Author Archives: Kamrul Islam

Elaine Kao of LilliPads on Why Going Organic Could Save Your Life

Meet the Maker: An Interview with Elaine Kao of LilliPads

Name:  Elaine Kao

Your Title:  Owner & Founder

Brand Name: Lilli Pads

When did you start (year): 2017 Full Time

Former Life/Day Job: Banking & Investments

Personal Motto/Mantra: Do what you can today to make for a better tomorrow.

Why Going Organic Could Save Your Life!

Do you know what kinds of ingredients go into making your skin care products? It’s a question that has become increasingly more pervasive to us as consumers as the beauty and wellness industry continues to evolve.

We sat down with Elaine Kao, founder/owner of Lilli Pads to learn more about how her trauma led her to start her own company and just how organic sanitary products can save lives.

Read on to find out what makes this entrepreneur dedicated to creating a better tomorrow!

Can you tell us what products you’ve incorporated into your daily routine?

I am a fan of Pure & Simple products. Ever since I discovered their holistic approach to beauty and skin care, I was sold! I found that before P&S, I used to have extremely dry and flaky skin, but they have since corrected the imbalance when I started going to them for my skincare needs. My go-to products from them has to be the Collagen Elastin Plus and the Sensitive skin and Exfoliant Mask.

With my hair routine, ever since I discovered Carina Organics, I was hooked. The great thing about their shampoo is that virtually all of the ingredients found in their shampoo are things that you can pronounce. There has also been a noticeable difference in my hair: I used to have to wash my hair every day to avoid having oily hair, but after switching over, my hair has become thicker, healthier and less oily.

Collagen Elastin Plus

Face Mask

Sweet Pea Shampoo

I’ve always been a fan of Pure+Simple facials, so I thought I would try some of their products. This serum is great – it is lightweight and has no noticeable scent = super important for me! However I am not sure if it is moisturizing enough for my skin. I use it at night, which feels great, but it doesn’t give me that “plump” moisturized look in the AM. Might be best to use this under a moisturizer.

Y Sim

Love how gentle this skin exfoliant is on my skin! I have dry and sensitive skin and ever since I started incorporating this exfoliant into my skincare routine, I have noticed a major difference! My skin went from dull and dry to glowing and smooth. Love this product!!

Elaine

This shampoo will leave your hair squeaky clean! The smell is light and amazingly fresh! Combine with the light conditioner and you have a winning combination! Love these products.

Cindy

What are three adjectives you’d use to describe yourself…that also starts with the first letter of your name:

Empathetic: I’m a people’s person!

Experimental: Learn best by doing & open to new ideas/experiences.

Exponential: We are exposed to infinite potential and opportunities. Most of all, we are all capable.

Around four years ago, Elaine experienced an adverse skin reaction that would re-define her life. Surprisingly, this type of skin reaction is not what you would expect: it was in the reproductive area of her body. Elaine fell sick from using a sanitary pad which resulted in such acute pain that she could not walk and was left incapacitated in her hotel bed.

The health scare led Elaine to re-evaluate her personal hygiene and skin care products that she had used in the past, products that, up until that point, she took for granted. Upon doing more research, she realized the importance of knowing your products—what materials goes into them, how they are made, and where these raw materials are sourced from, all of which make a huge impact on the final product. Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) and other health issues from using unsanitary sanitary products is exactly why organic pads and tampons can save your life!

After all, how the company is run, what its philosophy is and how it operates can often define how they view and ultimately treat you as a customer. Nowadays, it’s no longer a trend to be an informed and ethical consumer, it’s the norm.

How has your health incident revolutionized your life?

I have become much more aware of what we use in our everyday products and as a result, have become much more discerning in what I choose to apply to my body. It is hard to believe that something as mundane as a pad or a tampon can cause such a serious reaction, especially when you have been using these products for a majority of your life without any issue.

My experience was also the catalyst that led me to found my company, Lilli Pads, that specializes in providing organic period products to women all across North America. Our philosophy is simple and centres around clean hygiene; all of our products are made with certified organic cotton and have been tested to ensure that no dangerous substances or toxins are present when it comes to you managing your feminine hygiene routine.

What does the term “Going Organic” mean to you?

“Going Organic” can be subject to different interpretations. To put this into context, the organic health and wellness industry has experienced rapid growth over the last two decades. One major caveat is that most regulatory bodies have not been able to keep up with all the changes in the industry. Some companies may be marketed as “organic” using technicalities, while others may have products that are made with close to, if not 100%, organic ingredients.  

It really boils down to what the company’s core philosophies are. Sometimes, that may not be so clear. The need for more clarity on what it means to be organic has led to why we need certification bodies like CertClean, which is a prime example of a certification body which effectively provides a uniform organic standard around beauty and personal care products.

