Linné Botanical’s Jenna Levine

 

INTRO

 

Marysia 

 

What inspired you to start your company? What makes Linné so unique?

I started making skincare from natural ingredients when I was ten so formulating clean products has been a lifelong passion.  My experience and studies in herbal medicine, botany, ingredient sourcing and product development became more formalized when my younger sister developed persistent cystic acne in college. Without my knowledge she began a course of Accutane, which left her skin dry, inflamed, extremely sensitive and tender. I wanted to help her regain her skin health and confidence. With my sister’s feedback we iterated BALANCE face oil until we established a balanced, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory face oil which has since restored health and radiance to my sister’s skin. 

The rest of the line was developed similarly, as a response to the needs of my family – dry skin, psoriasis, clogged pores, pre-mature aging. And because we formulate in house, we are able to refine our formulas infinitely to meet the needs of family, friends and now customers. This is unique in a world of white labeling, celebrity skincare, and contract manufacturing.

LINNÉ is also unique in that we produce in small batches so that the products can be enjoyed at their freshest and most potent. However hard working our formulas maintain to be gentle. 

Finally what makes LINNÉ unique is that our formulas are comprehensive in their functionality, requiring fewer steps to achieve real results. Inspired by the classification system created by our namesake Carl Von Linné, we have established our own numbered step protocol. However efficient this system is, the experience remains to be luxurious.

 

To you, MARYSIA is…

The most comfortable way to look chic.

 

From left to right:

________ 

Describe your morning regimen.

I can’t start my morning without scraping my tongue with a copper tongue scrape, misting my face with REFRESH, followed by a quick facial massage using RENEW Face Serum and BALANCE Face Oil. I also roll-on our RISE Functional Fragrance on my brow, neck and inner wrist which helps release anxiety, promote hormonal equilibrium in the body, and stimulate mental clarity and concentration. Ideally I start the day with a warm cup of SKIN TEA and superfood packed smoothie or fresh-pressed vegetable juice – but since becoming a mom most days now begin with a VERY large iced matcha I guzzle down while walking my dog.

       

      Which product is your current favourite? 

      It’s a draw between PURIFY and RENEW. I can’t imagine a day without these hero products. I absolutely love the experience of using them, the aromas, textures and results are just extraordinary. They’ve helped transform skin for countless people struggling with a range of skin concerns thanks to their superlative ingredients. 

      PURIFY is unique as a cleanser in that it is pH balanced so not to disrupt the acid mantle, it is microbiome friendly thanks to our advanced preservative system, and it uses a surfactant blend that actually draws moisture to the skin. It is deeply cleansing, toning and brightening but never drying or stripping. I also love that it can be used daily as a cleanser, once a week as a mask, and as needed as a spot treatment.

      RENEW is another perfect example of a multi-functional product. Thanks to a synergy of antioxidants, vitamins and plant extracts it can replace your hyaluronic, vitamin C, retinol, brightening, post-sun and blemish serums.

       

       

      Do you have a go-to natural sunscreen? How do you prepare your skin for a day in the sun?

      The LINNÉ Sunscreen is my favorite natural mineral sunscreen and I’m so excited to share it with you come summer of 2023. While it isn’t available for purchase at the moment, I am pleased to share that our beloved RENEW serum is rich in UV-protective ingredients including lycopene from tomato, and perhaps the most potent antioxidant of all, astaxanthin from red algae. Research has shown that astaxanthin can increase the time it takes for skin to burn when exposed to ultraviolet light, thereby preventing UV-induced photo-oxidation and other harm from the sun’s rays. 

      Not only is astaxanthin thought to be the most powerful antioxidant in nature, it also has notable anti-inflammatory properties. It works to both protect the cells and scavenge any existing free radical build-up – functions that make it useful in maintaining skin health, improving skin moisture and elasticity, and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. 

      To bolster its UV protective effects we’ve paired it with a tomato extract rich in lycopene, an extremely powerful antioxidant and carotenoid that provides numerous benefits to the skin, ranging from having unparalleled anti-aging properties, to improving skin hydration, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, combating the harmful effects of UV rays, and other environmental contaminants, and regenerating the skin to create a more youthful appearance. 

       

      How does your brand practice sustainability? 

      Sourcing is everything. We buy from reputable sources that champion environmental health and worker welfare and we evaluate each ingredient to ensure that they are free from environmental and biological contaminants. We do all this because there is an unfortunate lack of transparency within the skincare market. As greenwashing becomes ubiquitous it has become increasingly imperative for formulators and brands to source considerately and responsibly. Part of the challenge of working with naturals is that there is incredible variability among the ingredients on offer. Species variety, growth location and conditions, pesticide and fertilizer use, the time and means of harvesting, the process by which the raw plant is converted into its formula-ready form, the conditions of storage and distribution, and the potential adulteration by secondary traders all contribute to ingredient quality, efficacy and planetary health.  With that said, being natural alone is not good enough.  

      Sustainability is a moving target and we have a long way to go, but we are proud of our existing efforts which include a reduced carbon footprint and carbon neutrality through regenerative grazing offsets, recyclable packaging, plastic-negative offset and certification, cruelty-free certification and philanthropic contributions via our membership with 1% For The Planet.

       

        

      You’ve shared that you eat clean to feed there skin from the inside. What are some of your favourite meals to prepare?

      I love making a version of a maki roll with a rainbow of fresh and cooked vegetables, including julienned carrots, cucumbers, peppers, avocado, roasted sweet potatoes and sprouts. I usually make a few dipping sauces as well, such as yuzu-tamari, creamy tahini, or spicy mayo. The textures are wonderful and I love the rainbow of colors.

         

        Can you share some advice for fellow female entrepreneurs?

        Building your own business is endlessly consuming so don’t forget to take time for yourself to unwind and reset. I love playing sports like tennis to shake off undue stress, but sometimes a soak with our LINNÉ bath salts is all I really need.