Meet Maite García de Cortázar, founder of Lamia Biocosmética which creates nourishing organic facial oils and serums formulated deep in the green forests of the Basque country in Northern Spain. Our latest graduate interviewee draws inspiration for her organic skincare range from an enduring love of her peaceful home region and an inborn curiosity. As Maite explains, her journey into the world of natural skincare shows that passion and perseverance pay off.
Hi Maite, please tell us more about yourself!
Although my parents are from Europe, I was born in Mexico, where I spent a very happy childhood climbing avocado trees and decorating my hair with bougainvillea. After traveling around Mexico for a few years, we moved back to Europe when I was seven.
Later on, my love of traveling found me studying translation and working in different places doing different interesting things. Then, I found my passion: organic skincare.
I now live in a gorgeous tiny village where I enjoy life with my family and friends, help out in the awesome organic herb and vegetable farm my family runs and, of course, manage my newborn organic skincare business!
My business is based in Manurga, a small village which is in a beautiful intensely green natural park in the Basque country called Gorbea. Do come and visit! Here, surrounded by nature and calm, I run Lamia Biocosmética, an organic range of facial oils inspired by the calmness of the forest.
Where did you get the inspiration for your brand?
The name of the brand, Lamia Biocosmética, is related to the Basque culture and landscape. In Basque mythology, Lamia is a beautiful female creature with duck feet who lives in the forest and is usually found combing her long, shiny hair sitting on a stone in a river. She is a river-mermaid.
Whenever I go for a walk in the forest I can feel how my mood changes with every step. I feel calmer, more alive, more serene and less overwhelmed. My thoughts become clearer, my senses more conscious. I enjoy the fresh earthy smells, the sounds of nature and the air on my skin.
I want to infuse this feeling into my facial oils. I want people who use my products to feel the calm aliveness of the forest everyday in those few minutes we take for ourselves when we nourish our skin.
So, the forest is where the inspiration for my products comes from.
What type of skincare products do you sell at Lamia Biocosmetica?
Lamia Biocosmética offers a range of light weight, silky soft and effective facial oils which are certified organic by Bio.Inspecta. We are very proud of our three facial oils!
It’s so difficult for me to single out a favourite product, especially since they are formulated to be used together. Alright, I’ll try! The one I use most and can’t live without is my Moisturizing Facial Oil. I love how it’s fast absorbing and really moisturising at the same time. Its smell and skin-feel transport me to a place of inner calm and my sensitive skin feels super soft, nourished and relaxed after using it.
Which courses did you take with Formula Botanica and how did they help you?
I completed the entire Organic Skincare Entrepreneur Programme with Formula Botanica. This has given me essential knowledge on different aspects of my business: formulation, the skincare market, legalities, marketing and a whole lot more. In addition, thanks to the lovely tutor and student community, it has also given me the courage and support I needed (and still need!) to create my own skincare brand and keep on working hard doing what I love!
What inspired you to start a skincare business?
I have always enjoyed – and been curious about – a healthy lifestyle, and this includes my skin. I have also been a nature lover for as long as I can remember and an admirer of healing plants. I remember inventing “plant potions” as a child and putting mud on my face as a mask.
Several years back, I took a course on local healing herbs and preparations. It was so interesting that I started looking for different courses. When I took my first skincare workshop I felt so excited, like I had found what I was looking for and I couldn’t stop studying and researching the topic! I had never felt so passionate about studying. It’s amazing how the human mind can absorb so much information when you are really interested. At that time, a close friend told me, “you should study skincare seriously”. So I did. I guess it was my love of natural skincare that made me start my own business.After I started studying natural skincare with Formula Botanica, I felt like there was no other option. I needed to do it! #lamiabiocosmetica #naturalskincarecourse #greenbeauty Click To Tweet
What was the biggest hurdle you overcame?
When I started with Formula Botanica, I didn’t know the legalities required for creating a skincare brand in Spain were much harder than the ones in the majority of other European countries. So, when I discovered this, it was a big disappointment. At that time, it felt like something impossible to achieve.
In the beginning my idea was to rent a lab which already had the legalities in order (including the “responsible technician”, which is mandatory in Spain). The lab changed its mind, so I ended up outsourcing manufacturing. You just have to adjust to the situations thrown at you and realise you can overcome the hurdles.
The hardest thing to do back then was not giving up. I said to myself: “Come on, Maite, just go on, do your best and it might finally work out”. I tried to think so. I continued studying hard, dreaming, searching for alternatives and opening my mind to different options and, after lots and lots of ups and downs, I got where I am today!
What advice would you give aspiring skincare entrepreneurs?
Take your time. This is like a marathon, so prepare yourself as best you can. Once you feel ready, go for it, slowly but steadily!
Thank you so much to Maite for sharing her inspiration and experiences in creating her brand! If you’d like to follow Lamia Biocosmética online, head over to:
If you would like to follow in Maite’s footsteps, take our free sample organic skincare formulation class and you’ll be on the road to starting the organic skincare business of your dreams! Find out more about the International Skincare Entrepreneur Program Maite opted for or browse one of our many other organic skincare formulation courses.
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Lorraine Dallmeier is a Biologist, Environmental Scientist and the Director of Formula Botanica, the award-winning online organic cosmetic science school. Read more about Lorraine and the Formula Botanica Team.