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Don't Over Do It! TLC For Your Complexion

We asked some of the founders of our Indie brands to reveal a “Dirty Secret” of the conventional beauty industry – and tell us how it motivated them to make a difference.

Mariska, the founder of Indie brand Olive + M has spent almost a decade fighting a seemingly endless battle – convincing people to use oil as the main ingredient in their facial, beauty regimens.

She’s got some great things to say about ‘Big Beauty ’:

Mariska: Many people believe [the commercial industry’s hype] that when they wash their face with a harsh drugstore cleanser, the ‘clean and tight’ feeling that your skin gets is a good sign because you’re ‘squeaky clean’.

That is not the case! That feeling is actually an indicator that you have just stripped your skin of its oils, its ‘natural protective barrier’. As a result, your skin goes into overdrive to compensate for the oils being eliminated from your skin, which can lead to an overproduction of oil.

Navago: And as we know, an overproduction of oil caused by over exfoliation, inevitably leads to more breakouts. It’s really a vicious circle, don’t you think?

Mariska: Yes! Absolutely! All those harsh skincare practices were causing the oiliness and clogged pores! Then when people start using oils on their face that their skin becomes much less oily. The majority of our customers are shocked that you can use oils with sensitive and/or oily skin.

Navago: What advice would you give someone who’s looking for a good, natural everyday product that will keep their skin healthy, for a long time?

Mariska: There is an issue in the (beauty) industry where consumers are interested in natural, clean brands, but don’t exactly know where or how to start. We see ourselves as a source of education and information for our customers, and we love to give them the info they need to make educated decisions about what they’re putting in and on their bodies. We always encourage our customers to begin by reading ingredient decks (it becomes addictive, almost!) for everything they’re buying, not just their skincare.”

Some customers have had a hard time finding a vegan, cruelty free, all natural, non-GMO, gluten free, non- toxic, etc. skincare line in their price range. That’s where we come in!

Navago: Can you tell us what you think about current trends in the Beauty Industry?

Mariska: You’re shopping in a Big Beauty store or an online spot and see that they carry products made with the latest healthy oil or botanical ingredient. Does your greenwashing alert go off? That may be for good reason.

Take marula oil. This beauty popped onto the skincare scene not long ago as a new, natural ‘hero’ ingredient. It made its way into authentic natural beauty lines and some big name, not-so-natural brands too. [Some may think that] a product by a conventional cosmetics manufacturer that lists only one ingredient on the label, and that one is marula oil, then it’s cool, right? Not so fast.”

It’s not enough to find a trendy new item and purchase it without some investigation, according to Mariska, She sees disreputable ingredient sourcing and misleading marketing in the olive oil business, all the time.

Navago:  And finally, we know you have very stringent quality control standards for the oil you use to craft your facial products. Can you tell us about how other Beauty Brands view this critical issue?

Mariska: It’s not only about the ingredient inside the bottle, but the quality of the ingredient - where it was sourced, and how it was produced. Many of the bottles of olive oil at your grocery store are not pure olive oil as they’ve have been mixed with other oils, leaving you with as little as 20% olive oil.

‘Quality’ brand names that consumers have trusted in the past are selling these olive oils, and that’s just not OK! This circles back to the issue of ethics and being transparent to customers, across all industries.