Lavina is a brand spanking new Toronto-based company that was only created about 3 months ago by two graduate students. I was honoured to have received some samples of their Barbary Fig Seed Oil & their Argan Oil not long ago. As you all know, I love supporting Canadian businesses. So I thought that picking the brains of Lavina’s founders would be a great start to introduce them to the rest of the world. Without further ado, here is my interview with founders: Victor Udeh-Martin & Younes Terrab.
Note: All images except my logo are from the Lavina website.
Younes & Victor of Lavina
Y: Lavina was curated on the foundation of pursuing entrepreneurship with a love for everything organic.
I am Moroccan & basically I got drenched in Argan oil from when I was a little boy growing up in Tangier. My mother had a very basic morning & night time beauty routine: she would wake up, grab a warm towel & begin her mornings with the Argan oil cleansing method, take a bath & then apply Argan oil as a primer & finish with her make-up. In the evenings, she would use Argan oil as her make up remover, then a quick wash of the hair with Argan, add some more Argan oil to condition & after wrapping her hair, she would put us to sleep.
Everything was strategic, organized & yet very simple. I probably never thought I took these moments in. My mum has incredibly glowing skin by the way & so do many women in Morocco. We all grew up on natural ingredients & I want to share this idea of natural beauty & simplicity, with our customers.
V: Younes actually introduced me to oils while in university. I had serious acne & eczema. I had tried lots of different products without ever checking the labels or questioning whether they were any toxic ingredients in any of them.
It is incredible to know the European Union has banned over 1400 toxic ingredients in cosmetics while the US has banned 11 & Canada less than 500. That means some face creams we are buying here in the beauty aisles of North America have different ingredients than those in the aisles of Europe. It’s empowering to know this. It made me immediately want to learn more & see how else I could empower others with this information.
I have oily skin & Barbary Fig Seed Oil was the first oil I used for my acne. I was pleasantly surprised at how soft & radiant my skin felt especially when one considers adding oil to their skin. That was completely unexpected.
One big bonus is that almost all plant oils contain vitamins & minerals that are essential for healthy skin & hair. This was one of the key reasons we wanted to create an organic skincare company that serves plant oils.
Y: Eco friendly & local products are two of our favourite obsessions, but the core of our existence is to help/assist women in embracing & celebrating their natural beauty.
From the ethically sourced oils we serve, to our blog & our partners, the aim is to deliver ample resources that holistic minded consumers can harness to improve their beauty & way of life.
V: We try not to compare Lavina to other skin care brands, especially when there’s so much love within this community and the passion that goes into creating organic beauty products in general.
I would like to quote Jacqueline Jones of thebeautyproof.com. Her quote embodies some of the values of why we decided to start Lavina:
“Love drives the green beauty community. Love for health. Love for transparency. Love for quality. And mostly, love for the wellness of women.”
Here at Lavina, we see beauty as something that is projected from within & then translated into confidence & smiles.
We strive to enable you to embrace your natural beauty by offering pure & organic ingredients that will enhance your natural appearance. We also ensure all our products are cruelty free & sourced directly from the fields. This allows us to build strong relationships with our growers, ensuring quality, environmental commitment, ethical production & outstanding value to you.
Y: We set out to develop a beauty brand with a focus on working with international women’s cooperatives to source some of the rarest & most versatile plants oils in the world that will have you looking & feeling radiant.
We will continue to build our unique range of plant oils so as to meet the diverse needs of our customers worldwide. Each of our oils is organically formulated to nurture & revive your hair & complexion. More importantly they will make you look & feel natural. As our brand continues to grow & evolve, our customers will remain our #1 source of inspiration! We want everyone to celebrate their natural beauty, embrace their unique characteristics & bring a focus back to something that many of us sometimes take for granted: the base of our skin.
Thanks so much Victor & Younes of Lavina for taking time out of your busy schedule for this interview. Thanks also to Rodrick for organizing everything. I have to agree with the quote from thebeautyproof.com. Love does drive the green beauty community. That’s why I started this blog: So that I can spread my love for amazing Canadian companies like Lavina Skincare!
And now for more exciting news! Tomorrow will be the first ever giveaway on my blog, hosted by Lavina. One lucky person will win a full sized Barbary Fig Seed Oil & Argan Oil! Giveaway is open internationally! Check out my blog post tomorrow for more details.