With its minimal, no-nonsense packaging and equally clean approach to ingredients, the New Zealand-based skincare label Sans [ceuticals] has been at the forefront of the natural beauty movement since it was established in 2007. Way ahead of its time with its fusion of natural ingredients and efficaceous, hard-hitting science, Sans [ceuticals]’ line of multi-functional products relies on high doses of active ingredients to stimulate cell rejuvenation, stimulate cell renewal, repair internal tissue in skin and hair, and reduce scar tissue.
Sans [ceuticals]’ sustainability credentials go way beyond its additive-free formulas. In addition to being made without animal testing, artificial colours and fragrances, bleaches, mineral oils, sulfates, petrochemicals, pthalates, parabens, steroids and other nasties, each product has been designed to simplify one’s daily rituals so as to minimise clutter and waste. With one eye on the way things should function as the way nature intended, Sans [ceuticals] recommends rotating and changing products according to the seasons. For example, autumn often requires a more reparative and nourishing approach to skin and hair that has been put through the extremes of summer heat and seawater, while wintery temperatures call for the use of products that will replenish moisture and lipids.
The label’s timeless ethos has made its founder, Lucy Vincent Marr – a former hairstylist – a true natural beauty pioneer. Her first product, the line’s Activator 7 Oil, is a potent, vitamin A and E-rich oil that treats everything from eczema and acne to stretch marks and sun damage. Perfect for daily use on both hair and skin, this healing elixir has developed a cult following, thanks to its ability to boost collagen production, moisture levels and stimulate cell repair.
As much about results as it is about ingredients, Sans [ceuticals]’ less-is-more attitude is something we can all aspire to.
What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness is a state of mind. It should be pleasurable, both in process and result.
What are some of your cherished daily/weekly/monthly rituals?
I’m a big fan of keeping this simple. The more complicated and extravagant a ritual, the less likely we are to do it. Having time out with a cookbook, a bath on a winter’s night. It is usually solitary time that's my most cherished because it’s something I very rarely get to do.
Walk us through your morning ritual and how that sets you up for the day.
I have a minimalist routine. This is by necessity, not design. Aside from getting out of bed, it’s like a fire drill in my home every morning, so the focus is on [making] packed school lunches, brushing teeth and getting out the door. From a beauty perspective, I’d rather spend my time doing other things than wiping stuff all over my face and body. A brilliant dermatologist, who I’m close to thinks that that we do far too much to our skin, and I agree. A simple, singular approach can be far more powerful.
Having said that, I use Sans [ceuticals] Goji Cleansing Oil everywhere. I wash my hair once a week with Sans Nourishing Hair Wash & Ultra+. I mix Activator 7 Oil with Synergie Super Serum C and I apply my mascara in the car. I do sometimes wear RMS Un-Coverup, which is made primarily of pigment and coconut oil.
How does this compare with how you end each day?
I don't work at night once the kids go to bed like I used to, only if I have a huge deadline. Getting outdoors with the kids really helps me to disconnect and I find I sleep better because of it. Failing that, I’ll cook dinner, followed by a glass of red wine, some dark chocolate and Netflix.
What is your preferred mode of exercise and why?
I used to do yoga 2-3 times a week and felt the best ever. If I’m honest, now I struggle to fit it in, but I don't feel guilty about it as I know I will get there again. I have to say I’m not mad on exercise, but I love yoga and walking because it helps turn down the volume from my working day, helps me be more present and gives me mental clarity and space.
Do you believe in supplements?
My mum always said, ‘A little bit of what you fancy does you good,’ so I always go with the yin and yang approach. Having said this, I prefer food in its natural state and eating an alkaline diet does amazing things for making skin radiant. I have also recently discovered taking omega 7 (sea buckthorn oil) capsules. It’s the closest thing to your own natural sebum therefore it is readily utilized and absorbed.
How does your work reflect your outlook on life?
Sans is truly a culmination of everything I love. I am very connected to nature and the land. It has informed my upbringing, my interests, how I spend my time, and of course, the use of natural ingredients in Sans products.
In 1995, I became ill and started to research ways to heal and transform the body through natural and alternative methods. This opened up a whole new path for me, looking into what we eat, what we put on our bodies and into our environment, and what influence we can have through voting with our wallets. It’s been a long and interesting journey, one that has very much shaped our philosophy — combining nature with the precision of science to create high performance products.
If you're feeling down or stressed, what's your surefire pick-me-up?
A hot bath and wine!
How do you regulate being on your phone?
I’ve never had too much of a problem with this. I don’t tend to spend much of my personal time on my phone. My weekends are for my boys and spending time with people, or doing things I love, rather than scrolling mindlessly.
Words: Pei-Ru KehPhotography: Greta Van Der Starwww.sansceuticals.com