Anyone who reads the blog or follows me on instagram knows I am a proud 48 year old Mama who is not beauty product focussed, nor do I personally do botox, fillers, acidic peels or lasers.
Without sounding like a tosser, most of my effort goes into focussing on living my day to day life with my family joyfully, being the best version of myself and thinking about beauty from the inside out – meditating, exercising and moving my body, laughing, dancing, eating well and drinking lots of water.. and the odd Campari ;)
My skincare regime was pretty lo fi and I was using what I thought were organic “natural” products and even though I have been offered free treatments, products and face oils, I usually say no because the products have ingredients with made up names I don’t understand or are not natural or cruelty-free.
On the whole I thought my skin was pretty good for my age perhaps lacking hydration or prone to the odd dermatitis/psoriasis episode but when I received a trial pack of ethical skin care brand Simplicité, known for its luxurious and highly nutritive plant products, I was intrigued and decided to try it out.
This is what I started with.
My skin has never felt so nurtured, soft, hydrated and naturally glowing.
Pores are minimised and even when I have a stress related breakout – a wee dab of Damask Rose Day creme and it is back on track.
After using the products for the past year and a half I know that I will never use anything else again.
I am not trying to look younger. I just want to look after the skin I am in.
These are the products I am now using and I cannot imagine a day without them now.
Click here to shop Simplicité online, head instore to their Brisbane hub or find the brand at Myer and these other stockists nationally and internationally.
Reasons I love Simplicité
- The quality of the ingredients is undeniable – highly concentrated, plant-derived — all are exclusively medicinal grade, OGA certified organically grown, or handpicked in the wild.
- They are passionate about what they don’t use – eg fillers, synthetics etc present in mainstream luxury products
- cruelty free and vegan brand with both PETA Beauty without Bunnies and Choose Cruelty Free.
- The range is formulated by a clinical Naturopath with over 33 years’ experience.
- Never has my skin felt so nourished
- The products smell and feel amazing
- Aussie family owned, backed by expertise & led with passion
- Customer Care is extraordinary.
Loving the products so much and appreciating the time Robin took to find out more about my skin and what reaction it was having – made me keen to find out more from her about her incredible business.
Below is a chat with Robin about how her family skincare business is showing women (and men) of all ages that beauty is anything but skin deep.
STEELEMyStyle: A little bit about yourself and why you started Simplicité
Robin -Simplicité: I was a 6pm Ch 9 Qld newsreader (as Robin Parkin), At the end of Expo 1988 I developed a skin problem – everything I put on hurt, my skin was literally cracking up, terribly inconvenient for the job. (I realised a lot later that the French brand cleanser which so easily removed TV makeup every night had stripped my skin as well. It had (still has) the pH of a very harsh soap!
I saw a GP, then a skin specialist, nothing helped. The lovely Ch 9 makeup girl saw me suffering and recommended a naturopath/herbalist who had fixed her sister’s acne.
David Lyons had been seeing patients from 1983 who had early ageing issues as well as the typical Queensland sun damage problems plus breakout and acne problems.
In his clinic he was preparing concentrated extracts of various medicinal herbs and combining these into creams to give quite extraordinary outcomes.
I had one of these: he gave me a cream to use and also some tablets for stress –the next morning my skin was completely better. I still remember the feeling – incredible!
We ended up getting together; a couple of years later I’d dropped my $150 big brand serum on the bathroom floor and was trying to scrape it up. David, after looking at the ingredient list on the serum packaging with astonishment, said, ‘This might smell and feel nice but it won’t do anything to nurture your skin in the long term. I’ll make you something that will.’
That was Damask Rose Day Creme – 28 years later, it’s still our top-selling product.
Meanwhile I’d left TV news to follow my new skin care passion – I have never regretted doing this (though I’ve been asked so many times over the years if I ‘miss reading the news’).
And David was right, all this time later my skin has never felt more nurtured. Our customers love their results too. Perfectly hydrated skin always has a headstart on looking and feeling vital and fresh.
A Myer team leader once commented to me
“‘You can tell the people who’ve used Simplicité for about a year or longer – they have no wrinkles.”
STEELEMyStyle: Challenges faced in recent times ?
Robin -Simplicité: A challenge for us has always been to be able to explain that rather than any skin care ingredients being ‘toxic’ – which has been the mantra of the organic and natural skin care brigade for many years – that actually this is not at all true.
Instead, think dose and duration. Rose essential oil can kill if enough of it is drunk/inhaled in a certain period of time.
