None hath creativity like a woman well-travelled, and Alex Jansons is the perfect example of such a woman. With the toll of her travels now risen to over 50 countries (and counting), it’s only befitting that, back at home, her adventures would see her journeying into the world of beauty business also. It was then that Oilixia Skincare was born: an all-natural line of potent beauty oils that is a tribute to the indigenous cultures who treasure these ingredients.
Last week, we sat down for some coffee with the Australian entrepreneur to chat about her love for natural beauty, for travel and for the big outdoors. Read on, discover more…
Fun fact about yourself!
I’ve been to over 50 countries – I think the count is at 56 now!
Where do you go for inspiration?
Travel is a definitely a big thing for me; it always gives me loads of inspiration. Seeing what other brands are doing globally, and also just being in the environment and being in nature, being outdoors, walking and hiking. Being away from things in the fresh air – it’s my happy place!
What was the motivation behind starting Oilixia?
I’ve loved beauty from a very early age, and I’ve always wanted to have something of my own – a brand I could create and develop. So that forms the drive. Then, after I’d travelled from country to country, seen all these ingredients and explored how they could manifest themselves in a beauty product, I found a final reason to drive me towards realising my dream.
If Oilixia were a girl, what kind of girl would she be?
Somebody adventurous, somebody unafraid to go out and push the limits. Somebody that isn’t boxed in by preconceptions, but just goes out there and tries things out.
Why do you love natural beauty?
Just the fact that you can get so many amazing natural ingredients that have really great benefits for the skin. For many years, there’s been a big focus on lab-created skincare products and the great effects they can make on your skin. This is true, but in reality you can easily create those kind of results naturally as well.
I love that there’s more focus on natural ingredients now, and that more research that has been put into it. Natural ingredients can do so much more than people think, and they have just as much effectiveness as their synthetic counterparts.
I love that there is a lot of scope and opportunity to explore natural beauty – and even push the limits on what they can do.
What are the top 3 natural beauty products you can’t live without?
Ooh, it’s a bit cliché but I definitely use the Oilixia facial oils – I alternate between them – and the gummy cleanser. I’ve also started using this natural block bar soap. It’s not the foaming kind, so it’s not your traditional manufactured body wash. I find that’s a lot nicer because it’s way more natural, and it’s been really great for me.
Apart from those, I’ve been using this shampoo by Noughty. It’s only 97% natural, but it’s a fantastic discovery for me and I’ve been using it everyday at the moment.
Go-to brunch spot in London?
One that I love is Granger & Co. The founder, Bill Granger, is Australian, and in the neighbourhood in Sydney where I used to live, he had one of his restaurants there. It was called Bill’s, after himself, and some of the dishes that he has there, he serves in Granger & Co. too. So it’s like a big nostalgic experience for me whenever I go there.
If you could give Oilixia’s products to a celebrity, which celebrity would it be?
Ooh – I don’t know if this is a bit cliché, but I’d love Kate Middleton to use them! She has amazing skin, and plus you can use Oilixia while during pregnancy, so I think it would be a great gift for her!
When did you decide to go green?
Before I started the brand, I was already curious about ingredients and what was on the labels of the products I was using. At the same time, I was at L’Oreal, working predominantly for the brand Lancôme, which is very scientifically based. Being exposed to that side of the beauty market while exploring a bit into natural beauty on the side really sparked my interest to see how you could create those kind of high-performance effects with natural ingredients.
But it mainly came about when I was travelling about 4 years ago. At that time, I started a beauty blog about the different products that I was discovering in the countries that I visited. What fascinated me the most was that a lot of these products made use of local ingredients that were, in fact, really powerful but sadly not very well known.
So I started thinking, “How could I maybe pull this into something a bit bigger?” And that’s kind of where Oilixia started – through that journey and through discoveries of those ingredients.
Also in my own everyday life, at least in the last three years, I’ve been much more careful, even with household cleaning products. I try to reduce the overall synthetic load. I think that, unless you start reading labels, it’s really difficult to know not only what you’re putting on your skin, but also what you’re using all over the house. And when you start to read, you’re like, “Oh, that’s quite intense.”
Facebook or Instagram?
Instagram! 100%! I love that you can follow all sorts of people – brands, celebrities – and it’s just a great source of creative inspiration.
– As told to Jennie Lim.