Our guest on Clean Chat this week is the fabulous Flora, founder of Selia & Co. Selia & Co produces products that nourish your skin using ingredients in their purest and most potent forms. There are no signs of harsh chemicals, artificial preservatives, parabens or sulphates, because as Flora says, your skin deserves better than that.
Flora started working on clean skincare products four years ago and officially launched Selia & Co last year. She was uniquely inspired by her two biggest passions; skincare and tea. Cleansing and moisturising our skin is considered daily maintenance and for most using face masks would be considered something extra. However, Flora’s family have always emphasised the importance of masking and the abilities it has to treat your skin. They even have a family tradition of masking together every week!
Flora’s other passion is tea and its wonderful properties such as being filled with nutrients and antioxidants. Flora decided that she wanted to harness these properties in their most potent form so we can get the full benefits of its ingredients. Therefore, she created a range of face masks, each focusing on a different tea and each benefiting our skin in different ways. The Peppermint Green Tea Mask, for example, is a brightening mask which specifically targets dark spots and blemishes (along with having a divine and relaxing scent). Her other masks are the healing Lavender and Black Tea Mask and the exfoliating Rose and Rooibos Tea Mask.
Another product from Selia & Co that I was really curious about was the Jasmine Green Tea Facial Steam. When I asked Flora, she opened my eyes to a whole new masking routine that I cant wait to try. Flora recommends that to get the most benefit from using your face masks and to help your skin absorb the formula, you should steam your face first! It really detoxes your skin and opens up your pores in preparation for applying the mask.
Finally in this episode, Flora chats through her advice to fellow clean beauty founders, or anyone who is thinking about starting their own business. She says, despite the taboo in our culture, don’t be afraid to make mistakes because thats when you will learn the most. Also, for any venture that you undertake, make sure its your passion. Along with the good times, there will always be tough ones and being super passionate about what your doing will get you through them.
Thanks again to Flora for being our guest on Clean Chat this week. I cant wait to try the new products you have coming out soon! 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:Alright, hi there and welcome to Clean Chat. Today we have on Flora from Selia & Co. Selia & Co’s products are as pure as they come and they use mother natures best resources to enhance your beauty and help without the compromise. The unlock the power of natural ingredients in their rawest form, working together with healing attributes of tea and clay to leave you with healthier and happier skin. So I’m so very excited to hear from Flora, so thank you Flora for coming on the show today. Can you tell us a little about your background and why you started Selia & Co?
Flora: Sure so, Selia& Co, the reason why I started it is just to follow two of my biggest passions. One of them is skincare as when I was young, the importance of masking is really big in my family. You know realising aside from the day to day maintenance, like moisturising, but the abilities of skin treatment and masking is huge so we actually do it as a family on a weekly basis.
Flora:And then my other passion is tea and growing up tea has a lot of, you know, as everyone knows a lot of powerful antioxidants and it strong in nutrients. However I don’t feel as though I have seen any skin products out there that are potent in the concentration for the skin to benefit from it. It mostly consists of a dilution and you really don’t get the full benefit of the ingredients. So that’s why I started the line which combines two of my passions; masking and tea.
Raquel:Awesome okay. So when did you transition to living a vegan, cleaner lifestyle?
Flora:The transition is continuous I feel because as we adapt into more products or lifestyle changes then we try to find more ways to do it. For me, I started noticing ingredients, harmful ingredients in commercial products about 5 years ago. I payed more attention to the label and ingredients lists, and get a little bit more frightened, because its just the potential harm is could cause your body, no one should put that on their skin at all, or use it. So I think for me I have transitioned more towards natural oils for cleansing purposes and moisturising, just because there’s just more pure and less dilution to it. But the transition is continuous though.
Raquel:Everyday yes, I feel like everyday I learn something new. And also there’s some products that you want to transition to but they don’t really have good options available, so I yeh.
Flora: Yeh I mean it’s a constant testing, you have to test something for a few weeks before its absolutely in your routine, so the continuous exploration.
