I recently discovered Skin Alchemists Apothecary and was keen to learn more about the brand. Today I’m getting up close and personal with founder Theresa Edward to learn more about her journey and brand.
Hi Theresa, tell us a little bit about yourself
Hello and thank you so much for allowing me into this space you share with your followers. I moved to London, where I still live, many many moons from St Lucia. To use an insta term I’m a mumpreneur with a 13 month old and passionate about the re-discovery of plant medicine.
What inspired you to start your own brand?
About 6 years ago my health fell victim to the fast pace of city living. I was always tired and sluggish, my skin was dull and hair dry and brittle. By chance I went back to St Lucia on holiday during which I observed an automatic difference in my wellbeing, energy levels and skin.
That was the catalyst which forced me on a journey of selfcare. I began to intentionally care for my body, both inside and out. Then came the “aha” moment, I was taking such particular care of what I ate, but was feeding my skin synthetic ingredients. At the time the clean beauty brands on the market were simply not as clean as I wanted. Their ingredient list were filled with words I couldn’t even pronounce. This lead to me blending my own skincare using traditional remedies of plant medicine taught to me by my grand aunt, Mano who was a renowned local herbalist, and the rest is history as the cliché goes.
What is your brand’s vision and what inspired your brand name?
I am romanced by ancient rituals and the name was inspired by Alchemy which involves transformation of matter and seeking that universal Elixir. Just like an alchemist seeks to transform lead into gold, I seek plant medicine to transform your skin to its best state. For me the vision for the brand is to grow organically, develop more products and become known for being uncompromising in quality products which work.
What challenges did you face starting your own brand and what advice would you give to aspiring beauty entrepreneurs?
The skincare market is so saturated and funding is scarce. It was and still is very difficult to penetrate the market and to source financing. That’s why our growth has been very organic. I have self-financed as much as I can and my customers are my investors. My advice would be to have a business plan, always budget for the unexpected, know what your market is and identify what need the market has that you are fulfilling. If the idea comes from the heart then go for it, that way you’ll always be excited about it. If possible, get a mentor.
How did you decide on what products to formulate?
I formulate first for my needs. I guess that is why our current collection is not based around what type of products sell the most.
For example when I was finding it hard to switch off and sleep after having my baby I formulated the skin treatment candles to induce relaxation and sleep.
Sesenne, our hero facial elixir, was formulated during my pregnancy as a desert island product to help manage my hormonal acne and pigmentation.
The Lady Helen was formulated as a complete face cream. I didn’t want my skincare routine to have day and night cream, hyaluronic serum and toner. I wanted one product to cover all these bases.
Tell us about your products and what makes them stand out from what’s on the market today?
For starters when we say natural we mean natural. We do not use phenoxyethanol or dilute products with bulking agents and fillers. Our products are all produced in small batches in house so we can control the quality and source of ingredients.
Each formula contains fresh, unrefined ingredients in optimal ratios. I don’t use any ingredient because it is the “in” thing. I’ve always used fresh hemp oil for example long before CBD was popular and I won’t change to CBD just to be current, because I believe in the efficacy of each selected ingredient and the part it plays in the alchemy of the formulation.
The work didn’t stop there, I chose each scent to deliver an aromatherapeutic benefit which may be to relax and calm the mind or to uplift the spirit.
What are some of your hero natural and organic ingredients?
There are so many how can I choose? The plant world is fascinating! A few are turmeric and tamanu oils they are such potent healers if you can get the right source.
I love coconut oil for its versatility, Rose oil for its seductive scent , Cocoa for its abundance of antioxidants, West Indian bay and nutmeg for their antibacterial properties.
What motivates you everyday?
The love of what I do and the feedback from clients. When I get an email from a customer saying how much they are enjoying their product, I literally get giddy with joy.
What tips do you have for maintaining healthy skin and overall wellbeing?
To remember that beautiful skin begins from within. So make time for yourself and rest. Make a conscious decision to feed your body nutrient dense foods and be kind to your skin. Achieving beautiful skin doesn’t have to be laborious with several steps using a multitude of items. Keep it simple and use multifunctional quality products.
What is your morning and evening skincare routine?
I’m unbelievably simple. On mornings I cleanse with The Humble Warrior, which I leave on whilst brushing my teeth for that extra bit of treatment. Then use the soft side of our organic muslins cloths soaked in warm water to remove.
That’s followed by a few drops of Sesenne in a push/ pat motion over my face for a healthy glow. At night I light one of our skin treatment candles, usually Sweet Dreams, in the bathroom, then double cleanse with the Humble Warrior if I’m wearing makeup up. This time I am disciplined about practicing face massage or gua sha.
After cleansing and shower, I allow my body to drink up the warm oils of the treatment candle and use a few drops of Sesenne mixed with the Lady Helen on my face. You’ll notice I added body care as part of my evening ritual because we tend to focus on the face and neglect the body.
What’s next for Skin Alchemists Apothecary? Do you have any exciting product launches in the pipeline you can share with us?
I’m always formulating – but half if not most get shelfed along the way if they don’t resonate with my heart. I also won’t release a product for the sake of being current. However as a young brand there is space for a few more skin treats in the collection. Let’s just say I think next year will be exciting!
Many thanks Theresa for taking out time to share your journey with us.
I have a special offer for my readers on all purchases till 1/8/19 … use code 2mumsviews in the comment section of your order to receive a ‘free 15g Lady Helen Renewing Facial Nectar’
Shop the collection at www.skinalchemists.com
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