Welcome to the first installment of the new Meet the Maker Series, an interview with some of the faces behind the brands that make a big impact on our skincare routines. It is great to find products that can transform our beauty regimes for the better but I wanted to find out more about the people behind the brands and discover what motivates them to formulate the products within their ranges.
The first brand to feature is Inner Senses who specialise in organic beauty that promote a sense of wellbeing. Lisa, who is a genius when it comes to aromatherapy, prides herself on harnessing the very best nature has to offer to bring a wholesome holistic experience unlike any other. I have been an Inner Senses brand ambassador for nearly two years now and I’m continually blown away by the quality and innovative products that Lisa formulates.
Emma: Hi Lisa, thank you for being the first maker to be featured. The first question i’d like to ask is how did your own personal green beauty journey begin?
Lisa: Firstly, thanks very much for asking me to take part in your ‘Meet the Maker’ series Emma. I love to learn about the people behind my favourite brands so it’s a pleasure to take part.
Green beauty wasn’t actually my starting point. I grew up with a fascination for scents and flowers, starting with making my own rose water as a child. I’d pick roses from our garden and soak them with water to make a concoction I used as both a perfume and a toner; all preservative free of course, I shudder to think of the microbes that were swarming in it! As an eighteen year old I sought out one of the only courses in Aromatherapy being run in the North of England at that time, taught by a wonderful and very well respected Aromatherapist by the name of Sandra Day, who was herself taught by the renowned aromatherapist Shirley Price, founder of what was then the International Society of Professional Aromatherapists (ISPA). This was the first professional body that I belonged to after I completed my training, which was heavily focused on the medicinal and therapeutic effects of essential oils and the holistic approach of Aromatherapy. Skincare is one part of the holistic approach, and I was fascinated by the ancient and historic use of natural ingredients for their beautifying properties. My career in Aromatherapy spans almost thirty years, and I’ve just become more and more intrigued by – and in awe of – the myriad of uses that these beautiful ingredients offer us, and of course the exquisite sensorial experience that they help create.
Emma: It’s great that you still have such a strong passion for what you do. What motivated you to create Inner Senses?
Lisa: Ever since I was a newly qualified Aromatherapist back in 1992, I’ve known that one day I would create a brand that offered the highest quality pure aromatherapy products, not only for beauty but equally for holistic wellbeing. My vision was to create a brand that offered something beyond beauty; including a maternity and baby collection – something beautifully soothing to use during pregnancy and something calming for babies, both to the skin and the senses. Inner Senses is a natural culmination and manifestation of decades of experience and passion for Aromatherapy, and a desire to make beautiful plant-based products more accessible to all.
Emma: What are the main challenges you face as a formulator of natural skincare products?
Lisa: Sourcing ingredients that are organic wherever possible and fairly traded is very important to me, which is why you’ll see a very high percentage of organic ingredients in all Inner Senses products. It’s also important to me to stay true to my roots – a holistic approach and a love for traditional ingredients and practices based on apothecary traditions – and not to succumb to innovation just for innovation’s sake. Just because something is the ingredient of the moment, it doesn’t mean it’s better than others that have transcended the passage of time. For example I’ve worked with Borage oil since my student days, and love it just as much now for its incredibly skin soothing properties, so I won’t abandon ‘what works’ in favour of the latest in ingredients unless there’s good evidence to show they bring something more to the formulation. Natural beauty may have gained popularity over the past decade but as a practice it’s been used since antiquity, and staying true to this is where my heart is. The final challenge I face as a brand owner is actually reigning in and channelling my creative flow! My brain in always whirring with inspiration and ideas for great new formulations, the possibilities are endless with a workshop full of so many beautiful natural ingredients; I’d be launching a new product each month if it was feasible! Of course creating and launching new products is very time-consuming and costly, so I try and limit myself to a couple per year.
Emma: Talking of formulating new products, what are your three favourite ingredients to work with?