Tell us about the importance of going organic when it comes to skincare.

As a society, we tend to focus a lot on eating organic foods, or driving fuel-efficient cars, but the conversation around skin care has been lagging: your skin is a semi-permeable layer barrier that acts as the first line of protection for your body although some foreign substances can get through your primary defense system quite easily. Some areas of your skin can be more effective in absorbing chemicals than if you were to ingest these substances. Your skin can therefore act as a route of exposure for toxic substances.

As seen by several reports and studies conducted by the NIH, many conventional products can contain ingredients such as sodium laureth sulphate, phthalates or parabens. Although these chemicals may be benign with infrequent exposure, these materials can disrupt your hormonal cycle, interfere with your immune system and may ultimately be carcinogenic if used long term.

For those of us who are trying to incorporate organic products as first-timers or novices, what advice would you give to us?

Start small and work your way up!  It can be something as simple as just changing your toothpaste. The world of organic products may be intimidating at first, but I would say this: be patient and don’t go for a product just because it’s natural—go for it because it works for you.  Sometimes you’ll be lucky on your first try and other times, not so much, but don’t give up! Many natural products can take some time before you start realizing their effects—many natural goods don’t rely on instantaneous results like many conventional products do to wow you.

Your health is an investment. If you can find some ways to incorporate healthier practices into your life to make yourself feel better, why wouldn’t you?

The Ultimate List Of All-Natural, Organic Face Moisturizers

5 Ways to be more Eco-Friendly this Earth Day (And Every Day)!

The Big Switch- From Conventional to Clean Beauty

Elaine 

 

Thanks Elaine for letting us interview you! Go to LilliPads.com and subscribe to their mailing list for more info, and to read more articles about life-changing organics, check out these related articles:

Meet the Maker: Lauren Padawar of Alaska Glacial Mud

Meet the Maker: Lauren Padawer of Alaska Glacial Mud

Name:  Lauren Padawer

Title:  Founder

Brand: Alaska Glacial Mud Co.

Certifications: CertClean, Bcorp, Made In Alaska, Leaping Bunny, Campaign For Safe Cosmetics

Former Life/Day Job: Commercial Salmon Fisherman

Personal Motto: Pessimism Is Not an Option

As one of 7 women in her hometown who fish commercially, it is no surprise that Lauren, founder of Alaska Glacial Mud, is persistent, practical and positive. Lauren discovered the buttery mud from Copper River in Alaska one day while she was on a camping trip – she had the most wild spa experience in the world, her skin felt so soft and was glowing after the experience. Well, since 2007, Lauren has been bringing the Alaska mud into the natural beauty market across North America today.

If you’re interested in nutrient-dense glacial mud that absorbs toxins and lightly exfoliates your face, try Lauren’s top 3 sellers:

Lavender peppermint

Vanilla Lavender

Gift Box Mailer

very nice mask without getting hard and crusty. Easy to remove, leaves skin feeling fabulous! I take the small sizes with me when I travel for pampering and a lift at the end of a long day!

Joan

This is the most purifying and powerful mask I have tried. Each time I use it, I notice a huge change in my acne and oilyness the next morning! I highly recommend this to anyone

Morgan

I have the most sensitive skin and this is one of the only products I’ve found that I can enjoy. So gentle and refreshing. Feel like I’m having a special spa day from my own home. 🙂 10 stars!

Vivian

When did you start creating natural beauty products? Why did you start?

I began making natural beauty products in 2002 following a rafting trip on the copper river in Alaska. I loved the buttery texture of the mud and wanted start a business and product line that would philanthropically support the copper river watershed.

What’s a myth about conventional beauty products/routines you wished everyone would stop believing?  

There’s no single miracle cream. Skin care is a lifestylistic approach of good hygiene combined with nutrition, hydration and sleep.

Why was getting the CertClean certification important to you?

The CertClean certification and being part of the CertClean community distinguishes our brand for having quality ingredients.

How are your products special/different?

Alaska glacial mineral mud is the most mineral rich mud on earth. Our formulated products enhance the mud with beneficial vitamins, antioxidants and essential oils to detoxify, nourish and soften skin.

What does success look like to you?

To me, success is having longevity in the marketplace and slowly developing a brand based on market demand and unique effective ingredients whilst giving back and being your own boss!

What’s a product you absolutely love and know is amazing, but it just doesn’t get enough attention?

I love Sambucol tablets; they are fizzy immune-boosting supplements with echinacea & elderberry, but more righteous ingredients than airborne! They’re hard to come by in the USA.

