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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?
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.
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!
Learn more about the finalists below!