Over the years I've been hearing a lot about natural skincare range Vanessa Megan - created with love in Sydney, Australia. But it was only recently that I actually tried the products for myself.
I opted to shake up my cleansing routine with the Lemon & Rosemary Exfoliating Cleanser, Rose Water Spray and N.E.O. Face Oil Serum.
Wow! The cleanser manages to soften and moisten skin while it purposely removes dry skin cells. The Rose Water is a fresh spritz the livens up the dermis and smells like a garden and I simply cannot fault the N.E.O. - my dehydrated skin soaked it up overnight and within days I noticed a more even skin tone and morning glow equivalent to a decent eight hours sleep. Something I rarely get!
Then entire range, created by former model and actress Vanessa Gray, is Australian Certified Organic, chemical-free, paraben-free and has no artificial preservatives, colours or fragrances.. in fact the range is free from all nasties and packed full of only natural goodness.
I was lucky enough to interview Vanessa, who excitingly just became a new mum, about the delightful range that promotes a worry-free routine.
Where did the idea for your brand Vanessa Megan stem from?
Vanessa Megan products were born from my best friend’s phrase: "You should never put anything on your skin that you wouldn't eat''.
Galvanized by this concept, I began investigating the ingredients in my bathroom cabinet and discovering skincare products laced with harmful and synthetic ingredients. I commenced a quest to find a chemical-free product that had all the regenerating and healing properties I was looking for. The search revealed a shortage of truly harmless natural skincare and so in 2001 I started formulating natural face products in my kitchen, studying the effects of various ingredients on my own skin.
My love of biochemistry resulted in the birth of my own natural skincare brand which I christened: ‘Vanessa Megan’ after the Greek translation of my first and middle name: Vanessa - ‘Butterfly’ and Megan - ‘Strong’
Did you experience some hiccups on your journey to becoming a skincare entrepreneur?
My goodness, yes! I have had many hiccups making products that were terrible when I first started, using oils that were awful, conditioners turning to goop... But when it’s come to the business side of things, I have been blessed with great mentors who have helped me build the business that I have today.
Has the range grown in line with your dreams? Where do you see its future?
The brand has grown beyond my wildest dreams. I mean this was a hobby, something I was going to do in between acting gigs, and now it has become a fully commercially operated business. I see the brand being exported to a few chosen countries, so we can keep the beauty of hand-made, artisan, certified organic products that everyone loves so much.
Why is natural skincare so important to you - what is the message you are hoping to spread?
When you start going down the rabbit hole of chemical ingredients and what they can potentially do to your body, you understand the importance of using only natural / organic ingredients on your skin. The skin is our largest organ and everything we put on it is a direct entry to our precious internal organs through our blood stream
My best friend who the entire brand was inspired by lost her life to cancer nine years ago. When receiving radiotherapy she was advised not to use any cream or oil products with mineral oils in them. This was enough for me to focus on all-natural ingredients.
Sean Penn has just produced and narrated a very provocative documentary called ‘The Human Experiment’, highlighting the effects of chemical products in our every day life and how they can harm the human body, reproduction, and potentially the neurology of our children. I urge anyone who is interested to watch this film. Naturally Home has brought the film into Australia and you can find out more about it here.
What are the benefits of the ingredients you use?
Not only are the ingredients we use in our products safe for the skin and body, the healing, longevity, anti-ageing benefits are seen almost instantly. We constantly receive emails from our customers in disbelief of how quickly they noticed improvement in the skin tone, elasticity, texture and overall appearance. Our Nature’s Elixir Oil (N.E.O) is our best selling product because of this reason. It is full of certified organic oils, vitamins and minerals like A,E,P,K and zinc. It really is a must for the beauty cabinet!
I’ve been using the exfoliating cleanser, rose spray and serum and am delighted with the results, the texture and the scent - what sort of differences should clients see from using your products compared to chemically enhanced beauty products?
As above, customers see instant results and have an instant dynamic with the product, scent and action of what they use. The benefits of using our certified organic products are on a deep level as the products are actually able to penetrate their healing properties deeper into the skins layers. Customers tell us they wear a lot less makeup since using our products, as their natural skin glow returns.
What are your best sellers?
Nature’s Elixir Oil N.E.O
Essential Blend Natural Perfume
Blood Orange Body Wash (Won Best Body Wash of 2013)
Resuscitate Eye Cream
Thank you, I just love being a mum! I always have used only natural products on my skin, but since (my daughter) Winter was born I feel even more strongly about her having only natural products and clothing against her precious skin.
I use our Baby Bath & Massage Oil every night, I use it in her bath and massage her when she gets out. When she gets older and dirtier I will use the Bubba Suds Bath Wash in her bath. I also use the Bum Bum Balm on her bottom and she hasn’t had any nappy rash since she was born. We also use the Bum Bum Balm on our five-year-old’s eczema which helps to reduce inflammation and the itch. I believe less is more, not only for my baby but for our adult skin also.
Do you live an organic lifestyle in general?
Yes we do. Before I met my fiancé, Grant, I ate really well, but I didn’t have the time (or I thought I didn’t) to eat as organically as I could have. When we moved in together he guided our family unit to local organic produce, and I guided it on the cleaning product side of things.
We shop at our local farmer’s market on Saturdays in Bondi where we buy locally made yoghurt, locally produced meat and veggies. Mid-week we have two local organic shops we buy from and our local butcher sells only grass-fed meat. My stepson who is five has allergies to gluten and dairy, so we have to be mindful of what we cook for him also, which inspires new recipes and cooking. I have to urge people who are on a budget, that organic shopping does not have to be expensive and it tastes 10 times better.