Meet the Founders: Kirsten Carriol/Lano

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The story behind a 100% natural, pure, medical-grade lanolin-based skincare range that we can all feel good about using…

A sheep farm in Southern Australia may be the last place one would expect to stumble upon inspiration for the next big beauty product. But that’s exactly where Kirsten Carriol, founder of FP fave Lano™, first thought to look a little deeper into the naturally-occurring lanolin present on the shorn wool of her grandparents’ sheep. The daughter of a DNA professor, Carriol spent her childhood on her grandparents’ farm where her father, a DNA professor who believed strongly in the power of natural ingredients, would use the lanolin as a moisturizer on the children as they grew up. Years later, Carriol would draw from that experience while working in the beauty industry, forming the basis for what would become Lano™. Despite being immersed in the industry as a beauty PR professional, having worked with the world’s biggest brands, experts and makeup artists, Carriol realized (in an airport, no less) that nothing moisturized quite like the lanolin she used as a little girl. So naturally, with memories of the farm as her inspiration, Carriol set out to create a 100% natural, pure, medical-grade lanolin-based skincare range that we can all feel good about using. Six years of pestering, perfecting and prodding later, Kirsten Carriol had created her perfect “I want to wear that” formula.

Natural is best — just like Carriol’s father, who believed that the fewer ingredients, the better, so too do we strive to only allow the best of the best of the best natural ingredients in our own beauty cabinets, which is how we came to be completely obsessed with Carriol’s line of products. The lanolin used in Lano™is Ultra-Pure Medical Grade Lanolin. To achieve this, the lanolin goes through a stringent refining and cleaning process; cleansing the raw lanolin of all external impurities, scent and color, making it the purest, most natural form available. Here, Carriol shares the story of her business, from inspiration found of the farm, to bringing the Lano™dream to life.

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Why should we all be rushing to add lanolin to our beauty routines?

Because it is truly ‘Nature’s Wonder Moisturizer’. My father (a professor of DNA sciences) taught me that the molecular structure of lanolin closely mimics human skin lipids, making it the most compatible ingredient to use on your skin. And its 100% natural! You literally cannot find (or create) a more perfect skin and lip hydration ingredient than lanolin.

You’re a beauty industry veteran – tell us about life before that ‘a-ha’ moment. Have you always been a proponent of natural beauty products?

It was in 2003 on my way to the airport on my honeymoon, back to Sydney from Paris, and I was dreading the dryness ahead of me in the plane, and it dawned on me that, even after 15 years working with the world’s most expensive brands, nothing has worked as well on me as the lanolin that I grew up with. And it was then that I had the immediate idea for ‘Lanolips,’ our very first lip products.  My father has always taught me that nature creates extremely powerful ingredients – (sometimes even deadly! ) so we always used natural remedies growing up (within reason and not in place of the more serious medical requirements ). For example – mum used heated olive oil on my hair as a treatment, we gargled with salted water when we had a sore throat, dad used pure zinc as a deodorant, and we used lanolin to moisturize.

You spent a portion of your childhood on a family farm – how did that experience shape your approach to natural beauty?

The story of Lano starts when I was a child. When the school holidays came around my family and I would head to my grandparents’ sheep farm in South Australia. My siblings and I wiled away hours milking cows, chasing sheepdogs and playing in the shearing shed, watching the shearers do their work. This was where I was first introduced to lanolin. The smell of lanolin is the strongest smell in the shearing shed, and you can feel the lanolin over all of the surfaces of the shed.

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I read that your father is a scientist with a passion for lanolin! What did he teach you about the value of using ingredients found in nature?

My father, a DNA scientist, has a penchant for using only natural products – the fewer ingredients, the better – that really work; so, when we as children had dry lips or skin, the only tube dad reached for was the tube of lanolin cream.

He also taught me that the molecular structure of lanolin closely mimics human skin lipids, making it the most compatible ingredient to use on your skin.

He is a typical mad scientist who also studied agriculture, so his knowledge of DNA science, plus the studies of agriculture, gave him a potent mix of knowledge to use nature to heal and treat. Plus, both my parents were young academics, so financially we didn’t have the luxury of buying expensive skincare products (even if we wanted to) so experimenting with basic, simple, natural ingredients was a happy necessity.

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Tell us about your own daily skincare routine – any favorite products?

My everyday products are the Lano Cleansing Bar (new and coming soon!) + Lano Everywhere Multi-Cream mixed with Laura Mercier foundation all over my face and my Tinted Balm.

When I travel I always bring my Golden Dry Skin Salve along. It’s great for use on the plane as it is a very rich lanolin, made with Manuka honey and keeps skin from drying out in the harsh plane air. I slather it on my cuticles and nails every few hours to prevent cracking on long-haul flights from Australia.

I also like to bring along a spare contact lens case and fill one side with my foundation and the other with Lano Everywhere Multi-Cream. This is my special trick! It never leaks and it’s a great, easy way to travel with my beauty essentials.

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Do you have a favorite product from Lano the assortment?

The Lano Lips 101 Ointment is my go-to product. I keep a tube with me at all times!

I wear it by itself or apply it on top of lipstick if I’m in the mood for a bit of a bolder color. It’s my holy grail of beauty products!

What’s next for Lano?

We have plenty of exciting news and new products to come! Stay tuned! Lano Cleansing Bars – coming soon !

We often think of beauty as a surface quality – how do you nurture your inner beauty?

I try to be ‘non judgey’ about other people’s lives and decisions. I get passionate about decisions that may negatively affect children, but apart from that – it’s about tolerance and respect for other people’s beliefs and choices in every aspect of their lives. I think this nurtures kindness, calm and also helps me stay focused on my own family and children and gives space for mindfulness, which is important — to remember the simple pleasures of everyday.

+Shop Lano here!

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