Q&A Session with seoulful_star Instagram Blogger - Jan 2019
Q: Tell us the inspiration behind the name Lime and Lilac? What inspired you to create your own skincare brand?
A: Firstly, I’d like to say a big thank you for asking me to join this venture, it’s a fabulous idea and the perfect opportunity for readers to get to know a brand. I feel very honored. I will aim to keep my answers as brief as possible so as not to bore you all, but be warned, I have a tendency to waffle!
My intention was to be as spontaneous as possible when choosing a brand name……….of which it was! It took a matter of minutes! I take a great deal of inspiration from nature and my ability to quickly recognise different scents (my olfactory receptors are always in a heightened state - a blessing and a curse) and a keen eye for natural beauty were huge influencing factors. This is where Lime and Lilac was born; two contrasting colours and aromas.
I have always been a self-confessed beauty enthusiast and my journey into skincare started many, many moons ago. My inspiration to create my own range grew out of frustration to find the “perfect” skincare line for my often-temperamental skin. I do prefer a more natural approach and product consistency is key. I’ve always shied away from anything heavy or occlusive; I find light, hydrating/nourishing textures more desirable.
Q: Tell us your background before Lime and Lilac?
A: It was quite the polar opposite…… although I did spend many years mixing materials as a Dental Nurse! I was very fortunate to work with some of the most supportive dentists, who were more than happy to answer my barrage of questions; I have an inquisitive mind and love learning from others. I feel we should never stop learning. My employers knew dentistry wasn’t where my passion lay and that I had no inclination to progress in the industry (its terribly stressful, Zarah will tell you) but they encouraged me to push forwards to find my niche; of which I will be forever grateful.
Q: Do you have a background in formulating? Have you taken courses in formulation?
A: I took a number of accredited skincare courses (essential oil profiling, body/facial oils, cleansers, facial exfoliators, toners) these courses further fuelled my obsession with skincare and I immediately knew my passion would turn into a business. The courses did give me a basic understanding of ingredients and formulating but I feel the majority of my knowledge was gained by idling away hours researching oils and decoding INCI lists - my happy place!
Q: Essential oils are a controversial topic. Lime and Lilac does use EO’s, what are your thoughts about them?
A: I do feel essential oils have been demonised over the years, especially by companies that don’t use them but I feel there’s room for everyone in this industry and consumers now have such a wealth of knowledge that they can pick and choose ingredients/products that work best for their skin. Essential oils have been successfully used by the ancient Egyptians and many more after their reign…… including me! I’ve used them in my skincare since my late teens.
Nature harnesses some of the most potent, powerful ingredients; many of which need to be understood and respected. All actives (including lactic acid, glycolic acid etc) require a gentle hand, too much can cause irritation and sensitivity especially on a compromised skin barrier - yet the correct percentage will hugely benefit; encouraging the skin to function at its optimum.
Q: What is your process as a formulator, how long can this generally take and tell us about sourcing ingredients, what is your thought process when coming up with a product?
A: There are many evolving stages of formulating:
(1) Researching ingredients/what works in synergy/ what skin types/ formulating percentages
(2) Receiving said ingredients/scrapping all previous ideas (is this just me?) disliking oil consistencies and aromas! Ordering more oils and reformulating.
I can typically have between 12-15 test formulas at one time. Each is rated on texture, aroma and result. One test bottle will be eliminated at a time, until only two of the best remain. Obviously only one will cut it. This procedure can take many, many months and when the finalised product is ready, it is put through a stability test before being sent off for a Cosmetic Product Safety Report.
There are many UK suppliers, ranging from budget to costly. I source many of my ingredients from what I feel is the best - NHR Organic Oils. NHR have searched the world over for the purest and highest quality of certified organic oils and were founded over 14 years ago. As my face oil is a “leave on” product I felt it was important to source the highest quality oils. The better the oil, the better therapeutic and nurturing effects it will have on the skin.
My thought process when thinking about my next product is simply considering what I enjoy using on my skin. I love putting my own twist on a product, giving it the Lime and Lilac uniqueness :)
Q: You’re passionate about oils. Can we all benefit from using oils, regardless of skin type and why, what are your favourite ones to formulate with?
A: Yes definitely, there is an oil for every skin type, from super lightweight, high linoleic acid/non pore clogging oils to heavier oils that will comfort the driest of skins. I will be as brief as possible with my explanation. As an example, most that suffer with oily, spot prone skin have a tendency of being deficient in linoleic acid, therefore using oils rich in linoleic such as prickly pear creates balance. Oiler skin contains more oleic acid, making the sebum thicker, more abundant and stickier which leads to blockages and breakouts.
My favourite oils are high in linoleic, such as safflower, prickly pear, melon seed, passionflower, hemp and cucumber etc but I do like to add an oil that will deeply nourish like jojoba or argan. This way you get the best of both worlds.
Q: You always look so radiant, would you share with us your current skincare routine?
A: Thank you ever so much Zarah (I promise I didn’t pay for this question!). I really believe radiant skin is not solely down to skincare but what comes from within. Doing what makes you happy, whether it be getting plenty of fresh air, exercising, a good book, mindfulness or doing something that generally makes you content can really lift the spirits and I feel has a hugely positive effect on how you and others perceive you.
For me, consistency is key. I’m currently using my own emulsifying cleansing oil to remove makeup and daily grime in the evenings, followed by a beautiful retinol I recently discovered by a brand called Ishtar. They create treatment strength products using natural skin-friendly ingredients. Once this has been absorbed I add several drops of Lime and Lilac Light face oil to nourish and seal. In the morning I will gently cleanse, apply my oil and top with my preferred SPF. I do weekly treatments using salicylic acid, followed by a hydrating mask.
Q: What do you love most about what you do and what are some of the challenges encounter?
A: This is easy for me…….. the customers. I seriously have some of the best customers a girl could wish for. They’re loyal, understanding, so kind and they generally make everything worth it. The biggest and most daunting challenge for me was launching on Instagram. Before I undertook my skincare courses I was a beauty blogger and was apprehensive that many fellow bloggers would doubt my capabilities. Admittedly, it was a nerve-racking time, however slowly but surely my business started to take off. I think believing in your own products 100% pushes you through any obstacles.
Q: Apart from skincare, what are your other interests? I know you are a huge gym enthusiast.
A: Visiting new and exciting countries, my beloved animals, the gym and general exercise, gardening and last but not least, being mindful of my surroundings while out walking, there's so much beauty to be seen!
Q: What is your vision for Lime and Lilac in the future and will you share with us any upcoming product launches?
A: OK, let me think…….. I’d like Lime and Lilac to remain a small capsule skincare range that is accessible to everyone without compromising on ingredients. I don’t want to add anything too complicated or unnecessary. To have a collection that benefits and supports the skins natural function. To always put my customers first.
Ahh yes, I will be launching an emulsifying cleansing oil in the very near future and I’m currently working/researching on a pretty spectacular toner.
Thank you so much for reading and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask