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The Skincare Collective- Chapter 1

The Skincare Collective- Chapter 1

Hi Everyone, Tina here (+1 662 830 8246, Here is our latest blog, which is a bit of a change this time around. Our sister company Terrain Publishing has published a book with Formule De Soin, with a few of our founders from Naked Actives. Every week, we will publish all 10 Chapters from this great read and published book. The title of the book is called Skincare Collective- Conversations with Friends: From all natural skincare to the impact of social media in the beauty industry.  Click the link if you want to buy the book. 

So here we go! 

Chapter 1 of the Skincare Collective

Chapter 2 of the Skin Care Collective

Chapter 3 of the Skin Care Collective

Chapter 4 of the Skin Care Collective

Chapter 5 of the Skin Care Collective

Chapter 6 of the Skin Care Collective

Chapter 7 of the Skin Care Collective 

Interview Ella Motley

Can nutrition affect your skin?

The founder of Formule de Soin & Terrain Publishing, Marcus Fuchs and Sarah Pritula sat down to speak with Ella Motley. Ella has spent over 20 years in the skincare industry, currently a professor at Centennial College teaching advanced skincare to nurses, and advises two luxury skincare lines out of Switzerland.

In this interview, we discuss everything from Biomimetic products, wearing sunscreen while in front of your computer and how nutrition affects your skin. Let’s dig in.

Sarah: Welcome Ella, we are so excited to speak with you today! We're going to put you on the hot seat now but in a good way. So, if you could just start by telling us how long you've been in the industry and what your role is.

Ella: My name is Ella Motley and I have been in the industry for 21 years now. I started off as an aesthetician who did massage therapy, and I went for a biomedical science degree and then earned two more degrees in business. I wasn’t really sure where I wanted to go but I was always working in the beauty industry.

Right now, I am working as a professor at Centennial College teaching advanced skincare to nurses. I'm also working two high-end skincare lines out of Switzerland. I handle their education for their skincare lines. Typically without COVID, I would do their shows, presentations, and if there are new accounts I would educate them on the products and how it works on the skin.


I also help with sales, if there's a hard sell, I can use the science and all of those things to really help people make a decision on whether they're going to take the brand. I'm a busy girl in this industry for sure.


Sarah: That's incredible! Let's back up to where you're teaching in school, can you tell us a little bit about how you got started teaching nurses?

Ella: Well, I was working for another skincare line out of France. We had taken on the school as a client, so it was my job to go into the college to educate them because they took the line. I had to educate the students and the staff on the product line and how it works. Long story short I was offered a job just because they liked how I interacted with people and my experience. My classes are fun. We do not like to make anything dry because it could get kind of dull with the science behind everything. People tend to always want to stay in my classes since you know, we have fun with it. It's nice. So that's how it all started. And yeah, it kind of evolved from there.

Sarah: How many students do you teach on average per year?

Ella: Well, in the regular times it's about 14 students. But now with COVID, we've taken it down to a maximum of 8, and now I'm having like four and five at a time, which is because we're still going into the school for labs. So, we must separate and make sure we are all wearing our Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Sarah: That's incredible. That's nice that you're still able to go in for the labs.

Ella: Honestly, it keeps my sanity. otherwise, I do all zoom calls.

Sarah: Can you tell us a little bit about the skincare companies you work within Switzerland, what your role is, maybe dig a little bit deeper. For instance how you help these companies, how you work with them on sales and tell us more about the scientific side.

Ella: I do education, I would be traveling to accounts and be doing trade shows, I would be educating people, in hopes of drawing people to the line. I'm basically the face of the brand. When people think of the brand's name, they're going to think, oh, I met Ella and she told me this and she was super cool. You really have to be personable. You must be building client relations, as well as being highly educated to answer their questions and convince them to try these product lines. We have products that if you buy, like a three-piece regimen, it could be $1,500 retail. It's very expensive, very high-end, and has incredible ingredients. I have to be rock solid on my side when it comes to education. In terms of sales, I'm more like a soft sell, so the sales reps would go around and find their potential client and sometimes they're able to convince people on their own but there are very inquisitive clients who would ask questions that maybe a sales rep can't answer. This is where I would come in. I find out what the client needs to know about the line? What do they need to know about how it works? Once they take the line, I would then go into their establishment, I would educate them and their staff how to retail, how to use the product, so there's a lot of little pieces.

