Category Archives: Founder Spotlight

Founder Spotlight: An Interview with Debbie Alger from Birch Babe Naturals

#Founderspotlight - Birch Babe Naturals - Debbie Alger
#Founderspotlight - Birch Babe Naturals - Debbie Alger

Birch Babe does it again! This year, Birch Babe Naturals’ Shampoo Bar is a Finalist for the 5th Clean Beauty Awards, hosted by CertClean!

We took the opportunity to speak to Debbie Alger – the brains behind Birch Babe Naturals – a small natural body products company with vegan products and plastic-free products that are certified by CertClean! Keep reading to learn more about Debbie and her brand.

 

What inspired you to create safer skincare products?

I have always been a huge advocate of being natural, it just became more important over time.I currently have a toxic free lifestyle, I know everything that goes on or in my body, I make it all. It has become a bit of an obsession with me and now our loyal customers.

What were some roadblocks/issues that you have faced? How did you conquer these issues?

We realized early that certain markets were not appropriate, such as fairs and general festivals. Our audience is better reached at Vegan and Green Living functions. The customer understands our mission and appreciates our products.

Your shampoo bar is amongst the best HairWash products in the industry! Tell us more about this product!

Our shampoo bar is one of our first products and we are very proud of them. They have no sulfates, yet there is a great lather naturally. They last a very long time, and great for travel too. There is a nice tin that fits perfectly for it. Again, no plastic!

What are your favourite ingredients and why?

My personal favourite is Rosehip butter, it is so luxurious. We put it in all our facial products, lips and body butters.

We absolutely love the ethos of your company. Can you tell us more?

We are adamant to use the highest quality essential oils and carrier oils, all certified natural, many are organic. Our products are also proudly certified by CertClean.
We will be starting a separate line this spring that is totally Organic and 100% plastic-free.

Thank you Debbie for sharing your story and creating vegan, plastic-free, natural and clean beauty products!

See Birch Babe’s website, and follow them on Instagram or Facebook to support a brand with mission on making plastic-free vegan clean skincare for our use!

Learn more about the finalist below!

Shampoo Bar – Rosemary and Spearmint

2020 FaceCream Finalist

Price: $69.50 CAD

PurPicks
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PurPicks is the world’s largest directory of organic / natural / clean skincare products with thousands of reviews, like TripAdvisor for nontoxic skincare!

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Founder Spotlight: An Interview with Gertie Wilson from Elevé Cosmetics

#Founderspotlight - Elevé Cometics - Gertie Wilson

This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we’ll get a small commission which helps keep us moving the dial towards clean beauty!

#Founderspotlight - Elevé Cometics - Gertie Wilson

Once again Elevé Cosmetics makes it as a Finalist in CertClean’s Clean Beauty Awards!

However, this year, THREE of their products make it as Finalists in the FaceOil, SunCare and LipCare categories! We are excited to interview Gertie Wilson, the brains behind the beautiful Elevé Cosmetics brand! Keep reading to see how Elevé was born and Gertie’s secret loves when it comes to her favourite products and ingredients!

A little intro on Elevé Cosmetics

Elevé Cosmetics is a nontoxic, award-winning, vegan-based beauty line that “highlights your gorgeous features without dirty additives”.
Not only is their clean line modern, stylish and long wearing; it also “heals, repairs and protects your face”. Their products are known to be packed full of antioxidants, peptides and active anti-aging ingredients, and designed to “enhance your natural beauty while improving the way your skin looks and feels”. Their philosophy is simple: “use natural, organic ingredients simply makes sense. It’s less about promising you a miracle and more about pampering your skin!”

What inspired you to create safer skincare products? How did you come up with the brand name?

After a childhood of curiosity and years of working as a makeup artist, I realized name-brand cosmetics weren’t catering to everyone. So many of my clients would have an allergy, or a lifestyle preference that big name brands wouldn’t fulfill. At one point, I remember having to to carry five to six makeup lines at any given time and used various products from each line to accommodate my clients’ needs. This inspired me work to create naturally derived products that worked well for everybody, and in 2015 Elevé was born!

What were some roadblocks you faced as an entrepreneur?

As a young woman, when I started my company I encountered issues with people taking me seriously as a business owner. It was hard to secure funding; it was difficult to get people to agree to meet with me or even to listen. But where there is a will, there is a way!

Congratulations again on having THREE products as a Finalist for CertClean’s Clean Beauty Awards! Can you tell us about the three products and why you think the Clean Beauty Awards’ judging panel loved your products?

