Interview with Ocinium Founder, Cassandra Hilton

What inspired you to come up with the luxurious skincare range, Ocinium?

An unconscious notion was planted in my earlier days when I gifted my first organic calendula cream only to be asked….”it smells good, it feels good, but does it work? At that moment other than thinking what else could you possibly want it to do, it planted an unconscious notion that later would become the inspiration in beginning my organic skincare brand. The catalyst was when I identified a niche gap in the cosmetic market for organic, luxurious and performance skincare without the toxicity. What makes Ocinium different to other organic skincare lines currently on the market? There is a lot of skepticism in the beauty industry around the lack of efficacy for organic skincare, driven by the global growth of 'greener' or 'cleaner' brands. Often criticised as full of feel good marketing 'fluff', the majority of organic brands will fall into a category of good for the planet and good for your health but lacking clinical efficacy and research of ingredient performance in skincare and anti-aging. Relatively few, if any organic brands have successfully merged luxury aesthetics, organics and evidence based formulations and this is our unique point of difference in the organic skincare market.

How has your background in herbal medicine and naturopathy helped you develop the eco-luxe skincare brand?

Naturopathy and Herbal Medicine have provided me the strong foundational skills for extensive research in the skins physiology, immune response and innate functioning and an in depth understanding of cosmeceuticals, nutraceuticals and botanical medicine that form the backbone for the development of a range of skincare that is skin identical, evidence based and driven by science. The concept of inner health for outer beauty extends beyond what we ingest and is in fact a holistic concept that encapsulates the integration of our genome (DNA) with diet, lifestyle and the environment (inclusive of chemical and toxin exposure through cosmetic use) to perpetuate our epigenetic expression of health and wellbeing or the development of disease. Experimental and epidemiological studies have demonstrated environmental chemicals of heavy metals, including cadmium, lead, mercury, nickel, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), bisphenol A (BPA), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and phthalates lead to aberrant changes in epigenetic pathways and contribute to a plethora of endocrine, fertility, immune, neurodevelopmental and childhood developmental disorders. Health and Wellness is the new natural beauty as we become less inclined to focus on anti-aging techniques, procedures and unrealistic product claims and more aware of the impact of environmental toxins, chemicals and pollution on our health and our planet and are aligning themselves with brands that demonstrate integrity and transparency to this eco-conscious philosophy.

I’ve been using your products for a few weeks now and I’ve been getting loads of compliments on how great my skin is looking and more importantly, glowing! It’s safe to say I love Ocinium but can you tell me the most effective way to make the products work best for my skin. I currently use your Balance Collection which includes: Green Tea & Ginseng Facial Oil, Elemental Serum & Metamorphis Cream

The truth is there is no right or wrong way, or a one-size-fits-all when it comes to skincare routines. But understanding what products work together, the order in which to use them and how they benefit your skin is incredibly important when developing a skincare routine that works best for you. Step 1: An essential routine should always begin with a cleanse morning and evening to remove any build-up of excess oil, pollution and make-up and to most importantly prime the skin to receive the maximum benefits from the use of the products to follow ~ Ecdysis Bio-Ferment Enzyme Cleanse Step 2: Your choice of target specific serum applied morning and evening to deliver high potency of antioxidants and skin identical active ingredients to address specific skin concerns and to defend against urban pollution and increase defense against UV damage. Step 3: Hydration is a non-negotiable step in your skin care routine. An anti-aging moisturiser will immediately improve the skins appearance, plumping and hydrating skin for a smooth and radiant appearance and will also provide an intense anti-oxidant hit to protect the skin from the environments elements of pollution and UV radiation which is our biggest cause of ageing – Metamorphis Multi-Vitamin Cream Step 4: Facial oils enable the locking in of the skin's vital hydration, preventing TEWL (trans epidermal water loss) and plumping skin effectively increasing moisture. The lipophilic nature of facial oils enables quick penetration and delivery of naturally occurring omega fatty acids, antioxidants, polyphenols and nutrients for instant nourishment, skin-smoothing properties and healthy glowing skin. When applying facial oils always press lightly onto the skin. Developing a more advanced routine for multiple skincare concerns with the introduction of more than one targeted serum may require alternate use or layering of products as required until you achieve the best frequency of application that works best for you.

Is Ocinium suitable for all skin types?

Absolutely, our products are designed to be suitable for all skin types and beneficial for targeted specific skin concerns such as age-defiance, problem/acne skin, pigmentation, lack lustre, dry and sensitive skin. Our organic formulations mean we are free of chemicals that can increase irritation, sensitivity and skin reactions and have been carefully formulated for even the most sensitive of skin types. Due to the inclusion of retinol (Vitamin A) within our serum collections and cream we do not recommend these suitable for use during pregnancy. But we wouldn’t want you to miss out on enhancing that elusive glow so pregnancy suitable skincare includes Ecdysis Cleanse, Papaya + Pomegranate Facial Oil and Green Tea + Ginseng Facial Oil.

