Ana Gonzalez Herrera dedicated 15 years of her life to the corporate world, leading and growing personal care, beauty, and wellness corporations worldwide. She spent her career building and expanding several international brands, such as John Frieda, Jergens, Biore, Elemis, and Babor before becoming a partner for Pangaea Laboratories, while silently battling Stage IV Endometriosis.
Inspired by the idea that hormonal wellness is the result of a balanced approach to health and with naturopathic principles in mind, she launched Glow Botanica, a brand that offers a series of effective natural remedies to help achieve hormonal balance by addressing symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and menopause.
Anna’s goal is to bring hormonal wellness to the center of women’s health throughout their life cycles, from menstruation to postmenopause.
How did Glow Botanica come to exist?
Glow Botanica begins with the telling of my own story. I have a vivid memory of being in the boardroom with my three partners at the company I worked for. I remember bending over in excruciating pain from PMS symptoms. My hormonal imbalance started at age 21, with fibroids, a very common condition, but one that can be painful. I had my first surgery to remove fibroids at that same age.
At 23 I started having very painful periods and when I was 28, I was diagnosed with endometriosis. I lived in pain about 40%-60% of the month for years.
Talking to other women and doing research, I discovered that 80% of us go through situations related to hormonal dysfunction. We are 3.3 billion women on earth going through hormonal disorders!
There are more than 150 symptoms related to the different hormonal stages in a woman’s life and in order to recognize and treat them, knowledge is necessary. We want to give the possibility to change this, offer information on natural chemical-free alternatives that effectively and proven to relieve these symptoms to change the lives of many women.
This was my inspiration to create Hormone University (educational platform) and the Glow Botanica brand.
Do you think women’s health receives enough attention or is it a subject that tends to be overlooked or stigmatized?
Although it is hard to believe, today there are many taboos when talking about periods and menopause because we live in a society that has traditionally been narrated by men. Our philosophy was born with the need to communicate and inform in order to stop stigmatizing these issues, to speak from the reality of all physiological processes and about the consequences and discomfort that they may entail, and of course, to be able to present a natural option to alleviate them.
For a few years now, thanks to social networks, many women have broken this taboo to speak in a more natural way about menstruation from all angles, pain, discomfort but also many women who suffer from endometriosis and other really painful and limiting conditions that impact their lives on a personal and professional level. Women going through perimenopause and menopause also share their experiences to give greater visibility to the symptoms and how to alleviate them, since in many cases there is not enough information to deal with this stage. This is why we at The Hormone University we want to first educate and provide information to later deal with Glow Botanica.
Focusing on plants and botanicals is the basis of your brand. Why do you think this is so important and how did you come to select the ingredients for your products?
When it came to treating my Endometriosis and seeing that some traditional treatments with hormones did not work in my case, I looked for a more natural option that led me to work with specialist pharmacologists and eminent gynecologists, to design herbal formulation with medicinal products in a perfect concentration to be effective in treating the symptoms of PMS and Menopause.
When you combine the best of nature and science, you get the best results. Ingredients definitely matter, but how they interact with each other also matters. Here’s why formulation is so important. The main ingredients are backed by hundreds of years of effective use such as Vitex (known since ancient times for its beneficial effects in premenstrual syndrome and other gynecological disorders), Will Yam (a plant whose root contains diosgenin acts as a female hormonal regulator) and Marshmallow, for fluid retention.
Tell us about your products and how they work?
Our innovative transdermal approach means that the creams are not only absorbed by the bloodstream and act effectively, but avoid damaging the intestinal microbiota as it can happen with many oral supplements.
By spreading the cream, the ingredients of Tummy Butter are absorbed by the blood vessels of the dermis, to finally travel to the bloodstream of our body providing the necessary nutrients for our hormones to be produced in a healthy balance to satisfy our emotional needs, physical and reproductive through this absorption.
Why would we need a drug with its side effects when we can produce all our steroid hormones naturally with the right nutrients without side effects?
Thus, Tummy Butter becomes the most natural and effective option to achieve, with its active ingredients, a hormonal balance and, therefore, well-being.
The Magnesium body lotion is an easy method of magnesium supplementation, avoiding gastrointestinal problems, since it is absorbed through the skin, where it is quickly transported through the bloodstream.
Numerous studies have shown that magnesium-rich topicals can be absorbed through the hair follicles in the skin and increase magnesium levels. Transdermal magnesium absorption compared to oral supplements is more effective and carries fewer side effects by bypassing the gastrointestinal tract.
Glow Botanica’s Super Rich Magnesium Body Lotion contains Zechstein Magnesium Chloride, which is the purest form of magnesium. This mineral, together with Collagen and Evening Primrose Oil absorbed through the skin, are a transdermal therapy that provides great health benefits. The lotion relieves stress and muscle cramps and supports hormonal balance without disturbing the natural gut microbiome.
Women’s health is something that should be taught from the beginning in education, do you have any recommendations or advice that you want to share with our readers?
Information is essential. Let’s stop stigmatizing women’s hormonal processes because of this many women suffer symptoms in silence that could be treated, they stop going to the doctor even in cases of endometriosis. For this reason, information and education is always very important from rigorous sources such as Hormone University, to understand the symptoms derived from hormonal imbalances and go to specialists when necessary.
From Glow we recommend that to naturally prevent or reduce the impact of hormonal imbalance, you have to focus on maintaining a healthy diet, exercising and reducing stress as well as having supplements that can be natural such as Glow topical creams.
With a diet based on healthy foods, an active life and adequate natural supplements, we can achieve hormonal health and avoid diseases and unpleasant symptoms derived from hormonal imbalances. Pamper your hormones, they will thank you.
Have you seen an increase in women’s health problems, such as early menopause, in the last two years?
There are several important factors that must be taken into account: the fact that this topic was not discussed openly before causes some unknowns on the subject of hormonal problems for decades; the second is that there are several generations of women “fed” by the contraceptive pill for years (this is a whole separate issue) and third, adolescents are having their first menstruation a year earlier than normal if we compare it with figures from ago 40 years. All this, together with environmental factors and the amount of endocrine disruptors to which we are exposed to… is like a bomb for our hormonal system. It is very important that we stop this.
The positive part is that for the last 4 years there has been an increase of studies and publications that talk about menopause and premenopause. A lot of content has also been incorporated into social networks that make the symptoms derived from menopause more known and therefore many women can detect any of them early.
The subject is being talked about more and more, it is less embarrassing and people visit their doctor sooner. We hope that all this helps thousands of women who are going through this process and that they can feel that they are accompanied, that they are seen and that they are listened to.