Our Organic Golden Beauty Oil is my obsession – it benefits EVERYONE! It heals, prevents, protects, and leaves your skin healthy and with a natural glow. My whole family uses it; it heals my 2 year old’s dry, chapped cheeks, and my husband swears it does wonders for his sensitive skin!

The Vitamin Sea Sunscreen is also a daily use for me. It’s buttery (but not pore-clogging) texture moisturizes and protects with an SPF 28. It also contains turmeric, a powerful antioxidant.

Lip LUV Lip Treatment is the only formula that heals my dry, chapped lips. We have so many loyal customers that can’t live without this, including me!! It’s the one thing I would choose to take to a deserted island.

What are some of your favourite ingredients and why?

I love all products formulated with Argrerline is my best friend (also know as the botox alternative!) which stimulates collagen production helping to keep my skin smooth and wrinkle free.

Maxi-lip is found in our Lip LUV and Lip AMP and is proven to plump lips naturally. My lips are noticeably more smooth and defined!

Hibiscus Esculentus Extract has the ability to deliver a cumulative effect of minimizing wrinkles, while also reducing the contraction of muscle cells. Think less fine lines! It’s known as a surgery alternative. You can find it in our luxurious EyeLuminate Eye Cream.

Lactic Acid does wonders for my skin! We purposefully included it as one of the 10 active ingredients in our TEN Night Cream formula because of the benefits it offers. It gently exfoliates to reveal smoother and more glowing skin, improves texture and fights hyperpigmentation. With regular use it leads to fewer breakouts, and less visible lines and wrinkles. Yes, please!

What does “clean beauty” mean to you?

To us, clean beauty is all about the ingredients – it includes products that are created using ethically sourced elements that are not suspected or proven to be toxic. These products are good for our bodies and safe for the environment. Our mission is to spread wellness through beauty.

Many of the ingredients we use are organic and wildcrafted and are chosen for their synergistic and holistic attributes. In other words, our makeup nourishes your skin while enhancing your beauty. Our products are plant and mineral-based and are made in small batches to ensure the integrity of each one. They are gluten free, GMO free, soy free, phthalate and paraben free and ALWAYS cruelty free. The majority of our products are also vegan.

What does the name Elevé mean and why did you choose it for your line?

The importance of naturally-formulated cosmetics is summed up in my brand’s name: Elevé, which is a French term used in ballet that means “to rise.” I create products that allow women to feel beautiful, giving them the power to rise up!

Thank you Gertie Wilson for creating a bold and beauty brand – and for demonstrating “where there is a will, there’s a way”!

See Elevé Cosmetics website, and follow them on Instagram or Facebook!

Learn more about the finalists below!

Organic Golden Beauty Oil

2020 FaceOil Finalist

Price: $95 USD

Vitamin Sea Sunscreen

2020 SunCare Finalist

Price: $49 USD

Lip LUV Lip Treatment

2020 LipCare Finalist

Price: $26 USD

PurPicks
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PurPicks is the world’s largest directory of organic / natural / clean skincare products with thousands of reviews, like TripAdvisor for nontoxic skincare!

 

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Founder Spotlight: An Interview with Sylvie Hennessy from Pevonia Natural Skincare

#Founderspotlight - Pevonia Natural Skincare - Sylvie Hennessy
#Founderspotlight - Pevonia Natural Skincare - Sylvie Hennessy

Pevonia’s natural lip balm is a Finalist in CertClean’s 5th Clean Beauty Awards! What an accomplishment!

We are excited to share our interview with Sylvie Hennessy, the brains behind the brand – Pevonia Natural Skincare! Keep reading to see what sets Pevonia apart from other natural brands and why their special natural Lipbalm which is well loved by the Clean Beauty Awards’ judging panel!

A bit more info about Pevonia Natural Skincare

Pevonia believes the most powerful ingredients in skincare come from the safest source – nature. For nearly three decades, Pevonia has used highly sustainable processes in line with the company’s stance on environmental conservation, and in 2019, the company became a proud supporter of charity: water. Pevonia delivers outstanding multicultural solutions to nearly 130 countries by restoring, de-aging and revitalizing our largest and most visible organ…our skin! The company is cruelty-free since its inception and is a renowned leader in delivering natural skincare solutions to customers seeking clean beauty, as well as elite spas and leading aestheticians globally. As a multi-award winning brand, Pevonia is coveted by celebrities and beauty/wellness influencers and often featured in leading worldwide press, praising their natural solutions for delivering outstanding, instant and long-term results for optimum skin health and radiance.

What inspired you to create safer skincare products?

