Q & A with Janet Hayward, founder of Ipsum

Galina: Janet, can you please tell me a little bit about yourself and how you came to Australia? 

Janet Hayward: I am originally from the UK and first visited Australia on a working holiday. I went back to the UK after two years knowing that I wanted to return here to live.  The pace of life and the greener, healthier lifestyle is a lot calmer than London! In London I worked at the BBC in radio and then as a journalist and photo editor in women’s interest magazines and as creative controller for Selfridges department store, before returning to Sydney. Back in Australia, I co-founded beautydirectory.com.au, the industry resource for beauty and media – which sold after 19 years – and wrote a few beauty books. I launched Ipsum in 2019.

Janet Hayward, former beauty journalist, author and founder of Ipsum

Galina: Why did you call your brand Ipsum? 

Janet Hayward: The word IPSUM is Latin and is a small nod to my previous life as a journalist and author. Years ago magazine journalists would use Latin text to fill the blank space on a magazine page to determine the word count for an article or feature. The Latin text starts with Lorem ipsum…  By itself, the word IPSUM means ‘very’ or ‘yourself’ in English – so I thought it was the perfect name for the ‘very’ best skin care for ‘yourself’!!

Galina: Why did you choose to focus on plant oils and as you are positioned in the ‘clean beauty’ segment, what does ‘clean beauty’ mean to you? 

Janet Hayward: I have been a vocal champion for natural beauty and plant oils for such a long time that I am thrilled I can now put all the knowledge I have gleaned over the years into practise, to create products that I really love and that I know will produce great results. Plant oils are easily absorbed into skin – in fact, some are molecularly similar to our own sebum, which means they are able to deliver their nutrients where they are most beneficial. Plant oils also have great protective qualities and help reduce moisture loss from skin.  Depending on the plant and where it is cultivated, oil from a plant is a rich source of complex compounds with a synergy that cannot be replicated in a laboratory – and since there are thousands and thousands of species of plants throughout the world, there is an ever-growing potential for the discovery of new plant oils with great skin care benefits.

Clean beauty is a very loose term, but for me it refers to the cultivation, harvest, transportation, extraction, formulation and manufacture of products without harming humans, animals or the environment.  Ipsum products are COSMOS organic certified to reinforce our ethical and conscious process of producing skincare. 

Epsom product trifecta

Galina: Who from the beauty industry made a big impression or maybe even inspired your formulation process? 

Janet Hayward: My biggest inspiration to create IPSUM has to be the amazing opportunity I have had as a beauty journalist – both in the UK and in Australia – to meet very talented people who have concepted and produced their own brands.  During interviews and press launches I was lucky enough to hear their stories – and to meet green chemists and formulators – and realised that I had a similar passion for understanding natural and organic ingredients. Rather than a single person, I am inspired by my formulator, who is happy to try new ingredients in different ways, and by the indigenous communities in Australia, who discovered and have been using our amazing native ingredients to heal, feed and protect for centuries. 

Galina: Who is Ipsum customer in terms of age? 

Janet Hayward: Anyone who likes to look after their skin!  Some use the Nourishing Face Oil on their baby’s legs or arms if they have dry skin! Men seem to like the Nourishing oil too because it is very balancing – so it’s great if you have oily skin or dry skin – and it absorbs quickly.  I try not to attach an age or gender prescription to the range because really it’s about offering a solution for skin depending on how it feels or appears at any moment in time. 

Galina: What types of skin are your products best suited for? 

All skin types benefit from using plant oils.  Contrary to popular belief, even oilier skin types benefit from the balancing effects of the right plant oils. My own skin type tends to be dry, so I alternate equally between Enriching and Nourishing, depending on how my skin is feeling on that day.  Nourishing Face Oil is a careful blend that is great to soothe and heal very dry and inflammatory skin conditions, including rosacea – but also offers great benefits to oily and congested, acneic skin because it has anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties and helps to clarify and decongest.  The Enriching Face Oil is formulated with plant-derived CoQ10 to really boost skin cell energy and Vitamin C from Kakadu Plum – the highest known natural source of Vitamin C – so it’s great to condition skin texture, reduce pigmentation and stimulate collagen and elastin production. Face Oil Intense is a concentrated treatment that will boost the effects of daily skincare and revive the texture and radiant glow – while assisting in calming and relaxing, so you enjoy your best sleep. The benefit of using plant oils is that they have long-term effects and really help to balance skin. All Ipsum products have holistic effects – so they not only treat skin to the best nutrients, they also operate on a wellbeing level.  The aromas and inherent compound qualities of Ipsum formulations will benefit the body, mind and soul.

