnancy, so I’ve become really meticulous with moisturizing and I’ve spent more time applying hydrating masks to compensate. After first trying Matrescence, it feels very gentle and soothing, and it seems to be calming some of the irritated flare-ups on my skin really nicely.
Are there certain skin care ingredients one must avoid while pregnant? How did you find out about this? Through research?
Carly: Through several friends and my own research, I learned that you cannot use retinol on your skin during pregnancy, which is in so many anti-aging products these days. I had to really spend time finding products that were safe for use during pregnancy, that would still be effective.