Today the thedailypretty.com, I am chatting to founder of PB SKN and owner and artist of Bespoke Brows, Jemma Salisbury all about skincare, beauty and business PLUS we have an amazing special discount for our #TDPsquad.
Hi Jem, thank you so much for joining me for our #mymoderncareer series. I can't wait to dive into your career and business journey and chat all about skincare and how it is such an important part of an active and healthy lifestyle. First of all, tell me about your professional and personial background and experience?
Beauty and wellness is something that I have been passionate about for a very long time. Prior to starting PB SKN, I opened my own vegan and cruelty-free cosmetic tattooing and beauty business, Bespoke Brows, which has been running successfully for five years now with myself as the sole owner and technician. I started this business because I grew tired of working for other people in jobs that I never really fancied. I’m a very creative person and have always wanted to be my own boss, so I am grateful that my work now allows me to express this creativity through something that I am passionate about. What I love most about this job is being able to help women simplify their beauty routines and seeing their transformations, not only in their appearance, but also in the way that their own confidence in themselves transforms. With many people now recognising the significance of vegan and cruelty-free products, I’m proud to be able to offer this to my beautiful clients. Towards the end of 2020, I launched PB SKN – a natural skincare range tailored to active lifestyles. After years of learning about chemicals in cosmetics and researching ingredients, PB SKN is my new venture to help spread knowledge about natural wellness and offer a simplified skincare solution for those who really care about their health and wellbeing.
What was the inspiration for PB SKN, and what were the first steps you took to launch your brand?
My inspiration for PB SKN came from a realisation that many people like myself who try their best to lead a healthy lifestyle by eating well and keeping fit are unaware that their conventional cosmetics could actually be sabotaging their health efforts. The fact that women unknowingly put a myriad of chemicals directly onto their bodies every single day that have been shown to cause skin and respiratory issues, hormonal and endocrine issues, as well as cancer, greatly concerned me. These chemicals can accumulate in the body and given the amount of chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis in our cosmetics, cleaning products, air, drinking water and environmental pollutants, this level can be alarming.
The first steps I took to launch PB SKN was to really define the brand as a whole, including its values, mission and niche and then build upon that. PB SKN’s values are health, confidence, drive and positive intention, and our mission is to provide clean, natural, non-toxic, high-quality skincare that treats skin conditions caused by leading an active lifestyle, while supporting the skin with all that it needs to thrive and recover from high-intensity workouts, muscle-building, sweating, exposure to the elements and oxidative stress. Because there are a lot of natural skincare brands on the market now, I wanted PB SKN to be different and branding was important for this. Even though the ingredients are botanical, I steered away from florals and shades of pink as the brand had to resonate with our niche, which is people who are dedicated to their health and fitness. I love how our branding and products turned out – they are simple, sophisticated and athletic and appeal to both women and men.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about skincare and how does PB SKN help to cut through the complexity and create beautiful products that work?
I think a common misconception with skincare is that more is better, and this probably has to do with the fact that there are so many different types of products available now to treat every little thing. For example, there are products out there that consist of only a single ingredient, which makes it overwhelming and confusing for people trying to figure out what their skin needs and causes them to purchase and layer on way more than necessary. Skincare shouldn’t be this complicated! I’m a firm believer in keeping things simple, and that’s why PB SKN’s range is broken down into three easy steps with a cleanser, serum and moisturiser as the core products to be used daily. Because these products contain powerful active ingredients that have been carefully selected and combined for their special properties, they work just as effectively, if not more, than layering on several different products which may actually not interact well with each other.
Let's chat about leading an active lifestyle and what that can mean for our skin. We love your mantra 'stay fit without sacrificing your skin'. What are some of the effects of an active lifestyle and how does PB SKN help with that?
We all know that leading an active lifestyle and exercising regularly is good for our health and wellbeing, but many people don’t realise that it can take a toll on our skin and cause it to age faster due to free-radical damage! Our own bodies produce free-radicals as an immune response to intense exercise. Intense exercise puts the body in a state of stress while often causing damage to muscle and tissue, and free-radicals are produced to repair the damaged cells. However, the problem occurs when our bodies cannot produce enough antioxidants to counter the effect of excess free-radicals, which then oxidise in the body and generate inflammation. Inflammation in the body has an immense effect on the skin, revealing itself through various signs of skin aging like dryness, dullness, pigmentation, congestion, a weak barrier function, degradation of collagen, wrinkles etc., as well as through skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea, psoriasis and acne. Free-radical damage can also occur from external sources such as the environment. When we exercise outdoors, as our skin is exposed to UV rays, wind, salt water, chlorine and air pollutants, which can again cause oxidative stress and result in signs of aging, inflammation and skin conditions.
Research shows that antioxidants are the best defence against free-radicals, and that is why PB SKN is packed full of antioxidant-rich ingredients from fruit and plant extracts, which not only fight free-radicals but also help repair damage, heal the skin and bring it’s condition up to optimum health.
For someone wanting to simplify their skincare routine and find a regime that works for their skin type and lifestyle, where should they start?
With our 3-step routine of course! We currently have three different packs designed to treat three main skin concerns related to leading an active lifestyle – PUMP Pack for dryness and loss of firmness; GLOW Pack for redness, dullness and pigmentation; and BOOST Pack for repairing and rejuvenating signs of aging.
Each pack comes with our detoxifying REFRESH Cleanser which deep cleans pores and helps clear congestion, our non-greasy RESTORE Moisturiser, which soothes and strengthens the skin’s protective barrier, and either our PUMP, GLOW or BOOST serum to treat your specific skin concern.
