Have you ever looked at a the label of your favorite skin cream and thought, “Hmmmmm what does that even say? Should this REALLY be going on my skin?”
I think about it all the time, which is why I did this interview – and it’s COMPLETELY changed the way I look at skincare.
Camila Olivares is the founder of Mia Erba – thoughtfully sourced, naturally made skincare – and she’s a fountain of knowledge on what’s good for your skin and what’s not.
It’s a jam-packed 15 minutes, but oh so worth it if you’re ready to be educated on the truth of what goes in your skincare.
- Why botanical ingredients are the ONLY ingredients that should touch your skin
- A CRAZY stat on the number of ingredients that the US allows but other countries ban!
- Why preservatives are necessary and which ones to look for
- Suggested remedies for dry skin
- Why oils are ACTUALLY ok to use if you have oily skin
- A simple mantra to live by when it comes to your skincare routine
Camila also takes you through the exact ingredients she’s put in her newly launched Coffee Coconut Scrub and why she chose them.
This week’s video is a labor of love and Camila and I truly hope to see you in the comments below and please — share this episode far and wide.
Other links from the video:
Mia Erba Terra Exfoliator
*use promo code ALWB for a discount!
Ingredients Good For Dry Skin:
Ingredients Good For Oily Skin:
Hey everyone, it’s Lindsey here from A Life Well-Balanced. Today, I am so honored to have Camila, one of my dear friends on the show today. We’re going to talk about natural skincare tips and tricks. We’re going back to the basics and learning what we should be putting in our skin and what should we avoiding on our skin.
Lindsey: “So Camila, thank you for coming and welcome to the show”.
Camila: “Thank you for having me”.
Lindsey: “So she has launched a plant-based skincare line here in Miami called Mia Erba. She launched this about a year ago, after doing 3 years of research and development, and she also is certified in natural skin care formulations, so she is the perfect person to be talking about plant-based skincare.
So welcome Camila. How about giving us a little background about Mia Erba and your natural skin care tips and tricks.”
Camila: “Okay, thanks. So Mia Erba started about a year ago. I actually got a lot of inspiration from my sister who’s an organic farmer. I’m visiting her farm a lot and learning about the plants she was working with. She talked to me about their therapeutic benefits and although her plants are for eating, they are organic plants and they still have a lot of benefits for us when we take them internally. But then I started getting a little more curious about them and thinking how can I use them topically and how they are going to affect my skin.
So I started looking to my skincare routine and seeing what kind of ingredients that were in it. And that just leads to an overall healthier lifestyle. I was paying more attention to what I was eating, how to stay more active and then, of course, my skincare routine. It’s something that I’ve always been very consistent with. It has always been very important to me. All of these just blossomed into creating my own skin care product and that is growing to make a line that I can share with other people. And that’s how Mia Erba came about. I decided I needed to do it right and share with other people and make the products. I wanted to go to school for it, so that’s why I became certified. And that’s how it came about.
It’s really the way that I see skin care. Skin is the largest organ of our body and we have to take care of it just as much as we do any other organ. It’s important for people to understand that what we’re putting on our skin is going to be absorbed into our systems one way or another so it’s going to affect us. That’s why a lot of people find that they have irritated skin, or they’ve got a rash or something. It’s because of what we are topically putting on. It could have a big effect and I think I want to raise an awareness to people as to why we’re using natural skincare versus synthetics”.
Lindsey: “Yes, which is a big topic and that’s why we’re talking about that today. Speaking about what we put on our skin, you’ve launched with the products, which we have here, this beautiful Coffee coconut scrub. You’ve been telling me a lot about the ingredients that you put in it, the love and passion you put into this and I wanted to start touching on what ingredients are in this and why you chose these particular ingredients to make your plant-based skin care.”
Camila: “I’ve started with the scrub. Scrubbing is a great first step for your skincare routine. It eliminates all dead skin cells and helps to rejuvenate and process new skin cells. The coffee scrub has Coffee grounds, coffee flakes, Epsom salt, some natural cane sugar, and then Coconut oil and coffee butter, as well as handmade Vanilla extract just for a nice sweet scent. The reason that I put all these ingredients together is that the coffee, for example, is not only a natural exfoliator but it also has the same PH as your skin. So it won’t leave your skin very dry or very oily.”
