Looking to educate the region about the importance of clean beauty, Lynn Khoury Soubra is a revolutionary in the Middle East. Having curated a space in the heart of Beirut called Lynn’s Apothecary, she has managed to capture the attention of those far beyond the city. Unveiling the truth behind what we are applying to our bodies and face, you’ll be looking further than just organic, free from and natural.
What drew you to the world of beauty?
I’ve always been a beauty junkie on the consumer side. A couple of years ago I decided to quit my job at the United Nations and pursue a career I was passionate about. My family in law has been working in beauty services for the past 15 years and I was seduced by this world. I started exploring the many aspects of the industry. While on a trip to Miami I accidentally grabbed a clean beauty kit from a brand I’ve never heard of, but I was attracted by the all natural, high-performance message. After using it, I was instantly hooked as it transformed my skin and my whole skincare experience. I was intrigued and started researching. This is when I discovered the wonderful world of clean beauty.
A group of emerging brands that are disrupting the beauty industry, and creating products that not only are safe to use but that are high performance as well. Through my research, and later on studies in cosmetic sciences, I also discovered the appalling truth that lies behind the ingredients found in products we trust and use daily. I could no longer allow myself to use any product containing synthetic toxic ingredients. I knew that the beauty space in Lebanon and the region was missing out on this segment that is set to revolutionize the beauty industry. So I decided to launch my clean beauty store, an online shop to raise more awareness on safe high-performance products, and introduce for the first time in Lebanon and in many cases the region those beautiful brands
Why did you decide to launch your own store?
I needed to have my own space to be able to communicate directly with my customers my newfound knowledge. My concept and vision was not about just selling products but also connecting with others, creating a space to interact, raise awareness, exchange tips, and build a real clean beauty community. I wanted to do it my way. So what better idea than to have my own store! And just for the anecdote, my little five-year-old loves to play “the owner of the store” (la dame du magasin as she says) whenever we are out shopping. So one day while she was at it, I thought that would be heaven for her! So indirectly she gave me the courage and final push to pursue this exciting and challenging new venture.
Define clean beauty?
Clean beauty is products that are almost 100% natural and free from any synthetic or chemical ingredients that can have potential health hazards. Not all products labeled natural are clean. Even if they are largely natural, if they are mixed with toxic ingredients they are no longer clean.
Why are organic and natural products so important?
Nature is the base for everything. Even in synthetic ingredients development, chemists try to mimic the sophisticated mechanisms and effects of natural ingredients. Organic is also important to make sure that no harmful chemicals have contaminated the natural ingredients you are about to put on your face and body. Making the switch to natural and clean products is important. Many of the synthetic ingredients that are currently used in non-clean products can have a potentially harmful effect on our health, and this is as far as we know today. As more research and testing is conducted the “potential” risks are becoming confirmed and revealed. Today with the advancement of scientifically developed natural products, we are able to get effective results without toxic ingredients being added to our products. So why not?
How do you discover new brands?
I am part of a number of global industry networks through which the latest news, discoveries, launches, and trends are shared. This takes an important part of my time. I also attend a number of global beauty events yearly. Most importantly, I’m always curious to explore further and investigate any new brand I come across either through my social media or browsing when traveling or visiting a beauty store, hearing a tip or recommendation from my clients and community. I am also lucky to have brands contacting us directly to make us discover their products. This being said, not all brands that market themselves as natural will pass the rigorous selection process we have.
Are there any that stand out to you?
Tata Harper and Susan Kaufmann are two of the most well known clean beauty brands that have proven high-performance results and are currently shaking up the beauty industry. The market for clean beauty is fast evolving and growing. New brands are constantly making their mark in this space. Vanderohe and Josh Rosebrook are two brands that I watch closely and look forward to their new product launches.
What ingredients do you like to use?
Fruit enzymes to clear and refine pores. High-grade Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate and plump fine lines. High-quality oil blends for balancing, toning, protecting and rejuvenating the skin. I like to make sure geranium oil and lavender are always in the mix, and I am always happy when I find rice bran oil as it is great for toning. What’s important in the product is the synergetic blend of all the ingredients. For really high performance you need a powerful and well-selected mix and not just one type of oil.
Do you have a beauty secret?
I don’t have beauty secrets but beauty tips. I sleep on a silk pillowcase it helps my serums and creams stay on my face and do their job, instead of being absorbed by a cotton pillowcase. It has also completely removed my morning creases, which in the long run can contribute to fine lines. And finally, it has reduced hair fall due to pillow friction at night. I keep a roll-on hydrating oil in my bag, that I roll over my forehead regularly during the day or when I feel my skin is dry.
Any tips on how to look after skin when traveling?
On the plane skin gets dehydrated. Fine lines are more prominent on a dehydrated skin. So before getting on the plane, make sure you hydrate your skin well. While on the plane reapply a hydrating oil during the flight to lock in the moisture, and of course, drink a lot of water. Don’t forget your hands and lips, keep a lip balm and hand cream in your bag.
What advice do you have for women in the Middle East in regards to skincare?
A well cared for skin care routine is your best bet to healthy and glowing skin over the long term. Give more importance to the cleansing ritual, which is the foundation for beautiful skin. Beauty and aging are being redefined. Clean beauty will bring you a totally new experience in self-care that is beneficial to both your skin and your mind. Give it a try!