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Hailing from Newcastle in NSW, Happy Skincare is a natural, 100% vegan and cruelty free skincare company full of heart and great formulations!
The passionate duo behind the brand, are ‘mixaholics’ who are constantly innovating with some of Australia’s most beautiful, powerful and effective ingredients. We spoke with Phoebe Breckell, one half of the masterminds behind Happy Skincare, to talk about the brand’s journey, the art of ‘conscious chemistry’, and how happy skin doesn’t have to be complicated.
Image: Aaron & Phoebe / Happy Skincare
What was the catalyst behind the inspiration to create your own natural skincare range?
We both come from small business families, so deep down inside we both knew we wanted to have our own family business. Aaron had just left the navy and was finding his feet on dry land, and Phoebe was pregnant with our first bub (who is now a whopper of a 7 year old). It was the perfect time to take the risk of a lifetime and put ourselves out there, trying to make a go of it on our own.
We are both health-obsessed mixaholics and we’ve always loved making our own lotions, potions and creations, from food to skincare to cleaning products, so it felt like Happy Skincare was the perfect fit - it aligned with our values and we were having a truck load of fun at the same time.
Image: 3 Cheers Cleansing Oil / Happy Skincare
What was the first product that you launched?
Our very first product was called the Anti-Ageing and Repair Cream, but it didn’t start out with that name! Aaron created it while Phoebe was pregnant and in his lovely way the cream was Aaron’s way of helping. The cream was sublime and definitely did the trick stretch mark-wise, so we couldn’t wait to share it with the world.
With a few tweaks it became a wonderful anti-ageing cream. The only reason we don’t make it anymore is because it wasn’t vegan, so we replaced it with the Over the Moon Rich Repair Cream which is just as good!
Image: Over the Moon / Happy Skincare
What do you find are the main misconceptions when it comes to using natural ingredients?
We hear people asking for products that are “chemical free” a lot of the time, but technically nothing is “chemical free”, as even water is a chemical :) Instead of looking for products that are chemical free it’s best to look for products that are toxin free and irritant free.
Another misconception is around essential oils (actually there are a lot of misconceptions around essential oils!) but one is that because they’re natural that they don’t cause sensitivities or irritation. Lots of people have to stay away from synthetic fragrances for these reasons, but essential oils can be the culprit for some people too. The trick is to formulate using the right oils, at the right concentrations as essential oils are incredibly potent.
We’d love to take this chance to remind everyone that while natural ingredients can create some divine products that give you fabulous results, the ingredients aren’t as robust as their non-natural counterparts. To make sure they maintain effectiveness and have a good shelf life it’s important to store your natural products properly and to make sure they’re not exposed to water or bacteria.
Image: Phoebe / Happy Skincare
All your products have such unique blends - can you explain what you mean by “conscious chemistry”?
Our style of natural skincare is a bit different to other brands out there. We don’t just choose ingredients because they’re organic and are good for you. We take it a few steps beyond that.
We use what we like to call “conscious chemistry”. It’s science-y and complicated, but what it boils down to is that we look at how ingredients function not just by themselves but in harmony with each other to give you results far better than you would ever expect from natural products.
And on top of that we spend a lot of time thinking about our ingredient choices to make sure they’re sustainable, ethical, vegan, and kind to the Earth.
Image: Collection / Happy Skincare
Many of your products are targeted for dry skin sufferers - which ingredients/products within the range are most beneficial for this skin type?
If you’ve got dry skin it’s incredibly important that you get cleansing right. If you use the wrong cleanser and end up stripping your skin of its natural oils you’re going to be making your dry skin even worse. That’s why we love oil cleansing so much, and our Cloud 9 Deep Cleansing Balm is the bee’s knees of oil cleansing meets moisturising.
Our Over the Moon Rich Repair Cream is another dry skin saver. The Vitamin B3 and MSM (a bio-available form of the skin loving mineral, sulphur) work together to repair and strengthen your skin’s natural barrier (and stop it from losing precious moisture!).
And I can’t forget the Good Vibes Omega Facial Oil is loaded with omegas 3, 5 and 7 which are Essential Fatty Acids that we lack naturally, especially those of us with dry skin.
As we still have another month of winter here in Aus, what product/s would you recommend to see us through the rest of the season? Do you have any product recommendations for the upcoming transition into Spring?
Our latest and greatest winter skin superhero is the multi-tasking juggernaut, the All Things Nice Multipurpose Balm. It can do almost everything - nourishes dry skin, nurtures crazily sensitive skin, calms angry skin, intensive treatment for healthy nails and cuticles, lip conditioning, cares for delicate baby skin, and tames. And that's not all.