As part of booni doon's #ImperfectlySustainable interview series, we are thrilled to chat with Sydney, a graduate student with a passion for researching ingredients in skincare. Her Instagram page, @the_skinsource is a fun and interactive space for her followers to learn how to make the best decisions for their skin and today, she's sharing her sustainability journey with all of you!
What inspired you to start your Instagram?
In April 2020, I graduated from university with an undergraduate degree in Biology with a specialization in Psychology. I unfortunately had lost my summer job due to COVID and just had this "aha" moment that I needed to put my energy into something that I am really passionate about. So I started The Skin Source in July 2020. I am currently back at school completing my masters, but continue to work on my Instagram and blog.
What is the focus of your Instagram?
Before creating my blog and Instagram, I knew I wanted my content to be education-based. In my free-time, I research skincare. I love the science aspect of it all: how the ingredients work on the skin, what happens to the skin over time, what nasty ingredients do to the skin and body, etc.
Even though I love to research this stuff, I knew most of my friends and people around me may not have the same passion for understanding their skin and skincare ingredients. I noticed a lot of my friends and family constantly asking me questions about their products and the ingredients they were using. It came very clear to me that people needed a basic understanding of the biology of their skin and a breakdown of common ingredients and skin care products. This is why I created The Skin Source, to create a fun and interactive platform where people can begin to learn about the skin. I try to make my content engaging and simple enough so that everyone can understand and use their knowledge to make good skin decisions.
What is your skincare must-have?
La Roche-Posay tinted SPF 50, because sunscreen is so important and without it, none of your skincare products will work!
If you had a million dollars, what organization would you donate to?
I would donate to Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital located in Toronto, Canada. It is Canada’s largest rehabilitation centre and they do phenomenal work. My brother has cerebral palsy and growing up my family and I spent a lot of time in this centre.
Do you have a mantra or favorite quote?
"Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” - John Lennon
This has always been my favorite quote, but is more applicable now than it has ever been!
What challenges have you faced when trying to become more sustainable?
My sustainability challenges stem from the lack of transparency with some brands. I think many brands who traditionally haven’t used sustainable practices are now struggling to fit sustainability into their business models. Brands have trouble showing their sustainable credibility while simultaneously avoiding being perceived as greenwashing.
When being considerate of my own sustainable footprint, I have trouble finding brands that align with my values and find there is limited transparency with brands and the actions they have taken to become sustainable. At the end of the day, the majority of consumers do not consistently consider sustainability into every purchase decision which then makes it difficult for the brands to continuously preach their sustainability efforts.
What advice would you have for those seeking a more sustainable lifestyle?
Figure out (even write out) the areas where you believe sustainability is most important in your life and then search for brands that align with your sustainability goals.