I'm a huge believer in facial oils for all types of skin. Mine, in particular, is oily and acne-prone, so if I'm going to use a facial oil, it has to be formulated perfectly for my skin, which is hard to do. I haven't found many that excite me—until now. Wonderland Organics is a charming, whimsical facial oil brand out of San Jose, Calif., which was launched last year by Alice Lin.
I recently had a chance to try out one of Lin's oils that is specifically geared for my skin type: the Balance Serum. And, I'm sold. Moving forward, this is my go-to facial oil. I absolutely love its effective nature, hydrating properties, and delicate scent.
Below is an interview with Lin, the founder of the company.
How did you first get interested in skincare?
I was working abroad in Taiwan as a marketing associate and when I moved to Asia, my skin became inflamed, and did not acclimate to the environment. As a result, I became interested in skincare ingredients, and spent a year reading skincare product labels after work.
Why did you launch Wonderland Organics?
Wonderland Organics started last year as a result of my passion for skincare. When I was familiarizing myself with ingredients on labels in Asia, I noticed that many companies used the word “fragrance." Through market research, I learned that this ingredient could be 1,000 different types of chemicals and consumers would never know which ones the company used. This could be problematic for people who have extremely sensitive skin, so I started thinking about what ingredients could work for customers with this particular skin type.
Initially, I feared oils like many people with oily and combination skin. I used to invest in oil-free products, but my skin never improved. When I started my research in Taiwan, I tried organic coconut oil and argan oil. When I didn't break out, I became more curious about how different types of oils could actually be beneficial to our skin. For example, organic apricot kernel oil is a light oil with a slight tightening property, which is perfect for most skin types. To this day, I still use organic coconut oil as a hair mask, to combat frizz, and to moisturize. The best part about facial oils is that they are effective in small amounts. To use the Wonderland Organics facial oils, wash your face, spritz on a toner, and use two to three drops for your face and neck. Keep them away from direct sunlight, and use them within four months.
What was the process for creating the several oils for your line?
When I moved back to California, I took many skincare classes to further my knowledge. From the beginning, I knew I wanted to perfect facial oils, specifically for oil-prone and combination skin types. During the classes, I would jot down notes about potential oils that I was interested in, and compare notes on suppliers. I also joined a professional trade organization, the Indie Business Network, which is made up of entrepreneurs. If I have questions regarding skincare, many skincare professionals are always willing to help out new entrepreneurs like myself.
How did the experimenting unfold?
It wasn’t easy when I first started experimenting. I remember the first facial oils that I had concocted: the scents were too strong, and the products were incredibly oily. But after fine tuning the ingredients and percentages, I was able to settle upon the perfect balance for different skin types.
How did you settle upon these specific ingredients?
I knew right away I wanted to use organic jojoba oil, as this liquid wax ester has an incredibly long shelf life. Because jojoba oil is extremely similar to the skin’s sebum, most skin types are able to adapt to this oil with no issues. I also love organic pomegranate oil because of its high polyphenol content, which means it has plenty of antioxidants. Organic kukui oil is found in Hawaii, and is an incredibly soothing oil for sensitive skin. Organic argan oil is a non-greasy oil, and is constituted of vitamin E, fatty acids, squalene, sterols, etc. In terms of essential oils, organic lavender and geranium oils are balancing for all skin types, and have pleasing scents.
What do you love about what you do?
Finding a job that I love and am passionate about makes it all worthwhile, especially when I work until 1 a.m. The best part about running Wonderland Organics is that I know exactly what goes into each product. Because I use GRAS (generally regarded as safe) ingredients, I have no problem recommending the Wonderland Organice facial oils and lotion to people with more sensitive skin. I’m happy to say that the product line I’ve created is natural, healthy, and eco-friendly. In terms of ingredients, I source organic, wild-harvested, and fair trade when possible. For packaging, I use violet miron glass, which is recyclable, and helps protect the products from light.