When I first laid eyes on the black glass jars and bottles that form the external signature look for luxury chemical-free skincare brand, Sodashi, it was love at first sight. I may not yet have experienced these products in one of the ultra luxe, five-star resorts, at which they are incorporated into divine treatments (this is, however, on my bucket list!), but it does feel like a spa in my bathroom whenever I open a jar at home.
Anyway, you don’t have to take my word for it. This Western Australian-based beauty brand this week won Spa PALMES Best Spa Cosmetics Award at the International Luxury Spa Summit 2010 in Cannes. I heard the news via Twitter (of course) and pinned down founder Megan Larsen for an interview.
Can you us a pocket history of your involvement with organic skincare? In 1996 I began developing chemical-free skin care products because I couldn’t find any effective natural products for my skin – my skin is very sensitive. In 1999 I launched the Sodashi range. Since then I have developed over 150 products, all uniquely chemical-free and over 80% organic. It is really important to me when I am developing products to use the purest ingredients available, and organic where possible.
Was your vision always to create a luxury organic skincare range? Why?
My vision was always to create effective skincare products that deliver results. I had tried many natural skincare ranges, and while they were lovely to use I did not personally see great results. I wanted to create a range that was really worth investing the time in using and would provide real anti-ageing benefits.
What was the market response when you first started Sodashi?
I was a bit overwhelmed actually. Word of mouth really spread and was (and still remains) our strongest marketing tool that helped Sodashi establish itself within the global luxury spa market within two years.
What set Sodashi apart from the rest then?
We were the first completely chemical-free spa exclusive skin care range for the spa industry that, most importantly, delivered results. People who try the Sodashi product see such a great improvement in their skin that they take great delight in spreading the word.
What sets it apart now?
We have remained true to producing only the highest quality products that give absolutely the best results. We also provide our customers with a holistic approach to skin care – the philosophy behind our brand and our products promotes internal health and wellbeing.
Why should women (and men!) embrace organic skincare?
More and more consumers are experiencing sensitivities to synthetic chemicals and are seeking chemical-free alternatives. Increasingly, people are questioning ingredients such as parabens, GMOs (genetically modified organisms), petrochemicals, triclosan and phthalates in their skin care products and are becoming increasingly aware that around 60 percent of what is applied to the skin is absorbed into the bloodstream.
Sodashi is stocked in some of the most exclusive spas around the world. Do you have a favourite that you like to return to over and over again? It’s hard to pick a favourite as we are stocked in so many amazing properties! The award winning Spa at Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris is heavenly and I always make sure I visit when I’m in Europe. I also love what Emirates is doing at Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, the first carboNZero©™ certified hotel in the world. Last month I holidayed at the beautiful Four Seasons Kuda Huraa in the Maldives – where I enjoyed some Sodashi treatments!
Where do you get your inspiration to grow the Sodashi brand and range?
Since I’m dedicated to only developing effective chemical free skin care much of my inspiration comes from my passion and personal commitment to wellbeing. I believe in a holistic approach to wellbeing, I meditate daily, watch my diet, drink plenty of water, take time to relax and exercise regularly. I have spent over 15 years studying the effects of essential oils in skincare and love to create the best possible synergies with these essential oils. So much of what I have learnt and discovered has been through the product formulations I have created and observing the results from these continues to inspire me.
How do you decide on new products to develop?
I listen closely to the feedback from our customers and spa clients and am constantly seeking to improve our range and treatment offer. Sodashi just launched a breakthrough anti-ageing treatment to rival the most luxurious formulations – Samadara Ultimate Age-Defying Crème – which is already hugely successful in Paris and we are now also getting a great response Australia and other markets. We’ve also just launched a new gentle Face Polish for exfoliation and an amazing Eye Mask (see below for my review).
What’s next on the Sodashi horizon?
We’ll be expanding the super-luxe Samadara range to include a serum and eye crème in 2011. And at Sodashi, we continually look to push the boundaries to create effective skin care products and therapies that exceed expectations.
What I’ve been trialling AND loving
1. Sodashi Face Polish$104.80. This is a super gentle exfoliant that incorporates hydrogenerated jojoba beads that are beautifully rounded and not at all harsh on your face. White and yellow clay cleanses and brightens up a dull skin tone as does the lemon. Your face is also left freshened by orange and rosemary. I’ve been using twice a week for a month and my skin is thanking me for it. Big time.
2. Sodashi Eye Mask$123.50. At this time of year, my eyes need all the help they can get. This is a gem of a product. So luxe and smooth going on, eveloping the delicate eye area with a nourishing blend of oils (macadamia, apricot kernel, sweet almond, jojoba and rosehip) with the power of organic damask rose, lavender and Roman chamomile. Immediately afterwards the eye area is less puffy and rejuvenated. And this effect lasts for days.
What about the cost?
There are a lot of products out there costing just as much as Sodashi – and more. What I’ve experienced is that the quality of these products is SO great, that just a little is needed with each application to be effective. You pay more initially but they go a long way. Like Megan, I too, have super sensitive skin (I can’t even cope with zinc on a daily basis), so knowing that these have been developed with skin sensitivities in mind, I feel safe trialling them.
If you’d like to know more, head to www.sodashi.com … or check yourself into one of those spas!