Lindsey: “That’s really interesting”.
Camila: “And it also has a lot of antioxidants of course and when it makes contact with water, the caffeine in the coffee is activated and that’s what helps to stimulate the blood flow and therefore it helps to battle cellulite. But that happens when it touches the water. And that’s how it becomes an active ingredient.”
Lindsey: “That’s where we get active ingredients from. Interesting. So caffeine is the active ingredient in your product and that is what will help with what we need like it can help combat cellulite, dry skin and all of that.”
Camila: “Yeah, as well as the lauric acid inside the coconut oil is something that’s very restructuring. It has restructuring properties and it’s very obviously moisturizing on the skin, so after you remove the dead skin cells you want to leave them with something strong that’s going to help nourish them.
Loric acid is an active ingredient and it’s just helping to restructure the skin. The coffee butter is also very highly moisturizing, but it helps with irritated, red skin. It’s anti-inflammatory, it protects the skin from harsh weather. It’s really nice. When you’re scrubbing, you might feel like it’s a little bit irritating because of the scrub, but the coffee butter helps to soothe it and moisturize it at the same time.”
Lindsey: “Okay, so you just said it could be a bit irritating for your skin. We all have different skin types. We have oily skin, dry skin, combination skin, we’re looking at if we have aging skin there’s so many different things and products out there. What would you recommend your scrub for? For dry or oily?”
Camila: “The scrub is for all skin types. It’s moisturizing. It’s all botanical ingredients so I would say that it’s good for all skin types.”
Lindsey: “Okay, so you could use your scrub on all sorts of skin types. What about if I have dry skin in the winter, let’s talk about some ingredients we should be using on dry skin types so we know, and of course plant-based.”
Camila: “Yeah, definitely. There’s a lot to look for. If you have dry skin, you can use something like avocado oil. You can use something like Kissee oil as well. Coconut oil is very nice on dry skin. Avocado oil is very high in amino acids so find an oil that inside is amino acids and something that has a lot of antioxidants and just feels very nourishing not only on dry skin. When you put it on you have to just pay attention to how it’s making your skin feel. But anything with high amino acids like avocado oil is very nice on dry skin.
If you have oily skin then you want to use something that might be a little bit more astringent. I like to use Orange Blossom Tonic. That’s like a toner. I’ll put that on in the morning before my cream but I also use oils. I use oils at night because oil is attracted to oil, so on oily skin, you want something that’s going to help regulate and balance the natural oils that our body is producing and when you’re actually feeding it oil, it’ll help regulate it. For oily skin, you want to use oils. There’s a lot of nice oils that you can use like Rosehip Oil, Primrose Oil.”
Lindsey: “Maybe even essential oils.”
Camila: “Definitely essential oils. Actually, Frankincense is great on oily skin. We have it here. Sometimes at night, I’ll add a couple of drops of Frankincense into my rosehip oil. I dilute it with the Rosehip Oil and I just put 1 or 2 drops and I use that. Sandalwood is actually very nice on dry skin. If you wanted to dilute that into a Jojoba oil or something that you want to use on your face. It’s very nice for dry skin but it’s also anti-aging, it’s battling pimples, as well as the frankincense.”
Camila: “Yeah, just add a little bit a few drops and add to your routine. And then you also have oils like Melaleuca oil which is tea tree oil and this one’s very nice for bug bites, for blemishes, for rashes. Frankincense is also very good for scars.
They have such a wide variety of essential oils, which are very potent. A lot of them are either steam distilled or cold-pressed extracted effects directly from the plants, so they’re in the purest form and they’re potent enough to get into our bloodstream. I would take advantage of essential oils in every which way you can externally and internally, but they’re fantastic add-ons for skincare. So find skincare that has essential oils in it.”
Lindsey: “Are there any other types of ingredients that we should be looking for or maybe we should go straight to what we should be avoiding?”
Camila: “Yeah, there are definitely things to avoid. There are so many synthetics out there that are used in the mainstream to just put things together. There’s a lot of harsh preservatives as we all know and there’s also just everyday things that we don’t even think about, but for example, we have here friendly chapstick that I’m sure many people grew up using, but chapstick has the third ingredient in here as mineral oil, aside from all the other synthetics that it has.”
