MADARA's Lotte Talks Nordic Beauty Secrets


Beautiful Because were very excited to take some time to ask MADARA founder Lotte Tisenkopfa-Iltnere all about the luxury Latvian Organic Skincare brand that we have long been huge fans of! Not only for it’s groundbreaking, clinically-backed formulas and innovative products, but beautiful branding and great price point. If you are thinking of trying MADARA, this interview is a must-read!

Madara Founder Lotte

Inspiration for launching MADARA:

I fell in love with skincare during my student years in Japan, I could spend hours on cosmetic floors of Tokyo department stores, enjoying the perfectly textured creams and fluids. Big was my disappointment when I experienced skin reactions from the products I loved so much. After examining the labels and understanding the list of synthetic ingredients that they “hide”, I set my skin on a totally organic “diet”. I started writing reviews on natural products and home-made formulas on a lifestyle online forum. One of my followers – Zane (Zane Tamane, our marketing strategist) – sent me a message asking if I could sell her my home-made products. We met in a coffee shop and a few months later together with Zane’s friend Liene (Liene Drazniece, designer), and my sister Paula (Paula Tisenkopfa, sales person and philosopher) we established MADARA. A brand that creates products from Nordic ingredients good enough to be eaten.

Why use natural and organic beauty?

I was surprised to see in the cellular tests that skin recognises plant-based ingredients better than chemical molecules. Human cells are rather similar to plant cells, belonging to the same type of cells. Many popular ingredients like vitamins, antioxidants, peptides, amino acids, hyaluronic acid etc. – are derived from nature.  After 10 years in skincare I am convinced of a simple formulation rule - the more original natural ingredients a product has, the more effective it becomes on skin.

Madara Organic Skincare

Your favourite natural ingredients:

My favourite ingredient is birch water. As a child I remember tapping birch water each spring with my Grandfather (it flows just for 1 or two weeks on the outbreak of spring, only in Sub-Arctic and Arctic regions). In Northern countries we use it here as a traditional detox drink to boost health and energy, now it gains popularity as a beauty drink. Birch water contains minerals like potassium, magnesium and calcium, a unique blend of amino acids (citrulline, glutamine, glutamic acid, asparagine, isoleucine, phenylalanine), enzymes and natural organic acids (malic acid, succinic acid, citric acid and fumaric acid). MADARA pioneered anti-aging concept where regular formula water is 100% replaced with highly active birch water, proven to reduce all signs of visible ageing.  Birch water reverses damage done to skin cells DNA and stimulates cellular regeneration. Birch water is used as base ingredient in TIME MIRACLE anti-age range.

Tell us about your recent MADARA rebranding:

MADARA has always strived for innovation and creativity in every area. We are constantly and passionately working on new ideas and products, we are focusing attention on new, powerful ingredients. Our discoveries result into new products with outstanding benefits – such as those within the Time Miracle and SOS Hydration ranges. We are developing to provide our customers with effective, safe and up-to-date solutions for every skin need. Organic products that truly work, feel and also look great.

How about MADARA’s groundbreaking clinical research?

Since the very foundation of MADARA we wanted the powerful Northern plants’ extracts to be at the very heart of our products. And then we started to realize that, in spite of many wide-spread ethno medicine traditions and popular knowledge about what those plants’ healing properties were, the scientific backup was not that strong. That’s how the research of the Northern flora became some sort of our mission – we wanted to find out what the Northern plants’ benefits were, and how they could be used in skincare to provide the best effectiveness.

Madara Organic Skincare

Your daily skincare routine:

My day cream is SOS HYDRA RECHARGE cream; my night cream is TIME MIRACLE TOTAL RENEWAL NIGHT CREAM. I adore SUPERSEED RADIANT ENERGY face oil. It is a blend of 9 unique oils cold-pressed from tiny seeds Arctic berries and herbs – cloudberry, blueberry, cranberry, borage and others. Research shows that these seed oils have extra high concentrations of OMEGA essential fatty acids and antioxidants, needed for skin protection and hydration. The dry and fast absorbing texture of the oil is perfectly suitable for my mixed skin type. My cleansing ritual is MICELLAR WATER to remove make-up, PURIFYING FOAM to cleanse away impurities, and TIME MIRACLE CELLULAR NUTRIENT toner.

Your #1 can't-live-without MADARA product:

It is MADARA DETOX Ultra Purifying Mud Mask. I have a combination skin that breaks out now and then. Detox mask keeps my skin under control. My secret trick is to apply a small spot of mask directly on a pimple and leave it overnight. In the morning it has vanished most of the time. DETOX mask also promotes healing and rejuvenation – all the spots and scars vanish much quicker.

Your top beauty secret:

I adore skincare layering – this is my way to get that super-hydrated glow. Here is the how-to: apply in layers first serum, then a facial oil, then a moisturiser, and top with a tinted moisturiser. Wait at least 5 minutes before applying each of the next layers. Skin looks nude, energised and healthy.

Other toxin-free beauty brands you love:

I detox my nails with ZOYA Nail Polish, my favourite being Satin Sage. I love get myself manicured, but I always felt bad about having poisonous chemicals like formaldehyde in the polish. ZOYA offer a better alternative, keeping the most toxic chemicals out of the recipe. I adore nude shades because they look natural and they are SO EASY TO APPLY! 

Zoya Nail Polish

What does a typical day on your plate look like?

A scientist that I respect very much once said that before we care about what we eat; we should care about how much we eat. My motto is eat little and eat organic whenever possible. I am vegetarian for more than 20 years, I stopped eating meat, fish, eggs from the age of 13, I just felt that I don’t need them. I adore cheese, this keeps me away from vegan diet. I start a day with plenty of fresh water and coffee and my first meal is in the afternoon, something like salad, wild rice risotto, lentils.

Your fave way to unwind:

I love taking a bath – floating in water harmonises my mind and body. Bathroom is my most convenient escape from this world – I built it as big as possible with windows, natural light and potted greens. I spend summer weeks in the old country-side cottage, surrounded by forest. Swimming naked in the forest lake is another ultimate well-being ritual each year.

What's next for MADARA:

Oh, we are innovation freaks. We have absolutely fabulous products in the pipe line! One of them is SOS HYDRA MASK that works immediately to give back moisture and radiance to dehydrated skin. The difference can be seen after 15 minutes!  Another product is a powerful antioxidant cream that targets the first signs of ageing. By accident I will be the face of the new product – we were searching for a model, but then we realised that I am 33 years old now and this is the age when first signs of ageing become visible. We decided that my face should be a proof that organic works.

What do you think makes someone beautiful?

Beauty is a mix of kindness and self-confidence. This is how children declare that someone is beautiful. In this sense beauty is democratic - we all have a chance to become beautiful.

Shop Madara Organic Skincare at Beautiful Because


The Beautiful Because Newsletter

Sign up to get exclusive offers, latest products & beauty advice.

Beautiful Because