OSKIA are a longstanding favourite at MINTD, for our team and subscribers alike, so this month we’ve partnered with the skin care phenomenon to create an exclusive MINTD x OSKIA box featuring 5 of their most revered products (see gift store / subscription.)
We sat down with founder, Georgie Cleeve, to get beneath the surface of the brand and their ethos; what inspired OSKIA, the meaning of ‘Nutritional Skincare’ and what we can and should be doing to ensure that our skin is happy, healthy and full of life! From using anti-oxidants as a means of protection to laughing and smiling being a cause for good (take that laughter lines!), Georgie dispels some myths and also enlightens us on creating a skin care routine that is personal; specific to your needs and the idiosyncrasies that come with being, you.
How, when and why did OSKIA come about?
OSKIA launched in 2009 after nearly four years of R&D. It was a long time coming and the seed of the idea was sown during my teens (I am now in my 40s) when I suffered serious knee joint issues (4 operations) and was introduced to an amazing joint supplement mineral called MSM (the most bio-available form of sulphur that is needed for collagen production) that was designed to help regenerate the cartilage of race horses joints. It healed my knees but also had a huge, very positive impact on my terrible skin condition. As a result a painfully shy girl became much more confident. It wasn’t until many, many years later when I was a food editor and when this amazing supplement still wasn’t used by the skincare industry that I decided that I wanted to look into the effect of nutrients on skin health.
What differentiates OSKIA from other skincare ranges?
There are so many wonderful brands out there but what I think makes OSKIA different is our use of bio-available nutrients, our no-nonsense approach and, not to sound cheesy, but our integrity. We absolutely put the customer first, I am one myself, in terms of what we use, what we claim and our prices. At the end of the day all I want to do is give people more confidence in how they look naturally and I strongly believe that having healthy skin gives us one less thing to worry about.
What is ‘Nutritional Skincare’ and how did you come about coining it?
In a sentence Nutritional Skincare is using nutrients that are bio-available (which means they are in a form that a your skin cells can use) to improve skin health. I feel that sometimes it is very easy to get excited about new actives but easy to forget that our skin is actually generated out of nutrients. We believe that if your skin is healthy everything else can fall into place and you are able to treat issues easier when they arise.
Georgie Cleeve (OSKIA founder) used to be a food editor, how important is diet when it comes to great skin?
Diet is absolutely vital. Not only do we need the nutrients for skin production and maintenance, but our diet also directly effects our gut flora and gut health which in turn directly effects our skin and can cause and exasperate certain skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis.
What are the most important elements of a skincare routine?
Protection is probably the most important part of our routines. We are now familiar with the need for SPF protection, but I feel that anti-oxidant protection is actually more important. Anti-oxidants not only protect against the free-radical cascade that is caused by UV light but also protects against normal skin cell degradation, hyper-pigmentation and pollution. I wish someone had told me this when I was 18.
What is your favourite OSKIA product and why?
That’s an impossible question to answer as it changes almost weekly. Currently it’s my Restoration Oil as my skin is feeling dry and inflamed after the summer and it needs a little TCS. However, I also adore the Renaissance Mask as it gives my skin an instant boost when I’m stressed, tired, going to an event or when it’s looking anything but bright and happy.
What are your everyday tips for happy and healthy skin?
Be happy. Stress has an enormous effect on our skin, causing breakouts and inflammation. I think mental health is very important and people should cut out anything negative in their lives, if possible. Laughing and smiling has a positive impact on our skin. One also needs to listen to ones skin. Women in particular experiences hormonal changes almost daily, so your skin care needs to change accordingly.
How important is it to be diligent when it comes to skincare products and their ingredients?
I think it is really important to know what works for you and what doesn’t. Be that your preference over natural v synthetic or what ingredients irritate your skin. Unfortunately this is really a trial and error process as everyones skin reacts differently to every ingredient, so what works for your best friend might not work for you.
Are there any particular ingredients you avoid in your skincare products?
I don’t like the word ‘toxic’, in relation to skincare. Any ingredient can be harmful to your skin if used at too high percentages (there are EU guidelines to ensure this doesn’t happen) and even natural ingredients can be incredibly harmful to the skin, in particular some essential oils. However, I prefer ‘clean’ ingredients that have derived from natural sources or are nature identical. I’m really not a fan of polymers in skincare. For example, the traditional method of encapsulation uses nylon. It is incredibly effective, but I prefer nylon in my tights not in my skin cells. New, green technology now uses natural alternatives which are fantastic.