This week on Clean Chat we talk to Melissa Chartan, founder of Planted Skincare. Having had skin problems when she was a teenager, Melissa did some research into the moisturisers she was so regularly putting on her skin. Finding that although offering instant relief, some of the ingredients in these moisturisers were contributing to lasting damage of the skins natural function. Therefore, she began making her own skincare products, safe in the knowledge that what she was putting on her skin was 100% natural. Planted Skincare was born as a natural progression from making these products for herself and wider group of friends.
Although this natural next step into starting your own business isn’t always available to other founders out there, one of Melissa’s words of advice to others was to never feel like your taking a huge leap into the complete unknown. Always try and feel confident about your decisions and take your time. Also, you know what your strengths are, so try not to spend your time on too many other aspects of running a business when you could do with a little help from someone else.
What we really loved about Planted Skincare is that they cater to all ages, skin types and genders. As Melissa mentioned, the beauty industry is prone to persuading consumers that they need an endless list of different products, each suited to different skin types or needed to solve a different problem. Planted however, is here to make things simple for the consumer. Whether you have dry eczema prone skin or oily skin, Melissa’s products work wonders.
In this episode, Melissa also gives away one of her top beauty tips. Whenever she can, Melissa massages her eye area with her ring fingers. She swears by it to stimulate circulation, drain fluid build up and reduce puffiness. We know we will be giving that a go!
A big thank you to Melissa for sharing your story on Clean Chat this week. Now onto the show! Listen to the full episode below, on iTunes, or check out the transcript…
Raquel:Hi there and welcome to Clean Chat! I’m the host Raquel Wing, founder of The Clean Hub. Every Thursday we help to grow the clean and natural beauty industry by interviewing key experts, founders and influencers so that people can make informed decisions. Check us out at thecleanhub.com to learn more! Now onto the Clean Chat podcast…
Raquel:Hi there again everyone. Today we have the fabulous Melissa Chartan, from of Planted Skincare. So Planted Skincare uses only 100% all natural ingredients in their products and we are very excited to hear more from Melissa. So can you tell us your story and why you started Planted Skincare?
Melissa:Yeh sure, thank you for having me!
Melissa: It felt quite a natural progression to be honest to bring my products to market because by that time I had already been making them for myself and my friends and my friends friends so it was quite organic in a sense. But I initially started making products for myself when I was about a teenager and I suffered some skin problems. I had a bit of eczema and psoriasis and something called chronic itching which is just horrible. But basically,
Raquel: Yeh it sounds horrible.
Melissa:Yeh. And when your young you don’t realise necessarily what’s going on, but I was using so many different moisturisers. I was moisturising up to three times a day and my friends used to make fun of me that I was carrying my moisturiser with me where ever I went and moisturising my whole body. And then I realised, why is my skin so dry even though I am moisturising this much? And it forced me to look into the ingredients in the products that I was using and that’s where I got to know some of the harmful side effects, you know, some of the ingredients are there to offer instant relief but actually in the long run they are making your skin more dry and inhibiting your skins natural function. So that’s where I started using plant oils and it sort of went from there really.
Raquel:And so, like, you had a little bit more knowledge of the beauty industry because you worked with in that.
Melissa: Yeh, before I started Planted I was a freelance makeup artist. I was already making my own product on the side and it was something I always had in interest in. But I was predominantly working as a makeup artist and that really obviously, I really got to know the beauty industry through working and I realised it’s a really over marketing industry which really led me to and shaped my brand as it is today. Its very simple and just an easy option for people really without having to, you know, the beauty industry persuades us we need to have a eye cream and a cuticle cream and you know all these different sorts of things which I don’t really believe in.
Raquel: Yes I like that, its minimalistic, making sure you only have what you need. And also all your products are gender neutral.
Melissa:Yeh I wanted to be inclusive for everybody, for all genders, ages and skin types.
Raquel:Awesome! And can you tell us a little bit about your different products?
Melissa: Yeh we’ve got four different products at the moment. I’ve got a Nutrient Rich Face Cream, a Oil Cleanser with Black Cumin and Raw Honey, and a Circulation Boosting Orange Coffee Scrub and a Shea and Coco Body Butter.