Pevonia is committed to product innovation tied to consumer demands and trends. We are constantly seeking ways to enhance our comprehensive product and treatment selection to ensure we remain top of mind for valued industry professionals and consumers who love and trust our brand for their skincare needs. The Rapid-Restore Lip Balm was a perfect addition to our LipRenew Plump & De-Age Treatment product and pairs perfectly or performs great alone. It was formulated and launched as a direct result of great feedback from spa partners around the world.

You have been in business for almost 30 years, can you tell us some challenges you have had to overcome?

When your distribution worldwide is nearly 130 countries strong, there are always challenges to face and overcome. As a company, since inception in 1991, we have been committed to offering the purest, most natural ingredients within highly efficacious and cruelty-free, biodegradable formulas that are bottled in recyclable packaging. This challenges us daily to ensure selected vendors are doing their part and that our final decision fully align with our corporate vision and creed. We are committed to clean beauty and are constantly accessing our carbon footprint and the next steps we can take for an even greater carbon-reduced future.

Congratulations again on being a Finalist for CertClean’s Clean Beauty Awards! Can you tell us what makes your lip balm so well loved?

Kiss dry, chapped, and wrinkled lips goodbye and reveal a more vibrant, youthful-looking pout – even on the go! Whether your previously perfect pout is suffering from cold, dry, weather or from the effects of pollutants, drying lipsticks, or aging; trust Pevonia’s Rapid-Restore Lip Balm to deliver instant SOS! Clinically proven to visibly repair, smooth, and plump while instantly hydrating your lips and lip contour; its unique exfoliating texture works to quickly polish away toxins and rough, dry patches so that the balm’s deep nourishment quickly reaches its targeted areas of concern for lasting softness. Rapid-Restore Lip Balm’s de-aging and moisture-locking actions turn this compact, convenient, little tube into an intensive miracle repair treatment without affecting the color or application process; as it can be applied over lipstick or by itself for those who prefer a more natural pout.

Tell us a bit more about your ingredients that makes your natural lip balm such a high performing product!

Radical lip care that transcends way beyond your average lip balm, this proven effective intensive solution is formulated with an exceptional emollient blend of Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Shea Butter, and Vegetable Olus Oil from Olives. • Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline: Firming effect; promotes collagen formation. Plumps and contours. • Tetrahexyldecil Ascorbate (Vitamin C): Antioxidant and anti-aging. Smooths wrinkles. • Olus Oil: Nourishing and protecting natural vegetable oil. • Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter: Nourishing and healing. Moisture shield. Softens skin texture. • Vitamin E: Nourishing, antioxidant, healing.

There is a more and more natural brands budding up in the industry. How is your brand different than the others?

Pevonia Natural Skincare is free from: SLS, GMOs, PABA, Urea, Lanolin, Cruelty, Formaldehyde, Alcohol, Parabens, Mineral Oil, Gluten, Artificial Colors/Fragrance.
Pevonia tests way beyond FDA standards. Our commitment to product excellence ensures that every consumer that places their trust in the brand for their skincare needs is purchasing clean beauty products aimed to deliver superlative results and exceed their expectations. Pevonia products are subjected to testing by a leading globally recognized University of Drug Sciences – University of Pavia in Italy. Aside from the standard list of FDA testes each product must successfully pass, they are additionally subjected to an additional fourteen tests as well as a volunteer perception evaluation for further data and insights.

Thank you Sylvie Hennessy for pioneering clean beauty!

See Pevonia Natural Skincare’s website, and follow them on Instagram or Facebook to support a brand with mission on making safer skincare for our use!

Learn more about the finalist below!

Rapid-Restore Lip Balm

2020 LipCare Finalist

PurPicks
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PurPicks is the world’s largest directory of organic / natural / clean skincare products with thousands of reviews, like TripAdvisor for nontoxic skincare!

 

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Founder Spotlight: An Interview with Chad Zelensky from Lowen’s Skincare

#Founderspotlight - Lowens - Chad Zelensky

This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we’ll get a small commission which helps keep us moving the dial towards clean beauty!

#Founderspotlight - Lowens - Chad Zelensky

Lowen’s Body Lotion & Lip Balm are both Finalists of CertClean’s Clean Beauty Awards! What an achievement!

We took the opportunity to interview the brains behind the brand, Chad Zelensky, to learn more about Lowen’s Skincare and the mission behind the products that have the Clean Beauty Awards’ judging panel touting the performance of their body lotion and lip balm!

An intro to Lowen’s Skincare

Lowen’s is a family-owned and operated skin care company based in Calgary, Alberta Canada.

