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Q&A with Evan Healy, founder of evanhealy skincare

Evanhealy Founder

Evan Healy’s ultra-pure skin care line—well-loved by Pharmaca estheticians—starts with the earth’s best ingredients and ends with efficacious formulas that support the skin’s natural processes. We chatted with Evan to learn about her unique philosophy.

How did you get your start in skin care?

After six years in the high fashion industry in San Francisco, I was ready for a change. So, in 1984 I moved from San Francisco to San Diego. I went from fashion to natural personal care, specifically holistic skin care—a field I knew absolutely nothing about.

I focused on learning about skin care product ingredients. I learned to value organic ingredients over chemicals and synthetics. I championed the use of organically grown, biologically active, plant-based ingredients: essential oils, shea butters, natural clays, serums, plant milks and hydrosols. I requested that our manufacturers replace synthetic petro-chemicals with safer, more natural and organically grown alternatives.

Eventually I developed a real love of skin health, and wanted to work more hands-on with people, so in 1986 I trained as an esthetician in the US, and then in Germany. Later I spent more time studying Ayurveda, aromatherapy and homeopathy in France, England and India.

My core philosophy is founded on the premise that the less you interfere with the skin's own ability to achieve balance, the better. This holistic and naturopathic approach still challenges some of our society's fundamental beliefs relating to beauty, (anti) aging and care of the skin.

Simplicity is what connects us to the natural world. Along the way I have learned to trust my intuition and to increasingly rely on and have respect for the rhythms of nature, and the traditional knowledge of indigenous cultures.

How do you identify new ingredients? Where do you source them?

For me, it’s not as much about identifying a new ingredient, as it is in rediscovering, ‘unearthing’ ancient ones. Nature has always supplied us with an incredible bounty of truly therapeutic materials.

For example, within rosehip seed oil there’s a compound called trans-retinoic-acid, which is a precursor to vitamin A. But it’s also got countless other compounds and co-factors. By using rosehip seed oil, you see nearly the same results as you would with a synthetic topical vitamin A, without any of the harsh side effects. Nature creates a perfect matrix.

Oils, hydrosols, clay, shea butter—these naturally occurring raw materials are representative of a selection of traditional, ancient ingredient ‘basics,’ building blocks that have been used for 1000s of years to beautify and balance skin, and their effective, rejuvenating action on the skin has been well documented.

This idea has a more substantial appeal to me than the over-hyped magical ingredient du jour: experimental extracts, chemically manipulated isolates, cosmeceutical or petrochemical synthetics to which the skin is unfamiliar. Intuitively, it made more sense to me to use substances that were compatible with the body’s physiology—substances that were environmentally sustainable, renewable and certified organic. I also prefer to package in glass.

As humans, we’ve evolved and adapted right alongside the plant world, a world to which we are intimately connected via our senses of sight, scent, taste and touch.

In short, we’re made for each other.

We gain so much by returning to the wisdom and power of nature. It really is the only option for long-term, sustainable skin health. That’s something I’ve seen time and time again in the 30 years I’ve been working with skin.

—-

I’m really passionate about sourcing our ingredients.

I believe it’s tremendously important to know where your ingredients are coming from. There’s so much adulteration in the aromatherapy business that it’s one of the only ways to truly know that what you’re purchasing is authentic.

Still, for me that’s not enough. I don’t want to just know what farms our ingredients are from, I want to actively cultivate relationships with the people who are producing these remarkable plants.

I’ve spent decades of my life seeking out the most incredible artisans I can find. Growers and producers who create small batches, are certified organic and have a genuine passion for what they’re doing. All of this contributes to creating ingredients that have superior therapeutic application and incomparable purity. Beyond incredible effects on the skin, this kind of sourcing empowers individuals and families over huge corporations.

We source our ingredients from small family farms, tribal villages and women’s cooperatives. And many, if not most, of these are certified organic.

Do you have any environmental or community-focused initiatives as a company?

This question is actually difficult to answer because every avenue of my business aims to support the environment and our global community.

From using certified organic plant material to recycled or compostable materials in our packaging and shipping, we make a conscious effort to be sustainable across our business. Everything is hand-bottled, hand-labeled and hand packaged. This helps retain the energetic vitality of the plant material.

We also like to give back to the communities we work with. The shea butter we use in many of our products comes from a small village in northwestern Ghana called Kperisi, where the shea butter is traditionally harvested and handcrafted. At this point, we’ve supplied the children of the village with school uniforms (they can’t attend unless they have one), funded the building of a grinding mill for their community, and co-funded their organic and Fair Trade certification.