Raquel: Nice, awesome. So which are your favourite ingredients to use?
Melissa:My favourite ingredients is such a difficult question because there are so many different ingredients out there that have all sorts of different properties. I guess its sort of like asking a nutritionist what’s the most healthiest food (laughter). So its about being varied I believe. But I don’t think I could choose a favourite ingredient to be honest. We’ve got 11 different oils in our face cream and we’ve got 14 different oils in our oil cleanser so we really make sure we use and get the benefit of all the different plant products out there.
Raquel:Did it take a long time to source those and to figure out what, because you said you have 11 ingredients or 11 oils, what was the process for figuring that out?
Melissa: Yeh, finding reliable suppliers is definitely a big chunk of you know the time I was spending refining the formula before I went live. Firstly finding a supplier that shares the same values as you, and doesn’t source from anyone with animal testing and of course someone that’s not just going to disappear and have everything discontinued. And also finding out all the ins and outs of the ingredients, they don’t always list how it has been extracted or dried or whatever so you have to communicate with them a lot and wait for them to reply and all of that. It was a bit of a head aches but once you’ve got your suppliers your set really.
Raquel:And when did you say you started Planted Skincare?
Melissa:We only launched a year ago.
Raquel:Oh awesome, okay. And how long were you planning or working on this? How many years is that process.
Melissa: Ahm it took me two years from when I decided I wanted to go to the market with my products. I already had the products I was using for myself and friends. But it took me two years to refine all the formula’s and get them tested. Yeh my lifestyle was able to be very flexible around this. I was living at home so I didn’t really have any outgoings, so I was really able to put my money into it.
Raquel:What is your most popular Planted Skincare product and why?
Melissa:So our most popular is the Nutrient Rich Face Cream. It’s a personal favourite one as well. So why, I think just because its so hard to find a face cream that really works well for you and gives results. I think because I worked so hard to formulate something for all different skin types, you know, I have customers that have very dry skin with eczema and I also have customers with very oily skin and acne and they all sear by it. So that’s what, I think it stimulates a loyal following and a regular purchase I guess that’s why its most popular.
Raquel:so can you tell us a few of the ingredients in there that you think are the most potent part of the cream?
Melissa:I think it is more of a combination and blend that I worked on. So because I have been using oils since I was a teenager it gave me time to really appreciate the different properties in all of them and I made sure we have with our blend we have the full range of all of the fatty acids and vitamin minerals and essential nutrients and I think it just allows, it provides everything your skin needs to be at its best. So its not a particular ingredient. But the ingredient with the highest quantity is Rose Water.
Raquel: Oh okay.
Melissa: Yeh and I think that’s really important because most creams when you look on the ingredients you’ll see the first ingredient is Aqua. And water is incorrect PH for our skin, so using Rose Water, the hydrosol, its automatically PH balanced at 5.5 which is what our skin needs to create our protective barrier and keep our pores nice and closed, and I think that’s a key factor in the effects people are seeing.
Raquel:Awesome, I’ve heard about Rose Water. I didn’t know that water versus Rose Water they were different PH’s. But Rose Water sounds like, is it made from actual, I know I’m going to sound really dumb now, but is it made from accrual Rose petals?
Melissa: Yeh the petals are steam distilled and the evaporated water is harnessed and contains the essential oil of the rose in the water.
Raquel:Oh okay wow. And is it hard to find a manufacturer for that?
Melissa:It depends on your standards really. As long as its organic and steam distilled there are lots of different suppliers out there. But some of them will have a higher potency than others, so you’ve got to be vigilant with your testing of it to make sure they are consistent with it.
Raquel:There’s just so much due-diligence involved, just outside of deciding what ingredients you want to use but also who you want to source from. Its kind of,
Melissa: Yeh that’s so true.
Raquel:So you have your trusted ingredients and your trusted sources’. So can you tell me what’s your best beauty tip for people?
Melissa:Oh most recently something that I have discovered, and I have got really curly and frizzing hair that is prone to dryness so there is tutorials all over the place for flaxseed gel. That has been a complete game changer for me.
Raquel:Flaxseed gel? Okay.
Melissa: Yeh, its really easy to make and its really good for your hair and its just a really great styling product for curly hair.