Lindsey: “Stuff I can’t even pronounce.”
Camila: “Right. But the mineral oil is actually just a very dull and boring oil. It doesn’t do anything for your skin. It has no therapeutic benefits whatsoever and just sits on your skin doing nothing for you.
Then you have something we all grew up with like brushing our teeth with Colgate. One of the main ingredients of Colgate is Sodium lauryl sulfate. Sodium lauryl sulfate is a known irritant in the market. It’s very mainstream. Most of your soaps probably have it, cleaning supplies have it, so much skincare has it. And it’s just very irritating. It’s a known irritant. It’s used in labs to irritate the skin to find cures for eczema.”
Lindsey: “So why would you want to put that on your skin? Just try to avoid it.”
Camila: “Say No to Sodium Lauryl Sulfate!”
Lindsey: “Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate – they’re called SLS’s.”
Camila: “While we are avoiding a lot of things, a lot of people look at preservatives in a very negative way. They don’t want them in their food. They don’t want them in their skincare. However, preservatives are an active ingredient as well. They are there to serve a purpose and they are protecting us from yeast mold and bacteria, so if preservatives weren’t toxic to a certain extent then they wouldn’t be active and they wouldn’t be doing their job. Their job is to protect and keep our skincare safe in order for us to apply it to our skin.
There’s a lot of natural safe preservatives in the market that can be used and are perfectly accepted. So we use them in natural skincare formulation as well because we know that they’re there to serve a good purpose.
I would say that one of the things that really caught my attention in my studies is finding out how little regulated the skincare industry is in the United States. The EU has one of the strictest standards. And you’ll actually find that we use thousands of ingredients, like hydroquinone which is a skin lightening ingredient, a known carcinogen, but we’re allowed to use it in the US, but that’s banned in places like the EU.
You have to be so careful. Read the labels and do a little bit of research. It takes a couple of minutes but ultimately it’s for your own well-being.”
Lindsey: “That’s right because we don’t want to be putting things on our skin. We know that the skin is the largest organ of the body. We know the things that you put on your skin can be absorbed. So if you’re going to be using skincare products, it’s the way to go.”
Camila: “So we’re actually going to provide you guys with a list of safe preservatives that you can pull up and live by those. Look for those on your skincare labels.”
Lindsey: “Yeah look for those. I’ll put a link below and that way you guys can download and do some research. And we’ll put as much information as we can so you guys can also go delve into it a little bit more.”
Camila: “A lot of these preservatives are derived from natural places like berries and trees and whatnot so they have the same chemical compound. They’re identical to what you would find in plants, so that’s what makes them perfectly safe and derived from plants.”
Lindsey: “Awesome. So now you know a bit about the ingredients that we’ve been using and what we should be avoiding. I think it might be a really good way just to wrap this up quickly with some tips that you have for a skincare routine morning and night because I quite like your tips that you have.”
Camila: “During the day I like to protect my skin. I’m out and about, and with the pollution and the sun, it’s important for me to use something that’s very high in antioxidants and of course sunblock – Sunblock every day! I live in Miami and the Sun here is crazy, so I like to protect my skin during the day.
And I think that my skin repairs itself during the night so I feed it with some healthy oils, something that’s very nourishing, things with amino acid, things that are anti-inflammatory, just a lot of oils. I put on a ton of oils, a lot of essential oils. Protect during the day and repair at night.”
Lindsey: “Yes that’s a really good thing.”
Camila: “A good way to remember.”
Lindsey: “That’s a good little mantra – Protect during the day, repair at night.”
If you guys are interested, we talked a lot about these particular botanical ingredients that are good. We know Camila’s scrub is actually good for dry skin, you can use it on oily skin, you can use it to help combat anti-aging.
Check out her site at miaerba.com, you can see her body scrub there. It’s awesome. I think it’s a really good addition to your skincare routine.
And as always if you liked these natural skin care tips, please like, share and leave a comment below. If you have any other questions, just place your comments below and we’ll answer them.
There’s definitely a lot to learn.
So I hope you guys have an awesome day and we’ll see you next time.
Lindsey is the author of A Life Well-Balanced, a lifestyle blog dedicated to helping people live a more balanced life – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.