Lowen’s Natural Skin Care has been a part of the Soma Family for a few years now. Proud in supporting other local entrepreneurs, we carry Lowen’s to help educate clients on how important natural ingredients are in skin care products. Get to know one of our #soMATES.
1. What was the impetus to start Lowen’s?
There were a few reasons – the most well-known is that when Lowen was an infant, we really struggled with her diaper rash. We tried all the usual products, prescription products and when those didn’t work we moved to the unusual products…you know those products recommended from family, friends, etc. None of these worked. So, being not so great at knowing what to do with our first child (See Seth Rogan in “knocked up”), I set to making a diaper balm that actually worked for us. So leveraging my compounding background as a Pharmacist, I did a literature search and set to sourcing clinically effective ingredients for my new concoction. Really the basis of this new diaper balm was using locally sourced, unrefined ingredients and specifically using oils high in essential fatty acids. This resulted in our 1st product, now known as “Butter Balm.” It worked incredibly well for us so we started “gifting” it (but testing is likely a better term) to friends and family. Others saw a ton of success from our Butter Balm and let us know. At this point we saw the marketable opportunity for this balm and that started Lowen’s. Natural Skincare. The business today really serves as an opportunity for me to satisfy my innovative/entrepreneurial drive, allows us to work together as a family in business, and my hope is that it fosters an environment of financial literacy for our girls.
2. What is the philosophy behind the line? Do you have guidelines or pillars that you follow when you create new products?
Well, the aim for Lowen’s Brand is to be more than just a kick-ass line of skincare products but to be one that advocates for what we value. Our values as a Brand are:
Relationships, Sustainability, Inclusiveness, Innovation, Advocacy and Transparency. So what we do needs to touch upon/stay true to these elements.
In terms of our new products, well there needs to be a need for that product. So, often new products are driven by requests. If we make a product, it has to be safe. If we can’t ensure that, then it’s a no go. In keeping with this, we have received an EWG Verified ™ designation for many of the products in the line, which is essentially a 3rd party evaluation of our products safety. Finally we choose “hard working” ingredients. What we mean here is multifunctional ingredients. For example, something as simple as rosemary oil. It smells nice, which is…well nice…but it also stabilizes the formulation (has natural preservative properties) and then you can go into all of the stated therapeutic benefits of the oil.
3. Can you describe what “Sensibly Sourced” means to you?
Simply stated, we take what we think is the most logical approach in selecting our ingredients – the ideal is using only 100% organic, 100% fair trade, 100% locally sourced ingredients, while minimizing our carbon footprint. This isn’t always possible so when that takes place we fall back on our values. Where we’ve formed a relationship with a local farmer who may not 100% organic but we know how they farm, where they farm, and how they process their product…well that will win over a certified organic product that we may have to ship in from overseas (high carbon footprint) from an unknown provider (who farmed it, who processed it, what were the storage conditions, how old is the product, etc.).
4. Tell us about the Sea Salt Scrub that you did for Soma? Ingredients used and why they were chosen?
This was, and continues to be a really fun product. Well, you guys asked for a salt scrub for your Hammam treatment. Not knowing what a Hammam was, I did some research on it. As you can guess, the principle ingredient is salt. Salt in the spa industry seems, for some strange reason, be limited to the Himalayan or Dead Sea varieties. Well, that’s boring and using these has many of the pitfalls described above. So, I asked myself, I bet we have salt in Canada and thought of desalination of salt water. Long story short, there’s a company on Vancouver Island doing just that. “Harvesting” salt from the Pacific. So we sourced from them – Vancouver Island Salt company. They predominantly sell to the food industry but the salt works really well for the Hammam, has a unique story and is sourced as close to Alberta as we can get. This was a win, win, win (for Lowen’s, Soma and Vancouver Island Salt co.)
5. What’s next for Lowen’s?
We’re working on a conditioner – “Conditioner is Betta!” will hopefully be out by the summer and we will continue to build our relationships with our retail partners and hopefully to continue to fight the good fight.
For more information about Lowen’s Natural Skincare visit their website here.