Interview: Dunja Kara, CleanMyRoutine

Photo courtesy Dunja Kara.

I met Dunja several years ago on a Berlin rooftop—bathed in a golden glow of a setting sun— and was taken with her big smile and her skin. It was probably just good genes, but stalking on her Instagram I also discovered that she was a clean beauty advocate, testing and educating about organic and clean beauty products through her beauty workshops, Clean My Routine. The workshops, which are held across Germany, demystify all things clean beauty and help clients curate a non-toxic, and dare I add, pretty bathroom shelf.

Like many of us, Dunja found her way to clean beauty after a bad reaction to conventional skin care products filled with silicones, which led to her phasing out irritants and other toxic chemicals. Working in branding at Berlin clean beauty company Amazingy with brands like Kjaer Weis, Ilia Beauty, and Josh Rosebrook, Dunja definitely knows her stuff and has a few tricks up her sleeve when it comes to clean beauty hacks. 

We chat with Dunja about her clean beauty journey and pick up a few tips too.

First, what does clean beauty mean to you?

To me clean beauty means natural ingredients on my skin. The term clean beauty itself has no real definition though. Some brands and shops take this as an opportunity to give their beauty products a clean image, by making their own clean beauty labels. They create a clean beauty list saying what ingredients are clean what not and that’s it. This means you can have a brand using natural ingredients but also microplastics, because they say it’s safe for the skin, but clearly it is not for the environment. For the consumer this is confusing which is why I founded CleanMyRoutine. It’s a series of workshops to help you with switching to natural skincare.

Is natural always better? What’s your take on 'clean synthetics'?

Some [clean synthetics] make sense in an ethical way. Look at mica—it’s the stuff that creates a sheen after the application—you’ll find it in powders, highlighters, even in shampoos. But mica is also linked to child labor in India. You can now get synthet