After IVF and miscarriages, Sian Colson founded Obvs Skincare, creating organic solutions for acne and eczema. Her eco-friendly, vegan products emphasize efficacy and sustainability.

Naturally Trouble-Free Skin - Sian's Story

Sian Louise Colson’s journey into the world of organic skincare commenced when she developed adult acne after enduring two heartbreaking miscarriages, subsequent to two rounds of IVF, just before the first Covid lockdown.

The hormonal changes wreaked havoc on Sian’s skin, and the natural skincare products she tried proved frustratingly inefficient.

Sian resolved to find a genuine solution, and after numerous attempts she developed a formulation that miraculously cleared the acne within a week.

Entrepreneurs often refer to their businesses as their babies, but Sian’s company, Obvs Skincare, is particularly precious; it was created using the money that Sian had saved for a third round of IVF.

Her hope is that the products – each of which is handmade by Sian – are cherished for all the love that goes into them.

‘My goal is to provide effective, natural solutions for problem skin, so people can get healthy, beautiful skin without compromise to their skin barrier or the planet’, Sian says.

 

Skincare & side-effects

Skin problems can be caused by many factors, from genetics and hormones to stress, diet, environmental factors such as pollution and sun exposure and even harsh skincare products.

Treatments for acne can be effective, but many – including some topical medications – come with side-effects like dryness, irritation and sun sensitivity.

‘I was actually prescribed some oral tablets for my acne (it was that bad) when I was undergoing IVF’, Sian tells us. ‘Luckily I read the ‘possible side effects’, one of which was infertility – while I was undergoing IVF! Needless to say I didn’t take them!’

Many mainstream products rely on aggressive chemicals that can irritate or damage the skin in the long run.

These chemicals can also be harmful to the environment when they enter waterways.

‘I tried everything on the market, but nothing truly addressed my issues without harsh chemicals’, Sian says. ‘At the same time, some of the natural products I turned to lacked efficacy, while others weren’t formulated effectively enough to deliver results on deeper skin layers.’

 

A better way

Sian believed there was a better way; she knew the potential of natural ingredients and was determined to find a solution that worked.

‘I was surprised by the lack of effective, natural solutions readily available – for problem skin in particular’, she says; ‘my research revealed a wealth of powerful botanical extracts with proven benefits for skin health.’

Our skin is our biggest organ and absorbs the majority of what we put on it, so Sian wanted to make sure she was using safe ingredients of the highest quality, especially while pregnant.

When the pregnancy unexpectedly ended, she carried on using her own natural formulations and hasn’t turned back since.

‘My dyslexia has been a gift in this situation’, Sian shares; ‘I was able to formulate a product that no one else has done – and it worked!’

Obvs Skincare’s flagship product – the Intensive Skin Recovery Cream – has transformed lives since its launch in 2021.

It’s excellent for soothing irritation, reducing redness and promoting healing for acne and eczema; testing from the Oxford Biosciences lab confirms it’s safe for all ages, meaning the formulation can also be used to relieve nappy rash.

The cream contains a unique blend of unrefined, organic ingredients that work in harmony to nourish and repair the skin.

It achieves great results without relying on harsh ingredients or steroids.

‘Like the Intensive Skin Recovery Cream, all our formulations prioritise both efficacy and organic ingredients’, Sian says. ‘Our products are formulated with potent natural ingredients that are proven to address skin concerns, while remaining gentle and free from harsh chemicals. Additionally, our commitment to sustainability sets us apart.’

 

Eco credentials

A self-confessed free spirit with scientific inclinations, Sian knew that when friends and family encouraged her to launch her skincare venture, it had to embody the principles of being organic, biodegradable, vegan and sustainable (obvs).

Obvs Skincare is certified COSMOS Organic by the Soil Association, and also carries Leaping Bunny and Vegan Society certifications to confirm its ethical and environmental standards.

A tree is planted with every order and Obvs Skincare has partnered with Shopify Planet to offset all its deliveries.

‘Each credential is important to us’, Sian explains. ‘Sustainability is at the core of everything we do, from sourcing to manufacturing. Organic ingredients ensure the purity and efficacy of our products, while biodegradable packaging minimises our environmental impact. Vegan and cruelty-free practices align with our ethical values.’

 

Finding balance

Sian recognises that while plastic-free packaging is commendable, it’s important to consider the overall impact. Similarly, she accepts that wrapping organic ingredients in virgin plastic packaging creates a conflict.

‘We strive to find the perfect balance’, Sian explains; ‘effective products with a minimal environmental footprint. Consumers should have the best of both worlds, and that’s what I try to provide in all our skincare.’

The approach is working, and Obvs Skincare was honoured with the Start Up Business of the Year award at the Sustainability Awards, hosted by Chris Packham CBE.

‘We are constantly innovating and developing new products to address a wider range of skin concerns’, Sian tells us. ‘I am currently formulating a shampoo for dry scalps and an SPF – which is a lot harder than it sounds! We are also committed to expanding our sustainable practices throughout our supply chain.’

 

Obvs Skincare is one to watch – and we can’t wait to see where it goes next.

 

This article first appeared in our World Environment Day issue of My Green Pod Magazine, published 05 June 2024. Click here to subscribe to their digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

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