When you arrive at The Ranch and walk along winding brick pathways past tennis courts, yoga gyms, and pools, you can feel your shoulders begin to loosen. Hiking trails head off into the distance, both up the slopes of Mt. Kuchumaa as well as toward the beauty of Rancho La Puerta’s six-acre organic farm known as Tres Estrellas. Sage, lavender, rosemary, calendula, aloe, and eucalyptus fill the air with sweet fragrances that blend and seemingly whirl in the breeze.
Such natural beauty serves as the inspiration for La Puerta Core Essentials, The Ranch’s signature collection of treatments for the face, hair, and body.
Certified Holistic Health Educator, Ayurvedic Practitioner, and Aromatherapist Tara Grodjesk developed Core Essential’s signature collection not only with the healing properties of the plants at Rancho La Puerta in mind but also as an extension of The Ranch’s philosophy of self-care and well-being. We asked Tara to share her inspiration and thinking behind creating these products.
How does La Puerta Core Essentials capture the essence of The Ranch?
It’s a beautiful connection and a real extension of The Ranch experience. Plants and flowers growing here are the inspiration for each product, and some are now ingredients. They’re not chosen for the sake of their beauty or pretty scent–they have therapeutic and medicinal benefits. We use the terms “plant medicine” or “botanical medicine” because of these healing properties.
So you benefit from a deeper healing connection…
Yes, because the Core Essentials line is not just about the beauty aspects of skin care, it’s about the daily rituals— what we do every day for ourselves.
Use Core Essentials to nourish yourself in the same way that you pay attention to foods you eat as well as your exercise routine, yoga practice, or meditation. It’s a practice of using clean products. What we put on the skin matters, and so do nourishing the skin, nourishing the body, the senses and the psyche, and the emotions—all supported by the aromatherapy aspect.
Terms such as natural plant medicine, aromatherapy tradition, and holistic herbal healing sound great, but help us understand more about what they mean and do.
“Natural plant medicine” means that we’re paying attention to the healing properties of the plants in the traditional sense. We’re honoring herbology, and oftentimes the ancient natural plant medicine of indigenous people.
“Aromatherapy tradition” means weaving essential oils into the entire product line to give pleasing scents to the products, and add plant chemistry that affects the mind/body connection. Essential oils are very powerful.
“Holistic herbal healing” means that we use some Ayurvedic traditions. Our body oils not only condition the skin, but also treat your state-of-mind and emotions. Some essential oils have euphoric or anti-depressant qualities, while others invigorate and energize. We’re using them in a lot of different ways.
These formulas have a lot of intention. They are not a mass-market product that The Ranch put their label on. They’re very carefully formulated to work on many mind, body and spirit levels, as I mentioned before.
The Ranch’s spa philosophy is rooted in the natural healing process, and the cycle we have is cleansing, relaxing, restoring and energizing. How can guests emulate this sequence with La Puerta Core Essentials?
If you look at it philosophically, we cleanse and detoxify to clear out impurities. Relaxing is about our need to rest, and this is when our bodies can go into a healing state. We cannot go into a healing state when we’re in fight or flight mode and survival mode. It’s hard to do when dealing with all the challenges in life, but when we are in the deep rest mode the body can then go into a healing state, neurologically and neurophysiologically. Restoring does ‘its own thing’ during that de-stressing process. By being quiet and unplugging, we’re able to repair, replenish,, renew, and reestablish our equilibrium and balance. Our body is reenergized.
What makes the Core Essentials different from other natural skin care products on the market?
Not only does the Core Essentials line meet high standards of organic purity and effectiveness, but it also reflects The Ranch experience. Ours is a holistic philosophy, echoing a Ranch philosophy: a lifestyle of daily rituals that make a real difference.
We use products with purity. They have a kind of vibration. I know it sounds very esoteric, but there’s a life force to plants. They have purity and intention. Sensitive people can pick up on this. They can tell the difference between the formulas and how the products affect them.
When you’re eating an organic salad, it feels good. You know you’re doing something good for yourself. These products do the same thing. You know you’re ‘doing good’ for yourself, and that feels good.
Would you say that this holistic philosophy is one of the separating factors for this product line? Because it’s not just a marketing slogan or an ad campaign that we’re sharing. We’re talking about a whole lifestyle and an entire value system that The Ranch follows.
That’s exactly it. That’s what gave me goosebumps. This philosophy is a reflection of what The Ranch stands for; its values and its philosophy, and its principles of health and well-being
The new line has been crafted to achieve the utmost in organic purity and effectiveness, can you explain more about these purity standards?
Organic is a very limited phrase because, in food, you have USDA, an agricultural certification. In cosmetics there is no one unified certification at this point.
We use organic ingredients, and that means plants that grow organically, and third parties certify them. We can say that the facial oils are 97/98% certified organic. We also use wildcrafted herbs. Wildcrafted herbs are not certified, they’re grown in the wild, as the name implies. They’re primarily organic, but they don’t have third-party certification. We also use some plant material, like base materials that haven’t been third-party certified, but they are pesticide free and grown organically.
We use Ecocert as a guideline. That’s a European certification standard. But many of our products in the Core Essentials line are even cleaner and purer than Ecocert standards.
At some point, you ask yourself, okay, do I want to put synthetics and chemicals on my skin, even if they do offer results? Or do I want to use something pure? Can I tell the difference between my organic raspberries and the conventional ones when I taste them? Sometimes you can’t, right? Sometimes it’s imperceptible, but you make that choice because you know on some level this is important and this is good for you and the planet. For The Ranch, we couldn’t have it any other way than to be pure, clean, and effective.