Today we’re chatting to our founder and creator of Smart Skin, Niomi Smart. Known for her eponymous blog and YouTube channel, as well as her plant based diet and commitment to a more sustainable lifestyle, we’re finding out why she decided to create the Smart Skin brand and the ethos behind it.
Q1: When did you first find your love for skincare?
N: I would say it completely coincided with eating healthily and generally becoming more focused on health and wellbeing. It was a good few years ago now, maybe seven, back when I first went plant based. But particularly in the last two years, where I've become more focused on self love. I've realised how powerful your skincare routine is, especially at night when I really love to take that extra time to look after my skin.
Q2: What inspired you to create your own skincare line?
N: So, as I said my interest in both health and wellbeing made me realise what you put into your body is really important, but also what you put onto your body. So it's just as important to consider what you put on your skin. Everything I'm passionate about within my lifestyle (being vegan, cruelty free, sustainable and eco friendly) I wanted to put into a skincare line. I wanted everything that means something to me to be involved in the making. I want it to empower women, to be ethical towards animals in terms of testing and not using animal products, as well as ethical for the workers behind the making of Smart Skin. It's all sustainably, locally sourced and produced in the UK. We're over 95% natural too - and COSMOS certified, which we are so proud of and happy to have for launch. In terms of the packaging, the cardboard is FSC certified, and we're using aluminium as it's so widely recyclable so therefore super sustainable. It really all felt like it clicked and ticked so many boxes. The reality is, even if all of the boxes are ticked, it means nothing if the skincare doesn't work so that was obviously so important for me. It doesn't matter if we have all of these certifications if it doesn't work on the skin.
Q3: Can you describe the ‘soul’ of Smart Skin to us, what’s important to you and why?
N: Aside from being a skincare brand, I always wanted to be empowering women. I've always been so inspired by the incredible women in my life, whether that's family and friends, or my amazing mostly female audience. Hearing their stories over the years has motivated me so much. These women are real go-getters and what they've achieved is incredible! That's why I decided to use my audience as our muses for the debut shoot. I'm only here doing what I'm doing because of them, and we really had the most amazing day. For example, Kitti was in a really intense job and had this incredible career change, meanwhile, Bella works in a hospital and volunteers with autistic children to help give them a voice. I honestly couldn't be prouder that I have had the opportunity to work with them.
Q4: How have you managed to incorporate sustainability into Smart Skin and the packaging?
N: Aside from the above, I feel like as a small beauty brand we all have to do our bit. My dream would be for the whole beauty industry to be entirely vegan, but right now that's just not achievable. I feel like being a smaller brand, starting now, we have a duty to be doing as much as we can for our planet. To be honest, yes it's more expensive but the price of helping the planet is non-negotiable in my eyes.
Q5: What was most important to you when designing and coming up with the products?
N: It really had to be suitable for all skin types. Whether that's young, mature or oily, dry etc. Our first collection really did need to suit everyone. I wanted to feel like I was having a positive impact on their skin, and even their lives, for everyone using it. I'd love for a woman to be using Smart Skin and really taking those 5, maybe 10 minutes in the morning and evening to focus on herself and practice some self love.
Q6: Do you have a favourite product in the range? Or a must have?
N: I honestly adore every single item! So much care and love has gone into every single ingredient, and every product. But if I really had to pick, I think it'd be the Golden Jelly Cleanser. It really melts away everything and turns into this gorgeous oil, and then when mixed with warm water it turns beautifully milky. It leaves my skin feeling completely clean, and revitalised for the day. I love the orange fruit water and grape seed oil in it too.
Q7: Could you give us an idea of what more is to come for Smart Skin!?
N: Well, we are already working on the next collection! There are some things I've wanted to create for a very long time. We're so excited to hear feedback on the first products too. I always want Smart Skin to listen to feedback and what you guys want, so feel free to drop us a line and let us know your thoughts so we can carry it through to our next collection. There's so much to come!
Q8: Finally, could you share your number one skincare tip?
N: Ooh I've got so many. I think the best is honestly, if you're interested in skincare and are treating yourself to something new, I would really consider making it a lifestyle change. Think about what you eat, what you drink. No one is perfect and you don't need to overhaul everything, but think more consciously and eat an abundance of fruit and veg as well as drinking lots of water. Considering your lifestyle choices will make the biggest change to your skin!
We can’t wait to see the products land on your doorsteps. Keep an eye on our Instagram (@mysmartskin) for all things skincare!