Welcome to ON BEAUTY, a monthly feature highlighting creative, like-minded people who inspire us.
Aura Inner Beauty is simply put about nourishing your body from within. The Canadian-based wellness brand launched in 2019 with its Inner Beauty Restorative Powder, a blend of pre/probiotics and antioxidant-rich and adaptogenic super berries.
The company has evolved with a suite of products and our founder Julie Elliott discovered the brand when browsing Erewhon and came across the aesthetically pleasing bottle that houses their Marine Collagen elixir. Her favorite? Passionfruit, which she drinks daily as an ice-cold beverage mixed with sparkling water.
Here, founder Avalon Luckas shares how her skincare journey led her to launch Aura Inner Beauty, why marine collagen is the gold standard when it comes to collagen, and the importance of traceability.
Your career began in corporate oil and gas. How did you get into the business of wellness?
It was definitely a quick career switch, but I started this business from passion. During university, I suffered from hormonal acne and was so surprised about what was happening to my skin. I had perfect skin my entire life and it happened out of nowhere. It started acting up and I spent the next four years unable to heal my skin with topical products and treatments. Then, I stumbled upon research on the gut connection and the power of probiotics and all these other natural herbal ingredients that we don't hear enough about.
My journey started with our first product, which is the Inner Beauty Restorative Powder, and it has evolved since. I didn't think that there were enough people doing ingestible products the right way at the right ingredient combinations or dose. So I went on to learn everything there was about wellness.
Your skin played a significant role in why you decided to launch your business. What were you struggling with personally and what solutions did you seek out to remedy your complexion?
I was rotating my skincare with different cleansers and lotions every three months because nothing was working. My doctor at the time said to try birth control, but I wasn't interested in taking things that had other side effects when I was just concerned about my skin. That wasn't ever really an option for me. But I was determined to do something about it. I wanted things that would nourish my skin. So I stopped caring about acne for a minute and cared about what felt good to me.
Prior to launching our Inner Beauty Restorative Powder, I was reading all of this research around collagen. There was so much supporting it for our skin health, skin hydration, hair, nails, and joints. And there's a lot of science behind it. I thought the experience was very underwhelming, and I believed in the product, yet I wanted to think of an entirely new way to create demand. We spent about a year in product development for our Marine Collagen, making it a liquid. It's a very pure product thanks to organic flavors and organic glycerin. I wanted it to feel like skincare.
Why consider marine collagen versus others on the market?
Whenever I'm launching anything, I do a deep dive on what are all of the options available to me. My preference is always vegan, but when researching vegan products, they lack amino acids. And marine collagen has double the amount of amino acid glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline of bovine and four times that of bone broth.
In terms of process, marine collagen is the cleanest and wild-caught marine collagen is way better than bovine. Bovine has risks of disease. Marine collagen has the lowest molecular weight, so it's one and a half times more bioavailable. So for all of those combined reasons, it had to be marine collagen.
What's next for Aura Inner Beauty?
On top of having these specialized beauty ingredients, we're really good about how we source ingredients and come up with really pure formulas, but from a clean wellness perspective. I believe that hasn't got as much of a spotlight as clean beauty, but I feel like it's next.
We're also focusing on traceability. So where is the product grown? Where are the farmers? Where is it processed? How does it get to us? Why does that matter? How does that change the nutrient value? All of these questions are to bring our customers the best products and the best version of that category. We're looking at other categories that have been done the same way for a long time and nobody's really questioned why or how it can be better.
I really, really love rose. Rose can be hard to do. Some are not as beautiful as others. But when it's done right, rose is definitely my favorite smell.
Favorite beauty food?
My favorite beauty food is the pomegranate seed. They have so many different antioxidants that you can't find in other fruits. One of our vegan omega oils has pomegranate seed oil because it's the only source of omega-five that helps support your collagen formation.
Do you have any vices?
I love trying new products. In another life, I should have been a buyer because I order new skincare, wellness products, and clothing from all over the world. I don't care what the shipping is. If it's really unique and something different that I haven't seen before, I want to try it and understand it.
Do you have any charms or talismans?
I don't wear jewelry that often, but when I do, I have this sunrise shell that I got from a farmer's market in Kauai from the Hawaiian skincare brand Leahlani. I bought it from the founder's husband. They have a farmer's market in Kauai every Saturday and the sunrise seashell has this beautiful rainbow color to it. It's supposed to represent prosperity and happiness. We went to Kauai when my twins were seven months old, so I feel like it gives me really good energy.