There is not enough of anything in any skin care product to cause a problem. If people think otherwise, please cite an example. There isn’t one. What is not at all understood is that most of what is used in mainstream AND organic/natural skin care products is ageing to skin. As simple as that.
It’s either too weak to do anything or else it’s so harsh.
And lately there has been a big surge in the use of synthetic acids in skin care. They’re said to be ‘natural’ but you’ll never find these sorts of concentrations in nature. I mean, do women realize that when they are having an ‘acid peel’ the salicylic acid that is used on their skin is the same ingredient as is in wart remover!
Yes these are supposed to give all sorts of results – because apparently it’s a good thing to take off a layer or two or three of your skin and leave the ‘new’ skin exposed. It’s certainly not advisable in sun rich Australia. The worst cases of hyperpigmentation I’ve seen are as a result of having acid peels and using acid products.
As David said to me all those years ago you need ingredients in skin care products that will nurture your skin, not do the opposite.
STEELEMyStyle: Any solutions or tips or recommendations relating to starting up and maintaining a brand ?
Robin -Simplicité: Keep connected to customers needs and wants – it’s about them, not us.
Also, testimonials are key for us – it’s what our customers say about the products and results for skin that will influence others to buy. And I’ve always tried to match testimonials with the writer’s photo too.
STEELEMyStyle: A bit about how you have maintained longevity.
Robin -Simplicité: We keep running costs lean but never, ever stint on the quality of our ingredients. David and now also our sons freshly make our plant extracts, which is unique in the skin care world. The quality, and concentration/strength is key to the beautiful feel and smell of our products and of course, the results they give for vibrant, healthy skin.
STEELEMyStyle:What do you love about your business ?
Robin -Simplicité: I love that the products are so effective, that they really work for so many skin concerns. But what I love most of all is using these delicious products that were made for me originally – I use nearly everything in the range.
Hearing happy stories about skin (and hair). Just this week, a 20 year old who says her skin has never looked better; a 60 year old who says she’s finally happy with her skin, loves its glow; a 93 year old: “My scalp has never known better days. As soon as I stopped the previous stuff and commenced Simplicite, the itch left.’
STEELEMyStyle: A woman who has great skin or whose skin you would love to get your hands on?
Robin -Simplicité: The divine Quentin Bryce, former Australian Governor-General, has lovely skin. I sometimes send or deliver her a parcel of Simplicité because I know she enjoys it so much. And I just as much enjoy reading the beautiful handwritten letter she sends in return.
STEELEMyStyle: We all know that water, sleep & a good diet are also important factors for good skin – if you had to pick out foods to increase in your diet as you get older for skin health what would you highlight ?
Robin -Simplicité: Eat colourful foods for optimum health – red, orange, yellow, green, blue/purple, white.
A great daily kickoff for this is the juice I make us each morning, usually orange, a big knob of ginger, cherries, strawberries blueberries, Australian plum powder, lemon balm leaves from the garden, add mango juice and blend.
Lots of fibre is important too – a big bowl of kaleslaw for lunch is a great way to get ahead on that.
STEELEMyStyle: What is your idea of the perfect weekend chez Simplicité ?
Robin -Simplicité: At our 50 hectare property at the foothills of Mount Mistake National Park, Lockyer Valley Qld.
Peach and beauty, solitude if we choose it – orchard, roses, cattle, walks in the bush plus, essentially, an excellent coffee machine.
STEELEMyStyle: If you had a superpower what would it be ?
Robin -Simplicité: To fly. Sometimes I dream I can.
And imagine soaring over traffic jams and not needing a helipad at journey’s end!
STEELEMyStyle: Song destined to get you singing along in the car or on the dance floor ?
Robin -Simplicité: Love Shack B-52s
STEELEMyStyle: A woman that has inspired you growing up in fiction or in public life.
Robin -Simplicité: Margaret Throsby, Australian broadcaster.
I loved her voice, her intonation, her interviewing style.
I started in radio because of that example.
STEELEMyStyle: Your life motto or advice on skincare and self love.
Robin -Simplicité: Take a step back when examining ourselves in the mirror.
That’s what the world sees, an overall impression.
And if our skin is beautifully hydrated and glowing, that’s what people notice.
No one scrutinises smile ‘lines’ as we do, closeup.
STEELEMyStyle: Three words you would want people to describe the business as
Robin -Simplicité: Potent – fresh – vital
STEELEMyStyle: Highlight of the business journey so far ?
Robin -Simplicité: Having our two sons 25 and 20 now both working with us fulltime.
Next steps ….
Robin -Simplicité: More of the same especially exploring more and different types of video content. But always promoting and enjoying vitality.