As of right now, I'm just doing zoom calls. But I've actually felt like I needed to dig more into the science of each ingredient. People don't always understand what the ingredients do. There are a lot of ingredients out there that are demonized, which they shouldn't be. There are some that should be demonized, which they're not, so people who are following fads and trends don't understand what they're doing. I have access to the college database library, which is more than Google.

Let’s take Collagen for example. I researched collagen, what types of collagens we use and how it actually works in the skin. Did you know you don't get collagen in a bottle, you get the package of ingredients in the bottle, and it allows your skin to produce collagen. It's like an inducer. But we call it collagen because it's easy. People don't understand this, even on the professional side. My job is to straighten all of that out.

Take a product like hyaluronic acid, all of these ingredients that people are trending now or retinal, are good ingredients but people don't know how to use them. Everybody's skin is different so if something is good for one person it's not necessarily good for another person. We can't use a product because a celebrity likes it. I’m trying to straighten those things out, small pieces at a time. So that's my main focus right now.

Sarah: I'm fascinated. We could discuss this all day. So, tell us about your second company that you work with, you said you work with two in Switzerland. Do you do the same thing?

Ella: Yeah. Literally the same thing. It's just two brands because they both wanted me. And I didn't say no.

Sarah: Is it the same client demographic that you work with?

Ella: Pretty much! They're about in the same price range. A serum could cost $350 but this stuff works. It’s on another level, people say to me ‘you're never going to age’ and I’m like no, not if I'm using this stuff. It's insane.

For example, I pick on The Ordinary all the time, just because people will say okay, I can get hyaluronic acid serum in The Ordinary for $10. Why am I spending $200 on your hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid is a little more complicated. When you look at ingredients, it depends on how they're extracted and how they're processed and how they're treated, and the size of the molecule.

Let me use coconut oil as an example.  If I use coconut oil from The Ordinary, I'm going to look at a molecule, and it has different layers to this molecule going into the middle, right? So, we'll look at it as a planet, how it has different circles.

The Ordinary might take the outside of that molecule, which is maybe the husk, let's put it that way. What does it do? Nothing. But it's still coconut oil. So, you're taking something that maybe the molecule is too large to go into the pore and actually do something. It's now going to clog the pore, it's going to cause irritation, and it's going to cause all kinds of problems for the skin, depending on what the skin type is.

If I use coconut oil, in my products that I'm using, I am extracting the heart of it. And I'm taking the most active part of that molecule, and I'm putting it into my products, which now makes it more biomimetic to the skin. The skin recognizes it, and it uses it as its own versus it saying, “what's this foreign object, I need to reject it.” This is the difference between, buying The Ordinary, and buying something of higher quality. But they'll still say coconut oil on both, right? People don't understand that there is a major difference.

Sarah: That was a great explanation.

Ella: Well, I have to convince people all the time!!

Sarah: I was sending some of my sister in-laws the product that our team has created and they were all like “We use the Ordinary”. I told them to try these products (Naked Actives SkinCare) instead. And they love them.  I did not realize how big The Ordinary was.

Ella: It's huge. The thing is the base fillers, awful. Like they don't realize what other things are in there. Other than a small percentage of Active Ingredients that are probably not good anyway, you know what I mean? It kind of drives me nuts that things like this are available, because then when they mess up their skin, they're running to me asking how to fix it. There are many people that are sensitized that think they're sensitive, and they aren't honestly. I can put it all on one hand in the 21 years that I've been working in this industry to see actual sensitive skin. Everyone has done something awful that has made their skin reactive and sensitized. It’s very easy to fix and that’s where I come in.

Sarah: You’re a wealth of knowledge Ella, we could have a whole series of interviews with you. Can you tell us what one piece of advice you wish you could tell your younger self about taking care of your skin? Have you always taken care of your skin?

Ella: I've always taken care of my skin. Yes. My mom was very good for that. I can't say that I haven't made mistakes along the way. Let's go with a recent mistake that I made. I knew I was doing it wrong. And I was okay with it. The one thing that people don't do, which I'm actually preaching to people a lot now, is protecting their investment by using proper sun care because there's crappy sun care out there. What I did was because of the mask, and I was wearing the mask for like seven, eight hours at a time, I was starting to get some pigmentation on the sides here because it would start rubbing. I decided in this nice warm sunny weather, I was going to use retinol, and resurfacing is easily done if you are well protected. I decided to go boating, probably not a good idea. I would usually tell my clients, hey refrain from doing any sort of outdoor activity while you're doing this. I did wear my hat; I did wear my sunscreen (probably didn't reapply as fast as I should have). And I did make it a little bit worse, but I know how to fix it. So when it comes down to it that's the type of mistake I would make just because I wanted to do it anyway.

