Tuesday, 07 August 2018

Skyn ICELAND: Behind the Brand

Skyn ICELAND has fast become a firm favourite at Face the Future. We love the Icelandic complex of natural, replenishing and skin fortifying nutrients and wanted to get to know the brand a little better. We spoke with Skyn ICELAND founder, Sarah Kugelman

After her own experience with chronic stress in 2003, leading to a critical stay in hospital, Sarah had her wake-up call. Her newfound focus on health and wellness led her to Iceland. Whilst visiting this peaceful and pristine environment with unspoiled and mineral-rich waters, Sarah discovered her inspiration (and ingredients!) for Skyn ICELAND.

Q: Skyn ICELAND is all about the connection between stress and skin, and the impact they can have on one another. What is your method for managing and relieving stress?

For me, it has to be a holistic approach: 8 hours of sleep a night, a healthy and nutrient rich diet, 64 ounces of water (1.8l) a day, a good exercise program and BREATHING!It's simple things that really help me alleviate stress on a day to day basis and it's how I take care of the inside that shows on the outside. When I slip into a period of extreme stress, I know I have to kick things into gear by getting more sleep, eating better, exercising and making time for a massage!Sleep is essential because when you get less, that's when you get sick. As far as eating goes, I try and cut out refined sugar and white flour, load up on Omega rich foods (like salmon and avocado) to decrease internal inflammation. Also on my list is foods that pack a big nutritional punch: lots of berries (antioxidants), sweet potatoes (magnesium), broccoli (vitamin B complex) and vitamin D (I take it as a supplement).Sometimes, I literally get home, turn the lights down, light a candle, slip into a hot bubble bath with a hot herbal tea and then go straight to bedit's amazing what that can do to reduce my stress level.

Q: For those suffering with stressed out skin, which Skyn ICELAND products would you recommend they start with?

Q: There is such a huge demand for natural skincare and many options available. What makes Skyn ICELAND different?

In addition to being the only skincare line predicated on Solutions for Stressed Skin, the fact that our key ingredients are sourced from Iceland, is what makes skyn ICELAND truly unique. I went to Iceland on vacation with my sister while I was developing skyn ICELAND and I was truly overwhelmed by the natural beauty of the country and inspired by the clean, fresh, raw natural lifestyle there.Everyone there has amazing skin! So I started researching why and learning more about the environment. I discovered that the waters are very special there. Any Icelander will tell you it takes hundreds of years for the waters to go through a natural filtration process which involves melting ice cascading down the mountains, filtering through inert layers of lava rock and picking up minerals from the volcanic bedrock as it trickles first into the ground and then to naturally occurring underground reservoirs.Icelandic water has some of the lowest total dissolved solids due to this natural filtration process and, it contains 6 essential minerals (which happen to be incredible for balancing and hydrating skin). This is why we import it, and it's in every single one of our products as the key component in our Icelandic Complex.The Icelandic Complex is our propriety natural blend that replenishes the nutrients that stress depletes. It's what sets skyn ICELAND apart and makes our products hyper potent and truly efficacious. Also included in this complex are Arctic cloudberry and cranberry seed oils - "super fruits of the Arctic", which are rich in Omega fatty acids, vitamins and potent antioxidants.Lastly, we included a liposomal oxygen in the complex which has been used for wound healing in hospitals and really fortifies, energises and recharges skin to give it a glow. All of the ingredients work specifically to address the various symptoms of stressed skin as well.

Q: Without giving away any new products on the horizon (!) what would be your ultimate product that you'd love to create and launch with Skyn ICELAND?

I can't give away all of my secrets! But for sure it's products that do more, transform more, make life easier and continue to delight. In skincare we are constantly pushing the boundaries of cosmetics and drugs, we can't claim to change the structure of skin and yet the ingredients and technologies we use are literally changing the way our skin behaves.The future is about finding better ways to improve the texture, tone and health of skin while also taking to new levels, the reversing of what stress (internal and environmental) and age do to our skin.

Q: With your incredible track record in the beauty industry (Sarah started one of the original beauty sites, gloss.com and sold it to Estée Lauder) did you always know you'd want to start your own skincare line eventually?

I've always been obsessed with my skin. Since the time I was a young child, I always focused on and cared for my skin. When I went through my 'illness' I noticed that it all played out on my skin and that made me even more stressed?! It was a bad, self-perpetuating cycle. I also thought about how people are more likely to buy/use a solution that fulfills their vanity than meets their health needs. So, I felt like a skincare line that addressed stress was a new idea, a solution based business (for a growing need) and an area I knew something about.I am an artistic/creative person at heart, so for me coming up with an idea and starting a company is really like birthing a child. I HAD TO create skyn ICELAND, there was no other way for me. I was consumed with the idea of starting this business and had a vision for it I had to fulfill. Once I got it out into the world, I was able to take a long, deep breath. It is the most gratifying thing on earth, other than having a real baby!

Q: Of all the amazing ingredients sourced in Iceland, how did you choose which natural blends to use and include in the formulas?

The Icelandic culture fascinates me! From my first trip 15 years ago, to the visits I have made since, I am constantly amazed and inspired by how Icelanders experience incredible longevity and vibrant, healthy skin. The people have learned to live off the land and maximise the benefits of its pure, unspoiled natural resources.In Iceland, everything there grows more slowly due to climate and soil, so the chemical makeup of these plants is different than anywhere else. For centuries (literally, as Icelanders have been there for 1200 years), people survived by eating the plants and using them as medicine. There is a great deal of folklore and remedy that has been passed from generation to generation in terms of using botanicals for medicine and also DIY skincare. So exploring these ingredients for my brand just made sense.It was important to me that my customers feel the connection with Iceland that I did. My travels to the thermal baths were the inspiration for our Icelandic Glacial Water, which has a pH of 8.88 and can help your body maintain a healthy pH level by reducing acidity and restoring balance. The more I explored Iceland, the more unique and potent botanicals I would come across from volcanic soil, to immune-boosting angelica archangelica, antioxidant powered berries and soothing algaes.So how do we choose which natural blends to include? The answer is simple. We strive to source the most natural and efficacious ingredients that will soothe, stabilise and re-energise the skin, bringing it back to a peaceful, healthy, more relaxed state.

Q: What would be your one desert island/can't live without Skyn ICELAND product?

For me it's the Pure Cloud Cream. It's a beautiful formula that literally gives joy to peopleit's scented with a touch of natural grapefruit extract and it smells divine. It's just pure pampering in a jar!To find out more about Skyn ICELAND shop online now or speak to our skincare experts 0113 282 7744.Written for you by: Alex, Face the Future & questions answered by Sarah Kugelman, Skyn ICELAND

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