For Lucy Vincent, natural beauty products aren’t just a passing fad, but a way of life...
The business-minded mum of two boys created sans [ceuticals] when she couldn’t find high performing, natural hair and skin products that not only made her look good but made a real difference on the inside as well as outside. With her background in hairdressing and business acumen, sans [ceuticals] is now a thriving, New Zealand-based beauty brand which focuses on high-performing products that combine science with nature. We recently reached out to Lucy to hear she combines business with motherhood while keeping her eyes firmly on the ever-evolving natural beauty landscape. Editor: Marisa Remond | Go to www.sansceuticals.com
Where do you live?
Auckland, New Zealand.
What prompted your foray into natural beauty and how did you learn the ropes initially?
I started developing sans [ceuticals] in 2007. It was born from a frustration of not being able to find pure, natural, results-driven products, that were also thoughtfully designed and sustainable. I was working closely with a couple of dermatologists so I really got to understand skin at a fundamental level. I wanted products that could have a noticeable effect on skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. Because of my background as a hair stylist, I also wanted to create high-performance hair care that had the ability to repair damaged hair. Doing this naturally has been something of a challenge with hair care but I believe we have finally achieved it. When I was studying to become a hairdresser, I fell in love with trichology — a medical and cosmetic study of the hair and scalp. I have always loved science and am a voracious researcher. I also spent a lot of time with a dear friend who is a biotech scientist carrying out exciting research in the field of cancer. She is a massive beauty junkie and would spend hours talking me through ingredients and how cells work.
How do you handle any unexpected hurdles that inevitably come with running your own businesses?
I love the quote by Lao Tzu: “Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.” Running a business (and living life in general) means there are surprises and curve balls every step of the way—which can serve as great opportunities to be creative. So I find the best approach after an initial ‘wtf!’ is to be curious and discover the alternative routes which lie ahead.
Do you have any training in natural skincare or business, or have you learnt on the job?
I have learnt on the job. I have been very fortunate to have worked with some very generous and smart minds.
You’ve got a clear creative side with your background in hairdressing, has it been tricky to also learn the ins and outs of the business side of things?
This is something I absolutely love. For me, the two go hand in hand as I find the best platform for my creative process is organisation and structure.
Can you tell us a bit about your morning routine - how do you get yourself, the kids and the house ready and out the door?
I have a minimalist routine. This is by necessity, not design. I’d rather spend my time doing other things than wiping stuff all over my face and body. A brilliant dermatologist who I’m close to thinks that we do far too much to our skin, and I agree. A simple, singular approach can be far more powerful. Again, minimal. It’s like a fire drill in my home every morning with my boys, so the focus is on school lunches and getting out the door. Having said that, I use sans [ceuticals] Goji Cleansing Oil everywhere. I wash my hair once a week with Sans Nourishing Hair Wash & Ultra+. I mix Activator 7 Oil with Synergie Super Serum and I apply my mascara in the car. I do sometimes wear RMS Un-Coverup, which is made primarily of pigment and coconut oil.
What’s your definition of self-care and how do you make time for it?
These are generally really simple things… having time out with a cookbook, a bath on a winter’s night. It is usually solitary time that’s restorative because it’s something I very rarely get to do.
How do you manage the work/life balance - do you strictly separate the two or is combining a bit of work at home inevitable when you’re an entrepreneur?
I really admire people who can be really clear with the division and separate the two. I don’t work at night once the kids go to bed like I used to, only if I have a huge deadline. Being summer makes it easier as we’ll pack up and go for a swim at a local beach. Getting outdoors really helps to disconnect.
How do you suggest tired mums add a little oomph to their beauty routine to make them feel and look good?
Soft, silky, hydrated skin, just makes you feel great in general. I always recommend adding this simple step to a daily routine, the results are truly quite remarkable. After showering, while skin is still wet, liberally apply Activator 7 Body + Hair + Face Oil to the skin. This creates a hydro-lipic film trapping in moisture to intensify hydration. Activator 7 is a vitamin-rich oil which is excellent in the treatment of eczema, dermatitis, scars and cell hydration.
What’s the easiest way to educate yourself on natural beauty - are there any resources you recommend for someone looking to delve a little deeper?
The Skin Deep website is an excellent resource for sound, well-researched information on cosmetic ingredients.
What’s the hardest thing about being a working mum?
One of the biggest problems with juggling kids and running a company is constantly having to remember things, not drop the ball and keep the well-oiled machine that is life moving – while dynamic and interesting, can be really taxing at times!
What’s your favourite thing to do with the kids?
We do Gold Class movie night at home. We’ll choose a movie (this requires the skill of a UN negotiator), make burgers and settle in for the night. I really love it!
Describe motherhood in one word...