Glow Organic happens to be one of my favourite online 'clean beauty' stores, and one of my go-to places when searching for suitable organic and natural products for my clients. Founder Mel Jenkinson, a film, fashion and bridal makeup artist, created Glow Organic after taking a closer look at the ingredients in her beauty products incase they were the cause of her cystic acne. Her research revealed just how toxic a lot of ingredients actually are.
After improving her skin and gaining better control of her acne by switching to naturally formulated products that contained nourishing and balancing ingredients, Mel gradually transitioned her professional makeup kit for natural alternatives too.
So… How does a woman with a stockroom full of amazing beauty products at her fingertips take care of her skin? In this interview, Mel shares her remedy for managing acne breakouts, her AM + PM skincare routines, what's in her makeup bag, and more:
Q. I KNOW YOU HAVE BATTLED WITH ACNE WHICH WAS THE DRIVING FORCE FOR YOU TO EXPLORE THE WORLD OF CLEAN BEAUTY. HOW DID YOU TREAT AND HEAL YOUR ACNE? DO YOU STILL EXPERIENCE BREAKOUTS?
I have always suffered with acne since I can remember, it was particularly bad from around the age of 24 and after going to the doctors for different types of antibiotics and nothing making a difference, I decided to tackle it myself. I still get acne so I am certainly not cured! But I managed to work out how to manage it and reduce the size and frequency of the breakouts I get. Previously, I would use lots of drying cleansers and lotions that strip the skin in an attempt to dry out the spots. I now know this doesn’t work and makes the problem much worse, so I am much kinder to my skin now and feed it with nourishing plant oils that are high in linoleic acid and work in harmony with my skin to reduce the inflammation.
Q. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO AN ACNE SUFFERER, WHO MAY BE AT THE END OF THEIR TETHER AND CONSIDERING ACNE MEDICATION LIKE ORAL ANTIBIOTICS AND TOPICAL RETINOIDS OR BENZOYL PEROXIDE?
It’s much easier said than done, but worrying about it and stressing about the state of your skin actually makes the problem much worse. Acne is mostly driven by hormones, so the more stress and cortisol hormone that is rushing around your body, the more your skin is going to produce pore clogging oils that cause the breakouts. Remember that these antibiotics and harsh creams are all a temporary fix, they don’t fix the root cause of the acne, so might work for a short term, but the effect is never a solution.
Q. WHAT DO YOUR AM & PM SKINCARE ROUTINES LOOK LIKE?
After several years of applying way too many layers of various products on my skin and them making no difference, I finally learnt that my skin likes it when I keep things simple! I am a huge fan of oil based products, provided they are the right kind of oils (high in linoleic acid). In the morning I cleanse with the LUXE Botanics Camu Brightening Cleanser, and in the evening I remove make up with the LUXE Botanics Marula Hydrating Pre Cleanser, and then follow with the Camu Brightening Cleanser, then apply the NINI Organics Natura Detox Oil onto slightly damp skin.
Q. YOU MUST BE SPOILT FOR CHOICE WHEN IT COMES TO NATURAL BEAUTY BRANDS AT THE GLOW ORGANIC OFFICE! BUT WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE BRANDS RIGHT NOW?
Yep, I have a cupboard full of products! As I said before, my skin doesn’t like it when I try too many different products at once though. I always try and finish one product before opening another due to the expiry dates as I HATE wasting product. So it takes me a long time to try products. My favourites are LUXE Botanics, NINI Organics, Lena Wild and Living Libations.
Q. DO YOU HAVE ANY REGULAR PROFESSIONAL TREATMENTS? (PEELS, LASER, MICRODERMABRASION)
Nope, although I should as I LOVE a facial. Due to my acne being quite inflamed I try to avoid anything that is too abrasive. I love a facial massage though so I will sometimes give myself a nice relaxed massage with my oils.
Q. WHAT'S IN YOUR MAKEUP BAG?
At the moment, I love the Mukti Tinted Moisturiser SPF15, the Hynt Beauty Duet Perfecting Concealer, Hynt Beauty Eyebrow Definer, Sappho Mascara, and the Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Reverence. I’m a big fan of a tinted lip balm, or just a sheer wash of colour on the lips, so I have been using the Kjaer Weis Lip Tint a lot recently.
Q. DO LIFESTYLE HABITS FACTOR INTO YOUR SKINCARE?
Yes I think it definitely contributes. I know some people have completely cured their acne from just changing their lifestyle habits, such as cutting out dairy or just drinking more water. The important thing to remember is that it is SO different for everyone, so it’s worth a try to see if this works for you, but don’t get hung up on the idea that just cutting out dairy is going to work for you, so enjoy that cheese if you want to! I have seen some women get quite obsessed with changing their lifestyle habits that they have developed eating disorders or unhealthy eating habits because they think they will break out from having a cup of tea with a small amount of cow's milk in.
Q. WHAT IS YOUR NUMBER ONE ANTI-AGING SKINCARE TIP?
SUN PROTECTION! The sun is the primary cause of ageing skin, so use an SPF at all times.
Q. FINALLY, YOU'RE GOING TO A DESERT ISLAND.. WHAT THREE PRODUCTS WOULD YOU TAKE?
Sun protection, I imagine it is going to be sunny on this island! Lip balm because my lips always get dry, and probably the Living Libations Seabuckthorn Best Skin Ever, I can use this for everything from cleansing, to moisturising, and even use it on hair and skin, its a great all rounder!
The Glow Organic website offers a wonderful selection of natural, organic, eco-friendly and cruelty-free products, from makeup, skincare and haircare to bath & body. You can get product recommendations if you shop by skin type, which is incredibly helpful for those who are unsure of skincare ingredients. And the blog has lots of resources like seasonal skincare guides, great makeup tutorials and information on ingredients to avoid. They also offer a virtual consultation service for mini makeup lessons and skincare help, or more in depth personalised advice for a makeup overhaul, or bespoke skincare recommendations to suit your skin type, conditions and lifestyle.
Mel is truly an inspiration to us all. In her mission statement she makes it very clear that she hand-picks and tests every brand sold on the website. Being a smaller company makes for a far less overwhelming shopping experience, that can easily happen on larger sites with tons of products. And with this comes a more personal touch and impeccable customer service too!