happy to have you in our Spotlight this month. You give
us a fresh perspective to all-natural beauty by growing up
outside the United States. Please tell us about your
background and how you first became interested in the field of
all-natural beauty (and health), and why you started your
company, Alpha Skin Care
I was born in the Ukraine. Both my parents were medical
doctors and from the beginning of my life I was made aware of
the importance of health issues. Back in the days of the
Soviet Union consumer products were almost entirely
unavailable. People often relied on folk remedies and
tradition relating to medicine and self care products. I was
always interested in herbal and old-fashioned recipes for skin
care, health care and cooking (which are all connected). For
example we used to treat colds and sinusitis with chamomile
flower herbal inhalations and homemade nose drops made from
fresh beet juice and honey.
first making my own skincare became a hobby, and later what
started as reading became a serious study.
arrived in America 14 years ago I was delighted if a bit
overwhelmed at the abundance of available information and the
variety of consumer products. At the same time I got
distressed and lost in the huge lists of unknown ingredients,
found in conventional health and skincare products. I always
understood that our skin is a living, breathing, detoxifying
organ. It absorbs a big portion of what we put on it.
started making various products on my own for myself and my
children and eventually for my friends. I made tooth and
body powders, creams, salves and finally lotions. I even made
my own soap. At the beginning I made lots of mistakes and
quite a few batches of my creations went down the toilet. But
after experimenting I managed to create a number of high
quality products, which brought a lot of very positive
feedback from everybody who used them. Eventually I decided
to open my own company and make my products that are free of
toxins and preservatives commercially available on the
Internet. My whole family helps me with my business and
everybody makes their contribution in their own way. My
younger son who is 19 and still lives with us helps me the
most by taking most of the photographs of my products, with
web design and shipping.
The company motto is: ď If you
canít put it in your mouth, donít use it on your skin
How did you come up with the name for your company and what
does it mean?
Spotlight, the name has been changed to Jenulence)
I was looking for a short name that people could easily
remember. The "Skin Care" part of the name speaks for itself.
"Alpha" is the first letter of Greek alphabet. It is also
means "The First", "Superior" or just "The Best". I wanted the
name of my company to reflect this concept, because I believe
that all-natural skincare is in fact the best and superior.
Please tell us about your line of products and how you feel
that they are different than other products on the market.
My products are very different. All the products I make are
handmade in small batches from fresh and natural ingredients
and whenever possible I use organic or wild-crafted oils and
herbs. I always carefully check with my suppliers about their
sources of the ingredients and the methods of extraction.
There are no synthetic or artificial ingredients,
preservatives, petroleum products, talc powder or fragrance
oils in my products. Almost all of my products are fortified
with pure essential oils of therapeutic quality.
Also I have to say that every product I make came to life
after research, study and experimentation. At the same time I
look for simple combinations of ingredients that are proved to
benefit health and beauty and are tested by time and
experience. For example sea buckthorn seed and berry oils are
famous folk skin remedies in Russia. I try to use these
wonderful oils in my skin preparations.
What lessons have you learned about manufacturing a truly
all-natural line of products that you didn't know before you
I learned a lot and am continuing to learn more every day.
I never would have imagined how much study and research are
involved in the creation of a fine product. Everything I make
is in response to the individual order. There is nothing
standing on my shelves waiting to be bought.
Moreover, I canít have any of the raw ingredients sitting
around for too long either. Everything must be fresh and has
to go to the customer "straight out of the pot". This is a
challenge in itself. It is very demanding to keep an inventory
of ingredients that are fresh and in supply at the same time.
Really all-natural raw ingredients differ from supplier to
supplier and from batch to batch and this can cause light
changes in the finished product, which is not really a welcome
Before I started to sell my products commercially I really
didnít realize how much studying I had to do. I constantly
read and research new and old books on aromatherapy, chemistry
of oils and herbs, folk medicine, etc. I had to buy a few new
bookshelves to accommodate my constantly expanding collection
of books and articles. In order to get an up to date education
in aromatherapy I am in the process of enrolling in the
Aromatherapy Certification Study Program with the Mississauga
School of Aromatherapy & Canadian Holistic Therapists Training
Since my business came into existence I discovered that
all-natural manufacturing doesnít really bring profit. I also
wasnít aware of the really strong competition.
I also learned something about myself. I didnít suspect
that I can enjoy doing something so full-heartedly.
What do you want the average consumer of beauty products to
know about using all-natural beauty products that they
probably don't know?
I wish that everyone who uses beauty products would use
them conscientiously and read the labels. Some people buy a
beauty product just because they see pretty packaging or a
famous brand name. I would like to see more and more customers
who are aware of the harmful effects on our health of toxic
ingredients that are so abundant in the conventional skincare
products. It is a pity that so many people forget, or maybe
they just donít know, that treating our bodies badly and
abusing our skin with chemicals will eventually cause us ill
health. However, I noticed that people who use all-natural
beauty products are a very educated and inquiring crowd.
Customers who use all-natural beauty products should be
aware that freshness is critical. Even the best things loose
their potency over time. Therefore one cannot leave natural
skincare on the shelf indefinitely and expect that it will
last forever. An all-natural product doesnít contain
preservatives and customers should remember that.
What do you see for the future of all-natural beauty products?
There are more and more health food stores opening
everywhere. Their shelves are lined with different all natural
and not-so-natural beauty products. If consumer interest and
the market is there Ė the products will follow. I think that
the future of all-natural beauty products is one of continued