Satya Skincare was born out of necessity. That’s not something you can say about many beauty brands these days.
Patrice, the founder of Satya, saw the need for better treatments when her baby developed eczema at 8 months old.
For many mothers, formulating you’re own holistic cream to treat your baby, would not have been their first solution. And who can blame them? It’s time consuming and challenging to formulate your own product, as well as work and be a mother.
This is where Patrice’s story deviates and is precisely what makes her so fascinating. She took on the challenge and used her prior experience as a journalist to help her investigate how to make the best cream out there.
Today’s interview is about understanding her journey so far and where she hopes the brand will go in he future.
Where does the name ‘Satya’ come from?
Satya is actually a Sanskrit word that translates to ‘a higher truth’ — a way of being that guides us to think, speak, and act with intention and integrity.
We couldn’t think of a name that better reflects our core essence and what we strive to be for our community every day. ‘Satya’ guides every single decision we make.
What inspired you to create a beauty brand?
I was inspired to create Satya because I wanted other moms to know that there’s a clean, natural alternative to steroid creams that actually work! My daughter Esme was only 8-months-old when she developed eczema, scratching her delicate skin bloody and crying through the night. There’s no worse feeling than seeing your baby suffer. When the doctor prescribed a potentially harmful steroid cream, I knew there had to be a better way.
After much research on traditional medicines and natural anti-inflammatories, I created a remedy in my kitchen crockpot that cleared her skin in just two days. When I had a leftover product, I offered it up on Mommy Facebook groups and it took off. I knew the demand was there, and I wanted other people to feel the same relief that I did. Satya skincare is more of a skin essential rather than a beauty product — our mission is to help all skin warriors reach the comfort and confidence that they deserve to feel in their skin.
Have you faced challenges being an Indigenous woman-owned brand in the beauty industry?
In business alone, there are already so many challenges for woman entrepreneurs. The gender gap is evident in venture capital funding for startups. Women-founded and mixed-gender teams are getting only 11.5% of available VC investments. All-women teams are raising an average of just 2.8% of VC funding. For women entrepreneurs of colour, there is a significant gap in representation when you look at the products sold in retailers and on major platforms.
I’m a single mom, I’m Indigenous, and when I first started my company, I had no business background or assets. So, it was definitely difficult navigating the world of business. Thankfully I’ve gotten so much support from incredible communities like SHEeo. They offer funding alternatives specifically for BIPOC women and non-binary entrepreneurs who are in the social and environmental sustainability space.
In the beauty industry, there are and always will be so many standards to overcome. That’s why Satya is so deeply rooted in being raw and real. We’re not afraid to rock the boat, speak up against traditional beauty standards and norms. We demand better from our industry counterparts when it comes to ingredient transparency, skin representation, and amplifying the real needs of real skin warriors.
I think my Indigenous perspective on business — prioritizing people, community, and the planet ahead of profit — has really given us firm ground and purpose when navigating these challenges.
How did you land on the five ingredients you use in your products?
Through hours and hours of experimentation in my kitchen crockpot!
I’m a former journalist, so I actually used my investigative skills to dig into traditional Indigenous medicine, scientific research, and the latest academic studies coming out of universities.
All of my research lead me to a combination of incredible natural ingredients which treat eczema. They make up Satya’s core formula today.
Organic colloidal oatmeal, organic calendula, organic cold-pressed jojoba, organic cold-pressed sweet almond oil, and organic beeswax. Many of these traditional ingredients have been used for centuries by our ancestors to heal and relieve skin conditions.
Are sustainably farmed ingredients difficult to source?
Our ingredients are sustainably sourced and USDA certified organic. Thi means there are no pesticides, engine fuel, or GMOs are involved in the production of our products.
We support local partners when sourcing our ingredients. However, after the pandemic hit, it was difficult as a lot of them faced shortages. To ensure that we continue to ethically support our local community, we’ve had to increase our prices recently. It’s really been tough on everyone this year.
Nonetheless, we love our community and are proud to be working with so many awesome partners to continue making our signature Satya formula.
Organic Calendula: Instead of using extracts that contain hidden chemicals, we infuse thousands of actual calendula petals directly into our oils. This not only keeps Satya gentle and free of additives, but it directly supports organic farmers and the bees that pollinate our food supply.
Organic Sweet Almond Oil: Oils made with non-organic almonds are often sprayed with a chemical called PPO (propylene oxide). To avoid this, our cold-pressed sweet almond oil is only made from steam pasteurized almonds – no pesticides, engine fuel, or GMOs.
Organic Beeswax: Harvesting wax is a sustainable and bee-friendly process. We use organic beeswax to ensure that our bees have not been exposed to flowers that have been sprayed with chemicals or pesticides.
Organic Jojoba: We specifically use organic jojoba in our formula to avoid the use of pesticides or chemicals on the jojoba plants we harvest from.
Organic Colloidal Oatmeal: Using organic oatmeal ensures that we keep our product gluten-free. This ensures no pesticides or chemicals were used on the oat plants we harvest from.
Which skin types work best with Satya skincare?
We originally formulated Satya for eczema but really, it’s a natural topical anti-inflammatory for all skin. Those words sound a bit intense, but all it means is that Satya is great for relieving all types of skin stress.
This can range from a chronic skin condition to an occasional dry patch, burn, bug bite, or chafe. There are a thousand and one uses for Satya — it’s really an everyday, multipurpose skin essential!
Will you ever develop products for different skin types?
We’re working on a new facial oil, which will be great for all skin types. We’re also looking forward to producing new highly requested formats of our signature balm. This will make Satya more convenient and accessible for all users (hint: tiny + perfect for applying on lips or delicate areas like your eyelids).
How much does science play into the development of your products? Are there many clinical studies on the five ingredients you use?
Satya is tested and approved by Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Also, it has recently undergone dermatologist review and was approved to be hypoallergenic, non-irritating, and suitable for sensitive skin. Paired with traditional medicine, our original formula and ingredient selection is based on medical research, academic papers, and anecdotal evidence!
Lastly, where do you see your brand in the next five years/what impact do you think Satya skincare will make?
Growth! By that, I mean getting Satya skincare into the hands of people who need it most. Also, having global awareness of Satya’s clean, effective, and steroid-free skin relief.
I believe we need to continue holding the entire industry accountable for the products they’re creating for consumers. We can no longer allow big companies to continue serving harmful ingredients to consumers and maintaining unsustainable manufacturing/operating practices.
As a business, we have the power to institute that change so I hope we can continue being role models in this space, encouraging other brands to do the same.
You can shop Satya here.