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Ipsum Skin Founder Janet Hayward On Starting A Brand And The Power Of Plants

Janet Hayward, Founder of Ipsum Skin, shares her passion and dedication for sourcing the purest, most potent natural ingredients from around the world to create her high performance, certified organic skincare range.

The culmination of over 25 years learning and writing about the best in beauty across the UK and Australia is what led Janet Hayward to create Ipsum Skin, a certified organic face and body care line that works to harness the power of pure, native plant oils. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀


Working in beauty media and co-founding the industry website, afforded Janet the opportunity to meet and interview cosmetic chemists, brand founders and botanists. The experience informed Janet's idea for Ipsum, as well as her all-natural beauty ethos as communicated in her books "Organic Beauty", "Lemons Are A Girl's Best Friend" and "Pretty as a Peach”.


Having worked in the beauty industry for over 25 years, what inspired you to create and formulate your own natural skincare range?

After being in the world of beauty journalism for over 25 years, I realised I had accumulated a lot of knowledge about skin care and ingredients from all the inspiring beauty brands that I have been fortunate to meet and work alongside.

I have also been a strong advocate for natural, clean beauty since I was a young teenager, whipping up egg and honey face masks in the family kitchen! So this, plus the fact that my desert island beauty product would be, without question, a face oil, seemed to be pointing me in the direction of starting my own range of carefully formulated, nutrient-dense, organic products. I concepted the range and researched the ingredients and packaging over a three year period prior to launching – and although it really is hard work navigating all the different aspects of creating a range, it is without doubt, a labour of passion!

Byron Bay Beach
Ipsum Skin, produced in the pure and beautiful hinterland of Byron Bay, Australia

You recently had a high profile celebrity share her beauty routine on instagram and your Lip Oil Balm was featured, we would love to hear the details.

This is one of those moments that you think only happen in movies! I thought I had reached peak accolade when Ipsum was selected and ranged in the New York and Dallas studios of supreme skin-whisperer Joanna Czech. But then just a couple of months ago, I had a heart-stopping moment when friends called me at 7am to check my Instagram feed. Not only had Joanna Czech recommended Ipsum Lip Oil Balm, but one of her many celebrity clients, Kim Kardashian, actually posted it as part of her skin care routine. A huge thrill as you can imagine...and a proud moment that a tiny Australian brand has made it onto the Czech List and KK's dressing table!!

What makes plant oils and extracts so effective in skincare?

Plant oils have been used throughout history for their medicinal and healing qualities because of their extraordinary ability to work with our skin and our general health. They are easily absorbed and naturally contain a complex array of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, polyphenols and essential fatty acids, which are invaluable in naturally enriching, rejuvenating, fortifying and protecting skin. Ipsum uses superior quality, sustainably-sourced, pure and organic oils, esters and waxes which are carefully extracted only from plants grown and harvested in their native habitat - including unique Australian botanicals - to ensure the integrity of benefits to skin.


Tell us about some of your favourite native ingredients and how they benefit the skin?

My favourite native ingredients at the moment are definitely the Australian native plant oils and extracts because of their supercharged benefits. The power of Australian natives is mainly attributed to the fact that our native plants have evolved over time to withstand such extremes in our climate and environment.

Both Kakadu Plum and Davidson Plum are perhaps most well-known because of their high levels of antioxidants which help protect against free-radical damage and environmental pollution and also help stimulate cell regeneration, collagen production and encourage skin elasticity. Kadadu Plum is literally turbocharged, with more than 50 times the amount of Vitamin C of an orange so it is a great ingredient to reduce pigmentation and brighten skin tone. I have used this in the complex formulation of Ipsum Best Skin Enriching Face Oil.

Davidson Plum contains powerful phyto-active compounds to smooth skin and deliver real radiance-boosting benefits - one of the reasons why I included in the two different formulations of Ipsum Best Skin Body Oil Patchouli Rose and Ipsum Best Skin Body Oil Vetiver Citrus. Less well-known is Australian Lilly Pilly which is a rich source of both vitamin C and fruit acids and is also anti-inflammatory so its natural skin repairing and rejuvenating properties for all skin types are quite remarkable.

This is part of the formulation of Ipsum Best Skin Face Oil Intense Treatment - which also includes Fragonia, from Western Australia. This is a unique plant oil and a relatively new discovery. It’s such a gentle, calming and balancing oil but with potent and real holistic benefits for skin, mind and the respiratory system. It has great antibacterial, anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties to help keep the respiratory system clear and it also helps minimise the symptoms of emotional unrest, sleeplessness and even jet-lag by helping to maintain the balance of the body’s own melatonin production, which in turn regulates the circadian rhythm. Quite miraculous!


I imagine there would be many variables when sourcing and formulating with natural and botanical ingredients, as nature can be so unpredictable. What are some of the issues you may have from season to season and year to year? How does this affect the formulation and consistency of your products?

There are challenges in producing any beauty line but when creating a clean, organic range, the temperament of Mother Nature can pose additional stumbling blocks! Ipsum is made with organic plant oils, waxes and esters so if a harvest fails, or inclement weather spoils the crop, it can potentially affect the available supply chain for a particular ingredient and/or dramatically increase the price.

As Ipsum is still a new brand (we launched in January 2019) so far I have not encountered any issues with short supply of any ingredients - however natural disasters like the Australian bushfires at the end of last year will certainly have an affect in the future. Similarly, if you want to include a specific plant oil to amplify a blend but are unable to trace the provenance of an ingredient, then it cannot be authentically included in a clean, certified organic product.


The Green Edit Event March 2020


It is important to me that I can assure my customers of the integrity of each formulation therefore Ipsum is created under strict regulatory conditions to achieve the globally-recognised COSMOS organic certification. For this, each ingredient must be pure, natural, safe and traceable to demonstrate respect for the biodiversity of the environment in which it is cultivated without the use of chemicals. It is also essential there is no negative impact on environmental and human health when it is harvested, transported and extracted. Even the blending and bottling process must be carried out to COSMOS standards – many manufacturers are not prepared to undergo this type of scrutiny. This all takes time, a lot of effort and a lot of paperwork! Then of course, finding packaging that not only offers protection for delicate and light-sensitive organic ingredients but is also recyclable and looks really amazing too…I could continue the list!

Your Ipsum Best Skin Cleansing Oil Balm and Ipsum Lip Oil Balm have reached cult status not only in the green beauty world, but also in mainstream beauty circles. The texture of these two products is so unique, they perform flawlessly and have quickly become The Green Edit favourites. What makes these products so special?

The textures of both products are feather-light and they are formulated to literally melt into the skin. It took quite a few attempts to capture this texture and experience but I wanted the products to react to the warmth of the skin and to feel nurturing and nourishing.

The Cleansing Oil Balm is great for all skin types because of the soft texture and the gentle, but hardworking ingredients.The Lip Oil Balm is a treatment balm that sinks into the lips to eliminate any trace of flakiness but then continues to heal, nourish and protect lips without any trace of stickiness.


Finally, I’d love to hear how the range came to be called Ipsum Skin?

Ipsum is a latin word, I love it’s meaning but also the fact that it is a reference to my former life as a journalist and author. Lorem ipsum is ‘dummy’ text that is used in publishing as replacement text used when designing the page of a magazine, newspaper or book - the journalist or author then writes enough ‘real’ text to fit into the space. On it’s own however, the latin word ‘Ipsum’ can mean ‘very,’ ’essential’ or ‘yourself’.



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