By Shani R. Friedman and Ronit Pinto
Edited by Royal Young
Dana Stewart and her husband, former sun worshippers who used to hang ten until years of sun damage took a toll. Not finding what they were looking for on store shelves to combat and heal the damaging effects of those powerful rays, the duo decided to form their own skincare company in 2009. It’s a family-owned business, and for fans of a certain IFC show, it should come as no surprise that they they’re based out of Portland, Oregon.
WHO: Mad Hippie. The name is supposed to be shrouded in mystery, but they basically thought of a mad scientist concocting powerful potions to heal the skin, while staying true to their hippie roots so these concoctions are all natural. Mad Scientist + Hippie Roots = Mad Hippie.
WHAT: Their all-natural line (no parabens, petrochemicals or sulfates) includes creams, serums and facial oils. Their focus was for their products to “contain safe and effective ingredients that take into account the latest research available on the skin’s capacity for self-repair,” explained Stewart. “We teamed up with a good friend of ours who has his doctorates degree in pharmacology and he helped us put all of the pieces together. We have learned so much in the last couple of decades about bioavailability, the way in which the body is able to absorb and utilize some versions of some vitamins, while others are not so readily available. Initially we made this line for surfers. It’s for folks who want to heal sun damage, reduce discoloration, without making the skin more susceptible to sun damage, but who also appreciate simplicity. We quickly discovered that there was a broader market for our products. Sun damage is accountable for 90% of what we consider skin aging, from discoloration to wrinkles so this line is really for everyone.”
WHY: For Stewart, the key selling point is that “we create products for ourselves and the people we love. All of our ingredients are listed as safe ingredients in the environmental working group database. Our products are also vegan, GMO free and not tested on animals. I also think that by creating a line consisting of so few products, we set ourselves apart. We basically do not subscribe to the belief that each person needs different ingredients for their skin. There are universally effective ingredients that are important to support healthy skin, build collagen and elastin, increase the production of hyaluronic acid, etc.” But Mad Hippie cares about more than just your epidermis. They’re also invested in not adding to environmental pollution by using BPA-free, fully recyclable airless pumps, printing with soy inks and using alternative energy to keep their operations going.
HOW: are they rebels of the skin care industry? “While we love skin care, we do not love the skin care industry which on a larger scale is often responsible for using unsafe ingredients such as parabens, petrochemicals, sulfates, and other harmful ingredients and marketing them to people who are often unaware of the harm that their personal care products can cause. We do not love that the industry on a large scale supports animal testing, which we staunchly oppose.
I also think that by creating a line consisting of so few products, we set ourselves apart. We basically do not subscribe to the belief that each person needs different ingredients for their skin. There are universally effective ingredients that are important to support healthy skin, build collagen and elastin, increase the production of hyaluronic acid, etc. Our products are for everyone… who isn’t a teenager (sorry teenagers, your skin is too fresh and beautiful for Mad Hippie.) Check back in with us in your mid-twenties and until then, WEAR YOUR SUNSCREEN (a zinc only version of course.)”
Skin is our largest organ. As the saying goes, love the skin you’re in. It’s the only one you’ve got.