Lauren

What are your thoughts on mineral mud masks? What are your thoughts on the application? See the plenty and positive reviews for all of Alaska Glacial Mud’s CertClean certified products — 5 stars across the board!

Meet the Maker: Helen MacIsaac-Bertrim of Bee Real

Meet the Maker: Helen MacIsaac-Bertrim of Bee Real

Name:  Helen MacIsaac-Bertrim

Title:  Owner/Product Creator

Brand: Bee Real™ 

Certifications: CertClean, Student Aromatherapist, and necessity for lifestyle

When did you start: April of 2012

Helen is a gem – she’s honest, hopeful and humble all in one. From running a household and raising 3 children, her motto is “you don’t know what you are capable of until you try” — no wonder she has become a successful founder and owner of a fast-growing clean beauty brand! Undoubtedly, her products perform; see reviews by those who have used her products here – 5 stars across the board.

Located in Eastern Ontario in Canada, Helen, a Reiki Master, also offers Reiki Workshops, her online store not only sells makeup and skincare products but also raw and tumbled crystals, along with smudge sticks.

Every time we chat with Helen, we have a great laugh – she is incredibly fun and genuine. Here is our interview with this fun-loving woman – enjoy!

Oh, if you are in the market for a deodorant, body care or a lip balm — check out her top selling products:

Deodorant

Lotion Bar

Lip Balm

I love Bee Real! The deodorant works great and you only need to use a little for it to go a long way. I’ve tried a lot of natural deodorants, but this one really works! Thank you also for all the love and Reiki healing energy that is infused in every product… there’s a reason why I feel so much better when I use them! I highly recommend Bee Real products!

Pam MacPhee

I have extremely dry hands that crack and bleed, especially during the winter months. I have tried numerous creams and lotions, with little to no success. After speaking with Helen, I gave the BEE REAL lotion bar a try and its amazing! My hands are so soft and smooth. I really love the orange lotion bar. I would highly recommend this product.

Kelly

I use this in both winter and summer. It keeps my lips moist in winter, no cracks and you don’t have to keep re-applying after a drink or food. Summer time protection from the sun is on point. My kids use them in winter too!

Debora A Ladouceur

When did you start creating natural beauty products? Why did you start?

I started creating natural products in April of 2012 because I was actually so tired of reading labels and finding the “clean” products really weren’t that “clean”. It was very frustrating to me. My journey began when I started researching candles and found out just how harmful they were. I loved candles and burned them all the time. So, I took a workshop on making Beeswax candles. One thing let to another and here I am today with a full line of skincare. Real Ingredients for Real People, Be Real, Be You!

The Myth about conventional beauty products that I wish everyone would stop believing is:  

“Well it must be ok, otherwise they wouldn’t sell it.”

They are out to make money, they are not in the business of health. They add ingredients to their products so you will have to keep reapplying, take for instance your favourite conventional lip balm or chapstick. Read the ingredients, I bet that there is alcohol in it. This is so that the lip balm will work for a bit but then your lips will feel dry and you need to reapply, making you go through it faster and then having to purchase more. 

Why was getting the CertClean certification important to you?

Getting the certCLEAN certification was important to me because I needed and wanted my products to be recognized as one of the best out there on the market. Top quality is important to me and having a company to certify my products as clean is huge.  Its in line with what I, and the company stands for. I am about healthy products for everyone. Having the certification helps bring my products mainstream. Which I believe they should be. It’s about informing the masses on how what you put on your skin can hurt you or help heal you.

How is/are your product(s) special/different? What’s your secret sauce?

My products are different as the formulation of oils are targeted for specific actions; the synergy of the oils is something that I have been studying and creating. I have an Acne Serum that works wonderfully for combatting acne as well as helping hydrate the skin and regulate the natural oil production of the face. Which in turn helps with lessening acne and possible scarring. Also, my products last longer than conventional brands as I don’t use water in any of my products, just active ingredients, which means you need less of the actual product (which also helps the pocket book)!

What does success look like to you?

Success to me is when people leave my establishment feeling empowered and with a smile on their face! We are all on a journey and mine is to empower, help people listen to their bodies, and tune in to help heal themselves on all levels. 

What’s a product you absolutely love and know is amazing, but it just doesn’t get enough attention?

My favourite product is my Rejuvenating Face Serum. I believe the price point is an issue. It is a high-end product, and it is priced accordingly. The oils in it are a blend of expensive oils working together in a perfect synergy for moisturizing and also to reduce puffiness, dark circles and minimize fine lines and wrinkles.

Helen

Give Helen and Bee Real some love in the comments below. Click here to see the benefits of beeswax in skincare products and the best rated beeswax-y products that you may want to incorporate into your beauty ritual!