In Morocco, we co-sponsored the planting of 400 argan sapling trees in a UNESCO-protected biosphere. The trees will mature within 6–8 years and bear the valuable fruit that sustains these women, their children and extended families.

What drew you to Pharmaca as a retailer?

Pharmaca represents the intersection between alternative and conventional medicine, and plays an innovative, integral role in the retail environment.

As an esthetician, I value and appreciate Pharmaca’s emphasis on education and love that you staff your stores with estheticians, herbalists, pharmacists, nutritionists, etc. Through your team, you’re not only providing exceptional customer service, but also empowering your customers with information. That’s an important role in today’s retail environment.

Your skin looks amazing! What are your evanhealy must haves for youthful-looking skin?

I have such a simple routine! In fact, of all the skin-related issues that are important to me, the one that I speak of the most often, is the concept of less is more. I use one of my Oil Serums twice a day AM+PM and I mist HydroSouls throughout the day. There is always one in my purse, on my desk or in my onboard travel kit. I don’t walk out the door without applying my Wild Carrot Eye Balm, and my Whipped Shea Butter for Lips is always in my purse or backpack.

During my years in my skin care practice I experienced a few epiphanies. The most important one was about self-esteem and its relationship to beauty. I spent years listening to women speak about what they see as their facial imperfections, and recently read that only 2 percent of all women around the world consider themselves beautiful.

But the truth is we are not separate from the beauty we seek. Beauty surrounds us.

It's a bit like the Japanese concept of wabi sabi, that pared down to its essence is where the real beauty lies. It's to give voice to the thought that real beauty is never perfect, not elusive, but lies in the cracks and crevices of our lives every minute of the day.

+  Founder Q&A

Q&A with Evan Healy, founder of evanhealy skincare

Evanhealy Founder

Evan Healy’s ultra-pure skin care line—well-loved by Pharmaca estheticians—starts with the earth’s best ingredients and ends with efficacious formulas that support the skin’s natural processes. We chatted with Evan to learn about her unique philosophy.

How did you get your start in skin care?

After six years in the high fashion industry in San Francisco, I was ready for a change. So, in 1984 I moved from San Francisco to San Diego. I went from fashion to natural personal care, specifically holistic skin care—a field I knew absolutely nothing about.

I focused on learning about skin care product ingredients. I learned to value organic ingredients over chemicals and synthetics. I championed the use of organically grown, biologically active, plant-based ingredients: essential oils, shea butters, natural clays, serums, plant milks and hydrosols. I requested that our manufacturers replace synthetic petro-chemicals with safer, more natural and organically grown alternatives.

Eventually I developed a real love of skin health, and wanted to work more hands-on with people, so in 1986 I trained as an esthetician in the US, and then in Germany. Later I spent more time studying Ayurveda, aromatherapy and homeopathy in France, England and India.

My core philosophy is founded on the premise that the less you interfere with the skin's own ability to achieve balance, the better. This holistic and naturopathic approach still challenges some of our society's fundamental beliefs relating to beauty, (anti) aging and care of the skin.

Simplicity is what connects us to the natural world. Along the way I have learned to trust my intuition and to increasingly rely on and have respect for the rhythms of nature, and the traditional knowledge of indigenous cultures.

How do you identify new ingredients? Where do you source them?

For me, it’s not as much about identifying a new ingredient, as it is in rediscovering, ‘unearthing’ ancient ones. Nature has always supplied us with an incredible bounty of truly therapeutic materials.

For example, within rosehip seed oil there’s a compound called trans-retinoic-acid, which is a precursor to vitamin A. But it’s also got countless other compounds and co-factors. By using rosehip seed oil, you see nearly the same results as you would with a synthetic topical vitamin A, without any of the harsh side effects. Nature creates a perfect matrix.

Oils, hydrosols, clay, shea butter—these naturally occurring raw materials are representative of a selection of traditional, ancient ingredient ‘basics,’ building blocks that have been used for 1000s of years to beautify and balance skin, and their effective, rejuvenating action on the skin has been well documented.

This idea has a more substantial appeal to me than the over-hyped magical ingredient du jour: experimental extracts, chemically manipulated isolates, cosmeceutical or petrochemical synthetics to which the skin is unfamiliar. Intuitively, it made more sense to me to use substances that were compatible with the body’s physiology—substances that were environmentally sustainable, renewable and certified organic. I also prefer to package in glass.

