SINGAPORE — Liht Organics was born out of financial planner Nerissa Low’s personal struggle with acne. Her acne breakouts became so bad that she needed steroid injections, and her skin only cleared up after she started using organic skincare. Naturally she wanted to complete her beauty routine with organic makeup but was disappointed by what was available. She couldn’t find good quality ones, and decided to start her own organic makeup brand.
Free of parabens and harmful chemicals, every Liht Organics product contain up to 90% certified organic ingredients, and is cruelty-free and vegan. While these are essential pillars in the clean beauty industry, Nerissa takes Liht Organics a step forward and declared that her products are edible. We caught up with Nerissa to find out more about Singapore’s first premium organic makeup brand.
About Liht Organics
While there may not be many local organic makeup brands, there are a lot of organic makeup labels from other parts of the world. So, why did you feel that you need to create your own organic makeup line?
“There is makeup marketed as organic, but truly authentic organic makeup with safe formulations that didn’t contain any synthetic chemicals and nanoparticles that could get into my bloodstream are few and far between. Those that claimed to be organic were either falsely marketed with very little organic content, and those that did have safer formulations weren’t effective in terms of coverage, pigments and staying power. That was why I decided to start my own line so that I could fill this gap in the market that combines both safety and functionality.”
Being a Singaporean brand, are your products designed to be suitable for use in our hot, humid climate?
“Absolutely! Our products are not just able to withstand our humid climate, they can also stay on our skin for up to 16 hours. This is based on results from using our foundations and eye makeup from morning to night, with no touch-ups.”
Your brand was previously called Reflections Organics, and was launched in 2017. Why did you change your brand name to Liht Organics?
“I had already wanted to change the packaging as I understand that attractive packaging plays a part in the Asian market. Then, when we decided to go into the China e-commerce market, we found out that ‘Reflections’ was trademarked under another Chinese brand, and we had to change our brand name. So, aside from changing the brand name, I took this as an opportunity to also change the packaging, and we are in the works of incorporating refillable options, too. Liht Organics was officially launched in March this year.”
(Note to animal lovers: All cosmetics products retailing in physical shops in China are required to be subjected to animal-testing. However, selling cosmetics through e-commerce does not require animal testing in China.)
Has the brand philosophy changed with the brand name and packaging change?
“They both ultimately have the same message of empowerment and love – love for self, humanity and the planet. However, the brand, like our own experiences in this journey, has gone from a place of looking inward within itself to find answers, to expanding outwards to radiate its love and light – and we hope for others to do the same and pass it on to those around them.”
About organic makeup
Why do you think people should make the switch to organic makeup?
“The average woman uses 12 different beauty and skincare products a day containing up to 168 different chemicals, and while they may not see the harmful effects immediately, chemical residues will accumulate on their skin over their lifetime. Lead and mercury present in mascaras and eyeliners are also exceptionally dangerous given the proximity to our eyes, and talc and synthetic waxes do not just accentuate our wrinkles and cause pore enlargement, they have also been linked to serious health implications. So, if you think about just how much harmful chemicals you are subjecting your body to, we think it would be worthwhile to choose safer and healthier alternatives.”
What do you think is the biggest misconception about organic makeup?
“That it is expensive and has a short shelf life. Organic products cost 10 times more to produce than their chemical counterparts, but we have not raised our retail prices to cost 10 times more. The high quality of our ingredients and the strength in our pigments means that consumers can use a much smaller quantity of product to achieve the same effect, making it cheaper on a per use basis."
What is the shelf life of your products?
“Our products also have a shelf life of up to 3 years through the use of natural preservatives. However, do note that for products like lip glosses, mascara and liquid liners which are prone to bacteria being introduced with the pumping motion when used, they should be replaced every 3-6 months, and this should apply even for chemical-based ones in the market.”
Did you want to make your product formulas edible from the start, or did the formulas just turn out that way?
“I always knew that 60% of what you apply on your skin gets absorbed into your body, that is why I wanted to ensure that our products are safe enough to eat. I would like to clarify though, that I wouldn’t say they are exactly edible because ultimately makeup is not food. They are however, safe enough to ingest. I do urge consumers to check the ingredients for anything they could be allergic too before attempting to use or ingest any of our products.”
On your website, it is stated that your products are suitable for use on children. May I know the age group of children that can use your products?
“They are safe enough for children at any age!”
Is there one hero (key) ingredient in all your formulas?
“There so are many lovely ingredients in our products that have healing and nourishing properties like Aloe Barbadensis (the most nutritious of 200 species of Aloe Vera), and antioxidants like Rosemary extract, Thyme extract and Oregano extract. I also love that our lip products contain Coconut oil, Castor Seed oil and Cocoa butter amongst other beautiful ingredients as a base so it is extra hydrating on its own without needing lip balm.”
There are 10 inclusive shades for your Youth Elixir Liquid Foundation, so why there are only three shades for the Anti-Aging BB Cream?
“The BB Cream has much sheerer coverage and is suitable across varying skin tones. It works more like a tinted moisturiser rather than a foundation with a silkier, lighter texture.”
Would you be launching a full makeup range soon that includes primers, highlighters, cushion foundations, brushes, makeup removers etc., and why?
“We are trying to keep our range simple for the busy woman of today to help them minimise steps in their makeup routine, so our liquid foundations actually work like primers too! I personally find cushion foundations less hygienic, that is why we opted for the airless pump solution so that products can stay fresh longer. Makeup removers and multi-functional highlighters are definitely in the works, along with other exciting products that are not available in the market. Stay tuned!”
I’ve noticed from your website that you are also contributing to the community through donations and sponsorships, is this an extension of the brand philosophy, and can you tell us more about what you want to do in this area?
“It has always been my dream to start or support foundations in the areas of animal conservation and education to empower others to do something not just for themselves, but for the planet as well. I believe that with a collective effort, we can make a significant impact to the earth, and it is all about taking baby steps to live consciously.”
I understand that you are planning to launch various green initiatives. May I know what you have in mind, or are already doing?
“We are currently exploring different methods in which we can refill our products to cut down on plastic usage, and seeing how we are able collaborate with retailers to help recycle our plastic bottles. We are also using pouches instead of paper bags so that our consumers can reuse them instead of killing more trees.”
What’s the next step for Liht Organics?
“I have always wanted Liht Organics to be more than just a makeup brand, I wanted to create a cult brand to champion the organic revolution and to inspire people to lead a more conscious lifestyle.”
Liht Organics is available for purchase online at www.lihtorganics.com, and at Astique, The Aesthetic Clinic, #08-00 Shaw House (6732-3801).