Alex from NINI Organics is like a ray of sunshine, if you’re feeling low switch on his Instagram stories and you’re guaranteed to smile! Alex runs his skincare brand NINI Organics with his sister Nicole, the products really are wonderful – all lovingly hand made. The Natura Detox Foam is one of my favourite cleansers ever.. I’m also a fan of the Halo Cleansing Elixir, the Infinity Beauty Balm – actually I like everything I’ve tried 🙂 Alex is also a make-up artist and has a great illuminator, with a gorgeous limited version created together with green mua Tahira.
Alex and Nicole also have a green beauty store ‘House of Green Beauty‘ in Wood Green. Alex really knows a lot about skin and is always happy to share his knowledge either through his social channels (I love his videos on skincare), or you can book to go and see him in person at his store. He very kindly answered these questions for the blog – hope you enjoy…
What does organic mean to you?
For me, organic means zero compromises on ethics, zero compromises on ingredients and zero compromise on someone’s health! In this case, their skin health. Organic is confusing at the best of times, it only means something that has been controlled. The truly organic ingredients you see in products are wildcrafted. But organic also evokes a sensation of warmth and love as well, I mean the word itself sounds cute right?! We have to be savvy as a consumer and check everything on the labels if the ingredient is actually organic then it will have an (astrick)* by the name, if it’s not then it won’t, and that’s the EU law. Also check what those * mean at the bottom of the INCI list.
Why is organic beauty important?
It’s important to me because it has helped feed my skin and allow it to get into this fabulous harmony. It just works and heals faster, and that is all down to the fact that the ingredients we use in our formulas are simply from nature without being tampered with. It’s also important because trust is there for me. I can spot a fake “organic” product from a mile away, but when I find those “Truly Organic” brands (a phrase I use to determine if the brand is BS or legit) then I feel a sense of love and passion for those products. It’s a very positive movement I feel.
Why is vegan beauty important to you?
I’m not actually opposed to honey or beeswax in skincare. I consider myself vegan as I don’t consume animal products, however honey is such a tricky one for me and one I’m constantly learning about, as some of the brands we stock in the NINI’s House of green beauty contain honey or beeswax and its produced on farms that don’t take the piss. However, if you are vegan through and through then honey and beeswax is a no go. I have a few issues with the swap out wax Candelilla, as it’s extracted using Sulfuric Acid and the shrubs need tones of freshwater to thrive. Albeit a natural wax and a totally vegan alternative, it’s all still a bit of a grey area for me. New ways however of extracting the wax are popping up, so we might find a better shift for this wax that is less impactful on the environment and those who harvest it.
Do you think that the plant world has everything we need for healthy skin?
Yes, 100%. I think the problem is that everyone wants quick results, so they put trust in clinical results or big labels and claims. However, if you take a step back and just breathe, you realise that all of these “claims, results and research” all stem from nature itself; then it really becomes a matter of synthetically enhanced potency or really well-formulated organic products with incredible potency.
What are your favourite ingredients and why?
I’m obsessed with Jojoba oil, cacao powder, tamanu oil, co2 extracted Sea buckthorn oil and plum kernel oil.. I mean I couldn’t pick a favourite ingredient that we use, but I love these ones stated as the results are incredible on our skin. It’s simply pure food. The clinical studies on them are super interesting and the chemical profile of each ingredient is like a star consolation. Organic ingredients just keep giving.
What is the most important step in our skincare regime?
Cleansing! Always and forever, if you do not cleanse properly then you’re actively setting your skin up for failure. Cleansing is a step that should never be missed and one of which should be taken very seriously; that’s not to say that if you forget to do it your skin will fall off! If you commute in a polluted city or wear make-up then a double cleanse is a must. This allows your skin to be free from all the daily stressors and elements creating a fresh clean canvas for any treatment products you may apply after 🙂
There are so many products on the market now, how can we choose something that is right for our skin – how do we know what it actually needs?
I have always believed that we all have one skin type (balanced), however it’s what we do to our bodies or external stressors that throw our skin out of balance. Sometimes it is trial and error with products, if we just stick to truly organic skin food then our skin can start to rebalance itself for the better. It is all about diet as well let’s not forget. I truly believe you have to go T total on all vices to achieve glowing fresh skin! Of course, that’s not going to happen as we live in such a westernised world. What you can do is not overload your skin with too many products and stay well away from promise products like anti-aging, retinol and vitamin c’s plus any acid peels. Always choose the alternatives like oils rich in betacarotene (vitamin A) and gentle exfoliators that naturally contain BHA enzymes. Choose powder vitamin c products that you have to activate, and make sure your skin is always hydrated to stay youthful.
How can we understand our skin better?
By understanding our gut. You will never find the solution to a skin issue by using a product. Sometimes a product can help with inflammation and hydration but you may find you are just helping the symptoms – you need to find the root cause and that starts with your gut and mind. You need to take care of your gut microbiome, making sure you are eating the healthiest diet you can; eat all the colours and stay away from fried junk food. Also, take pro and prebiotics to support your gut flora and get enough fibre so you are passing matter regularly. Keep a skin diary or images, and of course when it comes to the products you use make sure they are as organic and green as possible, if in doubt use products that are water-free informulation 🙂
You suffered with acne as a teenager, what would be your advice to anyonewho is suffering now?
EMBRACE IT and just remember it;s for a short time, not a long time! Try the holistic approach first and REALLY try it, that’s my one wish; I wish I could go back in time and dig a bit deeper into homeopathy and organic skincare, but in the early 2000’s it wasn’t really a thing. I would also say don’t reach for what’s in front of you and really research and look into your diet and organic beauty – or come and visit me in my shop and we will do a consultation where I will put you on the right path 🙂
What is your top skincare tip?
Make sure your gut is happy! and use a poop stall when going to the toilet, your legs must be raised to get rid of everything. That’s my unconventional answer hehe! My topical top skincare tip is CLEANSE AND HYDRATE! Plus have a pomegranate a day with your breakfast, and with some excess juice massage your skin before your morning cleanse – let the fruit enzymes work their magic! Trust me it’s amazing 🙂
What product couldn’t you live without?
From NINI organics I can’t live without my Natura collection. I just pinch myself daily when I use them, these are formulations that come about once in a while and people just fall in love with. I’m really blessed I formulated them and I wouldn’t be without 🙂
Is there a product that you think every bathroom cabinet should have?
From NINI Organics range that would be our Natura Detox oil as it has been the hero of our line and our customers just rave about it, it’s so multifunctional and can suit nearly everyone’s skin type 🙂 In general, everyone should have jojoba oil and rose water! Both organic of course, as these are the most universal ingredients for our skin, and it will only ever make your skin happy 🙂 When in doubt get jojoba oil on your face and be proud!
Thank you so much Alex for your really brilliant answers!!
I really hope you all enjoyed them too and they were helpful – let us know what you think..