In part 2 of this post Janet Hayward tells us how her fabulous face and body oil Ipsum went from dream to real …..
LG: It is such a huge Industry cosmetics, beauty and health
JH: It is huge – and it touches everyone’s lives. I went to a real foodie dinner party with a neighbour who was a lecturer and helped students with their masters…. among the guests there was a high court judge and a prominent engineer, a real mix of professional people at this dinner. But the conversation was “what shower gel should I be using ? Is this moisturiser really worth it” Even though the conversation turned to food with each course, it kept coming back to what products should I be using? I’ve worked in a lot of different areas in journalism but it’s beauty that people want to know about and it’s such a dynamic industry, it is constantly changing.
I love ingredients. The science behind why ingredients work is what I find interesting and it is constantly changing. Having said that, I have a very limited number of products that I use myself. In fact, I have never been a really groomed person – less is always more for my style
LG: So you did beautydirectory.com.au and it obviously became very successful.
JH: It was and it will turn 20 this year. Four years ago in 2015, we were approached by Bauer Media as they had already bought ACP magazines but were looking to acquire digital-based media to add to their portfolio. Our company had also launched a consumer version of beautydirectory.com.au – beautyheaven.com.au – a pioneering review site that had also become tremendously successful. Both were healthy businesses that had a proven record in the market in terms of longevity and reputation and were therefore attractive to Bauer.
JH: We were contractually obliged to stay with the company for the first year following the acquisition, but as I was very hands on with business, they made it easy for me to stay a while longer and so I stayed for four years until last August. After that time, it was easy to remember why I choose not to work for a big corporation – I am not that great at following rules and systems! I was also desperate to spend time finalising my own products. Over the years I’d had the benefit of working with so many fantastic people in Australia who have started their own brand and have been really successful and I’ve had the opportunity to sit and chat with them and interview them and become really good friends with people personally …. I’d admitted my passion for natural and organic ingredients – especially the properties of native plant oils and then one day, a very dear friend said to me “What are you waiting for, just do it!” So although I left Bauer and beautydirectory.com.au in August in 2018, I had been seriously researching native plant oils and uncovering the oils that I loved best for their incredible potency and benefits over the previous two years. Interestingly the company who is manufacturing my range in Byron, I’ve known the owner for 19 years because he’s a Cosmos organic certified manufacturer and has his own product range and I used to liaise with him for our site! It’s funny how things come around. It is important to me that my products are Cosmos Certified Organic because it’s the only certification that is recognised in most countries in the world.
LG: Why did you decide to go Oils ?
JH: Because I’ve always had very dry skin and if the oils are correctly balanced, they absorb instantly to deeply nourish and hydrate skin. When I was about fourteen I walked into the Body Shop in Brighton (UK) and I picked up a little bottle of wheatgerm oil and I said “can I put this on my skin”? and they said “yeah we sell it you can put it on your skin” … so I used it and my skin just soaked it in, it was fantastic. Wheatgerm oil is really good for your skin, it’s a rich source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant to help reduce skin damage and assist healthy collagen formation in addition to other important vitamins and fatty acids to nourish skin. From that time on, friends and colleagues used to talk about the latest and greatest brands they used, I secretly kept a little bottle of wheatgerm oil.
But the reason I love oils is because they are lipophilic, which is, when you put them on your skin they penetrate the dermal layers. You can feel it when you gently massage Ipsum into your face or your body , it delivers all the nutrients very deeply into your skin and traps in water for hydration – and in doing this it also blocks anything else getting in like toxins.
Oils are really great for everyone to use, because depending on the blends you can help your skin to rebalance. Even if your skin is really oily you can actually clarify congestion and rebalance your body’s own oil production by using specific oils. For oily skin, the worst thing you can do is dry it out with products because then it triggers oil overproduction So what I’m trying to do with the Ipsum Skin range is help you rebalance your skin so you no longer have to feel like you have dry or oily skin. Having said that I don’t want necessarily prescribe one over the other because they both have different benefits you just need to use the one that will suit you most.