Do you have any tips on what products women should be using pre and post workout to keep their skin feeling refreshed?

The skin is the largest elimination organ and even more so when it is under the pump of vigorous exercise that increases circulation to the skin and enhances the detoxification of toxins. As tempting as it is to cover skin with cosmetic product such as foundation prior to your workout, this will only hinder the skins ability to breathe and to detoxify, reducing cellular turnover and increasing bacteria build up on the skin leading to clogged pores. Why not go with the natural skin glow that exercise brings and ditch heavy and occlusive cosmetic use, opting only for a lightweight moisturiser with an SPF for outdoor training. A pre-workout cleanse is essential, especially to remove make-up and impurities on the skin prior to working out. Post workout the accumulation of oils, bacteria and sweat on your skin is the perfect environment to cause a build-up of bacteria, leading to skin irritation, inflammation and break-outs. During your workout adequate water intake is vital for the skins hydration and it also assists the delivery of nutrients to the skin. Remember to prevent cross contamination and the spread of bacteria from gym equipment by always cleaning equipment before and after use and avoid touching your face or wiping sweat from your brows with your hands. Always cleanse after a workout with a gentle cleanser and avoid the use of shower soaps on your face that are drying and irritating to skin. A lightweight and non-greasy moisturiser or a facial oil will hydrate and nourish your skin but enable it to breathe while you are still cooling down from your work out efforts. My essential skin-gym routine is Ecdysis Bio-Ferment Cleanse a luxurious gentle cream cleanse and exfoliate in one with the benefits of Niacinamide to calm skin and regulate sebum production pre and post workout followed by Green Tea & Ginseng Facial Oil to deliver skin loving lipids to nourish skin and balance sebum production and botanicals to continue to detox and stimulate skin.

What is your number one skincare must have?

This is such a hard choice for me as I love them all! If I had to choose one particular ingredient that has really gone under the radar that would be Niacinamide or Vitamin B3. It really does cover all skin bases- reducing pigmentation, enlarged pores, regulating sebum production, increasing hydration and normalising skin function. It is often described as a skincare workhorse as it is involved in cellular communication via DNA methylation influencing essential skin physiology and functioning and has even been demonstrated to reduce the occurrence of SCC (squamous cell carcinomas) skin lesions in clinical trials. I love this ingredient so much that I have formulated it within Ecdysis Bio-Ferment Cleanse, Immortelle B3 Serum and Metamorphis Cream and this would have to be my most favourite routine to layer at the moment.

Can you tell me you best-selling product and why?

Our skin is the first line of defence against the elements of urban pollution and UV damage and these form the greatest contributors to ageing. Continual and increasing exposure exhausts and overwhelms the skins antioxidant defences leading to increased free radical damage. Ingredients that exert a defence against both pollutants and UV radiation and increase the skins barrier protection are therefore instrumental as a first line defence against modern ageing and are leading in product research and development in the cosmetic industry. Metamorphis Multi-Vitamin Cream is a high antioxidant complex of Vitamins A, C, E and Vitamins B3 and B5 together with antioxidant botanicals Green Tea, Ginseng, Gotu kola and Kelp to protect the skin against environmental insults and provide light weight hydration and intense repair for skin.

A strapping man by the name of Jon Snow once said “Winter is coming”, how do we ensure our skin is supple and hydrated in the cooler months?

Autumn is a season of transition as we prepare our skin for the pending cooler months and seek repair following an intense summer. As the air becomes cooler and drier, hydration and maintaining barrier protection becomes perhaps the most important function of our skincare regime. Ecdysis Bio-Ferment Cleanse provides a luxurious creamy lather designed to leave your skin feeling clean without stripping away essential moisture. Ocinium serums are dual purpose both for target specific concerns and for increasing hydration and moisture to the skin with the inclusion of Hyaluronic acid and Aloe Vera for hydration as well as the plethora of botanical lipids for increased emoilency. The use of a moisiturising cream is essential not only for hydration and to leave the skin immediately plump but also for environmental protection against the elements. Dry and lack luster skin will benefit from the addition of a facial oil layered over a facial cream for increased barrier protection, moisture and hydration. Cold temperature restricts blood vessels and impairs circulation, whilst exercise is the most effective way to get the blood pumping, there are products that can assist microcirculation of the skin. The adaptogenic herb Ginseng stimulates blood flow and microcirculation, which encourages an immune response and promotes detoxification of the skin. Antioxidant rich Green Tea is known for its thermogenic ability, which effectively increases the skins metabolic rate, thus improving the removal of toxins and stimulating renewal. Find these circulatory and detoxifying ingredients working together in our Green Tea & Ginseng Facial Oil. Our lips are often the first place to show the signs of dehydration and are highly susceptible to dry, cold winds. Luxe Lip balm is our best friend when it comes to preventing and treating chapped lips.
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