It is no secret that Maya Chia’s The Super Couple had me at hello. This oil rapidly made its way into my daily regimen, and I don’t foresee a breakup. If you know me, I rarely get too enthusiastic about a serum. Maybe it’s because there seem to be so many of them in the green beauty space, which is very exciting, yet only a small number stand out as exceptional the way Maya Chia does. That’s partly due to the vibrant color, the grounding, delicious aroma, the way it vanishes right into my skin making it feel utterly weightless….and that doesn’t even touch on the select ingredients and meticulous extraction methods.
The tell-tale signs of skinprovement began surfacing soon after using The Super Couple in April 2016 (on and off between testing a few others). I’ve been noticing greater clarity, firmness, smoothness, and fewer breakouts. One drop on my fingertips and then massaged over toner-dampened skin is all it takes to cover my face and neck without any greasy residue. With the cooler weather, I may increase to two drops as needed. This is just the right amount to take me through the day or night with no dry patches or oiliness. It lives up to its name and is no “one hit wonder” either.
Maya Chia’s The Great Cleanse earned its place on my list of 11 natural cleansers here. My highly sensitive and intuitive friend immediately singled out the Supercritical Omega 3 Chia Face Oil, when I introduced her to a selection of my favorite serums. And we’re in good company. Discerning blogs like Beauty by Britanie, kimberlyloc.com, and Maison Pur are among those who have fallen hard and fast for Maya Chia too. Plus, there’s much more in store for this young brand, which is great news for us devoted fans.
Because my affections run deep, I wanted to learn about the founder Susanne Norwitz and discover anything I could about Maya Chia’s latest product—aptly named The Super Blend—which took an actual 172 iterations to fine tune until it was perfected. This pressed serum concentrate is clearly going to be a steady companion, as I add in more balms to protect and nourish my skin in the winter.
But The Super Couple needn’t worry. As Susanne lets us know: there’s room for both. I’m grateful to her for being so candid with us and for taking the time to share her insights on this top shelf beauty brand.
Q: What’s the deal with chia seeds and what makes Maya Chia different from other extraction processes?
A: I can certainly tell you how ours differs from other types of supercritical extraction processes and formulations.
I think it’s first important to spend a little time elaborating on the benefits of CO2 (or Supercritical extraction, as there are many who aren’t familiar with its benefits). Supercritical extraction allows for the gentle treatment of high value raw materials at temperature levels substantially below those used in expeller press and some chemical solvent extraction operations, all without the use of oxygen. The product is untouched by chemical solvents and the products stay as natural as they were before extraction. Pressure is the main tool used to tailor the resulting fractionated products for product quality—all done with the complete absence of chemical residues.
As part of our supercritical extraction, we have a patented oxidation blocker system – which is 100% natural, non-GMO and is designed to protect sensitive oils—such as chia oil. It is a proprietary formulation of powerful natural compounds including phenolic antioxidants and natural tocopherols—and the result is up to a 2 year shelf life.
Another point to note: our pure supercritical omega-3 chia oil contains straight 98% supercritical chia seed oil and 2% essential oil blend of sweet orange and citrus notes—and it does not contain less expensive, less effective carrier oils to round out its formulation.
Q: How did you get started in the skin care world?
A: Even though I had the idea for launching a skincare line around chia seed oil several years ago, it took me about three years to find the right chia oil, the right farms to work with and most importantly the right way to extract the oil. My father was a doctor (who actually used to operate on the cleft lip and palate of the Mayans), and I’ve always had a deep and abiding passion for skincare and how little acts of self care can lead to momentous, sometimes life-altering changes.
I have always been a skincare nerd/junkie/addict as far back as I can remember. My litmus test for finding your passion is this: what are you drawn to when you go to the periodical section at a bookstore? For me, it was always—and to this day—it is skincare. I’m self-taught, I didn’t go to school for this, but I have read reams and reams of literature on the topic. In fact, reading the clinical data about chia is what confirmed my suspicion that it would be an amazing source of topical nutrition for the skin—and be unlike anything else in the marketplace. And reading clinicals is what also convinced me to use natural astaxanthin in our latest face oil, the Super Couple. My early career I spent in politics as a speechwriter, and then worked in marketing and communications for Kellogg’s, Kashi and other brands, so I’m afraid I have no formal training in cosmetics per se. But I’m a great believer in that you don’t need a formal degree to be able to excel in a chosen field. The recipe is passion, knowledge, and persistence. The key is also to know what you don’t know. And having said that, I have worked with an outstanding chemist who advised on our formulations.
Q: How to know which oil is for you (when they’re both incredibly effective!)?
I think sometimes people may think something has to sit heavy on their skin to moisturize powerfully—and that is a misconception.~ Susanne Norwitz, Maya Chia
Q: What are the benefits of a simplified beauty routine?
I’m not sure if simpler is always better for the skin (as it depends on the person’s skin in question) – but I can say that sometimes folks layer so many products onto their skin it can be irritating—and it is also difficult to discern what is working from what isn’t working best for them. And it’s stressful in a way to think about an extensive, multi-step routine.
If the ingredients in the products intensely nourish and feed the skin, and do what they are supposed to, it’s my belief you don’t need to go overboard.~Susanne Norwitz, Maya Chia
I receive so many questions/emails from consumers who are so stressed about the best way to care for their skin (and I empathetic having suffered from hormonal acne breakouts for most of my adult life) – I kind of wanted to minimize that stress.
My personal belief is that you need a great cleanser, an occasional exfoliator that’s effective (but not too harsh), perhaps a toner (if your cleanser isn’t sufficient or if you so delight in the ritual), a fantastic moisturizer (one you can dot along your orbital bone to repurpose as an eye moisturizer). If your products are effective, they should stand on their own, feed and nourish the skin, and perform as promised.
Q: Your newest product is called The Super Blend. What makes it super, and what’s the best way to use it?
A: I consider the Super Blend a multi-action night cream (although it’s light enough if a person wanted to use it during the day—but please add an SPF always! And the concentrate does NOT have an SPF. As well, you can use on its own—although you can also layer it with the Super Couple, but it is not a must. This is powerful on its own.
We put a lot of thought about how we could make this product as high-performance as possible, yet gentle and deeply nourishing. It has supercritical chia (of course), natural astaxanthin (which is 65X stronger than Vitamin C), Vitamin C Ester, — interestingly enough, studies have found astaxanthin enhances the antioxidant actions of Vitamin C. Sweet White lupin seeds restore resiliency to firm and smooth the skin (jn an invivo study of this ingredient conducted on 25 volunteers spanning 45-69 in age for 89 days: 92% of volunteers noticed improved firmness of the skin and 72% noticed reduced sagging of the facial contour)**, Coenzyme Q10 helps reduce the depth of wrinkles and neutralize free radicals, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline (is an Eco-Cert-approved ingredient—an ingredient also supported by three separate invivo tests) that firms the tissues by stimulating the contraction of collagen fibers, by protecting the skin fibers from enzymatic lysis or breakdown and scavenges free radicals. We also included traditional/ancient skin healing plants including (among others) Yarrow Leaf Extract, Sage Leaf Extract, Horsetail Extract, Nettle Leaf Extract to deeply calm, nourish and reduce inflammation. All of this is in an exotic blend of butters of babassu oil (which sinks in the skin immediately on contact), kokum butter and shea. It has a subtle soothing smell consisting of cardamom, vetiver, neroli, absolute jasmine, rose geranium and more.
**(this ingredients is included in the Super Blend as was in the study—but please note the study was *not conducted using the formulation of the Super Blend)
Where to find Maya Chia?
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