Conceived by a veteran Pharmacist (Chad Zelensky), Lowen’s is fiercely committed to using unrefined, organic, fair-trade, and/or locally-sourced ingredients to drive Lowen’s creation of unique, evidence based, natural skin care products that are safe, effective, long-lasting, and affordable. To demonstrate commitment to safer skincare, Lowen’s products carry the EWG verification mark and or the CertClean certification!

What inspired you to create safer skincare products? How did you come up with the brand name?

Lowen’s Natural Skincare is inspired by and named after our daughter, Lowen. After unsuccessful trials of commercially-available diaper rash treatments, we used our pharmaceutical knowledge and clinical experience to develop an innovative natural diaper balm using unconventional, unrefined locally-sourced ingredients. After some experimentation, we developed a formula that resolved Lowen’s diaper rash within days and, with continued preventative use, the rash never came back. We knew other parents faced the same dilemma we did and wanted to help them discover our product so that they, too, could prevent and treat diaper rash in their children. With that lofty goal in mind, Lowen’s Natural Skincare was born. After launching this flagship product, through extensive research and tenacity, we expanded our product line to include a variety of other balms, lotions, cleansers, scrubs, and creams.

Particular to the finalists, our entire lip balm line are based upon an early failure at our attempt in making Lowen’s diaper balm. My wife ended up applying it to her lips one late night/early morning when changing Lowen and told me that it wasn’t a good diaper balm but was the best lip balm she ever used!

What were some roadblocks/issues that you have faced? How did you conquer these issues?

Initially, we were a brand that didn’t fit. 10 years ago, the natural products sector looked at me coming from the medical establishment as suspect and then the medical community didn’t have a lot of respect for departures from conventionally established cosmetics/pharmaceuticals.

As the years passed, my credibility as a Pharmacist became a lot more valuable as did refining my approach to explaining the efficacy that drives the success of our product line.

You don’t just have one product as a Finalist for the Clean Beauty Awards — you have two! Can you tell us more about both Finalists? What makes them wonderful?

Rub it in:
It has a cool, memorable name that my wife came up with and the name is instructional. In the early days, users tended to use a comparable amount of our lotion as one would use of your typical formula – well the result was, “this is so greasy.”After explaining that they dispensed enough lotion for their entire body just for their hands, people found that when they “Rubbed the lotion in,” it quickly absorbed and stayed with the user – meaning even after hand washing, the moisturizing effects remained, reducing the need to reapply.

Creamsicle Lip Balm:
The flavour alone sets this product apart.That combined that our lip balms are actually solid emulsions (combining oil and water soluble ingredients) make it unique, incredibly hydrating and long lasting.Finally, not many lip balms include hyaluronic acid, an amazing ingredient…but Lowen’s does!

What are your favourite ingredients and why? 

Lecithin:
It can get a bad rap sometimes but we love lecithin. It is in an incredible multi-functional ingredient in that it acts as a great co-emulsifier and helps thicken a product, but it also is very rich in vitamin e, which also stabilizes shelf life as well as being great for your skin.

Canola oil:
Another one that gets a bad rap and let’s be clear – not all canola oils are created equally. We use only certified organic, non-GMO canola oil that is farmed locally by a family that has owned their farm for well over 100 years. The oil you see on your grocery store shelves is likely genetically modified, exposed to all sorts of pesticides throughout its growth cycle and then is solvent extracted, potentially leaving behind all kinds of nastiness as well as stripping away any constituents that are of value (in my opinion). Our canola is incredibly rich in essential fatty acids, an “essential” constituent in your skin. They address inflammation, soften and can even address dietary deficiencies via percutaneous absorption!

We absolutely love the ethos of your company. Can you tell us more? 

Our Mission: Betterment (if you’re not making things better… what’s the point?)

Our Values: Relationships, Advocacy, Transparency, Sustainability, Inclusiveness, Balance

Our Guiding Principles: Safe For Us = Safe For You: We formulate our products using evidence-based, peer-reviewed, and personally-tested ingredients to ensure they are safe for you and your family. We ensure that our ingredients are thoroughly evaluated for safety, effectiveness, environmental impact, and animal welfare by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

Do No Harm: We do not test our products on animals nor do we purchase ingredients that have been tested on animals. Furthermore, Lowen’s has also been vetted by PETA and are listed in their Cruelty Free Company database.

Simplicity: We formulate our products with hard-working ingredients. What this means is that any single ingredient can provide multiple benefits within a particular product. This keeps our ingredients list to a minimum number of “simple” components.

Source Sensibly: We source local, certified organic and/or fair trade ingredients whenever possible and continually review and refine our practices to adhere to the above. If we are unable to find an ingredient close to home, we expand our search to find unrefined, organic, fair-trade ingredients from other community-minded social enterprises.

