5 minutes with Vicky Embank, founder of Live Native
A while ago I had the pleasure of meeting Vicky Ewbank, founder of Live Native – the toxin-free range of cold-pressed vegan organic skincare products – a truly unique concept in skincare. It all started over email correspondence when I was uploading Live Native to the Be Naturallyou Brand Directory. Vicky and I instantly hit it off with our like-minded ideals of organic, vegan life-loving lifestyles and so begun our friendship. Naturally I was eager to try her delicious range of skincare so I ordered a little parcel of pretty much everything (can you blame me 🙂 ) . After the first application I was hooked (read my Tried and Tested review of Live Native here) and began my plans to import the range to Australia so that my fellow Aussies could experience it too. But before doing so, a trip to the Isle of Skye was a MUST so that I could really get a feel for what Live Native was all about. As you can imagine, the trip to the beautiful untouched far north tip of Scotland was absolutely beautiful and more so solidified my love for this truly unique and pure skin care range. This month, I catch up with Vicky to talk about all things vegan and Live Native.
Why do you choose a vegan diet?
I have been passionate about health and nutrition my whole adult life – the seeds were planted when I began my Saturday job as a student, working at Hanover Health Foods in Edinburgh. After I completed my degree I chose to study nutrition and homoeopathy, qualifying as a classical homoeopath in 1999, and I have been in private practice ever since.
One of my great interests is in how our food choices influence our health. A life-long exercise in self-study began when I was 19 and I became vegetarian, then a few years later I became vegan and for the last 10 years have thrived on a raw food vegan lifestyle. So my primary motivation has always been the quest for optimal health. The move to veganism came when my consciousness expanded to include animal welfare issues, and although this wasn’t my first consideration it is deeply important to me. The truth is that we don’t need to feed off animals in order to survive, and if this is not a necessity then killing becomes a choice. I like knowing that no other animal has had to suffer and die for me to live. I feel lighter, healthier and happier knowing this simple fact.
What’s your favourite vegan meal/recipe?
There are too many to choose! I LOVE food and am excited by all flavours, but I guess real treats have to be Nori sheets topped with walnut pate and olives, dried to a crisp and eaten with a big green salad. Followed by a cashew lemon cheesecake topped with raw chocolate…
Your beauty brand LIVE NATIVE is loved by women all over the world, me being one of your biggest fans. Why did you choose to make the products vegan?
As I would never eat an animal product for the reasons above, I simply wouldn’t consider rubbing animal fats etc on my skin. To us, it’s quite surprising that there are so few vegan skincare products out there. After all, the plant kingdom provides us with all the raw materials we need to produce both beautifully effective and safe skincare. We needn’t concern ourselves with issues such as potential BSE contamination from cattle derived ingredients, or use excessive preservatives to counter detrimental bacterium and microbes common to most animal-based skincare products. Last but not least – the most effective moisturising, therapeutic and anti-aging ingredients are quite simply derived from plants.
What makes LIVE NATIVE unique?
We are one of only a few companies in the world making living skincare, a revolutionary new concept in the skincare industry. Unlike mainstream skincare products, which undergo heating to 80C or above during manufacture, Live Native skincare uses only premium, cold-pressed and unpasteurised RAW materials, which we then blend fresh and at low temperatures into the finished product. There is a very good reason for this!
When you heat ingredients much above our own body temperature you create chemical changes which are often irreversible. Cooking depletes enzymes, vitamins and minerals whilst creating new compounds that can be toxic to our bodies (if you’re interested look up Trans-Fats, Acrylamides and AGE’s). Certain foods, such as oils, are sensitive to heat and can easily be damaged; for example polyunsaturated oils such as Grapeseed or Hemp oil can become oxidised and a dangerous source of skin ageing trans-fats and free radicals when heated or exposed to light and oxygen.
In addition, our pure, fresh, nature-intact skincare is handmade on the beautiful and unspoilt Isle of Skye, making us a truly unique company.
Finally we do not add water, alcohol, synthetic fragrance, preservatives, petrochemicals or non-biodegradable ingredients to our living skincare. We believe that if you wouldn’t eat it why then would you use it on your skin? We are accredited by both the Vegan society, and Cruelty-Free International.
What is the benefit of using LIVE NATIVE products?
Our heat-free raw-blending ensures that nature’s store of naturally occurring enzymes, phytonutrients, antioxidants, EFA’s and bio-active plant phytochemicals remain intact. These ingredients enjoy an immaculate affinity with skin, being easily absorbed and assimilated into the skin’s matrix, resulting in true nourishment with instantly visible but long lasting results.
What is your number one beauty tip?
My skincare tip – cleanse thoroughly every day, morning and night. Without removing the daily grime your moisturiser simply won’t reach your skin in order to be able to nourish it as it needs. Also reduce your refined sugar intake – it’s responsible for accelerating the aging of your skin – and drink plenty of water. Ok I know that’s not skincare but it is super important too.
Live Native is lovingly available here at Be Naturallyou