As I settle into my seat at the coffee shop where I’m meeting Sarah, the creator of AESARA Organic Skincare, I am struck by glow. Sarah’s skin is radiant and reflects a healthy, luminous light that just invites you in. I’m so excited to get to know her.
AESARA Organic Skincare is a skincare line formulated with totally natural products made with zero synthetics. What sets the Toronto-based AESARA apart from other skincare lines is how it uses the most potent organic botanicals and oils. Sarah’s path to creating AESARA traces back to her childhood love for all things natural. She explains, “In the early 1980’s, my family went on a trip to England and I went into The Body Shop. It wasn’t in North America yet. I bought a whole bunch of their products and fell in love with natural skincare.”
Fast forward to 2002, Sarah decided to study registered massage therapy. Working with late stage cancer patients at Princess Margaret Lodge, Sarah noticed how well her patients’ skin responded to the high-grade natural botanicals and oils she used. There were no reactions, no irritations. So Sarah began to look into the medical research behind these ingredients and the benefits they could have for skin.
Sarah attended McMaster University, where she studied medical acupuncture, focusing on facial rejuvenation. After graduation, she had a tiny studio in downtown Oakville where she practiced for years. Today, Sarah talks passionately about the healing properties of facial rejuvenation acupuncture, gushing about how it promotes collagen production” “It works on the simple premise of the ‘wound healing response’.” Sarah continues, “Any time the body feels like there is anything invading it, it instantaneously releases histamines and cells that create collagen. Collagen is almost like a network of cobwebs and that’s how it brings collagen to the surface and elevates your skin. It’s a slow process but it really works.”
When Sarah turned forty, she doubled down on her commitment to natural skincare. She was beginning to have horrible reactions to the skincare products she was purchasing and using on herself. Even the ones that were considered to be more natural, she would look at the labels and see only 10% or 20% organic content. Sarah knew she could make something better: “I am a big fan of Maya Angelou and she writes about the courage it takes to create. But I breathed in deep and decided to do it.”
Sarah’s mission began with sourcing the absolute best, highest quality products. Drawing on her extensive experience with natural beauty, Sarah began to dig into the research. She knew quality products started with quality ingredients. So that meant starting with organic products-or as organic as she could get them. Says Sarah, “Not every botanical can be sourced at 100% certified organic. Hazelnut oil is very difficult to get certified organic, even though the process is practically certified organic anyway.” But Sarah can say with absolute confidence her product contain 95%-97% organic ingredients.
I asked why it was so important for the ingredients to be organic. According to Sarah, “When you think of an ingredient from nature, it really begins with the soil. When a plant is in a chemical based soil, they’re sucking up all the chemicals, so it might be a product made with ‘natural’ ingredients, but if they’re not organic, they still contain chemicals. It’s going to have an effect on your skin.” Normally, we consumers experience such a distance from the sourcing of our beauty products, so I hadn’t thought about the soil my botanicals were grown in until I met Sarah!
AESARA’s product line currently has four serums. Each one has involved such an extraordinary amount of research that Sarah’s mantra is to be slow and steady with building her product line. Sarah is almost ready to launch two more products, an exfoliant and a cleanser. Her products can be purchased online, or at The Cure Apothecary, situated at 719 Queen Street West.
Sarah’s approach to skincare differs from other lines, because her serums pack such a strong punch. Some skincare brands require you to purchase entire lines to achieve results. But AESARA’s serums are so powerful, you can use them on their own or easily incorporate one into your current routine. The efficacy of her products is of the utmost importance to Sarah: “Multinational companies want to make skincare so complicated, because they profit off of fear. But really you just need an amazing exfoliant, a great serum, maybe a moisturizer. That and a little SPF, and great! You’re good to go.”
Sarah has achieved early success with AESARA. Sarah sent some products to Lucky Bromhead, the Canadian celebrity makeup artist. Bromhead started using them on clients like Alessia Cara and the casts of the CBC television hits Schitt’s Creek and the Baronness von Sketch show. What does Sarah think of all this success? “Knowing that Lucky is using my serums alongside brands like Dior and Armani is really so validating. She’s tried a ton of products and mine is the one she wants to use; it’s so humbling.”
As we wrap up our coffee, Sarah tells me the dreams she has for AESARA Organic Skincare. She starts with her goal of sourcing more ingredients from organic farmers around the world, having her products stocked in spas and high-end department stores. As she works towards those goals, for now Sarah is so happy her clients purchasing her serums are seeing results. With her radiant skin, Sarah leans to tell me, “Honestly, if I didn’t see results on myself, I would have stopped producing AESARA a long time ago. But it works, and so I keep making it. It’s as simple as that.”
And it really is that simple…