Oilixia is a clean beauty brand that introduces consumers to rare botanical oils and extracts that have been carefully curated from exotic places all over the globe. We had the pleasure of speaking with Oilixia’s founder, Alexandra Jansons, about how her world travels inspired her line. The products are a true reflection of an avid world traveller with a clear goal to create amazing natural and clean beauty products that are not hurting the environment, but rather nurturing it – as well as incredibly practical for every day life or travel.
While developing the brand, Alexandra made sure that the line was easy to travel with and could multitask. Having travelled to over 50 countries herself, Alexandra knew how important it was to have a minimalistic, but comprehensive approach to beauty. Alexandra even thought about the fact that the gummy cleanser had to be efficient and wipe clean, so that there was no gunk left on a towel after using the product in case someone needed to pack the towel in a suitcase. Oh and her best travel tip – multitask. You can use the gummy cleanser as a cleanser, a mask, and an exfoliator.
Alexandra also discusses the importance of sustainability. She mentions, “clean beauty is moving in a way in which products go beyond just being natural”. Natural beauty founders need to take a look at how their products are sourced, and owe it to the customer to be transparent. Following the sustainability note, Oilixia only uses packaging when needed and have completely moved away from plastic packaging.
Let’s talk beauty. Oilixia’s products start with the Explorer Blend Facial Oil, which is a blend of 21 potent oils that are packed with exotic ingredients sourced from around the world to brighten and tone the skin. Next is the Amazonian Cacay Facial oil. Sounds fab because it is fab. Cacay oil has over three times the amount of retinol of Rosehip oil and much more Vitamin E and Vitamin F than Argan Oil! Last but not least is the Gummy Cleanser, which is as awesome as it sounds. This product features Kakadu Plum Extract, which is abundant in Vitamin C and Phenolic Acid, so it works like a charm to exfoliate and brighten the skin.
That is not all. Alexandra has some top tips for those that are looking to start a clean beauty or natural beauty brand. You can check out a few of those tips here:
- Be authentic. People like to buy from people.
- Launch a few products, test the market, and reiterate from there
- Don’t be afraid to start out small!
We talk about all things beauty and running a business. Check out the podcast below.
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 hosting key experts, founders and influencers so that people can make informed decisions. Check us out at Thecleanhub.com to learn more, now onto the Cleanchat podcast.
Hello everyone and welcome back, today Alexandra, founder of Olixia. Olixia describe themselves as potent and precious, natural beauty brand that celebrates rare botanical oils and extracts from across the globe and of course we obviously want to know more. So thank you for joining the show Alexandra.
Alexandra: Oh thank you for having me it’s great to be on .
Raquel: Awesome we’re happy to have you on. Can you tell us a little bit about your story and why you started Olixia.
Alexandra: Yeah absolutely. So you’ve basically summed up the brand really well in that introduction but just to give you some background on myself. I’m originally from Australia and moved to the UK about 7 years ago. During my professional career I’ve always worked in the beauty industry, so I’ve been working within the industry about 10 years now, started obviously in Australia and continued on in the UK. During that time I worked generally with bigger beauty brands, working with L’Oreal with some of their luxury brands. Quite like large brands with large marketing budgets and then I’ve worked for a few niche brands as well so I’ve had kind of experience through both types of businesses with different beauty brands. Alongside by love of beauty I’ve also loved to travel. So when I left Australia I did travel quite significantly, generally when you leave Australia everything seems a lot closer because everything in Australia is just so far away so when I left I was like, everything is so much closer, I can move around much easier and I really did a lot of travelling this time. So I’ve travelled now to over 55 countries, so now it’s adding up, I haven’t done any for a few months now. I absolutely loved going to different places and experiencing the natural environment in different areas and regions and one thing that really stood out to me and also I guess having that background in beauty was being able to see how different countries and regions use natural ingredients within their beauty treatments and within beauty products. It’s one of those things which seems like you probably have experiences growing up and you’re listeners probably will have as well where if you ever have something that’s wrong with you, you have a mother or grandmother or grandfather saying I know the perfect treatment for this, use this particular oil or use this particular natural product to help you. It’s almost that traditional wisdom that’s been passed down through generations that I was finding within the countries I was travelling to but the interesting thing that I found was that quite often these ingredients are very well know in that particular country but not very well known across the rest of the world. So having that light bulb moment I suppose, I decided to use those types of ingredients and bring them out to a wider audience so we can all benefit from them. A really good example of this is Argon oil, Argon oil as everyone knows now has been used in Morocco for hundreds of years. It’s great for the skin, has a lot of benefits through it as well. It hasn’t really been that well known over the last 10 to 20 years where it’s become more widely available. So that’s what I aim to do with Olixia is find these very potent and precious ingredients from different areas around the world and make them more globally available, also by still supporting the area they came from because that’s very important to me, making sure they’re harvested in a sustainable way to help protect that environment for the future.