Raquel: Yeh definitely. And so why is it important, I noticed that your brand is vegan, why is it important for you to start a vegan clean beauty brand?
Flora: So we are huge animal lovers and personally I think that animal based products doesn’t mean the ingredients are superior than plant passed products. You can get the same results if you really learn about the ingredients and give it time to shine basically. So I don’t think she should sacrifice anything that is a living being for our benefit. I don’t think that is right.
Raquel:Definitely. And so where does the name Selia & Co come from?
Flora: Ahm I love Greek Mythology and I actually named the company after Selina Goddess of the Moon.
Raquel: Ahh okay.
Flora: So Selia is actually a variation of Selina that name just stuck with me so I named the company after it.
Raquel: Awesome. So when did you start the company?
Flora:Its quite the journey. I started the company about fours years ago, but I didn’t, I was working a job at the time, so it was a continuous learning process for me. But I didn’t launch until last year because
Flora:Yeh I didn’t launch until last year because of various things. I wasn’t quite happy with certain formulations and testing. And I just wanted to make sure it was perfect before I launched it. So my first line that I pushed out was 3 masks – I focused on green tea, black tea and rooibos tea.
Raquel: Green tea, black tea and rooibos tea.
Raquel:And how are they different, you know what are they meant to do for your skin?
Flora: So the first mask which is the peppermint green tea, which is our brightening mask. That really targets the softening of the dark spots and blemishes. So we use really minimal ingredients. Each product only has four ingredients, so each ingredient really has its time to shine. You’ll really get the benefit of it without any dilution. So the next mask is the lavender black tea mask which is our healing mask. The lavender naturally disinfects the pores to prevent further breakout but it also deep cleanses the pores as well its actually our finest formula.
Raquel: Wow okay. And then the rooibos. I never say that name right. Rooibos?
Raquel: Oh is that how you say it? (laughter)
Flora:Well in the United States they say rooibos, but if you go to another place, you know its like tomato tomato.
Raquel:(laughter) I’ve made it up. I always see if I call it rooibos. Okay so.
Flora:So our rose and rooibos tea mask is actually our exfoliating mask. Rooibos tea has a natural dosage of alpha hydroxy acid which gently softens the dead skins cells and gently removes them for you without the abrasive scrubbing. And we also have organic rosehip there in the formula as well which is a non toxic version of Vitamin C. Its boosting and restoring for the skin.
Raquel: Nice. And you also have, what I find really interesting and am curious about is the jasmine tea facial steam. So what does that do for your skin and what are the components of that product?
Flora:So we actually get a lot of feedback from our customers and you know when I meet them in person they always ask me what should I do before a mask. So I always tell them, you know the best step to do is to really steam your face. To open up your pores, to really get the last bit of residue that maybe your cleanser missed and to purge your impurities before you put your mask on. So the green tea facial steam is actually the best way to detox, but it is also very hydrating with all the botanicals in there. So it has roses, lavender, calendula, camomile and orange peel as well. So it really helps boost the glow and boost the blood circulation to the skin. And right after you are done with the facial steam, then you move on with the mask which really helps your skin absorb the formula more.
Raquel:Right so its cleanse, make sure everything is out. And then you said detox with this steamer and it helps to make sure all the impurities are out and then put on the mask.
Flora: Yes correct.
Raquel:And then after that moisturise?
Flora: yeh afterwards we suggest you tone, use your toner and then moisturise.
Raquel: Nice okay. And so what are the, you kind of mentioned this before, but what are your favourite ingredients in these masks?
Flora:Well the tea itself. I think it’s the combination and thoughtfulness we out into the botanicals to combine it with. So for example the peppermint green tea formula, aside from just softening dark spots and targeting blemishes, the peppermint itself also helps to control excessive oil production for your skin so a lot of the tea masks actually have dual purposes aside from just blemishes or brightening. Because we are working with natural ingredients there’s never one benefit for one thing.
