Meet the Founders: Sans [ceuticals]

Not simply a product line, but a way of life that incorporates food and wellness rituals that nourish the mind, soul and body.

Lucy Vincent’s energy is infectious. Whether she’s offering you a spoonful of her home-brewed master tonic, talking about the latest in health research, introducing you to a documentary that blew her mind or championing the benefits of vitamin A, there is a whole-hearted passion behind everything she lends her attention to that makes you want to be in her gang. The founder of New Zealand-based natural skin and hair care line, Sans [ceuticals], Vincent is a petite dynamo who wears the hats of mother, entrepreneur, product formulator, part-time potter, beauty innovator and accomplished home cook, with a brightness and earthiness that is inspiring to behold. She’s the kind of woman who lives life to the fullest, making the most of every moment, relying on a great sense of humour and a knack for communication and collaboration to carry her through whatever life throws her way.

It’s this energy that she has channeled head-first into Sans [ceuticals], creating the kind of product line she wanted to use but couldn’t find, one that encapsulated all the things that were important to her, with no compromises. The results are a fusion of nature and science, plants and potency, sustainability and efficacy. Inspired by natural yet highly active products that existed in facial skincare, Vincent (who started her career as a hairstylist) wanted to take this technology into products for the body and hair. They had to be good for the body (no chemicals or preservatives), good for the environment (local sustainably harvested ingredients and biodegradable packaging) but, more importantly, they had to really work. These are products that don’t just smell nice, they are high performers with transformative abilities. And Sans [ceuticals] is not simply a product line — it’s a way of life that incorporates food (via seasonal recipes), wellness rituals, collaborations and content that nourish the mind, soul and body. Read on for a peek into Vincent’s world and the story behind Sans [ceuticals].


On why she started Sans [ceuticals]…

Sans [ceuticals] is a culmination of everything I love. It came about after working closely with a multitude of brands, products and ingredients and seeing a huge gap within the hair and beauty industry. It originally started out as an acronym for “sustainable and natural skincare” and also means “without” in French. I work with a great friend who is one of the top biotech scientists for one of our top academic institutes here in New Zealand. She leads an exciting project in the field of cancer research. She is also a self-confessed beauty junkie and, about 6 years ago, we started discussing ingredients and their effect on cells – both positive and not. This led to the creation of a small collection of multifunctional products, with every ingredient being highly researched and vetted, a very interesting process for both of us. We looked into cosmeceutical technology (a term used for products that sit between prescription-only, pharmaceutical-grade formulations and cosmetics) and realized that the active ingredients that could work at a cellular level were usually naturally derived, isolated compounds used at high levels in formulations. We got really excited about this and looked into key ingredients that dermatologists rely on. Vitamin A was one and, because the research was so impressive, it became the hero of our range.

On her Sunday ritual…

I like to rise at the crack of dawn and go to our local produce market before the crowds. I love chatting to the growers, and this market is renowned for its exotic and unusual produce. My first stop is always coffee. Home, also, is amazing… we’re so lucky to live where we do [in Auckland]. I spend a lot of time cooking and making things up for the family — kasundi, lacto-fermented foods and perfecting my sourdough loaf.

On her earliest beauty memory…

When I was 13, my Mum gave me a book called The Herb Book by Arabella Boxer. It was a 70s book on how to grow your own herbs, their nutritional value and medicinal benefits, how to cook and heal with them, and how to make skin care. It’s a book of profound influence — a blend of everything I do and love today. I can remember making chamomile and lavendar toner grown from my garden.

On creating “new generation” beauty products…

New generation, for me, sums up next-level thinking. Previously, products were categorized either into eco, natural or active (the latter usually synthetic formulations). I wanted to create a product that was a blend of all of these — clean, natural bases with active ingredients dialed up to really high levels, yet with sustainable principals. It also had to be well-designed.

On Sans [ceuticals]’s visible results…

Initially, you will see better skin hydration, more shine and hair manageability, but the long-term results are what I have been blown away by. There have been significant reparative effects concerning problematic skin conditions like dermatitis, eczema and irritated and oily scalps. I knew this would happen; however, not to the extreme level it has. An improvement in skin texture from frequent use is also quite remarkable, too.

On packaging and sustainability…

Right from the start, environmental impact was a big part of the design process. We wanted to limit unnecessary packaging by keeping it uncluttered and simple. We chose PETG, which is the most recyclable and highest quality plastic available today. We are also currently investigating 100% biodegradable packaging made from recycled stone. All our marketing and promotional info is on environmental stock using vegetable dyes and inks.

On her favourite Sans [ceuticals] products…

The Nourishing Hydratant Ultra+, developed when my hair was in really bad shape (and it eradicated the problem). It is so rich, luxurious and nourishing, crammed full of phyto lipids, baobab and hibiscus extracts. Also, the Baobab Regenerative Body Cream, which contains rare omega 7 — the closest thing to your own natural sebum so the skin recognises it easily. It also has high levels of vitamin A and E to normalise cell function and works on skin texture and elasticity, and it’s loaded with tocotrienols and antioxidants to prevent cell damage and promote skin health.                                        

 On nourishment from the inside out…

How we age and the rapidity of it depends on our genes and the fuel we put in our bodies. Providing the body with the right beneficial support, both nutritionally and remedially, creates a positive feedback loop — enhancing our system as opposed to it constantly having to defend and protect (as this is speeds up the aging process). With good nutrition and targeted beauty care we can be, and are very lucky to be, at our optimum. My mum always said, “a little bit of what you fancy does you good”, and it’s also good for the soul, so I always go with the yang and yang approach. I prefer food in its natural state, and eating an alkaline diet does amazing things for skin radiance. I have also recently discovered taking omega 7 (sea buckthorn oil) capsules. It’s the closest thing to your own natural sebum, so it’s readily utilized and absorbed. It is also highly anti-inflammatory (more so than fish oil). B vitamins, eggs, omega 3 & 7 and a healthy dose of greens for iron, encourage healthy hair.

On multifunctional products…

Because I have kids, I live by the rule of quick, simple but effective! Our hero cult product, Activator 7 Body + Hair + Face Oil,  does everything! It’s a super serum that packs a high-concentration vitamin A punch. I put a few drops in my face cream at night for an added boost,  use it on the ends of my hair as a smoothing and hydrating serum, shave my legs with it, remove eye makeup (when I remember) and also use it post-shower as an amazing daily body oil.

Best beauty advice…

Smile! Seriously, it works a treat! Sunscreen, vitamin A (building vitamin A stores in your cells will help when your skin is exposed or under attack and will jump to its defense), and sleep!

On what inspires her…

My friends and maintaining my own center of gravity, which comes from doing what makes you really happy and grounded… family, cooking and gardening are key for me. Also, meditation, but that ain’t easy! I love reading autobiographies for a dose of inspiration, especially by women who have really lived and experienced life, and come out stronger. I love it when people are honest and share their human side.

+ Shop Sans [ceuticals] products here

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6 years ago