Małgorzata Ostrowska: I care about the balance in private life and business
MARTA KRUPIŃSKA, VOGUE.PL
Małgorzata Ostrowska, CEO of Maurisse Sp. z o.o. and the founder of the Biotaniqe brand, privately a mother of three and a sports enthusiast, knows almost everything about the Polish cosmetics industry. She got into it at a very young age, in the 1990s. As a 25-year-old she became responsible for the entire process of creating new hair care and hair colouring lines. Until this day, her main goal and professional mission remain providing Polish women with cosmetics of the best quality and for the affordable price.
You have successfully launched 16 brands and 400 cosmetics to your credit. What are you guided by in business?
I am extremely grateful to fate that as a cosmetic producer and a creator of the brands such as Biovax, Selfie Project or Biotaniqe I have been able to work with wonderful specialists across different fields for 20 years now. The thing that I have managed to do for all these years and what I am extremely proud of is the ability to instill passion, willingness to work, looking forward, to breaking down one’s barriers and fears and – by my opinion the most importnat of them – logical thinking in people. I adore watching the business grow, it is a great force that pushes a person forward. We want our cosmetics to be the best and most unique, so that the customer who decided to buy our product knows that she or he made the right choice.
What is your philosophy of creating cosmetics?
The basis of the existence of the Biotaniqe brand is understanding that the human body is wise and it simply needs to be supported. The priority for me is that the cosmetics help the skin with facing unfavourable factors of civilisation. That is why Biotaniqe is a wise support for the skin and the probiotic pro.aQua water, which is the base of all our cosmetics, protects its microflora. Because of that skincare is not only effective, but primary it is safe.
What makes the Biotaniqe cosmetics effective?
I have realised a long time ago that the nature provides us with the ingredients that have beneficial effects on our organisms. You just have to use them wisely – that is when the magic happens. That is why you can find high concentrations of ingredients such as snail secretion filtrate, cbd – 99% organic hemp oil, caviar, aloe or even viper venom in the Biotaniqe cosmetics. The ability of improving the condition of the skin using natural ingredients is just fascinating. At Biotaniqe we do it every day and it gives us great joy. The Snail Repair Therapy line, which offers products dedicated for a very diverse age groups, from 30+ to 70+, has been our greatest hit for years now. Those best-sellers have been relaunched this year: the same effective ingredients that Polish women are in love with in a new design and glass jars. All of this created out of love for then beauty.
What is the secret of the Biotaniqe brand?
Biotaniqe is the knowledge, passion and experience of women who are the most important pillars of our cosmetic endeavour. Talented technologists, laboratory technicians and marketing workers are behind Biotaniqe, giving the guarantee of the highest standards. We just love cosmetics! I am also really proud of the fact that there is a community of women around our brand who have trusted us and help us to respond to the needs of the Polish women in the best possible way. In our Face- book group, Biotaniqe Beauty Club, fans are the first to learn about our discoveries in the field of cosmetics. They test our products before they enter the market and we carefully listen to their advices. The group is also a space for women’s discussion in an atmosphere of sisterhood and support. Conversations about skin care, its condition and favourite creams are very often contributing to much deeper topic, such as coping with aging or self- acceptance and self-love.
You combine management of the company with raising three children. How do you manage
to reconcile such demanding roles?
I am a mother and I work full-time. I know perfectly well what an ordinary day is like, full of stress and in rush. Sometimes it is difficult to find some time for a pleasure in such a routine -and we, women, still need it very much. Recently I have been thinking about how to do something good for myself so as to not waste a lot of time. I never have it! I am not a person who likes extremes so not all lifestyle changes suit me. Even though I appreciate the vegan movement, in practice I knew that switching to this kind of a diet would be too radical and inauthentic for me. It is tempting to dedicate weekend to yoga, contemplation and meditation in nature, but it also impossible because I spend the weekends with my family. Relaxing while on social media does not suit me completely. Watching beautiful reports and photos of influencers does not bring rest, it usually brings increasing frustration. Idyllic images of smiling, happy ladies who regularly practice yoga with full joy and then eat delicious breakfasts in beautiful places, at noon in the middle of the week are utopian for most working women.
So how do use time that is just for yourself, which is so difficult to find?
A hot bath is a classic! But such relaxation ends when two minutes after lighting the candles the children bursts into the bathroom and jump into the bathtub to bathe with their mother, my son screams that he has a test tomorrow or I am just so tired that I almost fall asleep in the water! But there are ways each of us can afford some relaxation, regardless of time and money resources. After many hours of reflection, analysis and conversations with authorities in the field of knowledge about holistic life, I chose the rituals that I found the most effective. I have tested them on myself so I can vouch for them! Care is definitely important to me.
What does your skin care routine look like?
Years of working with cosmetics have convinced me that only a few minutes each day is enough to feel their effects. I always start with cleansing. It can be, for example, a good gel with probiotics or a delicate micellar water. Then I sprinkle my face with a tonic that neutralises the skin’s pH. The next step of everyday skin care is moisturising – an extremely important part of the routine. Over time the skin loses its natural hydration and elasticity, and its lipid layer requires support. Therefore, we can use a few drops of a regeneration serum that contains a lot of nutrients in a small amount of the product. And at the end I always put a cream on. During my morning routine I like sipping my coffee – I hold my beloved mug in one hand and I pat my cosmetics in the other. I enjoy feeling the consistency of the cream, applying it to my face, scenting it and touching the skin, feeling how smooth it is afterwards. I also appreciate makeup, which makes the skin visually prettier and more perfect, although the trend of naturalness (no make-up) is very valuable, I personally feel better and more confident thank to slightly tweaking my beauty. I do not wear makeup everyday, but when I do it gives me a lot of satisfaction.
What about other small pleasures and rituals that help you keep your balance?
During the day my little pleasure are aromatic oils. I love the orange one – it is responsible for joy. I always carry it in my purse. There is also an everyday praxis that I call “time for myself” that improves how I feel. It is a little practice – every single day you need to find a moment to consciously think about yourself. If we have a problem with that, I suggest simply setting a reminder on the phone for this occasion several times a day especially for this. It can be a small celebration – focusing on yourself, on what is here and now, washing hands in full concentration on the smell, warm water on your hands, touching the towel after wiping them. It really calms you down. You can also drink the tea with pleasure, without distractions – feeling its temperature, taste, feeling its way from the mouth through the throat.Just as soothing and nice is just a simple breathing exercise. A few easy breaths – and that is it. Those rituals are a kind of undemanding meditation where we can appreciate the moment.
You emphasise that you cannot imagine your life without sport. What do you get from
regular physical activity?
I love exercising and dancing, but I do not care when I have moments when there is less movement, because according to my personal coach the key is to not forget about it. But regularity matters as well. We start with small steps. The body appreciates it and we feel that we are finally doing something just for ourselves – and it makes us smile. I recommend reappearing these small actions. It helps to maintain inner harmony.