Flora: So we always have, its like a multi benefit that you have.
Raquel:No it looks beautiful. And I am definitely going to try them. Definitely this green tea facial steam. And is this just, and this is just a question I have now from just talking to you about it. There are benefits to drinking tea, but obviously using the tea on your skin instead of drinking it has different benefits or is it just kind of similar? Is that a stupid question?
Flora: Oh not that’s not a stupid question. Well there are always ways to, I guess in the Chinese culture there’s always ways to say when you in take something there is a external absorption and an internal absorption. Because when you intake something on your skin you absorb differently, yeh you absorb differently. Yeh so that’s the concept we have in mind. So when your drinking it certainly detoxes your internal, you know it rids any internal toxins that you have. But when you apply it on your external, you know on your skin, then your skin gets detoxed as well.
Raquel:That’s awesome. Okay and my next question is so what is your best beauty tip?
Flora:Stay hydrated. Drink water but not just plain water. You know put some lemon in it and infuse it with fruits and some nutrients. Your body will absorb it better. Secondly, the next tip I have is SPF.
Flora: It’s a must must must. And some people say a lower SPF, not saying go as high as 50 if your not going to go out, but maybe 15 or 20.
Raquel:Definitely. And what is your most popular Selia & Co skincare product and why?
Flora:Ahm my most popular right now is actually the peppermint green tea. One, is smells divine (laughter). We don’t use any artificial fragrances nor essential oils in it so its really dependent on the tea and the botanical for the aromatherapy and the relaxing sensation of it. So our peppermint green tea mask is the most popular. And its actually gentle on all skin types, it’s the mildest mildest mask.
Raquel:And how often should you be masking?
Flora:I would say at least 1-2 times a week. Just because you want to see a gradual improvement. You know week after week.
Raquel: Okay so I don’t mask enough. Okay and so you mentioned to you had this idea four years ago and you launched a year ago. Any words of advice for someone wanting to start a clean beauty brand. Is there anything you would have done differently?
Flora: I would have to say that don’t be afraid to make mistakes. It’s a journey you know, that’s how we learn. I think we grow up in a culture where mistakes are so taboo that we don’t really learn from it or think about why we make the mistake. I think also just giving it time to listen to customers, you might be able to avoid most of the mistakes too.
Flora:Yeh listen to your customers and don’t be afraid to make the mistakes and also make sure its really something you want to do. I have been asked this question several times and I always say, you now, make sure its your passion because in the long run, I mean with anything there is rough patches and smooth patches, and your passion will take you through the rough patches.
Raquel: Yeh definitely. I agree with you. So what so you see are the next steps for Selia & Co?
Flora:I’m going to have our new products launching later this month and next month. Yes so we are actually, aside from tea, we are going to extend into a little bit the ingredients in Chinese culture. We have our own in house infusions coming out in August.
Flora: Yeh so were very excited about that. And aside from that in a couple of weeks we are also going to be in CosmoProf in Vegas, we are excited to see and meet everyone.
Raquel:Very exciting. I cant wait to see the new products, the ones you have already are lovely. Where can people get a hold of your products or reach you if they wanted to?
Flora: So we are online right now. We have an online store. If you’re on the local market, please pay attention to our stockist list because we are working really hard to grow it. And we are also available in international markets right now. We are in Canada, were in Tasmania, Australia and Hong Kong. And we are actually seeing a lot of growth in Hong Kong so Asian customers stay tuned.
Raquel: Awesome, awesome. Okay well thank you so much Flora for coming on the show today. Its been so nice to hear about your brand and I’m excited to see where it goes.
Flora: Thank you.
Raquel: Yeh like I said we look forward to watching you grow. So thank you everyone to the Clean Chat and have a great day. Viva clean beauty.
Raquel:Thanks for listening to Clean Chat everyone. Don’t forget to rate us on iTunes. Chat soon and viva clean beauty.