Marcus: Ella, tell our readers, does acne have a big link to the gut?

Ella: Oh, huge.

Marcus: I’ve gotten acne recently and I thought it was from my COVID hair.

Ella: A lot of people are actually popping up with acne right now because they're eating more junk and they're just not taking care of themselves. All they need to do is just cleanse themselves out. They need to get their mind straight. Like there are so many things because being cooped up in your house and not being able to do what you would like to do freely is really taking a toll on people and that will cause inflammation in the body. Inflammation is the number one cause of everything when it comes to your skin. Eating anti-inflammatory foods is huge. So many people are drinking so much more now that causes inflammation. Even just being stressed causes inflammation. All of these things are linked to your insides. And if you're acne-prone, that's what's going to come out if you're sensitive or a little more sensitive you’ll get redness in your skin. If you have dry skin, you'll get flaky. It all depends on what you're genetically predisposed to. What your skin type is, but a lot of people are getting acne too, just because of the extra bacteria that are being produced in their body.

Sarah: Very interesting. Can you tell us what's your favorite beauty skincare tip?

Ella: I don't know, I do so many things. The one thing that people do wrong that I would like to put out there is that I love exfoliating properly because if you don't exfoliate properly, first, your skin will be sensitive or sensitized. Your products won't work. So, what I always tell people is when you use an exfoliator, it shouldn't be sharp. Think of your skin as a brand-new window, and you're cleaning it with sandpaper. You wouldn’t.  When you use a really heavy scratchy type scrub, it's causing micro-fissures in your skin, tiny little cuts, and it leaves the skin open to bacteria to anything and inflammation again. So now you're giving yourself another problem. The best way to exfoliate could be enzymatic, it could be chemical, or it could be like a gommage. Most people don't know about a gommage here in Canada and the US. What it is, is it's something that you just wash your skin, you dry it and you put on this very thin product and you roll it off. No irritation, your skin is baby bum smooth, and it's ready to be treated. 

Marcus: Gommage is a product you said?

Ella: Yeah, it's a French word for exfoliant but it's actually a product.  It goes on like a thin mask and then you just let it kind of coagulate a little bit. Don't let it dry because then you can't get it off. But you just allow it to roll and it just picks up the dead skin cells and it takes them off. And it's such a healthy way to exfoliate your face, body's a different story. You can do all the scratchy stuff you want but on your face, it's a different type of skin.

Sarah: That's great to know, do you have a favorite product line? And if so what is it?

Ella: I just rolled across a new one. Okay, let me start with this. Every product line has its weaknesses and its strengths. I can't say that there's one product line that I absolutely love because some are better with acne, some are better with dry skin, some are better with exfoliants, some with cleansers, and they're amazing.

But everything else is garbage. I just came across a line called PCA that I'm just obsessed with right now. And it's not the one I worked for because I'm really into resurfacing and that's what I really do teach to. And they have amazing resurfacing and plumping products. So that would be my favorite right now. I love the lines I work with too.

Sarah: Ella, tell our readers, do you enjoy a lot of sun each day? Do you use an SPF?

Ella: I do. That's something I used to do seminars on, sun care and sun and sun exposure are a big subject to talk about and people don't really understand that you don't necessarily want to overuse SPF either because they can become toxic in the skin. You also don't want to be overexposed to the sun either. There are some products that help with our natural abilities to protect our skin, they exist out there, but they're just not well spoken of.

When you're in prolonged exposure, every two hours reapply or after being in the pool or the ocean, or wherever you are, you reapply. For day to day, people are in front of the screen as much as they are, they don't realize what exposure they're getting from the screen too. They think, I'm inside but you're getting rays from them. You know, different ones. They're not UVA, UVB, infrared, and visible light. This is now damaging to your skin. So, you do have to wear an SPF when you're on the screen a lot. People are not realizing that they're damaging themselves, age-wise in front of the screen. I make sure to wear my SPF every day. At this point, just because I'm living on zoom. Or if you're working beside a window, you'll be getting rays as well.