Galina: What makes your products different from other beauty brands? 

Janet Hayward: Ipsum products are formulated only from native plant oils, esters and waxes.  We use oils extracted from plants grown in their native habitat to ensure authentic quality and integrity in benefits to skin – and our formulations are supercharged with unique oils from Australian native botanicals.  Each product is made from a blend of up to 23 different plant oils – even our Body Oils, which are formulated with facial-quality plant oils and AHA-rich Davidson Plum – and it is the synergy of the oils in the blend that makes the formulation so efficacious.  

Galina: How supportive is the beauty community in Australia?

Janet Hayward: The beauty community in Australia is really special.  In my own experience, everyone is really supportive of each other – and is ready to celebrate a success – especially in the world of natural and organic beauty brands. I have friends who are also beauty brand founders and we are always happy to share information and the predictable, necessary challenges! We have great initiatives, like thegreenbeautyedit, which is a green beauty hub and also produces an annual event to allow brand founders, retailers and founders to get together and share the latest in green, clean beauty.

Galina: UNDRGRND Beauty has sent me three Ipsum products to try ( Best Skin Cleansing Balm, Best Skin Face Oil & Lip Oil Balm). Can you tell me about those products?

Janet Hayward: These three products are the most recent launches – launched in early 2020 – and they were all inspired by my love of travel! The Cleaning Oil Balm is a special, cloud-soft, light texture balm that melts into an oil on contact with the skin. The Lemon Myrtle is a great clarifying and decongesting ingredient and helps remove even waterproof makeup and sunscreen, but is also very gentle on skin.  Packaging this in a recyclable tube makes it the ideal and effective travel cleanser that also multi-tasks as hydrating mask. Our Face Oil Intense is a complex and concentrated oil, rich in antioxidants, fatty acids, vitamins and phytosterols to help really hydrate, brighten and reinvigorate skin – but also has antibacterial and antimicrobial qualities to protect skin from airborne aggressors. Our Lip Oil Balm has a unique texture that literally melts into lips on application. It is formulated to have truly lasting nourishing, healing and protecting effects on lips – even during long-haul flights. The formulation contains deeply nourishing Macadamia Seed oil and antioxidant-rich Pomegranate Seed Oil and healing Tomato Fruit Extract. I use this throughout the day, but if I am going out and intending to wear lipstick, I apply a thick layer after showering and allow the balm to work its magic, while I am getting ready. My lips feel plumped, super smooth and primed – even for a matte lipstick.

Ipsum Best Skin Face Oil Intense

Galina: I haven’t come across the Australian ingredient Lily Pilly before. You also use Fragonia and Rosalina, which are quite interesting too. Can you tell me about them?

Janet Hayward: Lilly Pilly is rich in Vitamin C, helping to brighten skin tone and stimulate collagen production and cell rejuvenation, while Rosalina helps to keep the respiratory tracts clear and Fragonia assists in regulating the body’s melatonin production, which keeps the circadian system in check. The result – best skin and best sleep, so it’s the ideal antidote to jet-lag or great as an intensive, yet relaxing treatment after a hard day!  

Galina: Do you use other skincare brands?

Janet Hayward: Yes I do!  I love Oliverum bath oil and for the shower I really like Korres Pure Greek Olive Sea Salt Showergel. I am also a big fan of Lanolips hand cream – during the height of the pandemic in Australia I was massaging it into my hands non-stop. The formulation and texture of Neal’s Yard Calendula Cream is lovely for any sore, rough patches.

To find out more about Ipsum or order the products, please click here

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