What The World And Your Skin Need Now – Q&A With Kindness Powered Skincare CEO Natalie Novak

When I close my eyes and think of the chaotic world around me, aggression on public transit, loud, annoying neighbors, and that long-running interior monologue about adhering to a beauty and fitness routine, the swirl of emotions can be a lot to handle. When it peaks, I’m reminded of a mantra I learned from a wise woman I once met. Her advice was simple: “Be kind to yourself.”

It took me a while to understand that always pushing to the extremes while expecting and wanting more, more, more isn’t always effective. In fact, it can backfire, like in skincare. Too harsh treatments, too many actives and exfoliants can worsen your complexion instead of beautifying it. I’ve had both professional and DIY peels that left first-degree burns on my face more than once. Sometimes our skin, just like each other and our planet, just needs a little TLC. It’s in that spirit that Natalie Novak, after seeing the destructive power of icky, chemical-laden products that used to the norm in the beautysphere, founded Kindness Powered Skincare.

As a celebrity aesthetician equally immersed in the day-to-day skincare concerns of her clients as in running a clean beauty brand, Natalie was kind enough to give me a personalized skin consult – a welcoming service she happily provides at Kindness Powered Skincare. Based on my skincare priorities – oiliness, hyperpigmentation, and anti-aging – she recommended a regimen based on the company’s Prep, Treat, and Nourish system of award-winning, vegan, and cruelty-free products. 

The night-time Prep protocol is based on double-cleansing with Aromatherapy Cleansing Oil and Brightening Cream Cleanser. A few pumps of the lavender and eucalyptus-rich, pomegranate seed oil-based cleanser, administered with a vigorous facial massage, followed by a swipe of warm muslin, breaks down sebum and makeup with ease. As the second step of the double cleanse, the Brightening Cream Cleanser, which is indeed very creamy, further detoxifies the pores with a blend of light AHAs, apricot kernel oil, citrus, and green tea extracts, as well as other nourishing botanicals. At first, the creamy texture of the cleanser felt counterintuitive to me as a sebum-afflicted girl who seeks very strong, foaming cleansers, but the kindness pays off. It’s cleansing and nourishing. I like to leave it on like a mini-mask if I have time and don’t plan to exfoliate or mask that night.

On nights when I can indulge in a bit more TLC, I slather on the Pumpkin Enzyme Mask for maximum exfoliation, brightening, acne control, and anti-aging. This powerhouse of a treatment, with pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, and cranberries, smells delicious enough to eat, but it’s best to save every schmear of this fragrant orange multi-tasker for your pores once or twice a week. Follow with KPS Probiotic Toner to prep the skin for maximum absorption of the award-winning Ren? Lumin moisturizer. In a formulation of ??pomegranate seed oil, hyaluronic acid, Co-Enzyme Q10, and other botanicals, it paves the way for healthy, radiant, youthful skin.

In the morning, I repeat the Prep steps of double cleansing and toning followed by Ren? C+ Serum. Unlike most Vitamin C serums, it’s creamy and rich enough to feel like a moisturizer while hydrating, plumping, and increasing skin elasticity, in addition to offering the brightening benefits of our fave vitamin. In the final step under makeup, I apply the KPS Antioxidant Eye Serum and Hydralux SPF 15 Primer, physical, mineral-based sun protection and makeup prep in one. It adds an additional layer of moisture without a white cast under concealer. The depuffing Antioxidant Eye Serum, rich in argan oil and retinal, doubles under lipstick as an ultra-nourishing lip treatment.

After a month of this creamy, nourishing, aromatherapy-rich regimen, personalized by the CEO of KPS, my skin has been kind enough to thank me back with a brighter and tightened complexion, and even the fading of a melasma patch that appeared out of nowhere last summer. In the same spirit of appreciation and kindness, I was thrilled to speak to Natalie Novak about her rebirth as a leader, if not guru, in the clean beautysphere. 


1.  Was your line born out of frustration with commercial products, the medical establishment, and/or doctors? Or were you motivated to address a specific need not addressed by most brands? 

Our brand emerged from a combination of necessity and profound insights, driven by two critical events that fundamentally shaped our approach to skincare.

The first event occurred in 1987 at Nordstrom’s South Coast Plaza in Southern California after an earthquake. I encountered a skincare product intended for facial use that had eroded through the carpet alarmingly. This incident catalyzed my transition from sales to seeking an in-depth understanding of skincare products. I became an esthetician to better comprehend the implications of skincare ingredients on health and safety.

The second formative experience involved a personal endeavor. My physicist partner collaborated with his mother to address a severe health crisis in her cherished horse. This challenge enriched his understanding of skin physiology, essential nutrient delivery, and bioavailability.

Our paths converged in 2012, and together, we leveraged our unique insights to establish KPS. Our vision was to create a skincare brand that emphasizes clean, nutrient-rich formulations and commits to efficacy and safety. KPS stands as a testament to our dedication to innovation, drawing on robust scientific principles and ethical practices.

We aim to redefine the skincare landscape by filling the voids left by mainstream offerings. We ensure that our products meet and exceed efficacy and safety standards. Through KPS, we provide conscientious skincare solutions that deliver tangible, visible results.

2. Where do you see or hope to see the beauty and wellness industry in a few years?

I envision a promising evolution within the beauty and wellness industry, driven by increasing consumer awareness and demand. In the next few years, I anticipate a substantial shift towards authenticity and safety, compelling major brands to prioritize ingredients that benefit both people and the planet.