LG: I think that’s brilliant
JH: I do believe that less is more because I never have any time. I traditionally would use an oil after cleansing my face – a tip – always use a creamy cleanser never a gel or a foaming one as they strip the face of it’s natural oils. I’ve got a product that will help with that coming out later this year. Your aim is to get rid of debris from the surface of your skin and then the oils are a wonder product that will actually help draw out impurities as they deliver nutrients into the skin .
LG: How old are you now?
JH: I’m 57
LG: So Ipsum is your next move ?
JH: It is
When you google the translation of Ipsum the result is ‘very’, ‘essential’ or ‘of itself’ and this makes sense to me for my brand because I use essential oils and plant oils for best skin and the products are Ipsum Best Skin Face Oil and Ipsum Best Skin Body Oil.
The link from my journalist past to what I’m doing now is that in the 20 odd years I worked as a journalist in beauty and having the business of Beautydirectory and then starting Ipsum Skin, over those 25 years I met and spoke to so many people in the world of beauty that had started their own brands or were chemists or cosmetic formulators who knew ingredients inside out and I was fortunate enough to gain knowledge and insight into what makes a really good product. I also had access to a great deal of feedback from consumers via product reviews on the beautyheaven site about what they liked and don’t like in products. This amount of information is invaluable and also put me in a really good position to create my own range.
LG: Plus you had all this insider knowledge
JH: Yes it’s the insider knowledge that gave me the courage to say you know what, I do know what I’m talking about! It’s really bizarre because as women you automatically think am I really good enough can I really do this? I think as I get older if I don’t do it I’ll never know so I have to have a go at this … the worst thing that can happen is I’ll have a shed full of beautiful oils that I can use for the rest of my life, or give away as gifts and that’s not a bad thing.
LG: You already had the imprint of having started something and it be successful.
JH: But again that was a bit of leaping into the unknown. I was a journalist, my business partner was in PR so there were things we knew about and the idea of marrying them together was a leap of faith, mostly because no-one was using the internet, and neither of us had any IT knowledge at all. What it boils down to is that if you have a passion for something, if something really sets you on fire and you love doing it …. If something ignites that passion inside you then I think you have to do it. Your belief will keep you going through the more mundane aspects of the project that you might have to deal with or learn along the way.
LG: Well isn’t it learning to trust your gut about these things ?
JH: I think you do know. I don’t have any financial acumen at all, in fact the joy of starting Ipsum was … I can have the label I like I can have the sort of bottle I like but that has encouraged me to learn about the financial stuff … things like, you know if I want to charge this much for this oil and keep if affordable, then I can’t really put it in bespoke crystal glass bottles.
LG: Yes I understand, because you have kept the oil at a very good price point.
JH: I like to think that. They are Cosmos organic Certified and therefore have to be grown and harvested to meet the highest quality criteria. I’m lucky I have a manufacturer who respects all that. I think it’s important for it to be affordable. It really shouldn’t be that hard or costly to be able to look after your skin, because if you look after your skin it can go hand in hand with looking after the rest of your health. I’m very much a ‘clean and green’ person in most aspects of my life, my book “Lemons are a Girl’s best Friend“ looks at the importance of eating seasonally and locally to optimise your health.
LG: This is your Sensibility, maybe that’s not the right word?
JH: No, it is the right word. I’d love to understand the reasons why we do things, why human beings do things in a certain way and it often seems we’ve forgotten basic things. You hear old wives’ tales then you research them and you realise ‘oh they are right, what my grandma said was true’, but we have learned to forget them or just laugh them off as quaint anecdotes. I was a child of the 60’s and I think oh my god … my poor mum because we ate all those convenience foods with all those flavourings, colours and preservatives. I think from a really early age I’ve always been interested in going back to basics. I grew up in a small village in England and loved cooking and reading about history and nature. So when other kids were hanging out shopping or going to discos in the larger towns, I was at home making scones or hanging out with horses …. It’s a similar way of looking at my passion for native plant oils. My skin care routine is very simple and I would much rather use the balanced potencies of beautiful plant oils to nourish my skin naturally and to give me my best skin.
It is a sensibility you know - why can’t we look after the planet? I love the fact that trees can communicate with each other through their root system so it’s like why are we putting chemicals on our skin ?
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