Looking to simplify your skincare routine? This is your answer.
In SL&Co., Susanne Langmuir’s new Toronto lab, a long minimalist countertop invites the feeling of endless possibility and hints at the values of her new brand: aN-hydra.
Langmuir, best known for Bite Beauty, which she sold in 2014, created SL&Co. after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. She began to examine the products she was using on a day-to-day basis and discovered that the majority of them featured high percentages of water and preservatives. This sparked the idea for aN-hydra (a play on the word anhydrous, which means “without water”)—a revolutionary skincare line that’s made with innovative active ingredients. The line’s debut product is The Powder of Youth No. 1, a water-activated powder that is a blend of skin-loving, good-for-the-environment ingredients. “We use ingredients that are based on Ecocert [an organic certification organization]: amino acids that cleanse, vitamin C for brightening and willow bark, which is a natural extract that contains upwards of 60 per cent salicylic acid,” says Langmuir. “They’re all functional ingredients that are designed to cleanse, exfoliate and brighten.”
The daily cleanser, which doubles as an overnight mask, also contains a French hyaluronic acid that costs $4,000 per kilogram. “When I originally started formulating, I brought in a variety of hyaluronic acids, but the one I was most fascinated with is from France,” she recalls. “The French are fanatical about testing, efficacy and how ingredients are made. It’s also an incredibly low molecular weight, so you don’t have that grainy texture while it dissolves.”
Perhaps the most interesting component of the lineup is the vegan probiotic—two words that seem oxymoronic. Thomas Langmuir, Susanne’s 19-year-old son and co-founder of SL&Co., explains: “Usually when you think of a probiotic, you think dairy, lactose, milk-derived. Our supplier actually managed to make this [vegan alternative] by taking plant-based bacterial cultures that provide the same benefits as the ones that are grown and found in dairy.”
The eco-conscious ethos extends beyond the product offering, too. All packaging is recyclable, and The Powder of Youth No. 1 has been designed to be refillable. One jar contains enough powder for three months’ worth of skincare and, once finished, can be topped up with another supply via a sugar packet-inspired pouch. “The whole industry is built around this disposable mindset: Once you finish a product, you throw it out,” says Thomas. Adds Susanne: “I’m really excited about this idea that you buy packaging once and it becomes easy and safe to refill it because there’s no water and no preservatives.”
Both Susanne and Thomas believe there is no one fixed target audience for the product. “Regardless of age, race or gender, everyone has skin that they need to take care of,” says Thomas. In addition to performance, the product is also designed to help consumers approach skincare in a more mindful manner. “The things that we do every day matter,” says Susanne. “I believe that if we can rethink those experiences in healthy, pleasurable, sustainable ways, then that’s a really powerful opportunity.”
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