Putting on a brave face
Unimpressed with beauty products in the shops, one woman decided she'd just make her own.
If a face cream fails to stop wrinkles or you don’t like the greasy feeling it leaves on your skin, what do you do? Throw it out? Give it to a friend? Possibly just continue using it, after all you probably spent a lot of money on it.
Megan Larsen, tired of putting up with pricey products she deemed substandard, decided she’d just make her own.
The Australian has a background in biochemistry and so knew a bit about what worked well together. After taking a course in aromatherapy, she decided she had the goods to set up her own business.
With friends encouraging her after witnessing the effects of her homemade concoctions, she launched Sodashi - a range of products formulated using a unique combination of biochemistry, aromatherapy and Ayurvedic principals.
Larsen, who was in the UAE recently to celebrate the launch of her products in the region, says she went the long way round before setting up in skincare.
“I have worked in a number of industries, including pharmacy, advertising, hospitality, naturopathy and finance, from which I’ve gained valuable skills for starting and running my own business,” she reveals.
“I had tried many natural skincare ranges and while they were lovely to use, I didn’t see great results. I wanted to create a range that was worth investing the time in using and would provide real anti-ageing benefits. I created my first skincare product in the mid 1990’s - a face moisturiser, now packaged as Sodashi’s Rejuvenating Face and Neck Moisturiser, which is still one of our best selling products. I discovered that with my knowledge of biochemistry, aromatherapy, natural therapies and Ayurveda, I had a unique ability to formulate high-performance skincare without the use of synthetic chemicals.”
Formulating natural and organic products isn’t easy, as Larsen is the first to admit.
“I do encounter challenges with product formulations, for example, our most luxurious anti-ageing formulation - Samadara Ultimate Age-Defying Crème - was five years in the making before it was ready to launch,” she says.
“During the formulation process, when I added Rose Quartz Crystal Water to the crème it completely curdled!
“We managed to stabilise the product and enhance the anti-ageing benefits. I was also recently asked to create a signature face mist for a new spa in Bangkok. I don’t know what I did wrong but it smelt like a toilet spray. The second attempt was delightful though!
“I think the key to producing authentic and effective natural or organic skincare is using the purest therapeutic grade natural ingredients. The problem with using these ingredients is being able to stabilise and preserve them.”
The whole concept behind Sodashi is natural. Not a single synthetic chemical, preservative or fragrance is used in the manufacturing process - and even the packaging is recyclable and printed with natural vegetable dyes.
Megan’s proud of what the brand stands for. She says: “We test our formulations thoroughly before taking them to the marketplace - on all our delightful human volunteers, we’d never test products on animals and I always trial new products on my own sensitive skin first.
“My bathroom can look like a laboratory when I am developing new products!”
Find Sodashi products at Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa Talise Spa and Madinat Jumeirah as well as Emirates Airline’s Timeless Spas.