There are so many new beauty brand and product launches, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with them all, so its nice when a relatively new nice brand reaches out to introduce itself. Loa Skin is a Canadian brand and its co-founder Spencer Angeltvedt was charmingly insightful when telling me about the brand, his own skincare habits and Loa Skin first and for now the only beauty offering – Botanical Beauty Elixir.
Spencer first became interested in skincare about 12 years ago when he was in high school. During his teens he started to develop dry and sensitive skin, as well as eczema on his hands, and exfoliative cheilitis. Quite a handful of skin conditions to deal with for someone in the midst of teen hormonal changes and finding his own place and confidence in the world.
As a result of this, Spencer tried to treat his skin issues by using different products. While he saw some minor relief, it simply wasn’t enough. He then started to heavily read scientific studies, hoping to discover why skin diseases existed in the first place, and how to effectively treat them. Years later, he created a product that really fit with within his own extensive research, as well as genuinely benefited his skin to the extent that the results were visible.
In 2018 Spencer and his business partner Tyler created & launched the brand Loa Skin with Botanical Beauty Elixir after many iterations. Flash forward to today, and they still offer their one and only hero product.
To put it simply, Loa Skin Botanical Beauty Elixir is a moisturizer-serum hybrid that combines 15 powerful botanicals. It effectively moisturizes the skin with its high concentration of essential fatty acids, while also soothing redness and irritations, and minimizing breakouts. This Elixir replaces creams, lotions, and serums, and can even be used as an oil cleanser and makeup remover.
Instead of having a seven or ten-step skincare routine, Spencer & Tyler believe in simplifying and offering multi-use foundational products to help cut back on unnecessary steps. In addition, Botanical Beauty Elixir is certified vegan, cruelty and palm oil-free.
My first impression of this product was most favourable and Spencer kindly sent me a bottle of Botanical Beauty Elixir all the way from Canada to try and test. Not only was it delivered much faster than many of my recent orders or packages from the US, attention to detail was charmingly impressive. From branded sticker seal, to simple but effective fonts and slogans that the brand wants to be associated with, clearly outlining for consumer what the brand ethos is. The uncomplicated, practical and minimal exterior packaging box that it came in was a big plus. The beautiful bottle that the Elixir comes in, the practical long pipette and the informative details on the packaging box will certainly draw the eye. But before I tell you how my skin got along with it, let me welcome Spencer into The Curiosity Gap spotlight first.
Galina: What physical retailers do you have in Canada?
Spencer Angeltvedt, LOA Skin co-founder & Chief Product Officer: For Canadian retailers, our product can be found in health food chains, like Nature’s Fare Markets and Blush Lane Organic Market, as well as many other, smaller retailers. We also have a lot of retailers in Vancouver specifically, some of which include Fig Face, Finlandia, and LocalBoom. You can take a look at our retailers here: https://loaskin.com/pages/store-locator
Galina: Are you reaching to retailers in the EU and US yet?
Spencer Angeltvedt: We do have a couple of online and physical retailers in the US, but we’re hoping to expand more into both the US and EU this year!
Galina: Where would you like to see LOA Skin?
Spencer Angeltvdt: I would love for Loa Skin to be more accessible to our customers internationally, and we’ll be focusing on partnering with small businesses.
Galina: What category do you position your brand in?
Spencer Angeltvedt: One thing I don’t believe I’ve mentioned is that LOA actually stands for Land, Ocean, and Air. We’re a brand based on science-driven botany, and this is how we’ve positioned ourselves.
Galina: Did you formulate the product yourself or did you use a chemist/lab?
Spencer Angeltvedt: I created the product myself, and we do all of our product formulation in-house and plan on continuing to do so for future product offerings.
Galina: Are you a DTC brand or do retailers in Canada play an important role in the distribution?
Spencer Angeltvedt: We offer both channels. We have an awesome online store that makes it super easy to purchase from us both in Canada and internationally. We’re also sold in retailers across Canada, especially on the West Coast.
Galina: Do you personally use it as a face cleanser and then face serum/moisturiser?
Spencer Angeltvedt: In the morning, I typically use it as just a moisturizer. At night, I often use it as an oil cleanser to help remove any sunscreen or dirt my skin might have accumulated during the day, and then follow it up again as a moisturizer.
Galina: When it comes to skincare, what principles are important to you personally and as a brand founder?
Spencer Angeltvedt: It’s extremely important to me that both the products I personally use and our offerings at Loa Skin are vegan, cruelty-free, and palm oil-free. It’s a lot to look out for in a single product, and Palm oil in particular is an ingredient that’s not often talked about and difficult to avoid. Its cultivation is extremely environmentally destructive, and its derivatives are found in most skincare products. Just as important as this, are science-driven results. What we’ve engrained into the foundation at Loa Skin is offering skincare that is multi-functional and contains a diverse array of beneficial ingredients to maximise benefits for the skin. We don’t use ingredients based on trends, instead we base our formulations completely on scientific literature.
Galina: Are there any other skincare brands that you like/support/use on your skin?
Spencer Angeltvedt: Yes, definitely! While my skincare routine is very simple, these are the products I’m currently using: High Vibes Apothecary lip balm (I’ve been using this one for years, it’s the best), exfoliating gloves to gently exfoliate, our Elixir to moisturize and oil cleanse, and UniKa sunscreen.
Now, back to the answer to the question of how I got on with this Beauty Elixir. I did use it morning and evening, after cleansing and without using another serum or moisturiser, and my skin found it sufficient enough in terms of hydration, nourishment and overall feel. The oil feels rich, yet light. It is rich in Omega 3 & 6 essential fatty acids, which work well in synergy with phytonutrients and antioxidants. It sinks in very quickly & without a trace into the skin and in the morning serves as a perfectly primed canvas for make-up. The scent is subtle and my nose picked up Jasmine undertones, alongside herbal Rosemary and Echinacea notes, which are quite comforting in themselves, alongside Calendula and Blue Chamomile, which help to sooth minor irritations. All in all I was pleasantly surprised and plan to continue using this Botanical Elixir until the last drop.
To learn more about LOA Skin, please click here to go to brand’s website