Thank you Chad Zelensky for sharing your story and wisdom! And thank you for using your pharmaceutical knowledge and clinical experience to develop innovative and natural body products!

Check out Lowen’s Skincare, and follow them on Instagram or Facebook to support a brand with mission on making safer skincare for our use!

Learn more about the finalists below!

Rub it in Why Don’t Ya! Lotion

Certification: EWG Verified

2020 BodyCare Finalist

Price: $14.00 – $65.00

Creamsicle Lip Balm

Certification: EWG Verified

2020 LipCare Finalist

Price: $5.50

PurPicks
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PurPicks is the world’s largest directory of organic / natural / clean skincare products with thousands of reviews, like TripAdvisor for nontoxic skincare!

 

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Founder Spotlight: An Interview with Lisa Egglestone from Aequora Skincare

#Founderspotlight - Aequora - Lisa Egglestone

This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we’ll get a small commission which helps keep us moving the dial towards clean beauty!

#Founderspotlight - Aequora - Lisa Egglestone

Aequora Skincare has TWO body care products as Finalists of CertClean’s Clean Beauty Awards! What an achievement!

We jumped at the opportunity to interview the brains behind the brand, Lisa Egglestone, to learn more about Aequora Skincare and the mission behind the products that have the Clean Beauty Awards’ judging panel touting their products!

An intro to Aequora Skincare

Aequora is a beautiful brand based in Australia known for its range of sustainable, eco-luxe products featuring Australian Native Botanicals with a focus on Aequora’s chosen key ingredients for their potent and skin loving properties and their signature blend of essential oils.
Aequora’s award winning Australian Botanical skincare range is certified vegan friendly and licensed by the Australian Made campaign.
Our tagline ‘Australian Botanicals for Balance & Beauty’ represents the potent active ingredients restoring the pH balance to your skin whilst also enhancing your skin’s natural beauty.

What inspired you to start your eco-luxe beauty brand?

Since moving with my family to Australia from the UK, I discovered a new passion – an appreciation and understanding of all things ‘natural’ coming from living on acreage in the beautiful Samford Valley in Queensland.
On our land, we rely on tank water and a bio system that cannot have chemicals pouring into it from our home. Household cleaning products need to be natural and chemical free and that started me thinking about the skincare products I was using. I also realised that living ‘down under’ and adapting to a more challenging climate meant that my skincare routine was going to play a more important role in my life.

I spent time studying and qualifying in organic skincare and essential oils in business and set about working alongside specialist formulators and chemists to produce my range of Native Botanical skincare.
Understanding that the epidermis (the outer layer of our skin) is our biggest living organ and that it absorbs what we put onto it made me realise I wanted to make the change over to natural and organic skincare.

Being a Mum, I also want the best for my daughter’s skin – and for her to learn and understand that expensive and glamorous marketing campaigns do not necessarily create a great product that is natural and not tested on animals.

And so, my journey with Aequora began – I hope you’ll enjoy using our skincare products as much as we do!.

What were some roadblocks/issues that you have faced? How did you conquer these issues?

As this was a complete change in my career path I had a lot to learn as far as getting a business brand launched and I am still learning!
I made a few mistakes in the early days and to my relief realised that most companies do!  I realised it is so important to find the right industry professionals to surround yourself with.
I have my products contract manufactured by companies that only manufacture natural products so I have the reassurance that the ingredients I use in my products are of the highest quality and for me, a really important aspect is that the majority of ingredients are sourced from within Australia. Our products are all licensed by the Australian Made campaign so customers can buy in the safe knowledge that our products are definitely Australian Made!
For consumers I believe it is important to be able to buy products that you know to be truly sustainable and made with no toxic ingredients which is also why I decided it was important to have the relevant certifications in place.  There are many brands that claim to be natural, that we all know are anything but natural – it really comes down to us to educate our audience to begin to read and understand ingredient lists and to realise that buying products which do have the right certifications in place are the true green beauty brands where there is no place for greenwashing.

You don’t just have one product as a Finalist for the Clean Beauty Awards — you have two! Can you tell us more about both Finalists? What makes them wonderful?

Our Body Moisturising Lotion is ideal for all skin types and infused with our botanical blend of essential oils with fresh, zesty lemon notes, it is easily absorbed to soothe and tone your skin.

Enriched with certified organic ingredients including Shea butter and deep skin penetrating Jojoba oil, this anti-oxidant rich moisturiser will leave your skin feeling beautifully hydrated and nourished. Skin softening Virgin Avocado oil is packed with vitamins and proteins to promote skin suppleness.

