Gill Meets Elena Herdieckerhoff
What was the inspiration behind SELEXIR Peace Balm?
SELEXIR of Switzerland is the result of a personal journey towards healthy and peaceful skin. In my early twenties, I suddenly developed an extreme dry skin condition which made my skin flaky, red, swollen and itchy on my face, neck and arms. I felt disheartened when, after trying so many different creams and treatments, still nothing worked for my skin. So I decided to take my skin health into my own hands and began to investigate the soothing benefits of natural ingredients and mixing them together in my own make-shift bathroom laboratory.
After a couple of years of experimentation, I had a breakthrough: a balm that I had developed using 21 natural ingredients had an amazing effect on my skin. Finally I had my skin back! The news of my results spread like wildfire amongst my friends and relatives, many of who asked for my balm to help care for their own skin troubles; after all, they could see my results for themselves. It was difficult to produce the balm on a scale beyond my personal use, so I joined hands with my close friend Mirella, who had a background in cosmetics, and we set up our company in Switzerland – and our skincare brand SELEXIR was born.
What is special about the SELEXIR Peace Balm?
The SELEXIR Peace Balm contains 21 natural ingredients, which is unusually high by cosmetic industry standards, because it was not formulated by me with the end goal in mind to create a brand, but simply to help myself with my own extreme dry skin issues. When my founding partner Mirella and I professionalised the formula to meet the regulatory standards, our Swiss laboratory was amazed when they heard that we wanted to retain all of the original ingredients and at these high potencies. They probably thought we were crazy because it makes the production a very costly affair, but to us, retaining the efficacy and quality was the main motivation, so we decided to cut no corners! The two stars of our SELEXIR Peace Balm are Blackcurrant seed-oil and Blackseed-oil- which together provide instant serenity to extremely dry, itchy, puffy, red and sensitive skin as well as mild to moderate eczema.
What is your skincare philosophy?
Having any type of skin condition is often seen as a stroke of bad luck that we have to accept and live with. For me, skin empowerment means reclaiming control over your skin and not accepting that unhappy skin is your destiny. My passionate belief that I deserved a healthy, peaceful skin made me not give up, despite the myriad of treatments and creams I tried that left me disappointed and hopeless. The fact that I have an entrepreneurial gene certainly helped to turn this disappointment into a motor to try and help myself.
I am neither a doctor nor a scientist, but I did have an extensive knowledge about my own skin condition. With this knowledge, passion for cosmetics and the intense study of nature’s bearings, I eventually formulated a balm that helped me regain peaceful skin. Initially this was a very private endeavour to simply help myself- and only when fellow unhappy skin sufferers tried my balm did I realise that I had found something that would benefit others too! This journey of self-help ended up being a journey of skin empowerment and this positive philosophy is what I hope to transmit with SELEXIR. The emblem of SELEXIR, the bluebirds of happiness, were specifically chosen to represent this message of hope, health, and empowerment.
What is your passion?
I am passionate about all forms of natural healing, as I believe that there is a remedy in Mother Nature for any ailment. Beyond that, I also very deeply believe in the powers of Reiki and the miracles it can do and I have even become a Reiki Master myself! It is wonderful to share this old Japanese healing art with others and to integrate it into a fast paced modern life!
Who helped you on your journey?
On my journey I have received the most unbelievable support and encouragement from both my family and friends, yet also from total strangers who were touched by my story and decided to help me. When I finally decided to create SELEXIR I joined hands with my close friend Mirella and since then we have truly been road companions on this journey. For me, there are many advantages to partnering with a close friend in a business venture. Not only does it create a friendly and pleasant work environment with a built-in support system, but you get to share all the excitement, fear, frustrations, and successes of the start-up process with someone you really care about. The road to making a dream happen is not always an easy one, but the foundation of my business partner’s and my long-lasting friendship has always seen us through the tougher times and kept our vision alive.
How is SELEXIR different to other products for unhappy skin and eczema?
SELEXIR is exceptional since it was never designed like a typical skincare product from one of the big brands; it was formulated as a personal remedy from an “industry outsider”. That means we did many things differently. Our main guiding light is quality and efficacy, because that is the only thing that enables a brand to achieve longevity. Beautiful packaging and beautiful promises only go so far…and given that we are a small company, we invested all of our money into making the highest quality, effective product we could that would ensure us a loyal and satisfied customer base. It’s the repeat customer we seek, not the first time buyer who buys a product and perhaps disillusioned, looks for a new brand to try. In addition, I think it is important to highlight that our SELEXIR Peace Balm is based on only the best natural ingredients and that it is free from parabens, paraffin, silicones,mineral oils, petroleum or synthetic dyes and fragrances.
What are your hopes for SELEXIR Peace Balm?
My hope is that my Peace Balm helps people feel good in their own skin again and that it is seen as a true skincare companion that can support and help them regain confidence in any type of skin emergency situation. In addition, I also want our customers to enjoy having a beautiful product in their bathroom which makes the experience of having a skin problem a pleasurable and hopeful, and not just a difficult one.
What are your top tips for using SELEXIR Peace Balm?
SELEXIR is all about regaining peaceful skin, whether you are battling with extreme dry, cracked skin or eczema or any form of skin irritation from things like sunburn, waxing, or “environmental” sensitivity. It’s the ideal bathroom staple to have on hand any time your skin acts up, feels unmanageable or just needs some extra TLC. We even have some of the UK’s most respected make-up artists who use it as a primer under foundation, as the balmy texture leaves such a perfect velvety finish! Another top tip is actually using the Peace Balm on irritated baby skin such as for nappy rash, as it is safe to use on babies 3 months and above!
How do you see the future?
As an entrepreneur every day is different and opportunities come from the most unexpected places, so I don’t know what the future will bring, but I am excited to find out!
How would you describe your legacy?
Hopefully that I helped make people feel empowered about their skin again. That is why our SELEXIR tagline is “Peace for your Skin”, because that is what Mirella and I wish for everyone who tries our products!