Helen is a qualified skincare formulator, trained the in the UK and France in Organic Skincare Formulation and Perfumery. She is the founder and formulator of Be Fraiche Skincare, a Sydney-based skincare company that provides high-quality natural products and hands-on and fun workshops. Helen’s skincare journey started with her skin type.
Having sensitive combination skin made it impossible for her to find a suitable product that could balance different skin types on her face, Helen decided to take matters with into her own hands and created her own skincare. Her aim was to create a well-formulated natural skincare range that’s effective, non-irritating, and smells divine.
Helen’s passion is to share her knowledge and empower everyday people to choose the right products for themselves. Helen leads “Make Your Own Skincare” workshops series on a monthly basis in Sydney.
7.00 AM: My weekdays usually start at 7.00 am. The first thing I do after waking up is to get myself ready for the day: exercise. I start the day with a warm cup of lemon water to help cleanse my digestive system and warm my body up. I then go for my morning run for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. I run 3-4 days a week and swim one day in between. Since I started working from home I didn’t get to commute as much as I did in my corporate job, hence, the morning exercise is a must for me to keep my body active and my mind clear. On rainy days, I go for a swim or yoga instead. I love the feeling of running through the park, hearing the birds chirping and inhaling the fresh and clean morning air.
8.00 AM: I’m back home, see my husband off for work, take shower, then prepare breakfast for myself. It’s either smoothie or oat porridge with fruits and berries. These kinds of breakfast give me the right energy to tackle work until lunch.
9.00 AM: I start work by getting through emails with suppliers, manufacturers, and team. My VA is working remotely to help clearing all the admin tasks, orders, and ingredients replenishment. On the days that I dedicate to formulating, admin tasks will have to wait until lunch. I found I get more things done if I focus on one thing at a time than multi-tasking. Hence, formulation days will be all about formulating, researching, and testing the ingredients.
12.30 – 2.00 PM: Lunch time. I usually take this chance to post orders and check my PO box. I love to be outside for lunch, to get some fresh air, or sometimes do a quick grocery shopping if I spot some fresh fruits or veggies that we didn’t get to buy on the weekend. Those freshly bought ingredients will be in our dinner on the same day. I catch up with my friends for lunch every time I have meetings in the city or go to a business event there. I love the flexibility of working for myself, I have the freedom and the work is so satisfying and interesting.
2.00 PM: In the afternoon, I work on more creative tasks, like writing blog posts, designing new product labels, planning my social media or updating marketing materials. On formulation days, I’ll be mixing and blending plant oils, waxes, floral water, actives, and so on into nourishing skinfood; or creating our fragrance blends with pure essential oils. My lab often smells like a flower field every time I create a new fragrance. I usually dedicate 2-3 formulation days in a row so that I can create multiple batches and variations at the same time. Then I’ll stop for a week or two to observe and test the samples, then pick the best one to work on the next round. In skincare, you won’t see the results immediately, you need to test, observe, test, test, and test again until perfection. I guess patience is definitely a significant virtue for anyone who wants to follow this career path. Don’t worry if you’re an impatient person (as I used to be), this career will train you well.
6.00 PM: Work will be done by now and I’m about to prepare dinner. After diner, I write down my task list and prioritise the tasks for tomorrow.
Once a month, I hold “Make Your Own Skincare” workshops at our cosy workshop space in Bondi Junction. So on that day, we pack up for workshops early and arrive there at 9.30am to set up. Our lovely students will arrive soon and we’ll start the workshop at 10.30am. I normally spend the first hour to show everyone product samples, tools & equipment, and walk them through the ingredients and theories. We’ll take a short break for morning tea so we can get ready for the next session: making skincare.
After the break, I do a step-by-step demonstration then guide everyone through the formula. We usually have a lot of fun making skincare yet we look quite serious in photos as everyone has to get the measurements and the steps right. Our workshop will conclude with a big applause to congratulate everyone on creating their beautiful skincare products!
SKINCARE & WORKSHOPS