Luminance Skincare is a small company, who believes passionately in paring down skin products by taking out the nonsense and feeding the skin with ingredients that you would just as happily put in your mouth as you would the largest organ your body possesses. Ingredients such as radish, basil, sunflower, avocado oil and coconut, there is truly nothing nasty in these elegantly labelled bottles. All Luminance’s products, which are organic, vegan, raw and void of synthetics and toxins, are formulated by founder Kim Rollo Emanuel himself.
Formed a little more than a year ago, the company is going from strength to strength with the bulk of their business coming from online sources, followed by certain farmers’ markets and select stores. You only have to read the feedback on their website to know that their philosophy is working. I would say that Luminance most definitely has what I want in a company and that’s what I call a ‘John Lewis‘ mentality. You may only understand this statement if, like me, you’re British so I’ll explain away. Simply put, Luminance believes in putting the customer first – at all costs. It seems such an obvious thing to say but sadly it’s something few businesses are capable of doing. That’s why this company is going places. Well … that and its exceptional products.
I’m very lucky with my skin. It has always been clear and smooth, and rarely does it break out. However it has a tendency to be dry (thanks ever so much for that, thyroid gland!) and sadly I fall into Luminance’s ‘mature’ skin category. Boo!! Nevertheless, when Elena emailed to ask if I would like to try some of their products I didn’t have to think for long. As you can see I was a very lucky girl, because here’s what I got –
delicate facial cleanser
pure rosewater facial toner
deep hydration facial moisturiser
organic eye cream
nourishing facial serum
papaya enzyme exfoliant facial mask
tangerine bath wash
organic skin butter
organic sun screen
pure jasmine sambac essence
I’ve been using these products since August and let me tell you, they are wonderful. Not only are they completely ‘clean’ but they are a delight to use – they glide on beautifully, smell divine but not overpowering and you don’t need to apply very much, so my bottles and pots are still going very strong. My skin is inclined to agree!
Although it’s difficult to pinpoint a favourite, I must mention the deodorant. Let’s just say this is something I shall never be without in our bathroom again! Anyone who lives with a teenage boy will know where I’m coming from and I’m sure mine won’t mind my saying (but only because there’s a happy ending) that he possesses an ability to clear a room, particularly after a games lesson. Now, thanks to Luminance, he’s as fresh as a daisy and oh, so very pleased with himself. To emphasize its greatness, he’s requested more and my nasal passages have happily calmed down. Folks, this stuff is serious!
I am also loving the eye cream. Half a pump worth is all that’s needed to set my eyes a-twinkling. Any residue I will put wherever else needs moisture, such as my forehead or lip line. Also worth shouting about is the deep hydration moisturiser which has a wonderful consistency – rich but not heavy – and feels instantly soothing. The tangerine body wash is a treat. It smells divine and good enough to eat – a real food smell as opposed to chemical warfare. I should say that I have had to share my haul. Notwithstanding the fact my daughter insisted on opening the package, I then had to pounce on my gift to check it out before she squirrelled it away as her own. But the facial cleanser is a family affair. This lathering cleanser is not in the least bit drying and the pure ingredients have meant the children can happily use it too. I also need to mention the organic sun screen. Although we didn’t get too much use out of it over the summer I can vouch for the fact you will not resemble a polar bear with this on, indeed this is the only sun screen my children have not complained bitterly about. Finally, having given up wearing scent years ago, it’s been a real treat to be able to try out this gorgeous jasmine sambac essence – it is seriously heavenly!
I love that Luminance has an ‘Instruction’ menu on the site, which gives in-depth information on how to get the most out of each product. Particularly useful because it isn’t always a case of slapping a product on and then off to do the laundry. Having a line up of perfectly pretty (and effective) goodies on my bathroom shelf has encouraged me to spend a little extra wind down time, especially welcome at the end of the day.