Raquel: Awesome, so your wanderlust travels have helped to close the gap for people who didn’t have access to these really potent ingredients.
So outside of Argan oil what are your other favourite ingredients to use?
Alexandra: So two of the ingredients that we’ve got, I’ll just use these two as an example. So in our Gummy Cleanser we have kakadu plum which is the star ingredient within that product. Now kakadu plum is sourced from the Kimberley regions in Australia which is in the northern area of the country, It’s been used by the indigenous people for hundreds of years, mainly for medicinal reasons but also in skincare and as a food item as well. This particular ingredient, kakadu plum is the richest source of vitamin c out of any other natural ingredient across the world so it’s very potent. Vitamin C in skincare is great for brightening the skin, it’s a great antioxidant also. So that particular ingredient has those very strong vitamin c credentials. There’s also a type of acid in it called phenolic acid which helps to exfoliate the skin in a non mechanical way, so it’s more of an acid exfoliate so you don’t aggravate skin by using granules or beads which are banned now anyway, it’s a nice acid type exfoliater so that’s a great product to use in a cleansing product. So we use that in our Australian Kakadu Plum Gummy Facial Cleanser.
Raquel: Well I like the name anyway.
Alexandra: (laughter) Yeah it’s a bit of a mouthful but it’s very different to anything out there.
Raquel: It’s very exotic that’s for sure.
Alexandra: Yeah exactly and we also have a bit of macadamia nut in it which is also from Australia and eucalyptus oil which is also another Australian ingredient and the eucalyptus oil makes it smell really fresh and it’s a great antibacterial product for the skin as well. It also reminds me of home every time I use it so I really like it.
Raquel: Awesome so speaking of those ingredients , could you tell us about your product line?
Alexandra: Yeah absolutely so the one I just mentioned, the Australian Kakadu Plum Gummy Facial Cleanser is our cleansing product that we’ve got. So we’ve actually only got three products in the range at the moment, so we have the cleanser and two facial oils. One of the facial oils contains an ingredient called cacay oil which is another very potent ingredient. So this particular oil we sourced from Columbia and actually I love the story behind this, so it comes from a cacay nut essentially which is grown on the cacay tree in parts of the Amazon rainforest. For quite a few years the cacay tree was logged, the wood was used mainly for furniture and other industries like that and that was before the power of the cacay oil was really known. In the last maybe 5 to 10 years a lot of testing has been done on the oil and it’s been found to have 3 times more retinol than rosehip oil and more vitamin E and vitamin F that Argan oil. So again a really potent oil but not really well-known yet but it is becoming more popular and a little bit more widely available now that people know the benefits of it. I mean the great thing about this as well is because the oil is so prized now the trees are now being replanted in the Amazon rainforest rather than being logged. The supplier we worked with has 120,000 new trees since they started their business 5 years ago and they’re planning to plant another 100,000 this year so they’re really reforesting parts of the Amazon that were previously deforested which is really great new because it’s such a precious ecosystem there.
Raquel: That’s amazing to hear. I think that’s so important as you’re sourcing ingredients is working with people who are trying to give back as well and doing their part in creating an eco-friendly sustainable system.
Alexandra: Absolutely. On that note you made such a good point about the sustainability because I’ve noticed, and I’m not sure if it’s just me thinking about this because it’s quite important to me personally but I feel like the clean beauty industry is moving in a way and it should be moving in a way in the future where ingredients go beyond just being natural ingredients. They also need to be sustainable because there’s no point having natural ingredients if you’re destroying the environment to harvest those ingredients. I think sustainability really needs to come into the conversation as well and I think that’s something that will be really important for now and also in the future for brands as well that are starting up.
