Skin is the largest organ of the human body, the best indicator of one’s health and perhaps the most vulnerable part of the physical self. Although time will eventually have its way in changing the look and feel of our skin, there are plenty of internal and external solutions that can diminish the wear and tear that comes with living. CAMP is a new Toronto-based line of beauty products that promotes smart skincare by bringing into play Earth‘s natural ingredients.
Read below for my interview with CAMP’s founder…
Can you tell us a little about who you are, the original idea behind CAMP, and when it was officially founded?
Hi! Thanks for the opportunity to chat! My name is Lisa and I live in Toronto, Canada. I’m a Capricorn connoisseur of fish tacos, devotee of fashion blogs and sun worshipper who prefers swelter weather over sweater weather. I launched my small-batch natural skincare line, CAMP, in April this year after many moons of experimenting and researching. I wanted to create something simple and clean yet sophisticated and effective for people who want gorgeous skin without the burden of harsh chemicals.
Why did you choose to get involved in the beauty and skincare industry?
They say necessity is the mother of invention. That couldn’t be truer for me. I have super sensitive skin so analyzing ingredient lists and understanding skin became a necessity and a passion.
I tried hundreds of products but never really found my holy grail. It seemed natural skincare products fell into two categories: very basic ingredient lists, which don’t provide much in the way of anti-aging, skin rejuvenation or glow; or very expensive items with a long list of ingredients including preservatives and fragrances. Not good enough for me. So I applied my knowledge of skincare and herbs and started creating my own products to fill that gap, using plant oils and exotic butters as the building blocks and herbs as the magical, medicinal-powerhouse active ingredients.
What is your favorite product currently in the shop and why?
I’m a big fan of multi-purpose products so I love Desert Island Wonder Balm. I called it that because if you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring one thing, this would be it (also pizza and Survivorman…). It can be used as a cleansing balm; treatment of minor skin issues like sunburn, eczema, inflammation; and it’s also a lovely moisturizer. Super healing with herbs like calendula, chamomile, yarrow, comfrey, lavender and more…mmm. I also love Filthy Rich Face Cream. I use it every day and it’s a perfect combination of deep moisture with a light feeling, thanks to the mango-shea butter combo. Oh, and it smells like vanilla, which doesn’t hurt either. 🙂
The best beauty advice you’ve been given?
Wash your face before bed no matter how lazy/tired/drunk you are.
Your products utilize many different types of oils. What is your favorite essential oil and your favorite carrier oil?
Helichrysum Essential Oil is truly a wondrous ingredient. It’s exceptionally high in tissue-regenerating diketones that help to stimulate healing and new cell turnover – hello, anti-aging! I first became aware of it when my nose piercing developed a keloid (basically, a big ugly ball of scar tissue — yikes). I tried every treatment – over-the-counter ointments, sprays, antibiotic creams – and nothing helped. Then a piercer told me to try Helichrysum Oil and within three days it was completely healed. I could not believe that something natural could work better than stuff from the pharmacy. It was a crazy eye-opener. You can find Helichrysum Oil in Desert Island Wonder Balm and Dreamcatcher Youth Serum.
Why is it important to you that CAMP does not include the additives that most other popular beauty products on the market do?
The more ingredients you add, the more your body has to process. It’s like with food – the more refined a product is, the more taxing it is to your body.
Many companies have made the move to cut parabens and sulphates – which is awesome – but still many products, including those claiming to be natural, contain emulsifiers, preservatives and fragrances. I think it’s misleading and I prefer to keep my ingredients as close to their natural state as possible. That way everyone, even those with the most sensitive skin, can benefit from amazing skincare.
Can you talk us through the stages of creating a CAMP product?
It starts with inspiration. Getting an idea for a product can come from my personal experience, watching YouTube videos (I love to hear real people sharing their thoughts and ideas!), travel, reading blogs or just chatting with friends. From there I start brainstorming ingredients. I spend a lot of time experimenting with raw ingredients, editing formulas and tweaking recipes until they’re perfect. This can take months to achieve, but it’s worth it. From there, it’s on to creating! Many of the products are made in stages. For example, I use a lot of herbal infusions instead of plain carrier oils to amplify the healing properties of my products. I prepare these infusions by hand and the process can take up to a week to complete from preparing the herbal material to infusing (multiple times) and filtering the final product. From there, I make small batches of each product according to precise recipes then bottle, label and package them up for delivery. Phew!
Do you have any advice for people trying to phase out old, chemical-ridden beauty products in favor of clean products?
Be easy on yourself. If something is bothering your skin, by all means, get rid of it ASAP and switch to something gentler and more natural. But don’t trash everything and start from the ground up. Waste is almost as offensive as chemicals. Make the switch when each of your current products come to an end and gradually introduce new, cleaner products into your routine. Transitioning to healthier products should be a positive process not one that feels overwhelming or stressful. Enjoy each step.
Your tagline is “wildly beautiful skin,” what does that mean to you?
In a word, glow. In lots of words, “Wildly Beautiful Skin” celebrates the outrageously, undeniably, wildly gorgeous results that can be achieved by using active, botanical products. Beauty comes from the inside out, but it also moves in the opposite direction. To look and feel beautiful is a wonderful side effect of doing something good for your body. CAMP uses ingredients that are healing to the skin and comforting to the conscience, and I think something very magical happens when our bodies work with nature, rather than fight it. It’s a beautiful thing.
Browse CAMP’s shop here and let me know what piques your interest.