Founder of Pestle & Mortar, Sonia Deasy on creating an award-winning skincare line packed with clean ingredients, through generations of healing practices that have been carefully curated into the brand.
Emirates Woman sat down with the founder to discuss how she incorporated clean ingredients into a beauty brand where science meets nature.
What do the first 30 mins of the day look like, your morning routine?
My morning routine is very simple. My youngest daughter gets into bed with us at about 6.30am for 10 minutes, where we practice our meditation. I then ease myself into the day with a glass of lemon water in a silent kitchen without my phone to begin my day technology free. Then after a quick shower and a bowl of porridge with honey, I’m ready to conquer the day.
What inspired you to launch Pestle & Mortar?
I worked alongside my husband for years in our high-end portrait photography business. During that time, I noticed that a lot of models suffered with dry, flaky, or dull skin. Their daily skincare routines were complicated and were just not working. At the time, Hyaluronic Acid was the latest trend in skincare as it’s an ingredient that draws water into the skin – a hero-hydrator. I started testing Hyaluronic Serums on myself to see if they worked, but I didn’t like how they felt sticky and tacky on my skin. As I’ve always been really fussy about how creams feel on the skin, the texture, the experience. It was frustrating and I just wanted a simple daily routine that would make my skin look and feel its best with products that I enjoyed using. So, I decided to create a no-fuss range of clean skincare products that people could trust. I drew on my heritage in Indian Natural Healing and developed a range of skincare that is easy to understand, simple to use, and highly effective.
Why was it important for the brand to be clean?
It doesn’t make any sense to put toxins or anything that can harm human health on your skin. Using clean ingredients is the very best way to prevent skin irritation and skin barrier damage, both of which are essential for optimal skin health. Pestle & Mortar has been clean, vegan, and cruelty-free since its inception – it’s an essential promise that our brand delivers on.
In my teens I would firefight skin issues, engaging in totally reactive skincare – which is completely the wrong thing to do. The secret to healthy, beautiful skin is consistent daily care. I’ve learned that less-is-more when it comes to skincare – use gentle ingredients, small amounts, and nothing harmful. I feel now that my skin is in balance and functioning as it was designed to – I’m finally happy with my natural skin.
How have you embodied the ancient wisdom of natural healing into the brand?
Pestle & Mortar formulations are inspired by Indian Natural Healing. For six generations, my family has practiced as medicine men in India, and my uncle still practices it in his village to this day. Our products combine nourishing, skin-healing ingredients from nature with high-performing active ingredients so that skin gets everything it needs to look and feel its best every day.
What lies at the core of the brand’s DNA?
To create simple solutions for beautiful skin so that everyone can look and feel their best at all times.
What advice would you give to anyone hoping to step into the beauty industry?
As the beauty industry is competitive and flooded with choice, stepping into it can feel overwhelming. If you believe that your business is unique and inspired by your personal story, you’ll have the confidence to move forward without worrying too much about what other people are doing.
How do you see the beauty industry developing in the future?
There’s a marked trend towards natural skincare solutions and a natural look. People are moving away from layers of makeup and want to love their natural skin so they can feel confident and empowered. I think the industry will continue to reflect this with an emphasis on clean, high-performing skincare with natural ingredients that are sustainably sourced.
What does beauty mean to you?
To me, beauty means feeling confident and powerful on the inside.
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