In the awards autumn series of blog posts, we get to know the brands and people behind the nominee products of the Nordic Natural Beauty Awards 2021. Today, we are proud to share more about the Finnish skincare brand Laponie of Scandinavia. In this post, the founder and CEO of Laponie, Kristina Pentti, shares her story of an almost lifelong struggle with skin issues, the road to healthy skin, and how it all lead to the creation of Laponie:
My skin was like a smorgasbord of skin issues – I had it all
I was 11 or 12 when my skin started acting up. First, a pimple or two, then some dry, angry red patches followed by the oiliest forehead known to man, and then, all of a sudden, nothing. Until came full-blown acne. And rosacea. And a bunch of other skin issues, that on top of all would change frequently, sometimes even from one day to another. Except for the unrivalled mean girl of skin diseases, seborrheic dermatitis, which put me in skin hell many days. But most days I just wanted to cry and hide.
Looking back, it feels like I tried every single skincare product, treatment, and medicine I could get my hands on. Some worked for a while, but nothing worked permanently. It took me surprisingly long to start looking at the labels and ingredients of the products I was using and also some time to figure out that certain ingredients just weren’t working for me.
Not flawless, but healthy
I started looking for products free from my growing no-go ingredient list, which back in the mid-90s was not the easiest of endeavors. After some very big misses, I got fed up, read everything I could find on skincare and cosmetic chemistry, and started making and using my own simple products.
Gradually, my skin got better. Not flawless, but healthy, which I came to appreciate much more, especially when I got older. My skin got worse plenty of times too but in general, over time, I started seeing consistent improvement. After a while, my skin never went back to being as horrible as it had once been. After so many years of trying to fit my skin into one of the classical skin types – dry, oily, combination, or sensitive – I also started approaching skincare on a daily basis: what does my skin need today, and why?
We live and breathe R&D to make simple and combinable products with a minimum of ingredients
In 2015 I took the plunge and founded Laponie Ltd, and several years and hundreds of formulations later, in early 2018 the first Laponie of Scandinavia products were launched. Today, in our lab outside Helsinki, I get to help our chemist Jaana create the products I always wanted and needed but could never find: simple, combinable products with a minimum of ingredients. In order to make that happen, we do a lot of research testing formulations and playing with ingredients until we find solutions that are effective yet simple and gentle.
Having our own lab gives us the freedom to do this kind of long-haul work. We get to take time to perfect our products. Behind each Laponie product, there are years of work and hundreds of formulations. And everything we sell, both our chemist Jaana and I have tested on ourselves extensively. As we both have a long history of skin issues, it’s not just business – it’s personal, too.
The number one issue for sensitive and problem skin is choosing the right cleanser
Good skincare starts with a good cleanse and choosing the right cleanser is key in caring for sensitive and problem skin. Too harsh a cleanse will upset your skin, but you still need to cleanse properly. Our Milk Cleanser is a rich but easily spreadable emulsion that efficiently yet gently removes oil, dirt, and makeup. It’s a great option for dehydrated, very dry, or very irritated skin, and also if you don’t want to rinse with water – the product can be wiped off with tissue or toner-soaked cotton pads. It’s worthwhile noting that our Milk Cleanser is meant to be applied to dry skin, with water added only when you rinse. This way it’s gentle yet very effective.
True to our minimalist selves, the Milk Cleanser contains only ten ingredients go in. As with all our products, we have formulated it with vegan and plant-based ingredients, and without any added fragrance or alcohol, using a skin-friendly preservative system.
The Milk Cleanser’s cleansing power comes from a combination of canola oil, plant-based glycerin, and xylitol. Canola oil is commonly used in cosmetics and is well-tolerated, skin-wise. It’s slightly higher in oleic acid (at around 60%), with linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids at a total of just over 30%, making it a good all-around oil for most, and especially for drier and eczema-prone skins.
Glycerin is one of the oldest, most common, and most versatile humectants used in cosmetics. It moisturises and protects the skin, accelerates skin barrier recovery, and has antimicrobial properties, among other things. Xylitol is one of our favourite skin hydrating and conditioning ingredients – it possesses anti-bacterial properties and has the ability to inhibit bacterial biofilm on the skin.
On a no-fuss mission to help
Having gone through puberty and some of the adulthood looking and especially feeling like crap, it became a mission to be able to help other people suffering from skin issues. Ultimately having shitty skin gave me loads of insight into ingredients and how the skin works, but it also impacted my self-esteem. To this day, when I see a person who is obviously embarrassed about their skin, I want to hug her or him and tell them it’s going to be okay. We know we’re making cream, not solving world peace, but sometimes the right cream really can make a difference.
Hope you like our stuff!
Nominated in the Nordic Natural Beauty Awards 2021:
Laponie of Scandinavia – Milk Cleanser