Efficient cosmetics for sensitive skin

Beauty | 22.3.2019 | Katja Kokko

Laponie of Scandinavia manufactures minimalist yet efficient cosmetics for sensitive skin from sustainable raw materials.

When Laponie of Scandinavia entered the market, and having met the people behind the company, my antennae signaled that this brand would hurtle into the global market and also become a hit all over Finland. Back then hardly anyone believed me, since the brand’s product offering comprised of only two oil-based products (a face oil and a balm), that really didn’t shed light on what the brand was all about.

Now Laponie’s portfolio consists of six products, three of which are currently finalists at the Pure Beauty Global Awards and the brand’s journey to huge popularity is just starting – and this is truly only the beginning!

Laponie’s products are made for extremely sensitive, allergic and problematic skin. Everything begun with the company’s founder’s, Kristina Pentti’s difficult skin problems, for which she tried for years to find a solution. Acne, seborrheic dermatitis, perioral dermatitis –  these are only a few of the problems that have plagued Kristina from an early age. For years she devoted her free time to studying cosmetic chemistry and raw materials and finally decided to establish her own skincare brand that would suit her problematic skin.

Laponie’s products are very stripped-down and they contain only a few carefully selected ingredients. To put it simply, one could say that the products are odourless and tasteless – but in a positive sense! They really do suit sensitive and allergic skin. In addition, the products are  cruelty free and vegan.

Sustainably sourced raw materials

Laponie’s product development is seen to by the company’s in-house chemist, Jaana Ailus, and takes place at the company’s own laboratory in Espoo. The products are manufactured in Finland and Sweden. All the raw materials are sustainably sourced, and this is what I would like to tell you more about.

Manufacturing in Finland is a definite bonus for the company’s products, because it obviously supports local jobs. However, Finnish manufacturing does not make the products sustainable nor Finnish, because the majority of raw materials, such as emulsifiers, thickeners and preservatives are all manufactured abroad. It the origin of these raw materials that one should pay attention to when evaluating the products’ sustainability, especially if the product range does not have official natural cosmetics certification. Laponie hasn’t applied for a natural cosmetics certificate for its products, at least not yet, even though they are manufactured at an Ecocert certified factory. The company does however provide information about every single ingredient’s manufacturing method and origin –  when it comes to this brand you can be absolutely sure that you are not a victim of greenwashing. And if some information is not readily available on the website, the company will answer any questions.

For example, moisturising glycerin, many plant-based emulsifiers and the modified plant oils found in many brands’ moisturisers are very often manufactured from palm oil. But this can’t be deciphered from the ingredients list, and if the product lacks certification, the origin of these raw materials could be anything. Sustainably sourced palm and vegetable oil derivatives naturally always cost more.

For Laponie, the sustainability of the raw materials is intrinsic and each raw material’s origin is so thoroughly investigated, that the raw materials’ suppliers have been baffled by their chemist’s strict questions. For example, the glycerin that Laponie uses is manufactured from European canola and the emulsifier in their face cream is made from RSPO ( =Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil) certified palm oil. All the technical ingredients Laponie uses are manufactured in Europe and the modified filler oils often found in moisturisers are not used in Laponie’s products at all, so the products’ skin benefits are maximised. The Finnish ingredients Laponie uses at the moment are oat oil, xylitol and betaine.

Minimalist cosmetics for sensitive skin, teenagers and expectant mothers

Laponie’s skin care routine is minimalist, yet effective. The products suit sensitive skin, as well as teenagers, expectant mothers, those who are breastfeeding, and those who want to minimise their daily chemical load – even that coming from natural cosmetics, since the products do not contain an abundance of active ingredients nor essential oils. It is good to remember that various plant extracts and essential oils contain numerous different chemical components.

At the moment the product range consists of two cleansers, a toner, a moisturiser, a face oil and a balm. There is more to come, but Laponie’s product development is done with such piety, that any new releases should not be expected any time soon. Let us delve at the current product portfolio, that has everything needed for a minimalist skin care routine.

The Gel Cleanser is perhaps the most unusual cleansing gel I have ever encountered. The product is gel-like, but very gentle. It dissolves makeup and impurities away with gentle surfactants and doesn’t leave the skin feeling tight due to moisturising betaine and xylitol. The Gel Cleanser is also suitable for removing eye makeup.

The Gel Cleanser is suitable for oily, impurity- and acne-prone skin. When using heavy and waterproof makeup, it is best to do a pre-cleanse with the Milk Cleanser beforehand.

