By Sarah London: the latest ethical skincare brand who’s killing it
In conversation with by Sarah London’s founder
The beauty industry has become oversaturated with products and unrealistic beauty standards – often advertising miraculous creams that most of the times don’t do the trick. How often do you see a skincare product that you think might be the right one for you but have no clue on the ingredients? Well, that definitely happens to me really often and this is the reason behind Sarah’s idea to create a skincare label that’s 100% transparent on all the ingredients that they use. By Sarah London was founded last year and they have already established themselves as the ethical skincare brand pioneering upfront labelling. Since I love discovering new brands and looking into new ingredients I had to try the products myself. I have been using the face oil for a few weeks now and I can only recommend it. All the ingredients, which are natural and certified, are listed on the label – the oil has no added perfumes and has a natural smell (which I love!).
FAP: By Sarah was launched last year after Lauren’s recovery from leukemia. Why did you decide to start a cosmetic line?
Sarah: Lauren was recovering from leukaemia in 2012/2013 and I tried to find skincare that would help her sensitive skin. Many natural and organic ranges had long, cryptic ingredient lists and were not as transparent about the ingredients inside as they said they were. So I started sourcing the very finest quality, organic, cold-pressed, plant-based oils and hand-blended skincare at home! Lauren, our family and friends loved using them. The brand grew organically (pun, intended!) from there. Transparency of ingredients is central to our mission and since launching BY SARAH last November, we’re very proud to be bringing greater clarity, simplicity and transparency to the UK skincare market.
FAP: What ingredients do you use?
Sarah: We carefully source only the highest quality, organic, plant-based ingredients and ethically-sourced natural salts and clays – absolutely no hidden, artificial or synthetic ingredients. We provide a FULL ingredient list on the FRONT label of each of our skincare so you know exactly what you’re putting on your skin. We’re the first UK skincare brand to do this! Our vegan products are registered with The Vegan Society and all of our collection is certified as Cruelty Free with Cruelty Free International – look out for the logos on our products!
FAP: Where and how do you source them?
Sarah: We source our ingredients from around the world from carefully selected, ethical suppliers. The organic argan oil we use in our Organic Facial Oil is hand-gathered and cold-pressed from a cooperative of Berber women in Morocco, which ensures they’re paid a fair wage.
FAP: What has been the biggest challenge in setting up your own skincare company? Did you have any prior knowledge in the organic beauty field?
Sarah: I worked for over 10 years in the beauty and wellness industry on the branding and communications side. For as long as I can remember, I have always been interested in skin care and the health of the skin; researching and learning for years and developing bespoke skin care blends. I’m also a BABTAC-certified makeup artist, having worked backstage at London Fashion Week, and have a deep knowledge of skin types and how to look after our skin.
FAP: What do you think is the biggest challenge nowadays in the skincare industry?
Sarah: It’s an incredibly exciting time in the beauty and skincare industry: there is increasing awareness of ingredients and the often questionable ingredients found in many mainstream brands. There is a growing discontent and mistrust of some of the larger brands and consumers are looking for alternatives. It means that smaller brands, such as BY SARAH LONDON, have an increasingly important role to play in helping to educate on the importance of using organic, plant-based skincare. We’re thrilled to be creating award-winning, effective, organic skincare that empowers people and elevates their skincare regime to a holistic, self-care ritual.
FAP: You don’t use additives or preservatives. How do you make products last?
Sarah: We don’t use any hidden, artificial or synthetic ingredients – and we never will. For our oil-based blends, we use vitamin E as a highly-effective natural preservative; it helps the other ingredients hold on to their freshly-blended purity and active properties – it’s also key to our skin’s antioxidant defences and helps to protect against UV damage, because it absorbs free radicals. All of our products comply with European regulations and have been tested for their safety and stability by leading industry assessors.
FAP: What are the ingredients to avoid when buying new skincare?
Sarah: Anything artificial or synthetic! Nature has gifted us with everything we need. When you next look at a skincare label, watch out for – and avoid – two key ingredients, which are mineral oil or petroleum oil (often found in many mainstream lip balms) and parabens (a preservative added to many mainstream cleansers and moisturisers) both of which perform no function to support healthy skin and have been linked with many skin concerns, from skin sensitivities to causing allergies and even hormonal imbalance.
FAP: Are you planning to increase the amount of products you have?
Sarah: Absolutely! We launched last November with our capsule collection of our Organic Facial Oil, Organic Body Oil and Organic Lip Balm. Most recently we launched our Green Clay Cleansing Balm and Bath Salts. We have two more products to be released in the coming months! We have new products in the pipeline and we can’t wait to share them very soon.
FAP: As a beauty brand you are part of an industry that often promotes unhealthy and unrealistic beauty ideals and idolizes perfection. How do you position your brand and what is your take on inclusive beauty and body positivity?
Sarah: At BY SARAH LONDON, we believe in the power of organic, plant-based ingredients to feed your skin with the vitamins, minerals and omegas it needs to stay healthy. It’s not about aspiring to look a certain way, but rather to feel empowered in the knowledge that when you use our skincare, you know exactly what you’re putting on your skin and how it cares for your wellbeing. When using our skincare you are actively making a choice, opting in to the global ecosystem, to support our planet by using only the highest quality natural and organic ingredients. When we feel connected to something that is bigger than ourselves, it helps to keep things in perspective and encourages empathy. When using our skincare, which comes from such an honest place, it’s hard not to feel empowered, positive and glowing!
FAP: What is your next step for the company?
Sarah: We’re having an amazing time connecting with the wellness community and growing our brand awareness in the UK, Europe and U.S and will continue to do so! We’re excited to be launching new products this autumn as well as running a series of workshops and events, we love meeting with our supporters, followers and customers! Our dream is to be the destination for all your wellness lifestyle needs – watch this space!
Text: Margaux Lombard, August 26th 2018