A legacy in the beauty biz, Susanne Langmuir’s CV includes being an extremely successful perfumer as well as the woman responsible for Bite Beauty, which she launched in 2012. The award-winning cruelty-free, food-grade lipstick brand was acquired by LVMH in 2014, leaving Langmuir ready to focus on her next venture: revolutionizing the skincare game.
In 2018, Langmuir developed an auto-immune disorder and starting learning about the skin microbiome. “I took a good look at the products I was using in my daily routine and made a conscious effort to use ones that had as little impact as possible. For example, harsh detergent-based cleansers are believed to strip the skin of its balance in the process of getting clean,” she says. This inspired her to start developing DIY products in her kitchen.
Meanwhile, her 19-year-old son Thomas, then at university, was experiencing acne breakouts and cycling through the all-too-familiar trial-and-error process of finding something that actually works. When neither of them could find exactly what they were looking for, SL&Co. was born.
The mother-son duo now works together as co-founders of the nascent company that focuses on developing innovative and eco-conscious skincare products using the highest quality ingredients sourced from around the world. Their debut product, called aN-hydra The Powder of Youth No. 1, launches November 21, and is an exciting example of what happens when every element of sustainability is given careful, and creative, consideration.
We had a chance to try it out, and it’s pretty darn impressive. Here’s why:
It’s for all skin types
Forget about different skincare for skin type, age, gender or anything else: aN-hydra is designed to work for anyone and everyone. Formulated to balance skin’s microbiome, remove daily impurities, hydrate and gently exfoliate, it multitasks by managing breakouts, soothing dryness and enhancing radiance. Essentially, it replaces your cleanser, toner and exfoliator. The powder can also be used in multiple ways. Blend a dash with water to transform it into a deliciously silky, slightly foamy cleanser, adding more or less H20 to suit your preference. You can also choose to let the infused liquid dry on skin and utilize it as a reparative overnight mask. Or try the alternative DIY mask Langmuir swears by: Mix the product with a cultured coconut yogurt and leave it on for a few minutes for an ultra-hydrating and soothing boost.
Read this next: This Indigenous Skincare Brand Blends Science and Squamish Traditions
aN-hydra is an ultra-fine blend of fourteen certified organic ingredients—and not a single drop of water. The mix of dry powders includes vegan lactobacillus ferment that restores balance to good bacteria on the skin, rice starch for mild cleansing, purifying glacier clay and hydrating aloe. “Powders give us the opportunity to focus on highly active, clinically proven ingredients—the entire product is undiluted,” says Langmuir. “Ecocert for us has always been a good benchmark for ingredient quality, safety and sustainability. Great performance comes from great ingredients and we wanted a formula as good for skin as it was for your health and the planet.”
With this high standard in mind, the duo set out to find the very best ingredients, starting in Japan. “We travelled to Japan because we were interested in powders, and no one creates powders like the Japanese—they have texture and purity of powders down to an art form,” explains Thomas. The vegan probiotic is produced in the U.S., while the hyaluronic acid comes from France. “It uses a plant-based bio fermentation process that is both sustainable and clinically-proven to boost collagen and provide hydration,” says Langmuir. “I am incredibly passionate about ingredients and I can tell you that they are not all created equally! Our ingredients are sourced from around the world, selected from suppliers known for their integrity to meticulously produce the best and most effective cosmetic ingredients.”
Each travel-friendly glass bottle provides a three-month supply of skin care and arrives in a compact cardboard box that’s easily slipped into your blue bin—no bubble wrap or Styrofoam pellets in sight. The Langmuirs say that packaging was an important consideration for them—it wouldn’t be enough that bottles were recyclable, they wanted to eliminate the need to recycle all together. “While in Japan, we were really blown away by their approach to reducing waste and thoughtful product and experience design,” Thomas explains. In February, SL&Co. will launch slim packet refills of the cleansing powder. They look exactly like a sugar packet and the contents can be easily decanted back into the original bottle, so you keep using the same glass vial over and over. No need to recycle or return your packaging. After using the cleanser for a few weeks, I’ve noticed my skin is smoother and brighter—and the ability to reduce waste while transforming my complexion feels like a win-win.
Read this next: I Attempted a Zero-Waste Beauty Routine for a Month