Consumer behavior is becoming more discerning and proactive, reflecting not just a passing trend but a significant movement that is reshaping the industry. Individuals are increasingly concerned about the impacts of their choices on their health and the environment, steering the market towards more responsible practices.

I expect transparency and integrity to become central to every brand’s ethos. This involves openly disclosing ingredient lists, committing to sustainable sourcing and production techniques, and ensuring safe and effective formulations. Additionally, I foresee a stronger focus on inclusivity and diversity, with brands striving to meet all individuals’ unique needs and beauty ideals.

This shift towards authenticity and safety is poised to benefit consumers and foster innovation and positive change throughout the beauty and wellness ecosystem. As a proponent of safer, healthier alternatives, I remain hopeful and enthusiastic about the direction of our industry and am committed to contributing to this transformative journey.

3. In addition to clean formulations and sustainable practices, diversity is one of the hottest trends in beauty and wellness. How does Kindness Powered Skincare approach/embrace diversity?

Kindness Powered Skincare rigorously pursues diversity by crafting products that accommodate various skin types and tones, ensuring offerings are accessible to all individuals, regardless of their unique skincare needs. Our commitment to inclusivity extends into our marketing strategies and product development processes, where we feature individuals from diverse backgrounds and uphold varied beauty standards in our campaigns.

We strongly emphasize cultural sensitivity and ethical sourcing practices. This involves forming partnerships with suppliers who are equally dedicated to principles of fairness and equality. By prioritizing these aspects, Kindness Powered Skincare endeavors to cultivate a beauty industry that is inclusive and representative of its diverse consumer base. Through these initiatives, we aim to foster an environment where diversity is celebrated and everyone feels supported and recognized by our brand.

4. What product in your line are you most proud of? Describe the genesis of the product. 

The product I am most proud of in our line is the Ren? Face Cream, which marked the debut of our new collection when it was launched in New York City in 2016. This cream is enriched with a potent mix of nutrients, formulated with the philosophy that healthy skin inherently performs better.

Initially, we were still discovering the full potential of the Ren? Face Cream. Through extensive testing with a diverse range of individuals, we learned that nutrient-rich skin demonstrates enhanced water retention, improved barrier function, and increased resilience against wrinkles. Moreover, it maintains its volume and elasticity even as it ages and exhibits enhanced reflective properties, imparting a natural glow.

Inspired by these findings, we enhanced the formula by integrating additional antioxidants, leading to the development of Ren? C+. We named it “C+” because, although Vitamin C is a crucial ingredient known for its protective properties against free radicals, it is one of the weaker antioxidants in this enriched formulation. This product encapsulates our commitment to delivering skincare solutions that nurture the skin and enhance its natural health and vitality.

5. Describe the moment when you first opened and tried your first, officially launched product. 

The moment I first opened and tried our officially launched product, the Ren? Face Cream, was exhilarating and profoundly affirming. This product, which we introduced in New York City in 2016, was the culmination of our foundational experiences and values—particularly our dedication to clean, nutrient-rich formulations and a deep respect for diversity and sustainability.

Opening that first jar was a tangible manifestation of our journey—from the shocking realization of the harsh chemicals in some skincare products to the rich insights gained from personal experiences in health and wellness. Each aspect of the cream’s development was infused with our core belief that skincare should be safe, effective, and inclusive.

As I applied the cream for the first time, I felt a profound connection to our mission. The texture was luxurious, and the efficacy was immediately apparent, reflecting the product’s rich antioxidant composition and ability to enhance skin health. Observing its glowing effect on the skin, I was reminded of the extensive testing that revealed how our formulation improved hydration, barrier function, and overall skin resilience.

That moment was a celebration of our achievements and a significant milestone, as we were recognized in the same year by the largest skincare corp for the disruptive performance of our product. We were approached with an investment offer, affirming the industry’s recognition of our innovative approach. This validation further confirmed that we were on the right path toward transforming the beauty and wellness industry into one that genuinely considers the well-being of its consumers and the environment.

Read Part 1 in the “Female Founders Q&A” series with the Glow Bar CEO HERE.

Read Part 2 in the “Female Founders Q&A” series with the Uzima CEO HERE.

Read Part 3 in the “Female Founders Q&A” series with the Kinship CEO HERE.

Read Part 4 in the “Female Founders Q&A” series with the Raw Sugar Living CEO HERE.

Read Part 5 in the “Female Founders Q&A” series with the Alchimie Forever CEO HERE.

Read Part 7 in the “Female Founders Q&A” series with the Iles Formula CEO HERE.

Read Part 8 in the “Female Founders Q&A” series with the Blessed Bananas CEO HERE.

Gesha-Marie Bland


Not bland at all. Gesha-Marie Bland is an essayist, Vanity Fair-published film and television writer, and unrepentant beauty junkie who jumpstarted her career at NYU’s Master’s Program in Cinema Studies. In homage to her beauty icons Jeanne Moreau, Dolly Parton, and Grace Jones, she is forever in search of the perfect cat-eye liner, a killer pair of heels, and unforgettable statement accessories. Currently NYC-based, this dual American-French citizen still wears all-black and has a soft spot for clean beauty, pharmaceutical-grade actives, and most ingredients sourced from vineyards in the south of France. She loves New Wave cinema, Mary Gaitskill’s fiction, Spain, and matcha double-shots. After selling "The Ripper," her Alexander McQueen-Issie Blow biopic to the Cannes-winning production company Maven Pictures, she remains convinced fashion and couture are the next frontiers for edgy cinematic stories.