Our range is designed to be used daily and always post-workout, but It’s important to remember that when starting a new skincare routine to always introduce your products slowly to allow your skin to adjust, and this is particularly important with skincare that contains active ingredients. If you know your skin is sensitive, a slow introduction over a few weeks is recommended.
I absolutely love the Skintrition section on your website. It is so informative and your products are clean while being active. Talk us through some of the key ingredients and why they are so good for our skin?
Absolutely! Health is our number one priority, which is why I am so picky with our ingredients and avoid all harmful chemicals like sulphates, phthalates, petrochemicals, PEGs, mineral oils, artificial colours and synthetic fragrances that are commonly found in conventional skincare. You’ll notice that our products also smell so nice and their scents are simply from fruit and plant extracts.
I really believe in the power of nature to heal and nourish, and plant-based ingredients are freaking powerhouses because they have so many healing properties that are beneficial to our skin and health. Each of our products contain key active ingredients that are there for a specific purpose.
For example, wheatgrass and green tea in our REFRESH Cleanser are great detoxifiers with natural anti-inflammatory properties, so they work well to prevent breakouts.
Our PUMP serum contains a vegan collagen from seaweed, which is amazing at strengthening our skin’s elastin because its structure is similar to that of our collagen.
Mulberry and liquorice in our GLOW serum have potent brightening properties, because not only do they help fade discolouration, they can actually prevent pigmentation from forming as they inhibit the production of melanin in the skin.
Vitamins A, C and E are powerful antioxidants and are key to fighting free-radical damage and smoothing lines and wrinkles, which is why they are the stars of our BOOST serum.
Rice protein peptides in our RESTORE Moisturiser contain a range of amino acids that function to soothe and hydrate the skin while strengthening its protective barrier, which is so important for healthy skin.
These are only some of the key ingredients and their benefits – if I were to talk about them all we’d be here for days! What’s important is that all our ingredients are antioxidant-rich and each have their own role to play in helping our skin thrive.
Coming into winter here in Australia, what should we be doing for our skin during the cooler months to give it the love and care it deserves?
Because there is less humidity and the air is colder, we tend to find that our skin becomes more dry, red, irritated and flaky so there are definitely things we can do and things to avoid to best care for our skin during winter. Hydration is important to prevent our skin from drying out, so using a product that contains hyaluronic acid such as our PUMP serum and RESTORE Moisturiser will help the cells in our skin retain water, and drinking enough water during the day will ensure that our skin stays hydrated from the inside out too. One thing I’m guilty of in winter is taking really long, hot showers, but this is not good for your skin! Hot water is actually very dehydrating and strips away the natural oils that protect it, so short, warm showers followed by a good moisturiser is the way to go. Even in winter it’s still important to protect your skin from the elements when exercising outdoors, so before you head out be sure to apply your moisturiser first, then sunscreen, and always wear a hat to protect your skin from UV rays.
Let's talk business advice. What has been one of the greatest challenges for you so far?
I think the biggest challenge that any business owner faces is overcoming self-doubt and setbacks. Whenever you start a business you always wonder if you’re doing the right thing and whether it will be successful. It’s scary to take the risk and start your own business, especially if you have people close to you expressing their concerns and making you doubt yourself. But I really believe in following your gut, and if your gut is telling you to go for it, then go for it!
You’re always going to experience setbacks in business, but with any setback comes an opportunity to learn and improve. For example, during COVID lockdown I had to close my beauty salon for almost 4 months, but I used this time to redo my website, implement a new online booking system and convert all my consult forms from paper to electronic, which has really helped streamline things and make the process so much more efficient.
One of the biggest challenges I’ve had with PB SKN, and although this might sound small, has been with the bottle labels. I’ve had so many issues with getting the labels right because I didn’t realise that our bottles are slightly tapered, which meant that the labels needed to be slightly curved. I struggled getting the dimensions right and my poor graphic designer had to do about a million different drafts for me. I also had issues with finding a printing company that could print the labels in our brand colour correctly, since it is a custom CMYK colour it always looked a little off, given that every company’s printers are calibrated slightly differently. The first batch of labels also turned out to not be the best of quality and wouldn’t stick properly, so I wasted so much time and money constantly printing labels and re-labelling bottles. What I learnt from this is to take your time getting things right in the first place! I put so much pressure on myself to just get the products launched that I rushed and put something out that wasn’t 100% right, and having to go back and redo everything ended up costing me in the long run.
The greatest reward or achievement that has meant the most to you personally?
This is not really business-related, but I’d have to say my greatest achievements are my two little daughters. They are what inspire me to follow my passions because I want them to grow up believing that they can follow and achieve their dreams too. They see me working hard at my businesses and doing my best to live a low-tox, healthy, active lifestyle, and I feel that leading by example is the best way to teach them and motivate myself too.
What's next for PB SKN and your plans for 2021...
I believe there is always room to grow and improve, so I’m always researching new ingredients, looking for ways to make our products even better and listening to what our customers want. I’m currently working on some new formulations with a great new manufacturer, I can give you a little hint that a serum to treat workout breakouts might be on the cards.
Where can we find you?
You can find PB SKN at www.pbskn.com and @pb.skn on Instagram and Facebook. Shop the range and enjoy 25% off storewide with discount code TDP25 at checkout, valid until 26th May 2021.
Thanks so much Jem for sharing your business story, knowledge and skincare advice with us. Invest in your skin today ladies and take advantage of the 25% off sitewide!