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Q&A with Colette Haydon of Lixirskin

We're nothing if not persistent. Lixir is a beautifully simple, yet scientific, approach to skincare and we have been waging a two year charm offensive to get it in the building. We are now absolutely delighted to welcome it to the Beauty and Grooming department. And we were very pleased to chat with Lixir's founder, Colette Haydon, about life, work and all things skincare.

Shop Lixirskin►

A photograph of Colette Haydon.

Can you tell us a bit about your training?

I am a dermo-pharmacist so I specialize in everything to do with skin which is my passion both in terms of understanding the skin and formulation.

What was the impetus for founding Lixir?

The cosmetic industry creates names for products which have the same base and do the same thing - day cream, primer, night cream, moisturiser, serum, etc. and is ever more inventive. A good formula does it all. We believe in advanced, hardworking and multi-tasking formulations for everyday use, for young and older skin. I felt that the market is now ready for this new approach!

Where does the name come from?

It came from Elixir, my consultancy company – so similar to that so people know it’s me!

What's the Lixirskin ethos?

It is a mix of universal essentials for everyday skin needs and targeted night care for skin concerns - an advanced yet relaxed approach to good skin.

 

It’s a very compact range. How did you decide on the product line up?

From my long laboratory experience, developing products for many skincare brands! I don’t have a cupboard of ingredients for day cream, another for night cream, moisturiser, serum, etc. Nor do I have a cupboard of ingredients for the face, another for the eye, neck, etc. A wrinkle is a wrinkle, wherever it is and a good formula helps them all. Also, I have often found that products which are trying too hard, containing too many active ingredients perform badly, it is best to ask the skin to do one thing and do it well!

What was the drive behind Lixirskin? At what point in your career did you think about formulating your own brand/products?

The cosmetic industry creates names for products which have the same base and do the same thing - day cream, primer, night cream, moisturiser, serum, etc. and is ever more inventive. A good formula does it all. We believe in advanced, hardworking and multi-tasking formulations for everyday use, for young and older skin. I felt that the market is now ready for this new approach!

Did you have a particular consumer in mind when you were first developing Lixir?

My dream for Lixir has always been to empower women to think that they are beautiful. There is a trend among the younger women toward a more eclectic definition of beauty and there isn’t an age when you stop being beautiful. The act of grooming and caring for your skin generate endorphins which are very good for the skin.

They’re all hero products but do you have a favourite?

Good Skin Trio - Three absolute essentials for everyday skin needs. They are for all skin types, for young and older skin, for face, eye, neck to hands.They are hard-working formulae and multi-tasking to the max, they work together seamlessly whilst only taking a few minutes of your time with no layering required. They make an instant difference to your skin, but also work in the long term to give you that special ‘good skin’ look and feel.

Explain the idea behind the Night Switch products?

Our three NIGHT SWITCH are for specific skin concerns and formulated with pure active molecules for targeted results. They are for night, when your skin switches to repair mode and are to be mixed with UNIVERSAL EMULSION which is also a serum base. Only use one at a time, then give your skin a rest before switching to another.

Do you subscribe to the idea of the antagonism between natural and chemical formulations in the beauty industry?

The natural versus synthetic battle is dated - not all chemistry is bad. There are simply good ingredients, safe, effective and formulated correctly. There are bad ingredients, harmful or ineffective. There is also a misconception that natural products should contain many botanical extracts, which actually often have little effect. We focus on pure molecules with published clinical results. Consumers are well informed and no longer interested in ‘science fiction’ message: the serum that can genetically reprogram your skin to behave as young skin doesn’t exist. I don’t want to be reprogrammed and I think there are many others who don’t, we just want good skin and expect a quality product not to include harmful ingredients.

Can you talk a bit about your testing process? And how does the issue of sustainability inform your business?

We are committed to conducting business in an environmentally responsible manner and recognize the need to continually improve and reduce any adverse effects to the environment. We are continually identifying and aiming to use more materials and processes which reduce the risk of pollution.

FORMULATED AND MADE: Formulated in our lab in London and made in the UK.

PRIMARY PACKAGING: We do not use double wall components, such as caps to allow the tube to stand or jars with inner jar or system with multiple plastic layers. It allows us to use less plastic and be more easily recyclable.

Good Skin Trio and Mini Set: Our tubes are made of 40% recycled plastic; LDPE, HDPE and LLDPE. They are 100% recyclable and the caps are made of PP and are 100% recyclable.

We're imagining you in a lab coat? What are you wearing at work? And what are you wearing for fun?

High heels and red lipstick always - for work and fun!

Aside from skincare, what are the other industry secrets for great skin?

What you remove will always remain more important than what you put on, cleansing at night is really important.

What's the biggest mistake you see people making with their skin?

Some active ingredients are essentials to the skin and you can never overdo it. Others, like Retinol or AHA can saturate the skin, if used for too long they no longer deliver results, best to switch them around.

If you could tell your younger self one thing…

Some of us are born old, some of us are born young, I am of the latter type so I never need to speak to my younger self…