Toronto-based Graydon Skincare creates plant-based, results-driven skincare, formulated with clinically proven superfood ingredients. It was Graydon’s personal involvement in the wellness world as a vegan chef and yoga practitioner that led her to discover that the topical application and bioavailability of superfoods on her clients’ skin had noticeable results. This sparked the evolution of Graydon Skincare, where you'll find all your favourite actives like botanical retinol, collagen, peptides, hyaluronic acid, probiotics, niacinamide, vitamin C, and even gemstone crystals.
Because for a limited time, when you place an order through Well Told Health you will receive a sample of Graydon Skincare’s Superfood Serum and Fullmoon Serum as a gift with purchase, we thought we’d get to know a little more about the company.
As brands, we both recognize the power of plants. Can you talk about how you decided to start a skincare company made from whole food plant-based ingredients?
When I started out quite a few years ago, I was working as a vegan chef in Southern California. I was getting involved in the yoga industry and cooking, and I was making superfood masks on the side, using ingredients like turmeric, matcha and ginger. I was friends with an esthetician who had some celebrity clients, and she would secretly say, we’re going to do a superfood mask today as part of your protocol, and she was getting really great results. At that point I was literally using real superfoods, whole macerated plants, and that’s where the real inspiration for the brand came from, that was my “aha!” moment. When I returned to Toronto, I also started making products for my yoga clients, like mat cleaner and massage oil, and also products for their face, and I was using the same superfoods. Whether you’re a skincare brand, a supplement brand or you’re a chef, there’s a lot of commonality that comes from whole foods.
People often assume that the more ingredients a product contains or the more complicated the ingredients sound, the more effective the product must be. Can you explain why this isn’t necessarily the case?
I do have some products that have long ingredient lists, but I am definitely gravitating to a less is more philosophy. We have a superfood serum, which we are actually reformulating and taking a few things out of because it’s overwhelming to understand and sometimes it can be overwhelming for the body too. It’s like the notion of food combining, you really shouldn’t have too many things on your plate, keep it simple, it’s easier for your body to digest. I think it tends to be easier for a person, whether it’s skin or digestion to assimilate a very simple, strong, focused formula, as opposed to everything under the kitchen sink. Sometimes for us it depends on what we’re trying to accomplish, but we’re also not just selling products, there’s a tremendous amount of trust people have in us. When they put things on their face, it’s a leap of faith, so yes, less is more is definitely my philosophy.
Speaking of less vs. more, have you noticed a trend, especially over the last few months, around people simplifying their skincare routines?
It’s really gone in both directions. Some people working from have more time on their hands and have very elaborate routines; however, I think the opposite is actually more relevant. It’s a well-known fact that mental health issues are alive and well at the best of times and especially in Covid. People are just having trouble showing up, waking up, so the thought of having to do a long routine is overwhelming and daunting. So it’s OK to keep it very basic. You do need clean skin and you do need moisturized skin, but keep it to a bare minimum - one good cleanser, one good moisturizer, or maybe it’s just a face oil or a serum.
Most of us have a basic understanding of the importance of clean ingredients, both in terms of what we put in and on our bodies, but in a nutshell, why is using clean skincare and makeup so important?
It’s really an extension of our other lifestyle choices. Skincare and makeup are basically food for your skin, and you have the opportunity to make that food work hard for you, so that you can both feel and look good. So if you are already making choices to serve your body better with nutrition and lifestyle, why wouldn’t you extend that to other parts of your wellness routine? People put a lot of emphasis on wanting to look good and feel good, but if you’re wearing foundation and concealer day in and day out for 50 years of your life, you’ve basically starved your skin. People are obsessed with all these anti-aging ingredients and they say I want that the collagen and the peptides because they’re going to make my skin look better, but guess what, that’s because your skin is absorbing them. My mission is to be able to offer people the botanical version of those anti-aging ingredients -- botanical retinol, hyaluronic acid and collagen peptides.
What’s one thing that’s been keeping you “well” these days?
I’m trying not to use an alarm clock and allowing myself to wake up within my natural rhythm. I am a bit of a workaholic and sometimes do work very late; so if I don’t have a meeting planned early in the morning, I wake up naturally, otherwise I’m just so rattled. I also get a veggie box delivered once a week and it’s always a surprise. I can’t choose, it’s a small organic farm and they have a lot of very unusual root vegetables. Even though I pretty much work seven days a week, Saturday is my cooking day, because I have to cook the vegetables, or they’re going to rot in my fridge. That is my enforced self-care