Lisa: Narrowing it down to three is no easy task! I love traditional ingredients that have stood the test of time just as much as the more innovative ingredients. Rose in all forms – the extract (absolute) and the pure distilled oil (Otto) – is an irreplaceable favourite. Often referred to as the Queen of Flowers, it has a unique and universally popular aroma which I adore, and one which is very versatile in working well within many scent profiles. It’s wide range of applications in skincare, it’s marked therapeutic effect on the emotions and it’s unique affinity with the female reproductive system (from PMS to Menopause and beyond) all make it very special to me; it’s an ingredient that completely embodies the feminine principle of ‘Yin’. My passion for carrier oils is pretty extensive, and my favourites change, but I’m currently in love with Dragonfruit ( Hylocereus Undatus) seed oil which will be featuring in our next product to launch. It is a true superfruit with high levels of a vitamin C to assist in collagen production and offer incredible antioxidant properties, and its natural aroma is fruity, sweet, and fabulously fresh. Coupled with its abundance of both Omega 3 and 6 unsaturated fatty acids and Palmitic acid to deliver excellent skin-smoothing emollient benefits, Dragonfruit oil is a valuable addition to any skincare routine; rejuvenating, plumping and repairing. Finally, Jasmine – often referred to as the King of Flowers – is gorgeous absolute I love to work with for its beautiful heady exotic aroma, it’s deep sensuality, it’s rejuvenating effects in skincare and it’s pronounced effect on our emotions. It’s not only deeply relaxing and great for nervous tension and anxiety, but it is fortifying, an excellent choice for emotional burnout and also mental exhaustion. It’s incredibly sensual, and has a well-documented reputation as an aphrodisiac.
Emma: If you had to choose just one product from your range, what would it be and why?
Lisa: It would have to be RASPBERRY ROSE Replenishing facial oil, because it can take my skin from season to season so effectively and has so many different benefits. It’s great for moisturising and evening out skin pigmentation, it’s protective due to its naturally occurring SPF derived from Raspberry seed CO2 extract, and has a great nutrient line-up to feed and replenish the skin. It’s light enough to apply in the morning and prime my skin for make-up, but similarly suited to my evening routine to replenish and soothe the skin.
Emma: What would be your desert island product or item?
Lisa: A good quality organic cold-pressed oil, such as Dragonfruit, Borage, Strawberry or Raspberry, and plenty of it! I could use it to cleanse, to moisturise from head to toe, and also for my thirsty curly hair.
Emma: What products would you love to add to the Inner Senses range in the future that you haven’t already got within your collections?
Lisa: A multipurpose balm that can be used to cleanse and moisturise would be nice, and a toner is definitely on the cards for 2021. I’m also working on ideas for a hydrating serum which I’d love to introduce to the range one day. Finally, a fragrance-free body oil as an addition to our Maternity and Baby range, something that can be used by new mums who are breastfeeding that’s safe and gentle enough for contact with baby
Emma: It sounds like there are exciting things in store for Inner Senses fans! Finally, if you were not working in the aromatherapy/beauty industry, what would you be doing now?
Lisa: I’d definitely be volunteering within a mental health service working with young adults (I’m a Psychology graduate and worked for a few years in the NHS) as it’s something close to my heart having experienced my own challenges as a teenager. As a job I’d be running a plant shop specialising in tropical plants. I love nurturing houseplants and medicinal plants, and I’d happily spend my days propagating new plant babies. I’m a proud crazy plant lady through and through!
Thanks Lisa for taking the time to feature on Meet the Maker, it has been great to find out a little more about you and your lovely Organic beauty and wellbeing brand. Be sure to follow Inner Senses on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with new launches, in-depth product information and amazing promotions. Don’t forget that you can also get a free trial sized product with any full-sized order over at www.innersenses.co.uk with the code EMMA by writing your preference in the comments box at the checkout.
If you’ve enjoyed this first installment of Meet the Maker, you haven’t got long to wait for another feature! I’ll be asking Vanessa, the founder of Ezape Naturals, some more questions about her personal natural beauty journey and the reasons why she started her own beauty brand.
Emma @ Beauty Folio x