Tinted windows are 100% in my life just because you don't want to be driving and constantly getting rays on your skin. You do need sun though. When it comes to sunblock, you don't want to wear that too much either because you need vitamin D, you need your visible light, you need a bit of infrared, the UVA/UVB rays aren't really that bad. It's just you can't overexpose yourself. People don't really understand the proper guideline on how much sun you should get. I tell people to get out of the sun when they feel it hot on their skin. It's not like when you go outside. I feel it hot on my skin. Get out of the sun. That's your limit. Mine could be half an hour, yours can be 10 minutes, it all depends, but you must go and use something because they have after-sun products.

Bioderma is amazing for sun products. I used to work for that company. I used to work for Esthederm, a French company and that's the professional line of Bioderma which is in shoppers drug mart, they have the most amazing sun stuff I've ever used. So, after sun stuff, put that on, what it does is it rebuilds your cells, it recalibrates them, it gives you the moisture that you've expelled from the heat of the sun. Once you're done with that and you feel good, you can then go back out, but people don't get out of the sun. This is the problem. So, the sun is good. It's not the enemy. It's just how much are you getting.

Sarah: Can you give us some insight into your daily beauty routine?

Ella: Oh my god. I'm surrounded by products right now, if you were to see behind my computer, just so many. Here is what I do, let's start in the morning. I do not use a cleanser in the morning. The reason being you're not dirty in the morning unless you've been sleeping on the side of the highway, you're not dirty. All you've done is at night, you've cleansed, you've done everything you've put your regimen on. And in the morning, you've maybe secreted a few natural oils, that kind of thing, which is fine. I either use micellar water, which Bioderma has an amazing one or I use a mask in the morning. 

However I'm feeling in the morning, I say okay, well I feel like I'm a little doll or I'm this or that. I will use a different kind of mask for whatever. I'll wake up, I'll put that on and I'll walk around doing whatever. Then I'll wash that off. And I'll continue depending on the product line. Sometimes you need a toner, sometimes you don't. The one that I'm using right now I don't need a toner but usually that's something to regulate your pH. Then I'll do my serum and I'll sometimes do a double serum and not a moisturizer just depending on if it's hot outside. If I don't want the heaviness of a moisturizer, I'll do two serums. And then I will put sunscreen on my eyes, yes, it’s a thing and it won’t burn your eyes. There is separate sun care for your eyes as well as your face so I put that on and then maybe some makeup depending on what I'm doing.

In the evening I will use my cleanser to take off any pollution, makeup, anything that's on my face from accumulating outside. I would then do any sort of exfoliating at that time and sometimes I'll do a full out facial it depends on what time of the week it is and then I will continue with my serum, moisturizer, etc., So it's a process

Sarah: I considered a mask in the morning, I always associate masks with a destress time that also brings me wellbeing.

Ella: You could use it that way, but there are certain times of the day where your skin accepts products better than others. In the morning, you're just like your body metabolism, the skin metabolism is that much higher. Using a mask makes it that much better in the morning so even say I'm going in for a treatment at the spa it's better I do my face stuff in the morning than in the evening so it's the other different times for different things so that your body accepts it but that's a whole other subject.

Sarah: Starting tomorrow I am going to wake the kids up with a mask on!

Ella: Honestly, you’ll see such a difference cause your skin doesn’t get stripped! You do not need a cleanser because a cleanser takes off lots of stuff, makeup, dirt, etc., but don't have this in the morning. All you need to do is either a micellar water wipe or do a mask then continue with the regime.

Sarah: I am going to try this and report back to you. Tell us a little bit about what kind of trends you would like to see up and coming in the skincare industry, I know we talked a little bit about social media and what we'd like to see regarding mental health for women and for men but are there any trends that you see on the horizon or that you would like to see a comeback?

Ella: The one thing that I'm not seeing enough of let's put it this way is products that are completely biomimetic. We are made up of biological and chemical agents, we have chemicals in our body and the word chemical has been demonized like there's nothing wrong with certain chemicals because they exist in our body.

When you're using products that are 100% plant-based it isn't fully recognized in the skin, not to say that they don't work but they're not as effective. You need that balance so when you put a product on your body it sees it and takes it in and says okay, I know what to do with this cause it's not foreign, I recognize XYZ because all of these things exist in my body. That's how the body and the skin work.

Sarah: Ella, we cannot thank you enough for your time! It has been such an insightful conversation and we learned so much. I am hoping we can do this again soon because I am sure there will be so many questions from our listeners!

Ella: Of course, I am around so no problem! One last thing I want to leave you with: When you watch what goes in everything changes. Your energy, your focus, your skin. The last thing to tell you that there's something wrong in your body is your skin, if you're seeing it on your skin your insides are screaming.  





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