I admit it. I have spent a lot of money on expensive facial moisturizers and tried the most expensive brands. Sometimes I even liked them. But about six months ago, I tried something new and relatively inexpensive and found myself blown away by how well it works.
During the winter of 2015, nothing helped my skin. Dry and lusterless, it seemed to shout my age. (It’s a secret.)
So one day, I stopped in to see Yana Yusupidi, a facialist who works out of a small shop in my neighborhood. She recommended Hydro Cream, something her mother developed in Soviet Georgia in the 1940s. At $35 it seemed like a bargain, certainly far cheaper than anything that I usually bought.
I began to use the cream regularly and the skin softened and seemed less flaky. I also use RetinA several times a week, so my skin tends to get very dry. But the Hydro Cream with SPF 15 kept me moist. I bought it again, and again and I still like it.
My skin certainly looks just as good as it did when I used the most expensive creams. I’m not on the payroll and get nothing for the recommendation, but the Hydro Cream does work as a great moisturizer for over-fifty faces. And I’m told younger women like it too.
You can buy the cream at yanaherbalbeauty.com
And as you might guess, there’s a charming backstory of invention and immigration.
Yana’s mother Emma Glaustova trained as a pharmacist in Tbilisi, Georgia. And as Yana tells it, “My mother was very beautiful and very vain. She wanted to protect and improve her own skin and that led her to make her own creams and lotions.”
Emma began to experiment on herself and her friends. She combined natural ingredients that many top brand products contain today, like honey, pressed sweet almond oil, cold pressed peach oil, tea tree oil and rosemary oil.
She also reached out to a chemist in Latvia and he helped her refine her formulas to develop products that she could sell. The chemist disappeared during World War II, a victim of the Nazis or the Soviets, Yana’s mother never learned which. “My mother even went to Latvia to look for him after the war. But there wasn’t a trace. She was always was grateful and talked about him often.”
Initially, Emma focused on two types of face creams: one for dry skin and one for combination and oily skin that tends to break out. She learned how to give European style facials and opened a shop in the Georgian capital where she also sold her products.
Eventually, Yana also studied European skin care and began to work with her mom. But in 1991, war and political conflict forced Emma, Yana, and Yana’s husband Igor Narimanidze and their two daughters, to flee Georgia. Yana’s brother Vladimir had settled in the U.S. in 1975. As a U.S. citizen he helped them immigrate to the states.
Once the family settled in, Emma handed the commercial baton to Yana and Igor. They opened a small spa in the Village and Yana began to offer her European facials with the special products that her mother created and expanded on over the years.
Yana says that she consulted with her mother to update the products and include sun protection and other important ingredients. Emma died in 2013 but her formulas live on.