Native botanical extracts of Kakadu Plum, Lilly Pilly and Quandong help produce an even skin tone, maintaining the skins health whilst protecting it from environmental harm, keeping your skin looking radiant and youthful.

Our Intensely Moisturising Hand Cream is a luxurious, easily absorbed hand cream designed to soften and nourish hands and cuticles with a blend of fresh, zesty essential oils and Native Botanical extracts to help repair and regenerate damaged skin cells to promote a smooth and moisturised skin.

Helps lift and gently tighten the skin to reduce the signs of ageing. Made with natural and certified organic ingredients.

Our hand cream is still our best loved product to date and is proving extremely popular with customers who have especially sensitive skin.One customers contacted us to say it’s the first time in 20 yrs she has not needed to use steroid cream on her skin since using our hand cream on her eczema.

What are your favourite ingredients and why? 

So difficult to choose my favourite ingredients as they all have their individual skin loving properties and benefits.
My all time favourites would have to be our signature ingredients which feature across our Australian Botanical range which are Kakadu Plum, Lilly Pilly & Quandong.

Kakadu Plum has the highest recorded level of natural vitamin C content of any plant in the world – more than 100 times that of oranges. It also displays superior antioxidant properties, containing both water and oil-soluble antioxidants which are often low in common fruits and vegetables.
Lilly Pilly has a high vitamin C and fruit acid content which provide great anti-ageing effects to keep skin looking radiant and youthful. Lilly Pilly is a natural source of gentle AHA.
Containing the second highest amount of natural vitamin C ever measured – second only to Kakadu plum, Quandong (our wild bush peach) helps to stimulate collagen production to plump up the skin, reduce dark circles and soften fine lines. It also protects against free radical damage that damages and dehydrates delicate skin cells to slow down the visible signs of ageing.

We absolutely love the ethos of your company. Can you tell us more? And what was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome? 

Aequora products are all certified Not Tested On Animals; Made Safe; Toxic Free; Vegan Friendly and all our packaging is recyclable.
Before launching my product range in 2018 I gained qualifications in organic skincare in business and essential oils so I felt confident to start formulating my products with the best information about what ingredients I wanted to incorporate in to my products.
I work alongside a specialist formulator so we can produce the highest quality products containing natural preservatives and finding the best consistency – this is time consuming and at times frustrating but well worth the testing and trials when you suddenly achieve that ‘yes’ moment!  The moment when you know for sure you have the formulation which is spot on!  It is such a thrilling feeling.
Aequora is a brand that believes in transparency and we list our ingredients on our website so we can help our customers learn the benefits of our chosen ingredients. 

As far as the biggest obstacle I’ve had to overcome – that would probably be rebranding Aequora.  It was a costly exercise but I am definitely realising it was the best decision to make.  I needed the packaging to reflect our Australian Botanical theme more and I wanted a more feminine look for the brand.  I am confident we have now achieved that now. 

I’m fiercely determined and when I’m passionate about something, like I am with natural skincare and sustainability, I love studying and learning everything I can about it.

Winning awards is like the icing on the cake for me!  It brings kudos to the brand which is wonderful but it also demonstrates the high quality of the products that I have produced which makes it easy for consumers to trust.

Thank you Lisa Egglestone for taking the time to share your motivations and wisdom! And thank you for overcoming the doubters and bringing healthier skincare for everyone to enjoy!

See Aequora Skincare’s beautiful website, and follow them on Instagram or Facebook to support a brand with a mission on making safer skincare for our use!

Learn more about the finalists below!

Australian Botanical Body Moisturising Lotion

2020 BodyCare Finalist

Price: $30

Australian Botanical Intensely Moisturising Hand Cream

2020 BodyCare Finalist

Price: $14.00 – $65.00

PurPicks
purpicks.com

PurPicks is the world’s largest directory of organic / natural / clean skincare products with thousands of reviews, like TripAdvisor for nontoxic skincare!

 

Follow us on Instagram!

Founder Spotlight: An Interview with Debbie VanGrieken from Moyaa Shea Products

#Founderspotlight - Moyaa Shea Products - Debbie Vangrieken

This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we’ll get a small commission which helps keep us moving the dial towards clean beauty!

#Founderspotlight - Moyaa Shea Products - Debbie Vangrieken

Have you heard that Moyaa Shea Butter’s Unscented Fair Trade Organic Raw Shea Butter AND Moyaa Lavender Soap are both Finalists in the 5th Clean Beauty Awards for the best Body Care and Body Wash categories! This is no easy feat!

