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Kellie Collis of Salt by Hendrix

The skincare and home scents savant on why oil-based bar soaps trump regular bar soaps, how organic scents wield staying power and how to measure skin changes.

Since our teenage years, we’ve grown up with eczema as our constant companion. As a result, we’ve always had to shop for our beauty products with one pervading question in mind: “Are these suitable for eczema?” Spending so much time down under in Australia lately, we discovered Salt by Hendrix, a home-grown brand that falls in our “Yes” column.

At first sight, the aesthetics draw you in. Adorned with bold black fonts on white stickers, the glass casings hold multi-coloured liquids, bath flakes and flower petals suspended in organic essential oils. Looks aside, Salt by Hendrix is a plant-based beauty love fest — a mash-up so desirable, they proclaim it proudly in their subscription invite pop-up. Crafted for kids and adults alike, formulations are devoid of nasty chemicals and synthetics, vegan and cruelty-free.

Founded by Kellie Collis — who started mixing and matching wholesome ingredients in her kitchen for her son (Hendrix), who had incredibly sensitive skin and eczema as a baby — hordes of beauty editors and experts now regularly stock up on the Australian surf-inspired offerings. Its star product? The Mermaid Facial Oil, a moisturising mint tone skin saver that’s rich in fatty acids, vitamin A and E, and a line-up of essential oil wonders. Isn’t that neat?

What does “Salt by Hendrix” mean?

Hendrix is my son and we based our first formulations on amazing salt ingredients which had incredible impacts on his skin.

You created your organic line to treat your son’s eczema, a condition we’re familiar with ourselves. Which combination of products would you recommend for our faces when our skin starts acting up?

We recommend starting with our Coco-Salt Body Buff. The Dead Sea salt is amazing for the skin and the coconut milk is very hydrating for dry areas. We love to finish with a gentle oil like our Rose + Jojoba Hand + Body Oil which has Rose otto essential oil, or our Mermaid Facial Oil which has anti-inflammatory benefits. We always recommend using one product at a time and carefully add new products to ensure that skin changes are easily measurable.

Does this mean that all the products are suitable for young children too?

Yes, our range has been designed for use for the whole family. Knowing the source of our ingredients and ensuring they are free of toxins are key focuses for our brand. We are very conscious of the impact of ingredients on our health, as well as how to achieve maximum hydration and skin health without compromising our integrity and conscience.

Mermaid Facial Oil Salt by Hendrix Après Avant

What is it about the ingredients that make the Mermaid Facial Oil great for all skin types?

Camellia oil and pomegranate oil are gentle yet full of vitamins and minerals that promote skin rejuvenation. The oil is also light enough to wear under makeup or can be layered for a night of intense hydration. The skin will glow!

Salt by Hendrix Après Avant

What does it mean for a carrier oil to be “saponified”?

This is the way the oil is treated to become a soap. We love our Cleansing Bar range — they feature amazing simple ingredients that hydrate and clean the skin, as well as create a really beautiful lather which comes from the combination of air, water and oils. So amazing!

Salt by Hendrix-Après Avant

This crème has a very soft illuminating effect on the skin. It’s hydrating, fast drying and smells divine. It includes bilberry extract which has amazing benefits for skin health; along with other oils that give skin the nutrients and vitamins that it craves.

Which product was the most difficult for you to formulate in order to keep it as safe and natural as possible, and why?

Our Botanic Facial Serum is a complex formulation. It forms the base of our skin treatments and is jam-packed with amazing botanicals, vitamins and ingredients which address fine lines and hydration. It is water-based so it has a natural preservative along with other actives that are fantastic for the skin.

When shopping for bar soap, what should we be looking out for? And what is your advice for the best ways to use them?

Looking at the ingredient list is really important. We love a simple formulation with amazing essential oils that are incredible on the senses. Some oils are lighter than others and have different performance offerings so always do your research on your skin type, how it feels and what it needs.

Oil-based soaps are great for the body and face. We always recommend ensuring the skin is soft and supple from warm water, and then gently buff using the Cleansing Bars. For the face, try a small area first as the skin on the face can be much more sensitive. Once you are confident that the bar is suitable for your skin, gently massage the bar around the face and buff using your fingers. Finish with a face oil for immediate hydration once dry.

What gives the scent in an organic perfume oil its staying power?

The combination of scents, the loading of the fragrance and the balance of top, middle and base notes all assist with the scent lingering. We love that our scents smell amazing but also offer crazy amounts of goodness to the skin.

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“Knowing the source of our ingredients and ensuring they are free of toxins are key focuses for us.”

What does conscious beauty mean to you?

Knowing where our ingredients come from, that our offering is as much about wellness as it is about beauty, and not testing on animals! We are proud to deliver products that make people feel good both for their skin health and in their minds. We are incredibly thankful for the opportunity to make a difference.

Images courtesy of Salt by Hendrix