We give so much attention to nourishing our bodies with healthy eating, but what about our skin? SCHMEAR is a new Vancouver natural skincare brand that’s inspired by the food we eat, using ingredients like fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, spices, and botanicals. This Vancouver natural skincare brand was founded from the desire to provide wholesome skincare products that are simple to use and transparent in their values and ingredients.
Jeffrey and Kitty, the two friends behind SCHMEAR, believe that nourishing your body from the inside out is just as important from the outside in — the food we consume should also be applicable for personal care products. After all, if ingredients are not good enough to consume, then why should they be good enough for your skin?
To be comfortable in your skin, you should be comfortable with what you use on your skin. Read on to find out about the Vancouver natural skincare brand SCHMEAR.
MMV: How did you get the idea for your Vancouver natural skincare brand SCHMEAR?
It all started in our kitchens! Like many people, we were creating our own DIY skincare products from ingredients found in our fridge or pantry, such as honey face masks, coconut body butters or moisturizing olive oil blends. These DIY products resonated with us, and many others, because they used ingredients that we can trust. With that sentiment of trust, we focused on formulating skincare products derived from food ingredients that are commonly safe to consume.
The range of natural skincare products can be overwhelming, and similarly to the food industry, the term “natural” is a loosely used and unregulated term. We saw an opportunity to create an option that is honest about ingredients, simple to use and truly natural. With that, we’re on the mission of raising the standard for natural skincare products.
MMV: Has elements of your day job crossed over into your experience for SCHMEAR?
Kitty: I’m an accountant by trade and have had experience working in the finance and operations of growing stage companies. As we try to grow SCHMEAR, every business decision is drawn from our previous experiences. My most important inspiration is from my work at Lunapads, and their commitment to breakdown gender taboos in the menstrual industry. With SCHMEAR, we want to create products where everyone and anyone can feel comfortable identifying with; we will strive to ensure our brand and products are inclusive to all.
Jeffrey: My career concentration is in natural food product development & innovation and I have experience working with wholesome and nutrient rich ingredients. Fundamentally, our skin benefits from essential nutrients, so we formulate by choosing food ingredients to provide this naturally and holistically.
Formulating skincare can be quite similar to formulating food products in many aspects. For example, both food and skincare products require processes to keep them stable and safe to use over time. One of the major differences is that many ingredients that are restricted from food products, are actually permitted to be used in skincare products! That is why at SCHMEAR, I am able to reflect back to my experience formulating natural food products, and allow us to commit to not using synthetic emulsifiers or preservatives
MMV: Why did you choose to start your brand with face-care products?
We wanted to choose a product that helped the consumer associate their skincare with food. DIY Face masks are the one of most common skincare products people experiment with at home – either it be an avocado mask, honey mask or coffee scrub. We wanted to introduce and build our brand upon this DIY food mask experience that many have already had and continue to expand our product lines in other face and body care products.
One size does not fit all in skincare, and so we focused on creating face masks that deliver a different function based on the food and botanical ingredients, and use gentle colloidal oatmeal as the base. As a powder format, our masks can be customized by mixing liquid of choice, such as water, honey, or even green tea. Also, our mask is multipurpose and can be used as a grain cleanser or scrub!
MMV: Is your packaging also inspired by food products?
The idea behind our packaging is to simply highlight the ingredients found in the product: food and botanical based ingredients. When we launched our face masks, we really liked the idea of packaging that reminded of spice or jam jars. We wanted our packaging to resonate with our food- based brand and differentiate from the conventional round plastic containers. We aim to prioritize glass so our packaging can easily be reused or refilled; they can serve as great spice containers or mini planters!
MMV: What are some things that everyone should do for better skin?
- Drink lots of water
- Sweat it out – sweating helps clear pores, rejuvenates skin, promotes blood circulation, improves sleep quality
- Have a good night’s sleep
- Read your product labels and learn about ingredients. As consumers become more savvy with learning about where their food comes from and reading read labels, we believe they will be more keen to consider all products they use for their body. Reading and learning about ingredients is the first step to creating a personal care routine that works for you!
What are your future plans with SCHMEAR?
In the short term, our goals including launching our website and solidifying our local presence. We have big goals to prioritize innovation and build out our skincare offerings grounded in food and botanicals. Of course, with any product we launch, we will remain true to our product values of being free from synthetic preservatives, emulsifiers, fragrances and colourants.
Currently, our products can be found across Canada, from west coast Vancouver to east coast Lunenburg, Nova Scotia and a couple cities in between. As we expand, we want to also continue to explore opportunities that would allow customers to buy or refill our products in bulk. We currently have a zero-waste store in Vancouver that offers our face masks in bulk; we see this option as a win-win for customer, the brand, and the planet.