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Sara Khan of Terra Luna Beauty

The cosmically-inspired beauty founder on the product to swap out first when switching to a conscious routine, addressing neck and underarm wrinkles, and how to keep clogged pores to a minimum.

We’ve always been enamoured by the cosmos. So when we discovered Terra Luna Beauty via the Indie Beauty Expo 2017, an otherworldly skin and hair care brand that’s inspired by the sun, moon and stars but made with wholesome ingredients of the earth, we were sold.

Founder Sara Khan was struggling with cystic acne and hyperpigmentation in college when she started formulating her own skincare solutions. From her dorm room, to Etsy, to launching her own site, her brand is young (it debuted in 2015) but growing astronomically. With product names like Solstice Cleansing Oil, Tidal Wave Hair Texturizer and Mud Brightening Facial Polish, Terra Luna Beauty is after our own hearts.

Named after an allusion to the balance in nature, Sara crafts products which are basic and beautiful — cruelty-free, vegan, fair-trade, handmade, paraben-free and organic (save for water, salt and clays which are grown and therefore cannot be certified organic). They are also unisex and designed with users of all ages and skin types in mind. Her Nectar Instant Foaming Cleanser, for instance, uses a coconut-based foaming agent instead of the toxic, commercially used sodium laureth sulphate. Terra Luna Beauty also donates a portion of its profits to independent animal rescues.

In other words, the stars are aligned for this blooming beauty label.

“Just because a product claims to be “chemical-free” or “dermatologist-tested” doesn’t mean it’s any good for your skin.”

Terra Luna Beauty’s Nectar Instant Foaming Cleanser and Solstice Cleansing Oil

We love Terra Luna Beauty’s ethos of creating modern and mindful personal care products. What was your inspiration behind this philosophy?

My inspiration stems from the women in family. Growing up in a Bangladeshi home, there was always a huge value in self-care by utilising natural, wholesome ingredients. I really wanted to take that ancient tradition and present it to the world in a modern way that would appeal to people who may have otherwise looked in a different direction.

Since launching the brand in 2015, what have you noticed about the changes in the demands and needs of consumers of conscious beauty since then till now, and how do you see it evolving?

In the years leading up to our launch in 2015, ‘green beauty’ was still trying to find its footing. As the world becomes more and more transparent, consumers want to feel a connection with the companies that they support. They want to share the same beliefs and aesthetic, and they want to trust that the products they are purchasing are made truthfully and ethically.

More than ever, consumers want results, and conscious beauty brands are delivering that. With the influx of ‘green beauty’ brands coming out, conscious beauty has become somewhat trendy. My hope is that these trends lead to genuine scientific advancements that will allow ‘green beauty’ to become the standard in its industry.

How do you source your ingredients and ensure their quality?

We do our best to source ingredients directly from their countries of origin. This ensures that we get the most authentic ingredients with minimal disruption to the planet. It is also important to us to support farms that share our ideas of producing organic, sustainable goods.

The Detox Bath soaks melt in warm water to create a moisturising milk bath

Tell us more about your Bath Soaks, their formulation processes and how they are different from other bath products.

Our entire line is comprised of multi-purpose products and that quality is what makes our bath soaks so special. I saw a lot of different bath products coming out, from bath bombs, to oils, to salts and really wanted to create a soak that would take all of their best traits, without the frills, and put it into one.

Our Detox Baths have a coconut milk base to moisturise; salt to detox and relieve muscle tension, and clays to condition. I designed Moon to decompress, Saturn to soothe, and UFO to uplift. The formula is extremely delicate so each bath soak has to be mixed and filled by hand.

What does ‘clean cosmetics’ mean by your standards?

For me, it’s simple. Clean cosmetics should be cruelty-free, toxin-free, and honest.

Which skincare product would you recommend one swap out first for a conscious alternative, and what are five tips you’d give to someone who wants to switch to a conscious skincare routine?

Start with the product that you’re least attached to and continue swapping out one product at a time.

My five tips are: When switching over to a clean beauty routine, take it slow. Throwing out your entire beauty cabinet at once would be stressful and your skin wouldn’t thank you for it.

Identify your skincare needs and goals.

Align yourself with companies that share your definition of conscious beauty.

Read the ingredients. Don’t write off the ones you don’t recognise.

Keep an eye out for gimmicks. Just because a product claims to be “chemical-free” or “dermatologist-tested” doesn’t mean it’s any good for your skin.

Besides Terra Luna Beauty, what are three of your favourite skincare brands and their products?

It’s really tough to narrow it down to three but I would have to say Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial, Sunday Riley’s U.F.O. Face Oil, and Farmacy’s Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask are my favourite discoveries in the past year.

As far as skincare issues go, neck and underarm wrinkles aren’t often talked about. What can we do about them?

“The skin on your neck is just as delicate and prone to damage as the skin on your face.”

The neck is the most overlooked area in skincare! The skin on your neck is just as delicate and prone to damage as the skin on your face. Everything from cleansers, toners, creams, and sunscreen should be extended to your neck to prevent wrinkles, dark spots and sagging.

Our underarms are sensitive, yet subjected to waxing, shaving and toxic deodorants. Exfoliating is vital. Our Espresso Scrub is the perfect product to buff away dirt and dead skin. It also contains caffeine to tighten and brighten your underarms.

Also, be extremely picky about your deodorants. Opt for a nourishing formula without aluminium, triclosan or added fragrance.

Clogged pores are a constant problem for everyone we know, men and women. Besides regular cleansing and exfoliating, how can we keep their profile to a minimum?

Facial steams! Steaming allows your pores to open up and breathe so that your skincare products can penetrate your skin instead of just sitting on the surface. I love a good herbal steam once a week but if you’re lazy, just turn on a hot shower, sit back and allow the steam to envelop your skin.

What does conscious beauty mean to you?

To me, conscious beauty is synonymous with guilt-free beauty. It’s being able to practice the art of self-care without causing any harm to your body or world around you. There is great power in mindfulness.

The brand’s products are cruelty-free, vegan, fair-trade, handmade, paraben-free and organic (save for water, salt and clays which are grown and therefore cannot be certified organic)

Images courtesy of Terra Luna Beauty