We interviewed Erin, from Oxalis Apothecary, and Kara, from Soul Sunday about their daily skincare routines, favorite products, and some tips/tricks not only about skincare, but also a little bit about owning their own small business!
What is your daily skincare routine?
Erin: I use my Toning Mist and/or Mineral Mist as needed morning or night, a Clay Mask treatment once a week and I use my Facial Serum every morning and night. My skincare routine is kept fairly simple and can vary day to day depending on my skin's needs at the moment. I generally only wash my face at night and I rinse with water in the mornings. I change it up and use a few different cleansers, botanical scrubs and handcrafted soaps.
Kara: I cleanse with SS Ricewash, mist Gentle Toner on my T zone, then mist my whole face, neck, and chest with our hydrating Rice water mist. Then I paint my face with our facial oils - Bougie is nice and rich for under my eyes and around the mouth, then everywhere else I hit with Bougie Lite. It's a riveting process :)
What is your favorite product you sell and why?
Erin: My favorite skincare product I make and use is the Daily Glow Facial Serum. I spent a lot of time mastering the formula and I really love the way it smells and feels on my skin. The results I've had and heard from other users has been really encouraging. It's hydrating but not greasy, it's evened out my skin and helped with breakouts and it just feels like pure health every time I use it.
Kara: Ricewash. It's the root of our skincare line - gentle and kind to the skin. I love the silkiness and the unique simplicity of it.
Are there any DIY or at home tips/tricks you use for your skin?
Erin: I do a lot of testing on my own skin for the products I make. Facial steams are especially fun and like taking yourself to a spa for a few moments but really you're in your own bathroom, preferably with candles and a glass of wine. :)
Kara: Break open a Vitamin E capsule and use a little squeeze of it each night before bed as a lip treatment. I also like to mist my entire body with pure rose water after I shower.
What do you think the most common mistakes are that people make when caring for their skin?
Erin: I think a mistake that's commonly made is making it more complicated than it needs to be. Taking care of your skin can be so frustrating at times. Between hormones, stress, diet, etc, making sure your skin is well taken care of can seem daunting. Our skin is delicate and the use of harsh ingredients and too many products can often irritate things further. Find a routine that works for you and start there, but don't be afraid to change it up sometimes.
Kara: Doing too much! Using harsh cleansers and astringents in an attempt to rid skin of excess oil, which backfires.
What other brands do you like or use?
Erin: There are so many amazing brands out there for botanical skincare and also natural makeup! I use products from Fig & Yarrow, Soul Sunday, Herbivore Botanicals, 100% Pure, RMS Beauty, Juice Beauty, and Josie Maran to name a few. I've also had the privilege of swapping products and making friends with a lot of brands I've met at markets like Palermo Body, Isa Restoratives, Amelia Brooklyn, Brooklyn Beach Hair, Alchemy Holistics and Handmade La Conner.
Kara: Just like everyone else in the universe, I love Glossier's Boy Brow and Perfecting Skin Tint. Lately I've been into looking dewy, so I'm coating my lips, cheekbones, and eyelids with Mullein & Sparrow's Tinted Lip & Cheek Balm and I look more alive.
What is the difference of using a facial serum vs. a cream?
Erin: The difference is using them based on their ingredients. If you're using an oil based facial serum, it's best to use on damp skin so the oil can absorb. Serums are often lighter and easier to use as a morning moisturizer rather than a cream. Creams are often thicker and I usually use one in the dryer months or around delicate, aging areas like under eyes or around the mouth.
Kara: I think the term "facial oil" and "serum" are used interchangeably in the beauty world. I believe in facial oils because they are the purest form of moisture - there are no binding ingredients or waxes, they just penetrate the skin without any barriers. Oils can regulate your skin's own oil production and ironically help battle "greasy" skin. Creams aren't all bad - when I'm in a really dry or cold climate, sealing in the moisture from an oil with a thick cream can be really helpful to protect skin.
If you had to pick one facial product you could use (and just one) what would it be?
Erin: Tough choice but, it would have to be my Daily Glow Facial Serum. It's really become my favorite product and I just don't want to risk life without it! :)
Kara: Today, I will say Bougie Lite facial oil, because it's part of our skincare routine that has improved the way my skin behaves. It's light and softening, and the geranium-sandalwood essential oil combo is the best scent.
What's the most challenging task you have to face so far with your small business?
Erin: When I first started the business, every task had it's challenges because I was balancing a full time job as a fashion designer at the same time! But, I knew I wanted to give it 100% of my time and commitment, slow down, and nurture the process of creating these products. Doing this full time has it's own set of challenges but, I'm trying to keep my feet on the ground, create products that I love and make this my own journey.
Kara: Knowing when to ask for help and learning how to delegate tasks. You can't do everything yourself, and that's hard to accept when you have a really clear vision of how you want your brand. In the end, finding the right people to help back us up has been so valuable.
Which part of your business do you wish you had someone to assist with?
Erin: I really enjoy collaborating and I miss that now that I'm a one woman show. Having come from a team of creative designers, it's tricky to feel like I'm working so independently or in a silo mentality. I make sure to always bounce ideas off of friends and former colleagues and conduct sampling before products go into production. Eventually, I'd love to have a business partner who has a production background, and a strong nose, too.