Luxurious high performance skincare meticulously crafted using the purest botanical extracts and a wise founder who will teach you far more than how to get great skin (she'll make you rethink your whole approach to wellbeing). The Grace Tales' editor Georgie Abay talks to Megan Larsen, the inspiring founder of one of her favourite eco-luxe brands Sodashi…
Like most women, I love going to spas. Sadly, it doesn’t happen very often. In fact, most spa vouchers I’m given as presents end up sitting on my desk until they expire. There’s also the time – putting aside two hours for a facial or massage isn’t as easy as it used to be (not to mention the fact that childcare costs etc take priority). So how do I pamper myself? I bring the spa experience into my home.
When I first discovered eco-luxe brand Sodashi – a Sanskrit word meaning wholeness, purity and radiance – I was at a luxurious spa (Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley to be exact – oh please take me back). I still remember the heavenly smell and how fresh my skin felt. I was hooked and now, just like the brand’s Sydney-based founder Megan Larsen, I take time to make my skincare ritual special – albeit speedy – and it’s a little indulgence I look forward to everyday. The scents are always light, clean and botanical. Each time I use Sodashi, I close my eyes and breathe in the divine fragrance of the pure botanical ingredients and for a fleeting moment, it feels a little like I’m at my very own spa (until reality hits me in the forms of a tantruming tot at my feet).
Georgie Abay spraying Sodashi Balancing Face Mist, $69.30
“I was thirteen when my mother bought me a cleanser, toner and moisturiser and taught me the importance of looking after your skin. I’ve had a skincare ritual ever since,” says Larsen, who founded the brand back in 1999 in Fremantle in Western Australia. She’s an especially brilliant woman. She studied aromatherapy in Provence and many of the Sodashi essential oils such as wild crafted organic lavender now come from this region. “I don’t know if many people are aware how powerful essential oils are – they are 70 times more potent than the plants they come from, so they need to be used with respect. They are not fragrance oils, instead they are pure plant derived and have the ability to work magic in skincare, regenerating skin cells and reversing visible aging. They also uplift the mind, the mood and the emotions,” she says. Larsen blends all the Sodashi formulas herself (“I’m guided by my senses and how I feel. It’s a very intuitive process,” she says) and she is passionate about non-toxic skincare that actually works. “It has been shown that around 60% of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream. There are thousands of untested synthetic chemicals being used in skincare products with little or no understanding of the consequences to our health,” explains Larsen.
You’ll be happy to hear that Larsen doesn’t take anti-aging lightly (Sodashi’s Samadara Ultimate Age-Defying Crème is her go-to moisturiser and Sodashi’s most powerful de-ageing formula). “Anything labeled as ‘anti-aging’ actually has to work – the reason we formulate products using top-shelf botanical oils is that they have the cell regenerative properties required that are proven to reverse the signs of ageing. For example, we source wild crafted organic lavender from a single grower in the Haute Provence region of France. There, the lavender is grown in optimal climatic conditions ensuring the highest quality therapeutic grade essential oil with highly regenerative properties.”
For Larsen, Sodashi is more than a business – it’s about taking a unique approach to wellbeing. Over the past 14 years, she has financially supported over 40 of her employees to learn transcendental meditation, giving them a tool to remove stress from their physiology. She personally meditates twice a day for an hour. “It’s the most important part of my day. This gives me the deep rest that I need to have mental clarity and dynamism in my activity.” Larsen also practices yoga, uses Australian bush flower essences and is a fan of the 80/20 rule. “It’s not what you do occasionally that has an impact – it’s what you do every day. And I never underestimate the power of a healthy mind – what you put your mind and thoughts in to is what grows!” she says.
I’m incredibly inspired by Larsen and I’m intrigued to find out what products she uses herself (when you have over 60 face, body and wellbeing products to choose from, how on earth do you pick?). Personally, my go-to products are the Clay Cleanser with Lavender (the lavender is so soothing), Calming Rose Face Mist (for an instant freshen-up not only for your face but your mind), Rejuvenating Face and Neck Moisturiser (hydration to the max), Nourishing Repair Treatment (the ultimate night cream) and Recovery Skin Boost (a powerful leave-on gel that leaves you feeling firm and bright). As someone with super sensitive skin, I also tend to go for Sodashi products that contain therapeutic grade botanicals such as chamomile, lavender and rose, all of which reduce sensitivity and redness and keep skin soft and supple.
And Larsen? She’ll start her skin care regime by double cleansing with Sodashi’s Clay Cleanser with Lime. “I live in Sydney where pollution can be a problem, and the double cleansing ensures all impurities are removed from my skin,” she says. “In the evening I incorporate a hot facecloth compress using the Rejuvenating Concentrate. It’s a brightening and hydrating blend of rosewood, geranium and lavender that dramatically boosts skin cell renewal to strengthen and refine skin. This step is a skin game-changer!”
Next, she’ll use a Skin Boost, a leave-on gel mask, and vary between Recovery Skin Boost and Rejuvenating Skin Boost depending on her skin’s needs on the day. “The Recovery Skin Boost is great to oxygenate and revitalise stressed skin and is perfect to use after periods of travel,” she says.
Next comes an application of Samadara Crème, which has amazing anti-ageing qualities. “At night, when I have time I’ll apply a serum before my moisturiser and massage into the skin. I always massage in an upwards direction for about five minutes – the facial massage stimulates circulation so that nutrients are absorbed better. My favourite serums are the Samadara Elixir and Rejuvenating Serum,” she says.
Sunday evening is often her “skin treat night” and she’ll do weekly at-home-treatments. “I love a soothing bath with 2-3 tablespoons of Body Balance Salt Therapy Exfoliant – it contains Himalayan Salts so it’s amazing for putting the minerals back in to the body. I do a weekly exfoliation with the Enzyme Face Polish and a mask treatment with the Brightening Marine Mineral Mask (it’s known as a facial in a pot!), and use the Deep Conditioning Hair and Scalp Mud to keep my hair in tiptop condition.”
Once you start using these sleek black and white products, you’re likely to never stop. I certainly haven’t. Larsen explained to me, “I met a lady recently who told me that she had been using Sodashi for seventeen years. Having suffered from very sensitive and irritated skin, she said Sodashi products had transformed her skin and changed the way she felt about her skin, and changed the way she felt about herself. I was very touched to hear this,” says Larsen. Try a Sodashi product and you’ll know exactly what this lady means. Enjoy your home spa mamas.
Editor Georgie Abay
Sodashi founder Megan Larsen
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