Raquel: Ohh okay.
Melissa:But something I recommend to everyone is quite easy and simple to do is an eye massage with your ring fingers. You place them on the inside of the bridge of your nose and sort of work around the surrounding bone of your eye. And that really help stimulate circulation which drains any fluid or blood that has collected there. So its really good for reducing eye bags and puffiness. You know sometimes you wake up in the morning and your eyes are,
Raquel:Yeh I’m just looking at myself now and I’m like yeh
Melissa: It just works so instantly for reducing puffiness. And its good for the actual eye bags as well.
Raquel:And how often do you do that?
Melissa:When ever I can. If I’m not wearing makeup and as long as I’m not pushing makeup into my pores, I’ll just do it on the bus or where ever.
Raquel: Yeh no that’s such a good idea. Actually I watched a video of a woman who I think she was, it was a Youtube video, she was older, I want to say 70, her face looked just like so young for her age you know. And she said that everyday or I think its even twice a day she drains her, what are they called?
Melissa: Her Lymphatic veins.
Raquel:Exactly. And she has a process that she does throughout her face and it help to create circulation and drains the Lymph Nodes yes. Yeh so. I think I’m just to lazy to do it. I mean I could do this every once in a while but just to remember to do this three minute process everyday. It changes your face people is what I’m trying to say.
Melissa: It really does. And it will help you sleep and its so relaxing. I always do it in the evening with the oil cleanser.
Raquel:Oh that’s a good idea actually. When your washing your face.
Melissa: Yeh as long as its not a product that drags the skin, you don’t want to be pulling it around. As long as its slick.
Raquel: Ah right, yeh that’s a good idea – do it all at once, that’s ideal for me (laughter). And you stared Planted about a year ago, I’m sure your not, for every company I’ve talked to there’s always things that you learned and things you wished you would have know. Is there any advice you would give to anyone starting a beauty business?
Melissa:Advice wise, I guess I think having a business is a very personal thing. So every business is going to be a different experience, personally the way I started felt really right for me. It felt like the right time, it felt like a small step because I already had quite a lot in place. You know I was already passionate about reading and researching so it felt natural for me. So I don’t know if that would be important for everybody, but I personally wouldn’t want to feel like I was leaping into the darkness and the unknow. I like to feel sure about my decisions. Things that I learned from, I think its really easy to take on too much when your starting out and saying yes to everything. Then you realise your not doing, your doing a bit of everything and your not doing one thing that thoroughly. So I’ve sort of reigned everything back in and I’ve taken a new direction where I’m just going to take a minimal approach I guess so I can really do things at a more comfortable pace.
Raquel:Yeh so like take your time and don’t feel pressured into doing all these different things, but focus on kind of why you stared your brand and what your brand means.
Melissa:Exactly. Juts keep going back to what your doing it for and the direction of your brand because you know, I know about formulating and creating skincare products, but things like marketing and website management and maintenance was really all a new ball game for me so its really easy to end up doing too many things that actually isn’t worth your time. And when you start a business, you realise how many other businesses are targeting business. So I received so many emails and targeted adds, you know, contacting you as if this is the next best thing and its really easy to get caught up with all these webinars and trying to learn this that and the other. Whereas actually if you just focus on what’s important for you, then the rest should follow.
Raquel:Yeh definitely. That’s really good advice. There’s just so much information out there. And so what are the next steps for Planted.
Melissa: So next steps are to continue to focus on the growth in the UK and also Europe as well. We recently expanded to Europe and a few other countries. And yeh I wanted to grow our European community.
Raquel:Awesome, that sounds great! Well if we can help you in anyway let us know. I’m so excited to have you on. Where can people get a hold of your products?
Melissa: So we sell it all directly on our website plantedskincare.com its all free shipping for the UK.
Raquel:Awesome. And check out their Instagram, its just @PlantedSkincare. So definitely check out their Instagram as well and I’m going to have to try this product with the Rose Water (laughter). Awesome well thank you very much for coming on the show today Melissa. And thanks to all the listeners, viva clean beauty guys, bye.
Raquel: Thanks for listening to Clean Chat everyone. Don’t forget to rate us on iTunes. Chat soon and viva clean beauty!