Raquel: That’s a good point that you make, is there anything else that you think needs to happen in the clean beauty industry or any sort of changes you think?
Alexandra: Yeah I think definitely sustainability is one of them and that’s in terms of ingredients and sourcing them. Packaging, and I know that packaging is something that’s really widely spoken about in the last few weeks especially after Earth month and especially in terms of plastic packaging also. So I think there will be a bit of a movement, find ways that products can be packaged more sustainably or in more environmentally friendly vessels I suppose. I know that we’re still a very small brand but we’re making little changes where we can. Our facial oils are all in glass, and it’s painted glass so it’s 100% recyclable and our cardboard boxes are forest stewardships that are council certified, so it means that the cardboard is coming from forests managed properly. So it’s not just chopping down trees and not replanting them.
Raquel: That’s amazing.
Alexandra: Yeah so things like that, and a small brands and indie brands are very good at looking these type of sustainable practises but I think it should be something that will be focused on a wider scale across the whole beauty industry.
Raquel: I think that’s so true and I think that indie beauty brands struggle with that because first they just focus on getting their product out there instead of thinking what’s the bigger picture that you’re trying to sell whether that’s trying to push for a greener, more sustainable economy. So definitely like what you’re doing. So who would you say is your typical customer?
Alexandra: So we have quite a range of customers. It would be somebody who is looking to try something a bit different and a bit new so our Gummy Cleanser for example is a very unique product and that mainly comes down to the texture of it. So as you can imagine from the name of it it’s quite gummy so it has a sticky texture but it’s quite fun and sticks to your skin and you can press and give yourself a nice massage and then it rinses off completely clean without having to use a flannel or a wash cloth so it’s great for travel. Generally we have more female customers than male customers but generally if you want to put a demographic on it it would be people from the age of 20 years up which is quite a broad range. Someone who is not only interested in trying something new and unique but also who really wants to use natural based products and also has that sustainability care factor I suppose behind.
Raquel: So would you say the Gummy Cleanser is probably the most popular?
Alexandra: It is yeah and that one has received the most press definitely and we get a lot of new customers coming into the brand to try out the Gummy Cleanser and I think it’s down to the fact that it is unique, there’s nothing in the market like that at all.
Raquel: I’m intrigued.
Alexandra: Yeah (laughter) I’ll send you some so you can give it a go. Also it’s a very versatile product, it can be used at home by the consumers and it’s also used in spa treatments. We work with a few facialist and they use that in their facial treatment so it sort of spans between home use and spa use as well.
Raquel: Awesome, okay that sounds great. When you said that you’ve been to 55 countries which is absolutely amazing, you must then have some pretty good travel tips and beauty travel tips. What would you say you’re best beauty travel tip is?
Alexandra: So my best beauty travel tip would be to use multitasking products. Personally I pack very light, I don’t like taking a lot of luggage or a lot of product with me. Especially if you can get your products into carry-on luggage it’s even better. When I launched the brand, being inspired by travel I also wanted to make sure the products were travel friendly. All of our products are under 100 ml’s so they can be taken on carry-on so you don’t need to check luggage in. The Gummy Cleanser is a really good multitasking product. I mentioned earlier that the kakadu plant has that phenolic acid as a competent within the ingredient and that helps to exfoliate the skin so you can use the cleanser as a cleanser, mask and exfoliater. So you can leave it on the skin for a while to give yourself a bit of a mask effect and also use it as a cleanser and also with that particular product I formulated it so that the cleanser rinses off really clean. When you add a bit of water to it it emulsifies into a milk and then rinses so you don’t need to use a cloth or a flannel or anything like that to take it off because when I’ve travelled before I’ve used hot cloth cleansers and that style of cleanser and when you have to use a cloth with it you then have to have a wet cloth to take with you and it’s really not very travel friendly. So with that one my big thing was that it had to rinse off clean. So that’s a great multitasker and also our Explorer Blend Facial Oil which we’ve not spoken about that yet but that’s the second oil in our collection. That one’s a light textured facial oil and you can use that on your face, you can use that on your body, it can be used in your hair, on your cuticles so again it’s one of those oils you can use all over the body.
