A Q&A with Rebecca Powne, founder of AWE Cosmeceuticals
We speak to Rebecca Powne, founder of AWE Cosmeceuticals, and learn of her passion for discovering new skincare ingredients and educating people about Ayurvedic medicine.
What was your initial vision for creating AWE Cosmeceuticals, an Ayurvedic skincare range?
My vision was to create a skincare range that would combine the wisdom of Ayurveda with modern science. I want women to be inspired by Ayurvedic practices and ingredients and share the passion I have for skincare products that actually work. When customers share that the AWE skincare range helped to manage various skin conditions they thought were untreatable, I feel extremely proud. That’s what AWE Cosmeceuticals is about.
Please share with us what Ayurveda is and how its philosophy can be used to heal skin
Ayurveda translates to “the science of life” and is an ancient holistic medical system that originated from India some 5000 years ago. Ayurveda teaches that each person has an individual constitution (prakriti), which predisposes one to certain conditions/diseases. Ayurveda believes all disease originates from poor digestion. The core of Ayurveda is to find balance in the doshas (a combination of elements that reside in all of us) for mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing.
Ayurvedic herbs have long been used to treat the skin and improve ageing. Because all disease is attributed to poor digestion, the skin, being our largest organ, is naturally affected by ill health. Ayurveda has the world’s largest pharmacopeia at its disposal, which provides a wealth of ingredients to beautify the skin and promote a youthful, healthy complexion.
What are some of your favourite ingredients to blend?
I am passionate about finding and incorporating really potent Ayurvedic ingredients in my product range. There is so much you can do with natural substances that we don’t necessarily think of as skincare ingredients. We mostly use herbs that have a long history of use for application on the skin, such as Neem, Indian Gooseberry, Sandalwood, Holy Basil, Gotu Kola, Indian Frankincense, Turmeric and Liquorice.
Where do you source your ingredients?
One of our core philosophies is to source the absolute best ingredients for our products. Many of our Ayurvedic herbs and actives come from India and others are sourced depending on availability. Of course, peptides and cosmeceutical ingredients often come from Europe and some from India, and where possible, botanical extracts and oils are from Australian manufacturers.
Why is it important to avoid chemicals when it comes to skincare?
I personally do not like the term ‘chemical-free’, because all matter is essentially a chemical and chemicals can be natural substances. At AWE Cosmeceuticals we leave out all ingredients that are known irritants, sensitisers or toxic to the environment.
Please share the raw ingredient extraction and processes of blending/creating your products
The extraction method varies for different ingredients. Oils are generally cold-pressed, distilled or obtained via CO2 extraction, which ensures only extremely pure plant extracts remain. The product development process is one I share with my wonderful formulator. It typically starts with an idea or an ingredient and then through discussion and research, we work out a blend that has the actives in high concentrations to achieve the desired result. We then work on the base and fragrance of the product. I absolutely love creating new products and designing and testing unique blends. I can be creative and find it’s the most exciting aspect of the business.
What sustainable practices does AWE Cosmeceuticals adhere to?
At AWE Cosmeceuticals we are committed to sustainable practices and are always on the search for more environmentally friendly packaging. This is one of the biggest issues in the cosmetics industry. We do not pack in unnecessary cardboard boxes; our airless pumps are fully recyclable and we avoid plastic packaging where possible.
What are your three top tips for caring for our skin?
This might come as a bit of a surprising answer, but I truly believe that caring for your skin is about more than what you put on it. My top three tips would be:
- Eat well: healthy, fresh, nutritious food will help keep your gut healthy and, in turn, your skin. Eat according to your Ayurvedic dosha.
- Essential fatty acids: Poor skin barrier function is a major factor in many skin conditions. I believe essential fatty acids, both applied topically and taken internally, can have a substantial benefit to skin health.
- Sunblock: It may sound obvious but using sunblock every day is one of the most effective ways to avoid skin damage and skin ageing.
What’s next for AWE Cosmeceuticals?
We have a number of new products due out over the next 12 months which will include new skin tonics and a sunblock. We will also be adding more to our professional range, such as treatment masks. I am always interested in hearing about ideas for new products, so please don’t be shy to get in touch.