Meet my friend Valerie McMurray–a multi-tasking mother of three/entrepreneur/the next skin-care guru. She’s fun, chic, and has the uncanny ability to put her mind to something and make it work. When she told me she was launching a line of organic skin care and sunscreen, called Soleil Organique–I knew it would be good. But honestly, I wasn’t prepared for just how good it actually is. (I predict an Estee Lauder in the making here.) Being the minimalist beauty person that I am–my routine consists of one toner, one moisturizer–I am addicted to her serum. Fragrant but not overbearing, light (none of the sticky stuff, thank you!)….I’m about to stock up my bathroom. And at this point I would feel guilty slathering my girls in anything but her organic, chemical-free sunscreen. Here, Valerie answers a few KIC ?s:
Why did you start Soleil Oranigue?
When I started doing research, I was pregnant with my third child and after reading about the harmful and potentially toxic chemicals in the majority of sunscreens, especially those used on our children, my findings set my hair on fire. I also spent that summer with an additional 50lbs of baby on me, covered in this white veneer of spackle-like mineral sunscreen–I had tried to make the healthiest choice and it was NOT pretty! So I set out on a mission to develop a superior option that is safe, effective and aesthetically pleasing. I spent two years creating a 100% mineral sunscreen free of chemicals like benzophenome and oxybenzone, parabens, and pthalates, etc. Plus I added skin care benefits with advanced power-packed anti-oxidants and other organic ingredients.
Soleil Organique has a unique EcoSun Complex®. Please explain.
It’s the cornerstone ingredient of each of my products and acts as a bridge between sun and skin care. It is composed of Red Algae, Vitamin C Ester, Vitamin E and Bisabolol. So not only are you shielding your skin from dangerous UV rays, but you’re also nourishing and protecting it from free radical damage and environmental toxins and pollutants.
What two products from your skin care line that are your musts? Your sun care musts?
From my skin care: The Environmental Defense Anti-Aging Primer, which has completely resurfaced the texture, tone and brightness of my skin (believe me, I’ve tried them all) and my Environmental Defense Daily Moisturizer for Face SPF 20. I don’t leave home without it. (At the beach, I use a higher SPF.)
From the sun care: The 100% Mineral Sunscreen for Body SPF 45. It absorbs nicely, but it is thicker than normal chemical sunscreens, so it takes more time to apply. (The virtue of patience!) and for my kids the 100% Mineral Sunscreen Mist for Children SPF 45. They love the subtle fruit punch fragrance and the non-aerosol mist makes for quick and easy application on squirmy impatient kids.
Summer skin care tips?
Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours if you’re swimming or sweating. I cleanse morning and night, follow with my Primer, then moisturize. Use an exfoliating glove in the shower daily to help remove dead skin cells, stimulate cell renewal and remove sunscreen residue.
How do you balance life and work?
I prioritize spending quality time with my family whenever I can. My iPhone is a godsend! and fortunately I don’t really need too much sleep so I work late into the night after I put the kids to bed. Overall, I find it deeply rewarding to hear my 2, 5 and 7 year olds talk about my company and why they love my sunscreen so much. And having the opportunity to create products that might provide a safer, healthier alternative for others is beyond fulfilling.