This week we are super excited to have our Cuppa With Joanna, the Founder of Elan Skincare. The industry is buzzing (did you read the article in The Guardian last week?) and this inspiring woman has much to bring to the beauty table. From serums to body butters, she has created an ethical, transparent brand of natural and vegan skincare with a sound scientific background. Elan is all about well-being, elegance, and style. It is about beauty inside out (remember we have a gift with purchase right now too worth £38! Click here to find out more).
Firstly, how do you take your tea?
Which one? (LOL) I am a tea lover with probably over 20 different teas in my cupboard. Earl Grey, green tea, mint, chamomile, cistus, linden tree, lotus flower, rooibos.
Tell us a bit about your background, who you are and what you represent:
My name is Joanna Silva, and I am the founder of Elan Skincare. I live in Greenwich, London, with my husband and our two children. I launched Elan Skincare in 2017 after the birth of my second child. I felt there was a gap in the market and wanted to create luxury skincare focused on elevating, empowering, and nourishing women. After years of working for the medical industry, focusing on skin and wound care, I felt well placed to use my skills and experience to develop a skincare line to tackle specific skin conditions, address anti-ageing concerns, prevent pre-mature ageing and bring the glow back.
What was the inspiration for you to set up the brand?
Elan Skincare is equally inspired by nature as it is by science. The inspiration for the design comes from art. Right from the start, I wanted to create a luxurious natural brand that would be elegant, light, and very feminine. After all, the word Elan means distinctive style and elegance. But my biggest inspiration behind Elan Skincare was and is my daughter.
What's the science behind natural skincare?
To me, some natural formulations are overly simplistic. For example, almond or apricot oil blended with lavender, geranium, or other conventional essential oils. There is very little science behind such formulations. I believe you need to combine clinically proven actives with plant-based ingredients to achieve synergy and efficacy. Especially mature skin needs a bit more, hyaluronic acid, vitamins A, B, C, and E. The pure oil will not be enough.
I also recognise that more and more people complain about sensitive skin; therefore, half of our range is fragrance-free. We also use plant extracts instead of essential oils to fragrance our products. All our products are dermatologically tested, including on people with sensitive skin.
How do you source your ingredients?
I pay a lot of attention to who we choose as our suppliers. I want to know where the ingredients are coming from, whether they are sourced sustainably and ethically. We source our ingredients from all parts of the world. To give you an example, vitamin C is sourced from Japan, our organic, soil-association certified shea butter comes from West Africa, while Macadamia oil comes from Australia. I regularly attend all the cosmetics shows and learn about new innovative botanical ingredients. We work closely with all our suppliers who often update us on newly launched actives. There is so much innovation happening in natural skincare, and I am always in the lab experimenting with new ingredients.
How have you been staying motivated during this difficult time?
In the early days of the Coronavirus lockdown, I felt unwell and sick with worry. I think we all experienced some level of anxiety. I did not, however, succumb to despair. I kept working from home while looking after my children. I focused on keeping in touch and being there for our customers, as well as continued working on the new range. I love product creation, so I do not need any extra motivation to work. I often work seven days a week, early mornings, and late nights, working around my children. I love what I do, and I love making women feel good in their skin. I hope my range reflects that love and care for women and their wellbeing. Indeed the messages we receive from our customers are telling me the range is making the difference. Nothing motivates you more than a thank you note from your customer.
What does self-care mean to you?
To me, self- care means finding time to look after my body and mind. We women are so busy with our jobs, households, and people we look after. Work is never-ending, and we often don’t have the luxury of free time. So I appreciate things that make my life easier, make me feel better, or help me look my best. Small rituals, whether it is a 5-minute face massage, dry brushing, or applying a body scrub when I shower. I love a long soak in the bath and pampering myself with Elan Skincare. Sheer luxury!
What's next for Elan Skincare?
I aim to build a woman-led, independent skincare brand that is trusted and loved in the UK and beyond. Our following has grown organically by word of mouth and repeat purchase; to me; this is more important than paying for expensive promotions and celebrity endorsements. I create products for beautiful, conscious, and intelligent women. I celebrate womanhood and femininity in all of its forms.
We are now preparing to launch two amazing products in September and continue to expand our collaborations with like-minded partners. The future for Elan Skincare is exciting!