Mandy del Rosario, creator of Nanny Rose, likes to keep things natural. Inspired by childhood memories of concocting homemade antidotes made from plants found in the garden, she has since built her business around the knowledge of using natural skin fixes that are simple yet effective. “I was instinctively inclined to create a brand that was caring, loving, gentle, and sustainable–just like our nanny, yaya and nanay and take from their practice the use of natural remedies for personal care,” she explains. Below she tells us how she went from learning age-old cure-alls from her yaya to starting her own brand.
How did you become interested in skin care?
I’ve always been a kikay kid, using mangosteen stain as a lip and cheek tint when I was 6, and saving up my allowance to buy Bath & Body Works body wash when I was in grade school. I think, I’ve always just been interested.
When did you decide to put up Nanny Rose?
The idea of putting up my own brand came sometime 2010, shortly after resigning from my job as an events/accounts manager. Back then, it was just an idea that I thought would be fun on the side while I had nothing else to do yet.
It came from the idea of offering a more personal and natural brand, as opposed to the usual commercial ones in the market. The name itself “Nanny Rose” says plenty about the personality I wanted the products to carry. I grew up in the province (Angeles, Pampanga) and have always been surrounded by a nurturing environment, with plenty of natural material (leaves, flowers, barks, etc.) to play with. Growing up close to my yayas, I was always outdoors learning how to make bubbles with gumamela flowers, cleaning scratches and wounds with the guava leaves, repelling insects with eucalyptus leaves, soothing sore throats with oregano and ginger, and nursing burns with aloe vera. And the list goes on. They taught me how to make and use remedies that were easy and effective, with recipes and ingredients that were part of their daily lives. Anything we needed, we could get fresh from the garden. I was also taught only to pick what was needed, in that way, nothing is put to waste.
What ingredients do you typically avoid putting in your products?
Although most of our ingredients are natural and more often than not also edible, a small amount of safe synthetics need to be added to make products more functional and stable to last longer. This is especially true for our local climate, which is very much conducive to bacterial growth. Just something I thought we’d share.
Still, we’re very basic. We do away with synthetic colorants and fragrances and other fancy ingredients that we find unnecessary (i.e. additives that are said to make your hair silky and shiny, but are also the same ingredients that actually cause hair-fall in the long run). We also don’t use preservatives unless called for. And if at all we do, we do away with parabens and use natural and safer alternatives. We also make sure our shampoos are sulfate-free. So I guess parabens, sulfates, synthetic colorants and fragrances are our big no-nos.
What’s your advice for women who want to transition to natural products?
When buying skincare and personal care products, just like buying food or any other thing out in the market, decide on your expectations—like what benefits are non-negotiable and what compromises you are willing to make. For some, preservatives and colorants are a no-no. For others, as long as the products contain some natural ingredients, then they’re fine. It’s really a personal choice.
Just like I mentioned, most products and ingredients will have been processed in some way and may have a small percentage of synthetics in them to make them functional and usable. This shouldn’t alarm you. Certain ingredients are there for a reason, be it natural or synthetic. Do not be frightened by random information you see on the Internet that present everything in the most alarming light possible. Although environmental watch groups have important information that can be helpful regarding certain ingredients, our advice is to refer to official regulatory boards for legitimate safety precautions.
What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before starting Nanny Rose?
That putting up a brand–even a small one like ours–takes more than just enthusiasm. It also demands hard, hard work, perseverance and dedication–and a lot of legwork like processing government permits. Not fun. At all.
What’s the best beauty advice you’ve ever received?
If it’s safe to eat, then it’s most probably good to put on the skin.
Photography by Renzo Navarro
Art direction by Mags Ocampo
NANNY ROSE IS AVAILABLE IN WATSON’S AND SM DEPARTMENT STORES. FOLLOW THEM ON FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM, OR VISIT NANNYROSE.COM