And because the guys at Luminance have been so charming throughout, of course, Elena and founder Kim agreed to a Q&A –
Hello Kim and Elena. What is your philosophy and how was Luminance born?
Luminance is as much a philosophy and a mind set as it is a line of organic skincare products. Luminance is literally my escape from 35 years corporate insanity; an escape from an environment of dehumanizing people and creating products that are no better than “just good enough”. So Luminance is the realization of dream to create a company with a working environment centered around the humanity and well being everyone working here internally, and extended to an unprecedented level of service to our customers around the world. Luminance Skincare products are truly world class skincare line formulated to the very highest standards using organic and sustainable ingredients at low temperature at a reasonable price.
So Luminance is an experiment that’s working extremely well. We’re expanding on a sustainable, organic growth curve both domestically and internationally. I’m asked all the time if I’m going to sell out to some large commercial skincare concern; and the answer is a resounding no. We have a kind of pay it forward business plan mandating that shares in the company can only be shared internally.
We’re on our 4th year and I now share with Elena and Shayane. Two of the most amazing humans I have ever known. I love what we’ve created and how it’s grown and where we’re headed. Coming to work every day is a pure joy. I’m more proud of what the three of us have created than I can possibly express.
How do you advise someone when choosing skincare?
Easy does it! Simple is better. Organic. Raw. Vegan. Put your skin on a nutrient rich diet.
Always try and find skincare products using fewer ingredients that you recognize. Be a label reader and investigate all the ingredients with Environmental Working Group Database; you can easily find it with a Google search. Make sure you know what preservatives are used and how the products are formulated and assembled. In short know what you are putting on your skin; the more you know about what’s in it and why it’s there the better. Any skincare line not willing to spend the time with you to answer all of your questions is one you should avoid. Be mindful that what you put on your skin goes everywhere in your body. And always remember skincare products should make your skin feel wonderful, so if a product doesn’t feel wonderful that’s your skin telling you it’s not right. Skin that feels wonderful is healthy beautiful skin.
Contact information for both Elena and for me is published on every label and all over the website, and my phone rings throughout the day and night, and my email box is always full with customers calling with questions. Either Elena or I answer every inquiry personally and we just wouldn’t have it any other way.
Please can you take us through your own beauty routine?
Skin is a truly amazing organ and for the majority of us it is capable of maintaining itself with just cleansing, toning & moisturizing. I recommend a twice a day regiment; before I go to sleep at night and then repeated again in the morning. Night is a tad more important than mornings, because it’s important to wash the day away; specifically all the mess from the environment that collects to the skin and any applied make up. In the morning I use the same regiment as the evening to give my skin a fresh start on the day. I use my Nourishing Serum every few days and once a week I’ll climb into the bath tub with either a detox clay mask or a Maitake Mushroom or Rosewater Hydration Mask. The philosophy here is after a few weeks with the Delicate Facial Cleanser, Rosewater Toner and Facial Moisturizer your skin will normalize to it’s natural state. You may discover that you are naturally a bit on the oily or dry side and this is where Serums and/or masks present a very nice way to address your skin on a deeper level to achieve greater health and balance.
Masks can be wonderful, but I would like to warn everyone not to use these simple clay masks that come in powder form to which you add water; without the proper ratio of oils to modulate the pH renders a mask that is far too alkaline for your face. Make sure your clay masks have an oil content and make sure you can recognize all of the ingredients.
I’d also like to take a minute to mention that I do not recommend abrasive exfoliating scrubs (no matter how fine the grit) on your face or dissolving acid peels. Both are extremely unhealthy because they remove your the entire upper layer of skin. Completely. You lose the cells that are ready to go along with the healthy skin cells that provide natural UV protection and provide an evaporation barrier. I always recommend a daily, gentle finger tip massage all over your face to delicately exfoliate, stimulate circulation and firm up facial muscles. And then if you feel you need a mask to help use a gently enzyme mask every few weeks. Remember where skin is concerned, it’s easy does it.
