Founded on Kati Kasza’s personal view that the key to lasting beauty is to maintain the skin’s own natural balance, the Evolu skincare range is based on a simple yet potent botanical system. Driven by Kasza’s desire to create natural skincare without the usual trade-offs, as well as her ongoing passion for botanical ingredients, the evolution of the range is not surprising, particularly considering her upbringing.
Kasza’s parents arrived in New Zealand in 1950 as refugees from Hungary. Her father was a winemaker, her mother a horticulturist and herbalist. Their appreciation of fine natural ingredients and the power of nature was passed on to Kasza at a young age. “At the time I felt we stuck out like a sore thumb because we were drinking freshly squeezed juices and real coffee and eating bread homemade with ground rye – things that no other Kiwi was drinking or eating in the ’60s and ’70s,” Kasza says. “When we were sick we had natural remedies rather than [pharmaceutical] medicines. They always worked.”
As an adult Kasza was eager to learn other languages and she started working as an international flight attendant. While it benefited her French, it was unfortunate for her skin. “My skin became problematic because of the constant time-zone changes, the climatic changes, airconditioning, the stress of travel and, of course, lack of sleep,” Kasza says.
Frustrated with being unable to find skincare products that helped her skin complaints, Kasza resolved to look for her own solution. Using her deep knowledge of botanicals, which she had gained from her mother, and avoiding synthetics ingredients, Kasza set to work in her kitchen, creating a small batch of products with one aim in mind: to restore balance to her skin.
Satisfied that her products were effective on her own skin, Kasza had her fellow flight attendants try the homemade concoctions. “When someone told me they would buy them if I were to make them to order, the entrepreneurial spirit in me reared its head and that was the beginning of Evolu,” Kasza recalls.
The essence of each Evolu product is a unique base of pure botanicals and 100 per cent New Zealand spring water. The plant extracts used in the products include kiwifruit seed oil, kawakawa oil, kanuka oil, manuka honey, avocado oil, grapefruit oil and lavender oil.
While Evolu products have moved out of the kitchen and into a professional laboratory, each product is still inspired, customised and perfected by Kasza and her husband, Paul Westlake, who is a joint shareholder and director of the company.