I’m pretty excited to share with you a NEW clean beauty brand – IPSUM.

As a beauty and lifestyle journalist, I receive a plethora of beauty products to review on a daily basis, so when I get excited about a new product you need to know it delivers what it promises.

IPSUM is a luxury beauty brand that offers a unique self-care experience…the minute you open the products you are enveloped by a bouquet of Australian native plants. The oils and balms melt into the skin seamlessly as your senses welcome the calming aromas of each product. There’s Best Skin Cleansing Oil Balm (my favorite!), that melts away makeup and doubles as an overnight face mask, three Face Oils to choose from, the Lip Oil Balm which is a global favorite and two delicious Body Oils.

IPSUM was lovingly and passionately created by former beauty journalist and author, Janet Hayward. An English native who has been writing about beauty for over a decade, interviewing some of the world’s specialists in dermatology, aromatherapy, botanicals and green chemistry.

She has also written several natural beauty books; “Organic Beauty”, “Lemons are a Girl’s Best Friend” and “Pretty as a Peach” – all of this invaluable insight and experience helped inspire Janet to create IPSUM.

I caught up with Janet over Zoom and asked her to share her fast -track journey to International distribution and how it is that IPSUM has become a firm favorite by the editors of French and Italian Vogue!

What inspired you to Launch IPSUM

I have always been passionate about natural beauty, however the biggest inspiration for creating IPSUM was developed over time with the incredible opportunities that presented themselves while I was a beauty journalist both in the UK and in Australia.  During this time, I met really talented people who conceptualised and created their own brands. Via interviews and press launches I was fortunate enough to hear their stories and also learn from botanists and organic chemists and formulators.  From conception to first samples, I spent around two years researching native plant oils – including powerful Australian native botanicals – that would deliver specific benefits and best results.  I spent a further year working with a certified organic formulator to get the formulations exactly right.

What does IPSUM stand for?

The word IPSUM is Latin and is a small nod to my previous life as a journalist and author.  Years ago, magazine journalists would use Latin text to fill the blank space on a magazine page to determine the word count for an article or feature. The Latin text starts with Lorem ipsum…  By itself, the word IPSUM means ‘very’ or ‘yourself’ in English – so I thought it was the perfect name for the ‘very’ best skin care for ‘yourself’!

What were some of the challenges getting started?

One of the first main challenges was to actually start the journey!  I was still working in journalism and I started researching alongside this, but it soon became very clear that I needed to devote my full attention to creating the range.  The second biggest challenge was to determine the packaging.  There are many factors to consider – not just aesthetics. Stability of the formulation, product delivery suitability, sustainability, meeting cosmos organic certification requirements and availability were all just as important as creating the appearance of the final product.

Can you tell our readers a little about your background in beauty/ skincare?

My interest in beauty and skincare started when I was a young teenager and I used to try out homemade skincare recipes in my parent’s kitchen!  I remember feeling so disappointed when I discovered I couldn’t make perfume by squeezing rose petals into a bottle of water!

I started out as a news journalist and picture editor but fell into beauty journalism when I was working for women’s magazine titles in the UK and after this I was hooked!  I loved learning about ingredients and how they work with our skin, hair and nails.  I was especially interested in natural, plant-based beauty and the science of plant oils and how they have been used for centuries in all different cultures for healing and for beauty.  I am an author of a few books on organic beauty – including making beauty products at home from kitchen ingredients and also recipes so you eat seasonally for your best skin

What is /are the key ingredients that you use in the IPSUM products and why?

IPSUM products are made from quality native plant oils, esters and waxes.  This means that we only use oils extracted from plants that are grown in their native habitat – including unique and super powerful Australian botanicals – to ensure maximum benefits for skin. Each product is made from a blend of up to 23 different plant oils and it is the synergy of the oils in the blend that makes the formulation so efficacious.

As your products are natural and organic what preservative system do you use? Or not?

IPSUM products are COSMOS organic certified and 100% pure and natural.  They are also waterless therefore there is no need to add preservatives to the formulations.  However, the plant oils themselves have unique antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-viral qualities.

Are the products Australian made?

Yes!  We are proudly made in beautiful, green and clean Byron Bay in Australia.

Is there a difference between organic and natural skincare? And is one better than the other?

Yes, there is a difference.  To be labelled organic skincare there is a requirement of a high (and majority) percentage of certified organic ingredients in the formulation. Organic ingredients are grown without the introduction of chemical pesticides/herbicides/growth promoters, in clean chemical-free soil.   Unfortunately, there is no standard rule currently for the percentage requirement to claim that a skincare product is organic – however one of the most stringent certifications is the globally-recognised COSMOS organic which requires fully traceable history of each ingredient from the soil where it is grown, through to transportation of the plant, processing the plant and then blending the formulation and packing the final product.

Natural skincare is a fairly broad term that generally means the product contains some naturally derived ingredients.  Personal preference will determine which one is better than the other!

What’s your wellness Philosophy?

My personal philosophy is to eat local, seasonal and fresh food as much as possible for optimum wellness.  Food grows seasonally to provide the additional nutrients you need to conquer the seasonal environment – for example pumpkins are ready to pick in Autumn/Winter because the air turns colder and that is when you are most likely to pick up respiratory bugs.  Orange foods are rich in carotenoids which are great antioxidants and help healthy lung function. I also enjoy taking long baths to relax the body and the mind.

 Do you have any natural beauty tips, tricks or secrets you can share?

Three tablespoons of oatmeal in a muslin square or clean sock and tied under the running tap of your bath will create the most beautiful, skin softening and soothing bath-time experience!  Also, my Cleansing Oil Balm is a superhero of multi-tasking for all skin types! You can use it to cleanse, double-cleanse, apply as a deeply hydrating mask and use as a shaving balm!

 Tell us about your morning and evening skincare ritual

It is very simple!  I deep cleanse every morning and evening with my Cleansing Oil Balm – in the summer if I need to remove sunscreen, I will massage the Balm into dry skin and then rinse with warm water and a face cloth.  I then follow with a gentle, all-over face massage with a face oil: I alternate between Nourishing and Enriching Face Oils depending on how tired I am feeling!  Enriching Face Oil gives a bit of an extra boost with high levels of vitamin C for brightening and CoQ10 to boost collagen and elastin.  At night-time I alternate between Nourishing Face Oil and Face Oil Intense which really supercharges skin overnight with bioactive peptides and it also helps to balance the body’s circadian rhythm, so I always enjoy a great sleep!   I exfoliate once a week using an enzyme exfoliant and I use the Cleansing Oil Balm as a face mask once a week while I am enjoying a bath.  For body care I use a dry body brush once a week before bathing and I always massage in a body oil after a bath as part of my relaxation ritual. That literally, is it!

What beauty products won’t you leave the house without?

My Lip Oil Balm!  It instantly smooths lips – even if you have some flakiness – and you can also use it to smooth your eyebrows!  It makes a great cuticle conditioner too and makes nails looks healthy!

What has been your biggest achievement since the birth of IPSUM?

Launching into Europe, UK, US and soon Dubai – all in the space of 20 months!  I have been so delighted that beauty editors and retailers have all enjoyed Ipsum and the performance of the products enough to review them and stock them in beautiful bricks-and-mortar stores and online stores.  I also love receiving emails from happy new Ipsum customers who can really see the positive differences in their skin. 

How do you unwind and relax after a long day?

The occasional glass of red wine – and always a long, warm bath where I can wash off the day and relax so that all the concerns of the day slowly drift away.

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