We jumped at the opportunity to interview the Founder, Debbie VanGrieken, to learn more about the brand and the mission behind the products that have raving reviews from CertClean’s Awards’ judging panel!

A Little Bit About Moyaa Shea Butter

Debbie van Grieken is a mother of 5 sons and after a Melanoma diagnosis and treatment that required surgery she began looking for Natural alternatives to skin care for herself and her family. With a passion for Fair Trade and a desire to help others Debbie launched her Brand Moyaa Shea Products in 2016. As a social enterprise Moyaa is committed to producing the highest quality of Premium Organic, Grade A, Shea Butter and Shea products. These all natural products help people dealing with skin issues, from simple dryness to painful eczema and common skin irritations. Using the framework of Fair Trade and introducing a zero-waste program Moyaa strives to transform the lives of people in Uganda by ending the cycle of dependency for the Shea farmers and their families. Thinking Globally and acting locally is very important so Moyaa gives back in many ways. Through the Giving Tuesday Campaign Moyaa has provided much needed funds to Niagara youth in crisis by partnering with RAFT in St Catherine’s , a shelter for youth in transition from homelessness. Moyaa sponsors girl’s education through their social impact program which has helped girls to attend school in developing countries. Many children in our own community struggle to have the tools available to succeed in school so Moyaa supports Open Arms Mission and provides filled back packs to children in need. Moyaa has supported re-seeding programs and practices environmental stewdship both locally and in Uganda. Moyaa’s current project in Uganda is to purchase a Charcoal making Machine that will provide 30 women immediate employment and income and prevent deforestation by using technology that converts agriculture waste into charcoal for cooking. This initiative aligns with the triple bottom line business model of People, Planet and Sustainability. Debbie personally travels to Uganda to work directly with the farmers and to ensure the integrity of her product and business. She leaves April 14th for harvest season.

 

What inspired you to start your natural Shea Butter company?

After a melanoma diagnosis I became aware of how important using natural safe ingredients was for my health and my family’s health when I learned about the amazing benefits of Raw Shea Butter I wanted to provide an opportunity for Farmers in Uganda to get their incredible product into the global market place and provide an excellent quality product to consumers.

What were some roadblocks/issues that you have faced? How did you conquer these issues?

For me it was very important that I knew exactly where my ingredients were coming from and that my entire supply chain was being treated fairly. The only way to be sure was to travel directly to the remote villages of Northern Uganda. I also experienced challenges with being environmentally friendly. I had to rebrand with different packaging going from black plastic jars to a glass jar that could be better recycled or reused. We switched from plastic lip balm tubes to compostable cardboard tubes and paper sleeves for our soap. We are trying to educate our target market about the benefits of Shea and the difference between our high quality East African Shea compared to the commonly found west African Shea and we are spotlighting the importance of our Fair Trade and social impact.

Congratulations on having your Unscented Moyaa Shea Butter AND your Moyaa Lavender Soap as Finalists for the 5th Clean Beauty Awards! We heard that the Body Care category was really competitive this year so can you tell us more about the Shea Butter? What makes it wonderful?

Our Grade A Raw Organic Shea Butter is a multi tasking body cream that can help with simple dryness or severe skin irritations like eczema, rashes, burns, stretch marks, scars and diaper rash and cradle cap. Our customers give us glowing reviews and are so relieved when the find a natural solution to their conditions. We especially love hearing from those who have suffered with painful eczema or moms that have found our products helpful for their babies rashes or skin issues.

What are your favourite ingredients and why? 

Our products would be nothing with out the amazing East African Shea Butter called Nilotica Shea Nilotica comes from the fruit of the Karite tree, Vitellaria nilotica. It is best in its raw unrefined state.  Shea Nilotica is very soft and creamy. The butter spreads easily on the skin. It does not have a strong aroma and the color is light yellow. It is only found in Africa and because of its high Oleic fatty acid content it is creamier and spreads and absorbs much quicker then West African Shea which also tends to have a stronger smell and colour.

Thank you Debbie Van Grieken for taking the time to share your motivations and wisdom! For those curious, Moyaa Shea Butter products are certified cruelty-free by Leaping bunny. Debbie has received training in formulating and are certified Grade A specialists by the American Shea Butter Institute in Atlanta Georgia.

Follow Moyaa Shea Butter Products’ journey on their brand’s website, Instagram or Facebook to see their natural products and support a brand with a social mission that is consciously making safer skincare for our use!

Want to learn more about the finalist(s)? Check them out below!

