16 Jun 2021 --- After celebrating its 2nd birthday, we caught up with Janet Hayward, Founder of Ipsum Skin to talk about all things luxury, organic skin care—and just where her inspiration for the brand’s range and future direction comes from.
Can you tell me about your inspiration behind Ipsum Skin? When did you launch?
I quietly launched Ipsum in Australia in January 2019, and then launched to the world at the Indie Beauty Expo in Berlin in March 2019.
The biggest inspiration to create Ipsum has to be the amazing opportunity I have had as a beauty journalist—both in the UK and in Australia—to meet very talented people who have conceptualized and produced their own brands. During interviews and press launches, I was fortunate to hear their inspiring stories—and meet green chemists and formulators—and from this, the passion grew to learn and understand more about the highly beneficial properties of natural and organic ingredients.
I am originally from the UK so learning the history behind Australian botanicals has really enhanced my appreciation of living in this unique country. It is quite remarkable that the Indigenous communities throughout Australia discovered and have experimented with our amazing and highly potent native plants as a food source and in healing and protection for thousands of years. Australian botanical ingredients really are tried and tested for efficacy! And there are more discoveries still being made as interest in our unique plants and their value in skin care formulations continues to grow.
What was missing from the mainstream skin care market that you sought to fill with Ipsum Skin?
Click to EnlargeJanet Hayward, Founder of Ipsum Skin. Source: Ipsum Skin.There are some lovely mainstream organic skin care brands around—however I felt there was space for a more luxuriously formulated and consciously produced organic range that offers the same high-quality experience in textures, aroma, performance and, above all results, that you would expect from a luxury brand.
What makes Ipsum Skin stand out in the skin care marketplace?
Ipsum products are created to offer a holistic experience with real benefits for the skin and also for the mind and soul. Our products are formulated with the highest quality, COSMOS organic-certified oils, esters and extracts from plants grown in their native habitat where they grow to the best advantage. Each formulation is supercharged with unique Australian botanicals.
In using only certified organic native plant oils, we can rely on the integrity and authenticity of the nutrient quality of each plant oil. Australian native plants have evolved with superpowers to survive the extremes of our climate and our environment, containing very high levels of antioxidants and phytonutrients that offer real benefits for our skin but also work on a deeper level with unique aromas that can affect mood and even help regulate sleep patterns.
Each product in the range is made from a blend of up to 23 different plant oils, including our body oils, which are formulated with facial-quality plant oils and AHA-rich Davidson plum. It is the synergy of the oils in each unique formulation that drives product efficacy.
What informed your decision to create skin care products for the luxury market?
I appreciate the holistic benefits of using a product that feels like a luxurious treat! Beautiful packaging with lovely formulations and textures that engage all the senses—and deliver the best results so you look and feel great! However, it was also necessary to ensure that the creation of Ipsum would have no negative impact on humans, animals or the environment.
Why did you choose to formulate with organic ingredients and native plant oils?
Integrity in quality, potency and efficacy, along with good ethical and sustainable practice are key factors in creating Ipsum. For this reason, I feel it is important to seek independent certification to assure myself, my customers and retailers. COSMOS organic certification is recognized globally for stringent regulatory controls throughout the entire process from where the seed is sourced and planted, to cultivation, harvest, transportation, method of extraction, manufacturing, microbiology testing and finally bottling and labeling. Audits occur every year for ingredients and for finished products.
What is your relationship with trends—would you say you are a trendsetter or do you closely monitor them to inform your skin care ranges?
Click to EnlargeThe Ipsum Skin range. Source: Ipsum Skin.I wouldn’t say I’m a trendsetter and I am not easily influenced by the latest ‘buzz’ ingredient!
I am more influenced by conversations and observations. Most often inspiration for a new product or ingredient will be sparked by a chance comment.
Has Ipsum Skin modified its marketing and sales strategy amid the pandemic? What have the results been?
Ipsum is still a very young brand and I am constantly looking and discovering new and alternative ways to market! Because we are so young, the pandemic actually allowed me more time to research new markets and as Ipsum is also EU and UK registered, I was able to secure great distribution in both territories. The pandemic certainly turned the focus on skin care and body care—and perhaps hair care too—which absolutely helped drive online sales.
How does Ipsum Skin hope to impact the skin care market, in both the short- and long-term?
I would love to think that Ipsum will play a part in helping to reinforce that organic brands have evolved with sophisticated, high-quality formulations that offer experience, benefits and results that are usually associated with heritage luxury brands. Perhaps the ‘new luxury’ that is consciously and sustainably produced for the best results for humans, animals and the environment?
What are you proudest of?
Actually making my dream of creating Ipsum a reality. To create a brand is quite hard work— and even though I have friends in the industry who are established brand owners, it is impossible to understand how much work goes into creating a product and releasing it into the market, before you are going through the process yourself. I still get a real buzz just looking at one of my products on a shelf! Being on the shelves of some of the world’s best fashion and beauty stores and being featured in the ultimate fashion and beauty magazines including Vogue Italia and Vogue Paris were heart-stopping, proud moments!!
How would you like to be known to skin care consumers?
As someone who is passionate and genuine about creating ethical, carefully considered, luxury organic formulations that will help them to achieve their best, most radiant skin.
By Natasha Spencer-Jolliffe, BPC Insights Senior Editor