- How did your brand come to be?
SM: I have always had a passion for healthy living in every aspect, and when I was faced with issues of allergies in my daughter, I became focussed on better quality, cleaner suncare that doesn’t force people to choose between efficacy and pleasure. In 2017, our Company decided to develop a line of mineral sunscreens because clean SPF’s that people like to use is a rarity!
- What sparked the idea?
SM: My daughter has contact dermatitis and allergies that force her to spend hours trying personal care products that don’t make her break out in a rash or worse. Be part of the solution I’ve always said!
- What was the process like to develop a line of mineral sunscreens for sensitive skin?
SM: Difficult. Even now it is an iterative process of learning what ingredients provide the texture of a product that people want to use. Mineral sunscreens are a challenge because using Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide as ingredients is a necessity and counteracting the whiteness aspect is the key.
- Why was it so important for you that the products you create are eco-friendly, fragrance-free and contain no chemicals?
SM: What we do now will be judged in hindsight in the years to come, and I believe future generations will be horrified to look back at the chemicals that we put in our system, whether through our food, or absorbed through our skin. Chemical sun filters are already under suspicion and many will ultimately be banned I believe in the future.
5. What are some of the challenges you face as a Canadian creator of a mineral-sunscreen line for sensitive skin?
SM: Market size is the biggest challenge in terms of making a product that people still see as seasonal even though it should be a daily use product!
- What are the benefits between chemical verses mineral sunscreens?
SM: You can achieve the same efficacy with a mineral sunscreen without worrying about any of the risks associated with chemical sun filters. So why not switch?
- Is it hard to formulate products that are natural?
SM: Definitely, because unlike lab generated chemicals, naturally derived ingredients are constantly changing in colour, texture, scent, and viscosity to some extent. So replicating the same formulations over and over with naturally derived ingredients is challenging.
- What steps is LASPA taking to help reduce its carbon footprint in the beauty industry?
SM: We run a facility that believes in re-use, recycle, and this extends to our packaging as much as possible. We are also creating new ways for people to buy refills for their products instead of buying a new container every time. Stay tuned!
- What inspires you to create or introduce a new product into the collection, i.e., LASPA Glycolic Acid Peel?
SM: My father taught us to leave a positive imprint on the world. In some small way, I am trying to leave mine.
- What is the timeline from when you decide to create a product to the product development process and the final Health-Canada approved product ready to launch?
SM: This is typically a 2 year process.
- What females have impacted your decision to keep creating clean natural premium beauty products?
SM: Originally my mother, who was always looking for better solutions in products, and in everything. But now it’s all my co-female entrepreneur friends that keep me focussed and I learn so much from their experiences.
- What are your best eco-friendly beauty tips?
SM: I keep my beauty routine as simple as possible. I avoid mass consumerism by sticking to quality products that may be more expensive but last a long time and have long lasting effects. Obviously, you know what my favourite brand for that would be? Mine.
- If stranded on a desert island, what is the one thing you could not live without?
SM: Am I allowed to say pizza??;) In the beauty sense, it would definitely be the SPF50 Sun Stick….portable, waterproof and powerful protection!
- Any advice you have for female entrepreneurs like yourself who want to break into the beauty industry?
SM: Learn from your customers, and don’t be afraid to pivot and adapt to what your customers are telling you.