Indie Lee is a New York-based producer of natural skincare.
Founded in 2012, the company's products have been featured on numerous 'must-have' lists and can be found in spas, boutique hotels and retreats around the world.
At present, the range contains cleansers, toner, face oil, face cream, serum, masks, eye balm, body balm, body scrub, body oils and body lotions.
Everything is formulated without GMOs, EDTA, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances, fillers and preservatives. Vegans and those with a gluten allergy should note that a few of the products contain beeswax and hydrolysed wheat protein.
I spoke to Indie about the health crisis that inspired the line,
the secret to radiant skin, and what will come next...
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START INDIE LEE?
In 2008, I was diagnosed with a potentially fatal brain tumour. My doctors believe it was environmentally-derived – quite possibly the result of the products I was applying to my skin. As someone who exercised and ate healthily, this was a huge wake-up call for me. Though my prognosis was bleak, I became determined to survive surgery and start an eco-chic skincare line, and empower others to make healthier choices so they don't have to experience the health issues I have.
WHY DO YOU FEEL IT'S IMPORTANT TO USE NATURAL INGREDIENTS?
I believe strongly that it's important to use natural ingredients. Since 60% of what we rub onto our skin is absorbed into the bloodstream, it's important that the ingredients penetrating the skin don't post any health risk. What you put on your body is just as important as what you put it in.
FROM WHERE DO YOU SOURCE YOUR INGREDIENTS?
I am a big proponent of sourcing the best-quality ingredients from where they are indigenous. So, for me, that means purchasing ingredients from all over the world – squalene from Spain or Tunisia, and lavender from France.
HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR PRODUCTION AND PACKAGING PROCESSES ETHICAL AND SUSTAINABLE?
Authenticity and honesty is a core value of Indie Lee & Co. We are committed to helping people and the planet. As such, we look for components that are sustainable – like glass bottles for our primary packaging and recyclable paper and soy ink on our outer packaging. We even fulfil orders in a fully solar-powered facility. As for ethical practices, we make we (and/or the people we work with) know the ingredient suppliers personally and that those suppliers have a reputation for fair and ethical practices. We are also leaping bunny certified.
YOUR FAVOURITE PRODUCT IN THE LINE:
Hmm. This is a tough question. I only introduce products that I am completely in love with. If my team, our testers or our researchers don't highlight something as a must-have, I won't sell it. I have always said that our Squalene Facial Oil is the holy grail of moisturisers. Another product I am using day in and day out is the Calendula Eye Balm. It is perfect for treating under-eye puffiness and dark circles (which I suffer from). And during the winter I keep the balm my purse to help hydrate my dry hands, nails and chapped lips.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR INDIE LEE?
We have so many exciting things in the works that I can't wait to share. Right now, I'm finalising a few new skincare products that are slated to launch in the coming months. I have been on the road a lot lately, making appearances and attending events across the US. I hope to make the UK a destination in the coming year. If your UK readers are looking for some Indie Lee, might I suggest they check out A Beautiful World, Fenwick on Bond Street or CosNatural. As I plan my travels across the pond, I will definitely be arranging an event or two...
THE SECRET TO RADIANT SKIN IS...
Clean eating, lots of water, the right amount of sleep, a positive attitude, less stress and a great moisturiser with all natural ingredients.
WHAT IS YOUR FOOD PHILOSOPHY?
It's similar to my skincare philosophy: eat as all-natural as possible, and choose simple, non-processed and recognisable ingredients. Several times a year I follow Dr Alexandro Junger's detox and cleansing plan. I firmly believe that if you take care of your body, your body will take care of you.
HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN YOUR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING?
I constantly work to achieve balance in my life. While I don't always eat perfectly or exercise every day, I always incorporate at least one of two healthy habits into my daily life and make at least a few personal connections – even if that means sending a quick text or two. Each day begins and ends with a short meditation. When possible, I throw in a hike and tea with a close friend. And I try not to be too hard on myself when life gets in the way of my plans.
WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?
I am the eternal optimist and find the positive in all things, every day. If I had to pick a few of the thing that make me the happiest, it would have to be my children, being able to help others, and getting my feet wet in the ocean.