According to my own experience, the Gel Cleanser does not leave the skin with any kind of sensation, and does what a cleanser’s main function is: it cleanses without drying the skin.

The Milk Cleanser is a velvety creamy cleansing milk, that contains nourishing canola oil and  moisturising xylitol. This tenderly effective cleansing milk is also suitable for eye makeup. If you use heavy makeup, or long for some deeper cleansing, it is advisable to remove the milk with a damp muslin cloth or a reusable cotton pad.

The Milk Cleanser is well suited as the first step in double cleansing, after which the skin can be cleansed with the Gel Cleanser. The Milk Cleanser is best suited for normal, dry, ageing and atopic skin.

The Toner Spray is a toner with extremely interesting active ingredients. It is wonderful that people with sensitive skin don’t automatically have to make do with the fact that products cannot be effective or ”do something to the skin”, and that active ingredients can be found even for sensitive skin. Laponie’s toner has three compelling active ingredients: ectoin, macrocystis pyrifera kelp, and dipotassium glycyrrhizate.

Ectoin is an amino acid derivative, that according to studies gives long-lasting moisturisation, softens rough skin, strengthens the skin’s protective barrier and soothes inflammation and irritation.

Macrocystis pyrifera kelp is used by only a few cosmetic manufacturers, and in addition to Laponie, it is used by the famous La Mer, and can be found in their cult product Crème De La Mer. This ingredient moisturised and softens. Studies also show that ingredient has the ability to improve collagen synthesis and elasticity.

Dipotassium glycyrrhizate is an active ingredient made from dipotassium salt and licorice root that moisturises and soothes the skin. Studies also suggest it inhibits the skin’s tyrosinase activity and melanin production, making it an excellent agent against hyperpigmentation. In addition, it calms down rosacea, psoriasis and acne. Interestingly when I was looking for more information, I noticed that Shisheido also use this ingredient.

It is advisable to use the Toner Spray according to the 7 skin method – or if not seven, at least 3-4 layers, so that justice is done to its moisturising and skin softening properties.

The Face Cream is a solution to anyone who is unable to use Whamisa’s Water Cream, or who is looking for some variety. The cream has an unbelievably lovely watery thin consistency, that can be layered on the skin as much as one wants without fear of pilling or congestion. The cream contains poppy seed oil, that is like nature’s own silicone – wonderfully thin and quick absorbing and contains loads of vitamin E. The poppy seed oil Laponie uses originates here in the UK from a farm where it has been produced for five generations.

In addition, the cream contains Finnish oat oil and colloidal oatmeal, that soothes the skin and reduces moisture loss. Redness and irritation reducing antioxidants honokiol and magnolol, derived from the bark of the magnolia tree, bring an interesting addition to the cream as well. They also boost the preservative efficacy.

The Face Oil is a combination of four nutrient rich cold pressed oils: argan oil, rosehip oil and raspberry seed oil. The oat oil on the other hand is a CO2 (carbon dioxide) extract, an extraction method that preserves the plant’s nutrients better. The face oil repairs, softens, soothes and renews the skin as well as locking in moisture. It has a silky skin feel, and it absorbs quickly, making it extremely suitable for under makeup as well.

The Face Oil suits all skin types and does not clog the skin, which also makes it ideal for congestion-prone and acneic skin. The oil is also brilliant for those with rosacea, pigmentation spots, atopic dermatits or eczema, since the oil cocktail contains an abundance of vitamin E, beta carotene and omega fatty acids that prevent sun damage, calm inflammation and renew the skin.

The All-Around Balm is every minimalist’s must-have product. The waterless balm contains skin softening argan oil and CO2 oat oil, hydrogenated argan oil (that thickens the consistency), sunflower wax (which makes the balm solid) and calming bisabolol.

The balm can be used on lips, cuticles, dry spots and small scrapes. It works very well under makeup due to its waxy consistency that leaves the skin matte.

The balm has the perfect composition, it has been slightly modified from the original to make it softer – a better consistency for a balm is hard to come by, and I for one and am a fan of such balms where the consistency is just the right amount between waxy and soft.

To finish off, a few words about Laponie’s packaging. The products have instructions how each component of the packaging should be recycled.  The company wants to minimise unnecessary packaging materials and cardboard outer packs are used only if the product requires it to remain pristine during shipping.

Has anyone out there with sensitive skin already made Laponie your favorite skin care line?

Photos: Timo Anttonen

Translation: Jaana Ailus

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