As humans, we’ve evolved and adapted right alongside the plant world, a world to which we are intimately connected via our senses of sight, scent, taste and touch.

In short, we’re made for each other.

We gain so much by returning to the wisdom and power of nature. It really is the only option for long-term, sustainable skin health. That’s something I’ve seen time and time again in the 30 years I’ve been working with skin.

—-

I’m really passionate about sourcing our ingredients.

I believe it’s tremendously important to know where your ingredients are coming from. There’s so much adulteration in the aromatherapy business that it’s one of the only ways to truly know that what you’re purchasing is authentic.

Still, for me that’s not enough. I don’t want to just know what farms our ingredients are from, I want to actively cultivate relationships with the people who are producing these remarkable plants.

I’ve spent decades of my life seeking out the most incredible artisans I can find. Growers and producers who create small batches, are certified organic and have a genuine passion for what they’re doing. All of this contributes to creating ingredients that have superior therapeutic application and incomparable purity. Beyond incredible effects on the skin, this kind of sourcing empowers individuals and families over huge corporations.

We source our ingredients from small family farms, tribal villages and women’s cooperatives. And many, if not most, of these are certified organic.

Do you have any environmental or community-focused initiatives as a company?

This question is actually difficult to answer because every avenue of my business aims to support the environment and our global community.

From using certified organic plant material to recycled or compostable materials in our packaging and shipping, we make a conscious effort to be sustainable across our business. Everything is hand-bottled, hand-labeled and hand packaged. This helps retain the energetic vitality of the plant material.

We also like to give back to the communities we work with. The shea butter we use in many of our products comes from a small village in northwestern Ghana called Kperisi, where the shea butter is traditionally harvested and handcrafted. At this point, we’ve supplied the children of the village with school uniforms (they can’t attend unless they have one), funded the building of a grinding mill for their community, and co-funded their organic and Fair Trade certification.

In Morocco, we co-sponsored the planting of 400 argan sapling trees in a UNESCO-protected biosphere. The trees will mature within 6–8 years and bear the valuable fruit that sustains these women, their children and extended families.

What drew you to Pharmaca as a retailer?

Pharmaca represents the intersection between alternative and conventional medicine, and plays an innovative, integral role in the retail environment.

As an esthetician, I value and appreciate Pharmaca’s emphasis on education and love that you staff your stores with estheticians, herbalists, pharmacists, nutritionists, etc. Through your team, you’re not only providing exceptional customer service, but also empowering your customers with information. That’s an important role in today’s retail environment.

Your skin looks amazing! What are your evanhealy must haves for youthful-looking skin?

I have such a simple routine! In fact, of all the skin-related issues that are important to me, the one that I speak of the most often, is the concept of less is more. I use one of my Oil Serums twice a day AM+PM and I mist HydroSouls throughout the day. There is always one in my purse, on my desk or in my onboard travel kit. I don’t walk out the door without applying my Wild Carrot Eye Balm, and my Whipped Shea Butter for Lips is always in my purse or backpack.

During my years in my skin care practice I experienced a few epiphanies. The most important one was about self-esteem and its relationship to beauty. I spent years listening to women speak about what they see as their facial imperfections, and recently read that only 2 percent of all women around the world consider themselves beautiful.

But the truth is we are not separate from the beauty we seek. Beauty surrounds us.

It's a bit like the Japanese concept of wabi sabi, that pared down to its essence is where the real beauty lies. It's to give voice to the thought that real beauty is never perfect, not elusive, but lies in the cracks and crevices of our lives every minute of the day.

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Pharmaca carries Evanhealy skin care products made with holistic ingredients that leave skin radiant and beautiful. Evanhealy products at Pharmaca feature certified organic ingredients like nut and seed oils, prepared flower essences, herbal extracts and essential oils. Pharmaca’s selection of Evanhealy products includes Blue Lavender Cleansing Milk, Green Tea Clay Mask, Chamomile Moisturizer, Facial Tonics, Serums and more.
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Pharmaca carries natural eye creams to help you brighten dark circles, reduce wrinkles and fine lines, and rejuvenate cells to create firmer skin around your eyes. By applying natural eye creams, you can help fight wrinkles without exposing your skin to harmful chemicals. Pharmaca offers a variety of eye creams that are paraben free, fragrance free and not tested on animals. Pharmaca's selection of natural eye creams includes hydration creams, anti-aging creams, eye lift creams, firming eye gels and more.