While Lauren was recovering from leukaemia, her sister Sarah realised it was really hard to find beauty products that would nourish her skin, as even natural brands often include unnecessary additives within their formulas. I’ve previously spoken on the importance of formulas for green beauty, which you can see here.
That’s when Sarah decided to slowly set up her own brand, that clearly displays the product ingredients on the front of each product. They are actually the only brand in the UK that do this and are really focusing on the transparency of their products, and how as consumers we can be mindful of what we put on our skin.
The brand was officially launched in November 2017, after Lauren made a full recovery, and joined her sister in this exciting venture. Read on for the thoughts and plans behind By Sarah London, as told by Sarah.
Fani: By Sarah London started in 2012 with Lauren’s recovery from leukaemia – was the brand an idea that you had for a while or was it more of an ‘aha’ moment?
Sarah: Skincare has always been my passion – from making skincare at home to hosting skincare birthday parties and even presentations about skin at school; it’s just my thing! The catalyst moment to really take my childhood hobby more seriously was definitely Lauren’s recovery from leukaemia.
What are both your backgrounds like and have they helped the process of having an independent beauty brand?
I worked in the industry for almost 10 years, at Estée Lauder, L’Oréal and Unilever so I have an intimate understanding of the market, and Lauren started her career as a lawyer. It’s a real blessing that we have complimentary skill sets and both know each other’s strengths and weaknesses so well.
Your labels display the product ingredients on the front, why did you make that decision that sets you apart?
I saw there was a gap for greater transparency and authenticity in skincare. Detailing a full ingredient list on the front label empowers you with the knowledge you know exactly what you’re putting on your skin – you shouldn’t have to guess or feel confused when caring for your skin.
When you started the brand, what’s the one piece of advice that proved the most helpful?
Show up every day! Building a business is hard work, even when you love what you do! Showing up every day even if it’s not 100% of what you had set out to achieve is enough.
Would you do something differently now?
It’s a dream come true to be able to share my skincare blends and help people feel empowered with our skincare collection – and even better that I get to share the journey with Lauren.
If you had to pick just one product from your line what would it be?
For sentimental reasons it would have to be the Organic Facial Oil as that’s the first blend I created to help soothe Lauren’s sensitive skin following many months of treatment for leukaemia.
Where do you get inspiration from in order to develop new products? Are trends important to you?
The brand started from such a personal place and it will continue to do so as we grow. I think about what products I would like to use and if there is a real need for them – there is so much excess, that creating products that enhance and are complementary to the existing range is very important.
How important is the packaging and the materials used in your collection?
Sustainability is a core part of our brand. We use glass jars and bottles, with no outer packaging for our products and no plastic. We use recycled and recyclable paper and cardboard for our delivery boxes. And we always encourage our customers to upcycle their jars and bottles after use!
Your products are made in the UK, where are they developed and how involved are you in the process?
Our collection is hand made in small batches in West Sussex. We are very involved in the process so we have full control of the sourcing, manufacturing, and distribution. Our vegan products are registered with The Vegan Society and the entire collection is certified cruelty free with the Leaping Bunny logo too.
What’s your favourite skincare ingredient and why? We use organic moringa in our Green Clay Face Mask – it’s our zero waste ingredient! Known as the ‘miracle tree’, all parts of the moringa plant including the bark, roots, leaves, flowers, seeds, sap and pods are a storehouse of nutrients and antioxidants.
What do you think will become important in the coming months in terms of beauty and skincare?
Transparency and authenticity of ingredients, sustainability, and brands.
Can you give me your top tips on making the transition to clean beauty and the easy swaps someone can make today?
Switch your cleanser and moisturising product for our Green Clay Cleansing Balm and Organic Facial Oil – two products that can be used by both men and women, all skin types and all ages.
Images courtesy of the brand