We cannot express how extremely excited we are to have been able to bring our subscribers (and newcomers) this limited-edition collaboration box with Votary.
Their philosophy is simple; beautiful skin begins with clean skin. With so many products and ingredients around on the marketplace we know that there can be a tendency to overcomplicate what should be a straightforward and consistent skincare routine.
With that in mind, we sat down with makeup artist, former beauty editor and co-founder of Votary, Arabella Preston, to delve into the range and get the trade secrets from an experienced skincare specialist.
What was your background prior to launching Votary? How did this inform your product range?
I used to be a make-up artist and was always skin obsessed. If your skin is glowing your make-up will look great. I would always prep clients’ skin by massaging a few drops of facial oil in before starting the base. Natural plant oils absorb so beautifully and allow you to have a really effective massage.
Discovering oil cleansing was a real eureka moment. I realised I had been drying and stripping my skin when I cleansed, and it wasn’t even properly clean! A great cleansing oil will melt away make-up, SPF and grime without stressing your skin. Your skin should always feel plump and soft after cleansing, not dry or tight.
What is the meaning of Votary?
Votary means a devotee or follower of someone or something. It alludes to our passion for formulating with natural plant oils and actives to achieve beautifully healthy, happy.
Your products are plant-powered and cruelty-free, what was the reasoning for this and how important are those same values to you in your personal life?
Cruelty free is simply non-negotiable for us and in the UK is the law in any case. Our vegan status is important to us, I don’t think it is necessary to formulate with animal derived ingredients, and there are too many superior alternatives to warrant it. I am not personally a vegan or vegetarian, but I do try to shop mindfully for dairy or meat products. I am eating a lot less meat than I used to, so it is totally possible I won’t be eating any in 5 years’ time.
What is the secret behind super seed oils and why are they so good for the skin?
Ah! My great passion. I always start by saying we are meant to have oils in our skin. All of us have natural lipids that are a crucial part of our skin barrier function and microbiome. When those lipids are disrupted, or stripped problems will occur. As we age (like all the good stuff sadly) our lipid levels decrease, which is why dryness can be a problem for mature skin. And of course, dry skin very often becomes dehydrated skin, as without sufficient oils your skin cannot retain the necessary moisture levels.
Nourishing your skin with super seed oils makes perfect sense. The pure oils contain essential fatty acids (they are called ‘essential’ for good reason) and they work to prevent water loss from the skin and protect it from environmental factors too. Wherever possible we work with cold-pressed oils as this method retains the maximum nutrients from the raw ingredients.
Give us your key components to the ideal skincare routine?
Proper cleansing is everything. It is the beginning of a great skincare routine and once you have sorted it everything else tends to fall into place. Oil cleansing gets the skin really clean without stripping it of your natural oils, so the skin barrier is not compromised for the sake of cleansing.
Follow cleansing with a serum that will address any particular concerns or help you achieve your skin goals. I love using peptides, hyaluronic acid, or a brightening aha like glycolic acid at this stage.
And then I always follow with a facial oil. For me it makes sense to put facial oil on before a cream as I like to ‘build up’ in terms of texture. However, I know lots of people do prefer to do cream then oil and that’s absolutely fine! Remember you know your skin better than anyone else ever can and you should always feel empowered to do what feels right for you.
What is your favourite product in the range?
I will have to go with Super Seed Facial Oil. It’s our bestselling facial oil and we took a risk launching it. Because it is free from fragrance allergens you really smell the natural seed oils. I love it but it is a little bit unusual. Thankfully, it has been embraced by customers all over the world who love it’s gentle, yet skin transforming power.
What can we expect from Votary in 2021?
Well wouldn’t we all love a crystal ball to predict what 2021 has in store. Like most of us I won’t be sad to see the back of 2020. We are planning new product launches of course. We have a new serum and possibly an exciting development in cleansers, but I can’t say more!
So, there you have it, watch this space for the evolution in Votary’s already trailblazing skincare range…