Interview: Nadia Babar, Founder of Kálos

Tell us about your life narrative and how it led to Kálos.

Kálos represents a compilation of my life experiences. I have always been quite the introvert but I found a way to share my story and express who I am through building a brand. I’m a first generation American-Pakistani, I grew up in a small town in New York but moved to Pakistan for two years right before high school. These are integral years in anyone’s life, and I was immersed into an entirely new world. These years helped me connect with my heritage in a truly authentic way, changed my outlook on the world, and forced me to witness some harsh realities while living in a third-world country and question how I could drive change one day.

Your belief in the power of education really resonates with us. Tell us about the impact of women’s education and where that fits into the Kálos giveback model.

A portion of every Kálos purchase is donated to girls’ education projects around the world. Too often, girls are the last to receive their right to an education and their right to succeed. I believe that the $500 Billion-plus beauty industry is powerful enough to drive change to support global education for girls. The beauty industry leads with superficiality but I’m determined to lead with purpose at Kálos.

What is the power of education?

When you educate a girl, you give her the chance to secure a better job, earn higher wages, live healthier, delay marriage and childbirth, resist domestic violence and break the cycle of poverty for her family. Education is the only reason I'm here today. My parents are immigrants, education changed the trajectory of their lives, it was their ticket to succeed, and it’s why every Kálos purchase supports education projects—to provide opportunity to girls just like me.

What does beauty mean to you?

There’s nothing more beautiful than a woman being unapologetically herself; blazing her own trail to leave the world better than she found it. I hope to use beauty to empower women around the world to do so, too. Our tagline at Kálos is “Conscious Skin” – it’s a brand for conscious consumers. We want everyone using our products to feel good about the ingredients we use, our messaging, and focus on social responsibility through supporting girls’ education projects around the world.

Can you tell us more about your products? Their philosophy, where and how they’re made, how they fit into a skin care routine?

The philosophy behind Kálos has always been to create simple and straightforward products. All of our products are made in the US with certified organic ingredients, we use recycled materials in our packaging and we are of course, cruelty free. We only have nine products in our line, they’re all designed to work synergistically but we also consider them to be modular, use what you need, leave out what you don’t. If you’re looking to transition to a natural beauty routine, Kálos is a great starter brand.

Tell us about the toner in the spring CAUSEBOX!

The Rose Water Hydra-Mist is such a beautiful ritual product. You can keep the bottle by your nightstand for a moment of peace before bed, or even leave it in the fridge to have a refreshing spritz throughout the day. I have been using rosewater for as long as I can remember. My grandmother used to soak a handful of vibrant rose petals in a clay bowl, she would steep the petals to make a fragrant tea and even cook the water down to a sweet rose syrup to drizzle on pastries. She would always save some of the water to use on her skin. These recipes were passed down to my mother and my sisters, you can always find rosewater in our cabinets.

Do you have any advice for women building (or re-thinking) their skincare routine?

Keep it simple. There are new products being launched everyday but I believe that people will always go back to simple and effective products. Incorporate as many natural products as you can because when you eliminate the heavily fragranced, synthetic products from your routine, you can get away with using much less. Being conscious about what you put on your body is so important for healthy, radiant skin.

What makes the connection between skincare and women’s education so powerful? How can we celebrate and champion women more in our everyday lives?

The beauty community has changed so much over the past few years; the demand for cruelty-free, cleaner, and more inclusive beauty products has driven drastic change. I want to use beauty to stand for something, to champion women and create opportunities for them. In our everyday lives, we can empower women by voting with our dollars, supporting women-owned businesses, and encouraging young girls to live unapologetically to their fullest potential. By creating a community of conscious customers, we are breaking the standards of beauty, together. Beauty can mean whatever you want it to. For Kálos, beauty is dedicated those who strive to feel beautiful by reason of heart.

John is the managing editor at CAUSEBOX and a traveling writer who lives on the road with his dog, Hank.