What are your thoughts on young teens using skincare and at what age do you recommend they start?
I think the sooner one begins a skincare regiment the better; typically at the onset of adolescence. I think it’s equally important to watch our diet, what goes into our bodies. Skincare on the outside is important and skincare on the inside is just as important. A simple cleansing, toning and moisturizing if the young person is not making blemishes, and if the skin is active read the instructions on youthful skin on the website. And then Elena is really quite expert in this area and has published in our website blog. I would suggest that anyone with breakouts regardless of age read her blog posts. And then if you have more questions or need a personal recommendation send her an email.
Which product is your own personal favourite and why?
My favorite products and the ones I use most are my Delicate Facial Cleanser, Rosewater Toner, Deep Hydration Moisturizer, Luxurious Foot Cream and my Skin Lotion.
What other tips can you give for us to achieve beautiful skin?
I can go on and on here so let me just list a few things to do and a few not to do. And then if your readers wish to call me I can address their specific needs.
First of all avoid very hot or very cold water. Before you put water on your face run the water over your hands until it feels nice. Nice is your skin telling you the appropriate temperature for you. Skin’s very smart and knows what it needs; it’ll tell you if you listen carefully.
* Cleanse with a real soap that is pH balanced to compliment your skin. Nothing beats a real soap; the trick is to adjust the pH level to compliment the pH of your skin.
* Tone with a floral water without alcohols or astringents to adjust your skin back to normal after exposure to your tap water rinse. Tap water is usually 100 to 500 to alkaline for your skin; skin likes a pH of 6 and tap water is typically as high as 8. Alcohols and astringents close your skin and block the natural absorption of your moisturizer.
* Moisturize with nice facial moisturizer. And of course organic, vegan and raw is preferable, providing a richer nutrient profile for your skin.
* Do not use abrasive exfoliates or acid peels. Remember; easy does it.
* Masks are very nice but you should never let a clay mask dry completely on your skin, always remove a mask as soon as it begins to feel like it’s tightening. And please do not ever use these gimmicky masks that are presented as powders to which you add water. The natural pH of clay is way too high for your skin and it’s necessary to add oils to match the pH of your skin.
* Use sunscreen that does not rely on Paraben or Nano Particles. Remember no sunscreen lasts more than 2 or 3 hours or after swimming or showering; they all must be reapplied.
There’s a lot of information on my website both on the blog and in the instruction section, and if it’s not there just call. We’re always ready and willing to help.
What plans do you have for Luminance’s future?
To continue introducing products of the highest quality without compromise to ingredients or formulation, to help our customers skin be everything it can be; without doing harm to anything anywhere. To continue to grow in a manner that will enhance the humanity and enrich the lives of everyone working at Luminance.
And finally to provide the best damn customer service on the planet!
GIVEAWAY: Would you like to win your own Luminance gift set? Elena and Kim have generously offered THREE different sets for three lucky people anywhere in the world. There is the Large Collection, a Body Care Kit (skin lotion, soap, foot cream, and the deodorant) and an Introductory Gift Box.
For a chance to win one of these gift sets all you need do is
1. Subscribe to my newsletter (top right of the page) and let me know you’ve done so.
2. Tell me which Luminance product you would most like to try.
Three winners will be chosen at random and contacted by email, their names mentioned on this post. Giveaway ends midnight PST, Sunday 8th November. Good luck everyone! [GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED – congratulations Heather, Jolaine and Judy, you are the winners]
In the meantime, Luminance are also offering 15% off all orders made until Friday 13th November, quoting code : HEALINGFAMILYEATS
Here’s the fess-up. Luminance emailed me and asked if I would like to try some of their products. At no point did they ask me to write about them and neither did I make any promises that I would do so. These words are purely my own thoughts about a product I think is amazing and believe you may like to know about. I am making no money (no affiliate links here) out of this post, although I have a very happy selection of Luminance goodness in my bathroom!