Koko & Clay: harnessing nature's superpowers

A connection to the natural world is essential for our wellbeing, and - as so often is the case - it takes the act of travel to remind us of this. 

This was certainly the case for Nadia Trabelsi, Founder of skincare brand Koko & Clay, one of The Staycation Collection’s partners (members: check out the perks page to find out what goodies you can get your hands on).

We sat down with her to learn more about Koko & Clay and where she travels in Germany, as well as the company’s ethos and focus on all-natural, sustainable skincare.

"The Harz landscape is so impressive: deep valleys, dramatic peaks and beautiful forests."

How did Koko & Clay start?

In 2012, I spent a semester on the French island of La Réunion, a small volcanic bit of rock in the Indian Ocean, between Madagascar and Mauritius. It’s mostly known for sugarcane, rum and vanilla, as well as its orchids. 

As so often happens when you live in small communities, I got chatting to an older lady at a local market who sold cosmetics she’s made using indigenous plants from the island. She took one look at my face and recommended a volcanic ash-oil blend for my skin. After this meeting, I made my first face mask.

Not long after, I learned that conventional beauty products contain ingredients which have negative effects on both our health and the environment. I switched to a 100% natural routine, and eventually decided to make these face masks for other people, while also raising awareness of the importance of natural, sustainable skincare.

Tell us about your connection with nature.

Nature is our biggest source of inspiration. 

People across the world have made use of indigenous plants, natural oils and mineral-rich clays for their self-care rituals for millennia. I’m a biologist, love researching the benefits of different plants and coming up with new formulas. It also feels amazing to be part of the tradition of harnessing nature to heal our skin naturally.

With Koko & Clay, I want to show that natural cosmetics are just as effective and better for you than synthetic concoctions. That’s why all our products are eco-friendly, vegan and cruelty-free, formulated without synthetic preservatives and fragrances with only the highest quality of organic and natural ingredients.

Whenever I apply a face mask or face oil, I like to think about the plants, seeds and flowers that have been transformed into these luxurious products. Taking in the different scents, observing the different colours and textures can be extremely calming and grounding. It's very humbling to remember how smart nature is.

Where’s your favourite part of Germany for a holiday?

The Harz mountains are close to where I grew up (Hannover), and spending a weekend - or even a day - surrounded by nature is so beneficial. 

The Harz landscape is so impressive: deep valleys, dramatic peaks and beautiful forests. My favourite time is during winter when the whole area is dusted with snow; I always make a point of visiting with loved ones. We hike, immersing ourselves in our surroundings, before curling up in a cosy cabin with a hot chocolate.

[pictured: Nadia Trabelsi]

Other than skincare and travel, what do you do for your wellbeing?

At Koko & Clay, we believe in a holistic approach to self-care: no one thing can help you achieve happiness. We’re big believers in taking care of your mental wellness, which can include taking time for yourself, blocking time to de-stress, and making time to exercise and have nutritious food.

I try to keep this in mind for myself, especially when things get very busy. I have to actively fit in a workout and do everything I can to get a good night’s sleep. Plus, I’m super into green juices and smoothies: for me, they’re a real game-changer, and make me glow from the inside out.  

Why we partnered with Koko & Clay: We love their use of only natural ingredients and focus on limiting their environmental impact, as well as their strong focus on personal wellbeing and you time! Whether we’re on vacation or taking a holiday at home, using their face masks always feels like a luxurious treat.

Members of The Staycation Collection can get 15% off all products, find out how to claim the offer here.

The Staycation Collection is a where-to-stay guide and travel inspiration platform for travel in Germany. Think travel agency for the digital age! 

We exist to showcase Germany’s most beautiful and affordable places to stay from cabins to B&Bs to apartments, and give you insider tips shared by the owners on what to do in the area while you’re there.

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