Moyaa Shea Butter – Unscented

2020 BodyCare Finalist

Price: $25 CAD

Moyaa Shea Soap – Lavender – Calming

2020 BodyWash Finalist

Price: $20 CAD

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PurPicks is the world’s largest directory of organic / natural / clean skincare products with thousands of reviews, like TripAdvisor for nontoxic skincare!

 

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Founder Spotlight: An Interview with Cydney Higgins from Immersion Botanica

#Founderspotlight - Immersion Botanica - Cydney Higgins

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#Founderspotlight - Immersion Botanica - Cydney Higgins

Have you heard that Canadian Immersion Botanica’s Rosehip Facial Serum AND Geranium Hydrating Mist are two of the Finalists in the Clean Beauty Awards! This is no easy feat!

We jumped at the opportunity to interview Cydney Higgins – the owner of Immersion Botanica – to learn more about the brand and the brilliance behind the Rosehip Facial Serum & Geranium Hydrating Mist that have raving reviews from the Awards’ judging panel! Fun fact: FaceCare is the most competitive category in CertClean’s Clean Beauty Awards so being a finalist is a great achievement!

A Little Bit About Immersion Botanica

Hi, my name is Cydney Higgins. I am passionate about nature & love formulating herbal personal care products. I have an enduring entreprenurial spirit which motivates me to provide high quality, products and service. I have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Leadership in Healthcare. I have worked as a Nurse for 29 years and as a Nurse Manager for the last 16 years. Prior to that, I studied fashion merchandizing and worked in retail sales for many years. More recently, I have completed certificate training in Herbalism at the intermediate level and I continue to study herbalism, wholesale marketing as well as natural skincare formulation. I grew up in Victoria and for the last 21 years I have lived in the amazing mountain town of Nelson in the southeast area of British Columbia. I live with my husband; our son and daughter have grown up and are creating lives of their own.

What inspired you to start your beautiful brand, Immersion Botanica?

I started studying herbalism and became fascinated by the value of plants in skincare. I was looking for a large project that would be engaging for years to come and that would benefit others while offering a high degree of safety and comfort. I wanted to combine my previous knowledge/training with this new learning.

What were some challenges with the natural beauty industry today? What are some roadblocks that you’re facing as a business owner?

I think researching ingredients is super important because there are so many available but not all are beneficial for us, including herbs. That is a strength of mine due to my background and not being susceptible to the newest trendy ingredients. 

Other roadblocks are marketing, it has to be sustainable especially for a small business and so I have had to teach myself about how to use digital media – Instagram, facebook, online store set up, photography, creating advertisements and wholesale marketing.

Congratulations on having your face serum and mist named as Finalists for the 5th Clean Beauty Awards! Can you tell us a bit about the brilliance behind these products?

Geranium Hydrating Mist is chock full of wonderful ingredients to hydrate skin: niacinamide, N-acetyl glucosamine, balancing geranium hydrosol, brassica extracts, hyaluronic acid. It is wonderful for women of all ages, and prevents acne as well! This is our most popular hydrating mist but it also comes in Rose, Sage and Neroli.

Rosehip Facial Serum is formulated for dry/damaged skin so it is deeply nourishing to the skin barrier and includes also Vitamin C and C0Q10.

What are your favourite ingredients and why? What are the benefits of them? Why did you choose those ingredients?

Niacinamide + N-acetyl glucosamine are proven to prevent acne as well as maintain the skin barrier, hydrate and reduce hyperpigmentation.
Vitamin C and C0Q10 are wonderfully important antioxidants for our skin.
Hyaluronic acid needs to be replaced especially as we age and is so important for maintaining that glowing complexion.

There is a lot of greenwashing out there. Can you tell us a little bit about how your ingredients or products are different?

Most ingredients are organic. All are non-toxic and many of my products are certified clean by CertClean. During initial formulation, my products were tested by people. We minimize the use of plastic and use recyclable and biodegradable packaging. Ingredients are plant based and vitamins.

Thank you Cydney for taking the time to share your motivations and wisdom! 

Follow Cydney and Immersion Botanica’s journey on Instagram and Facebook to see their beautiful products and support a beautiful brand that is consciously making safer skincare for our use! 

Want to learn more about the finalists? Check them out below!

Rosehip Facial Serum for Dry/Damaged Skin

Certification: CertClean

2020 FaceSerum Finalist

Price: $50

Geranium Hydrating Mist

Certification: CertClean

2020 Toner/Mist Finalist

Price: $40

PurPicks
purpicks.com

PurPicks is the world’s largest directory of organic / natural / clean skincare products with thousands of reviews, like TripAdvisor for nontoxic skincare!

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Founder Spotlight - Page 4 of 4 - Discover Honest Reviews Of Non Toxic & Organic Skincare