Within the past five years you might have noticed the term artisanal along the frozen dessert and cheese aisles of the grocery howertore. This is not some old term that hipsters are trying to reclaim because it “sounds cool.” Artisans are skilled workers who make goods by hand, usually in small batches. Creating products by hand gives makers the ability to closely monitor the consistency of the look and feel of their goods; it’s all about quality control.
Sisters Mayowa and Ebony, owners of FLO+THEO, started their own skin care line with hopes of formulating natural skin care products you can trust and are gentle enough for the most delicate of skin types and eco-friendly consumer.
Introduce yourselves & why you do what you do.
Mayowa and I (Ebony) are the co-founders of FLO+THEO, an all-natural, vegan, artisan skin care brand. We are Nigerian-born sisters who grew up in England and Ireland and now call New York City home. Mayowa has a computer engineering and email marketing background, whilst I studied to be a human rights lawyer, and together we now create simple yet effective skin care formulations.
Describe what sets FLO+THEO apart from other skin care brands.
What sets our products apart from other skin care brands is the research and the importance that we place on the ingredients used to formulate our products. Ebony grew up with and still has extremely sensitive skin, so this motivates us to create moisturizing, healing products that are kind to even the most delicate skin.
Let’s talk quality standards. How do you define “natural” and what are your products free of?
We define natural as ingredients that derive from nature and all our products are truly 100% natural. For example, we utilize vitamin E to preserve our ingredients instead of other manmade preservatives. Our products are available in an array of scents such as wild mint, lemon orchard, orange harvest, and lavender flower. Our blends are created with only pure essential oils and our products do not contain artificial fragrances, parabens, petroleum, synthetic fragrances, or alcohol.
Why take the artisanal route vs. mass production?
We pride ourselves in the integrity of our products, so it was a no-brainer for us to take the artisanal route. We make all our products in small batches, so this allows us to really control the quality of our products. We also enjoy getting into the studio to create.
What are the skin care concerns that FLO+THEO address?
We are trying to create products that actually work, products that moisturize, exfoliate, cleanse, and that you feel good about using. Our Activated Charcoal Soap is great for those who have oily skin. Activated charcoal is known for its superb absorption powers and for its ability to draw out oil, dirt, and other substances from clogged pores. Our body butters also work well for those with dry skin. They are made with three simple ingredients: shea butter, cocoa butter, and coconut oil. They are jam-packed with vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin F, as well as antioxidants and fatty acids that work tirelessly to nourish and protect the skin. The body butters are 100% waterless, meaning the ingredients are extremely concentrated.
Getting into the mix
Face: Should I use the face mask before or after I cleanse my skin?
It is best to wash and cleanse your face before using the mask. This allows you to remove any dirt or makeup from your skin and for the active ingredients of the mask to really work.
Bar soap: How do you prevent your bar soap from disintegrating in the shower?
It is really important to store the soap in a dry place preferably a soap dish. This prevents the soap from getting soft due to excess water.
Body butter: Do your body butters vary in fragrance or formulation? If formulation, what do you recommend for cuticles, feet, and post shower?
Our body butters all have the same formulation; the only difference are the different essentials oils used. The great thing about essentials oils is not only are they all natural and smell delicious, they can also affect your mood and evoke different emotions. For example, our lavender flower scented products are great to use through stressful times, because lavender essential oil is known to be very calming and relaxing. On the other hand, if a customer wants to feel energized, we recommend our wild mint scented products. Wild mint is a blend of spearmint and eucalyptus essential oils and are known to be bold, fresh, and revitalizing.
Body polish: Scrub pre-wash or post-wash?
This is really down to preference, but I (Ebony) like to use our scrubs post wash. When my skin is damp I take a handful of the scrub and rub all over my body in circular motions. Once I feel I have sufficiently exfoliated, I rinse off. What I love most about our polishes is the moisturizing oils. I do not need to use any additional moisturizer on my body once I get out of the shower.
Body oil: How do you use the body oils?
Our body oils are extremely concentrated, so a little goes a long way. Add a small amount into the palm of your hands and work it into the skin.
Men: Can the beard elixir be used as a pre-shave oil?
It can be used in the pre-shave process, as the elixir will soften the beard, condition the skin, and provide a little slickness to the shave.
Share your skin care regimens.
We are pretty basic, so we follow a simple four step skin care regime: 1) cleanse, 2) tone, 3) face mask (this is done only three times a week), and 4) moisturize.
What’s on your vanity and what’s in your purse?
Mayowa: Lip balm, FLO+THEO Lavender Body Butter, and jojoba oil.
Ebony: I am obsessed with shea butter, so I always keep it near. I use it for my face, lips, body, and hair.
What are your best sellers and what are your favorites?
Our best seller is the FLO+THEO Activated Charcoal Soap followed closely by our body butters. In relation to favorites, we truly love them all equally, they have become like our children.
Where can we find FLO+THEO?
FLO + THEO can be found in numerous online and brick and mortar stores across the US. A full list can be found here.
What skin care tip do you live by?
Mayowa: Always moisturize!
Ebony: Drink plenty of water and keep your skin hydrated.
Anything coming soon?
We are always experimenting with different ingredients, formulating different concoctions, so definitely watch this space!
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