Raquel: Instead of having to bring a lotion you can use that.
Alexandra: Yeah absolutely. It’s quite light weight but then again the ingredients are very effective. That one has 21 different botanical oils and extracts and there’s 3 active ingredients in that that have been clinically shown to help the skin feel firmer, smoother and look brighter.
Raquel: Can you tell us about the third product?
Alexandra: So the third product is our Amazonian Cacay Facial Oil. That’s the facial oil that contains the cacay oil from the Amazon and that oil is again inspired by the Amazon rainforest. You may have noticed each of our products have a bit of a country or region them so like the Australian Gummy Kakadu Facial oil, Cacay also has Amazonian lily extract in it, brazil nut oil, acai oil so again all these really great ingredients that are found in the Amazon that are very high in antioxidants. They are great to protect the skin, nourish the skin. That product in particular, the Amazonian Cacay Facial Oil is a really good seller for us and I tend to see there’s a lot of loyalty in it so when people try it they tend to come back.
Raquel: Awesome. Do you have any words of advice for clean beauty brands looking to enter the industry?
Alexandra: Yeah, definitely. So through my journey obviously I’ve gone through some ups and downs and learned a lot of lessons and one thing I would say is if you’re thinking about starting a brand or starting a business just to go for it because if you don’t try you don’t know what’s going to happen. With going for it my word of caution would be don’t be afraid to start out small. Particularly with a business that relies on creating products. I’ve found personally that cash flow has been a big big challenge because often you need to purchase products up front and hit with big moq’s for packaging. So my word of advice would be maybe to start small, launch one of two products, see how it goes, test the market and then reiterate from that and then build the business from there. Another word of advice I would give is I think indie brands are definitely having a moment right now and I don’t think there’s anything to be afraid of by being a small brand and for me this was quite difficult to get my head around coming from working with really big global brands to then starting my own brand is that I think people definitely like to buy from people so I think if you can really celebrate yourself as a founder and sort of bring your story into the brand it can create a connection with your customers and then that’s when you can often find your success so you don’t need very big media budgets to be successful you just need to find more creative ways to get your message across.
Raquel: So speaking of which, what are the next steps for Olixia?
Alexandra: Well the big thing for us is to expand our product range. I’m looking at the moment to launching a few more products just to make the range a bit more of a regime because at the moment we’ve just got the three products that we started out with. Also global expansion, so at the moment we’ve got quite a few international retailers on board but I would like to further expand to more countries and to more retailers within the countries because it is a global brand and it is nice to have that global reach and be able to reach customers all over the world.
Raquel: Awesome, so where can people get a hold of your products or get a hold of you if they wanted to?
Alexandra: Okay so the products are available on our website, Oilixiaskincare.com. We’re available in the UK at Beautymart, they’ve got a store in Topshop in Oxford Circus and they’re available online. We’ve got a special offer at the moment on QVC on their website so definitely check that out if you want to try out the Gummy Cleanser, there’s a special deal on that so you can have a look at that. We’re on Fable.com as well and there’s a few other online retailers and if you check our website we have a list of our stockists on there. In the US we’re available at Credo Beauty so in all 8 of their stores and online which is a great retailer to be with because they do some amazing initiatives in the clean beauty sphere. And we’re also available at Clean Beauty Mart which is in Beverly Hills and in another day spa called Toka Day Spa. And then we’re also available in the Netherlands, again if your check our stockist list I’ve got all our stockers on there. We’re about to open up in Finland which will be really exciting. We’re available in Japan as well and a few retailers in Australia. So we’re getting there but if you want to check specifically, if you check the website we’ll have all the links to our retailers on there.
Raquel: Okay well thank you so much for coming out to the show today Alexandra. I’m very excited to see where Oilixia goes, I mean it’s already doing really well but looking forward to the future.
Alexandra: Thank you.
Raquel: Yeah thank you and thank you again for coming onto The Clean Chat and I hope everyone had a good day today, have a good evening.
Alexandra: Thank you so much, thanks for having me. Bye.
Raquel: Thanks for listening to The Clean Chat today. If you’re a clean beauty founder don’t forget to sign up for our free resources hub at Thecleanhub.com. Have a fab day everyone and Viva Clean Beauty.