Meet Susanne: Founder of Maya Chia 

If you are a blogger, you come across many brands and brand owners but very few leave a lasting impression on you. Susanne is one such person whose child like enthusiasm and genuineness is so endearing in this world. It’s like meeting an old friend. We chatted for almost 4 long hours when we met for the first time without even realizing that. She is passionate about her work and leaves no stone unturned to bring you that perfect product. Here are the excerpts from the conversation I had with her:

1. You were doing so well in the corporate world – What made you transition to a beauty chef ? Was it an easy decision? 

Susanne: First, I have to say that if my significant other heard you use my name and chef in the same sentence he’d have a laugh. But I suppose it’s a bit different being a beauty chef, because – as they say – you can taste when the love is in the food. And while I love food, of course, I’m just not interested in cooking it. But beauty creations are different. Please excuse that tangent, I couldn’t resist.

Leaving a career you worked at for 20 plus years, and making a 180 degree change, is never an easy decision. It took about three years to summon the courage to make the full transition to creating my own business. I was turning 40 and the mantra kept cycling through my head — “If not now, when”.  The key for me was this: if you are led by the love, and love and are passionate about what you do it won’t feel like work and then changing your career becomes a little less scary. And I’ve always been passionate about skincare and self care and how little ways of pampering yourself can make such a profound difference in the way you feel.

2. What was the first product that you made? How long did it take to create it?

Susanne: My first product was the original supercritical omega-3 chia oil. That product took the longest to realize because we knew that finding the best and purest chia oil was going to be the foundation of our line. We must have sourced every supplier of chia oil on the market, until we found the one we were happy with. The key to our chia oil is the way it is extracted – we use a patented supercritical extraction process with natural oxidation blockers to ensure a longer shelf life of up to 2 years, and purer product. Supercritical extraction is a clean and environmentally-friendly process, and it makes all the difference in the case of chia oil.

3. Your products are so distinctive with amazing chia oil as base and Astaxanthin which I have never come across in a face oil. How do you choose your ingredients ? How long does it take to have a product on the shelf from the time you envision it ? 

Susanne: My nerdy side comes out in spades when I conjure up ideas for new products. I read a lot of literature and comb through clinical studies about the ingredients, their efficacy and what they can do to really perform. In the case of the Super Couple, many of us have heard about astaxanthin for years in the supplement world. It’s enthusiastically embraced as one of the world’s most powerful antioxidants. It was a light bulb moment, and thought “what if you were to apply all of this antioxidant power to the skin directly? What would happen?” My thoughts about efficacy were confirmed after reading the spate of studies regarding astaxanthin’s efficacy for the skin. This was the same kind of “aha” moment as when we thought about using chia oil as the basis of our line after reading about its virtues. Chia is the world’s richest botanical source, with more omegas, antioxidants and essential minerals than any other plant source. And it was the same idea as with astaxanthin, “what if we were to apply all of this nutrition directly to the skin? what would happen?” After reading a published study in the annals of dermatology with an amazing before and after using only a topical 4% chia solution, I thought “what would happen if you use almost all chia oil (98%) in a product? How would that dramatically transform the skin?”

4. What motivates you and what keeps you going ?

Susanne: I have reached a point in life where it really matters to me to do what I love and to be surrounded by/work with positive people who I love. As well, it may be a hackneyed thought, but time on this earth is limited, and I have always gravitated toward skincare and self care. My litmus test for finding your passion is – what are you drawn to when you go to the magazine section at your local bookstore? For me, it was always the same – skincare, healthy living and design. Does that mean I don’t have a Krispy Kreme doughnut now and then? No way. Do I sometimes put on my sweat pants with the intention of the gym, but never make it? Guilty as charged. With all this, I try to remember the most important thing is not to be too hard on myself.

4. What are your AM and PM skincare routines ? 

Susanne: I believe as long as you’re using the right products, you don’t have to use a ton of them. When I created the line, I wanted to create multi-purpose products and, when possible, streamline. My routine is, therefore, pretty simple. I use our cleansing oil in the morning and follow with the Super Couple ultra luxe face oil, which has the bonus of adding a little extra glow and radiance to the skin. Makeup artists have told me it makes a wonderful primer in advance of makeup. I never leave the house without sunblock as well. Super Goop makes a great one. At night, I cleanse, exfoliate twice or three times a week with a scrub like one made by Goldfaden MD, and nourish with the Super Couple or our Original Oil – it depends on how I’m feeling.  I also use our oils around the orbital bone, not too close to the eye, though, and they act as a deeply nourishing moisturizer for the eyes. And I use a mask when I feel in need of a bit more pampering and just want to lock myself away in the bathroom for more time.

5. What is the best beauty advice you want to give ?

Susanne: Nourish your skin from the inside – and the outside. What you put on your skin can feed your skin, and nourish and transform it. And of course, the advice we all know, but don’t want to practice always, exercise !! I’d also add having lots of love in your life for others – and yourself. Oh, and while it’s nice to get a little Vitamin D from the Sun, don’t forget SPF.

6. I know that you love all your products but what is that one product from other skincare brands which when you love and keep on your repurchase list?

Susanne: Oh my goodness, this is a tough question, there are so many wonderful products. Goldfaden MD makes an incredible face scrub. It’s amazing, like the most gentle and effective microdermabrasion. Lurk is a beautiful indie brand that makes a remarkable natural fragrance line. I sniff my wrists all day when I wear it. Vapour makes a wonderful mascara and beautiful color cosmetics. The list goes on and on.

7. What are you currently working on and what new products can we expect in future ?

Susanne: Innovating and coming up with new ideas for new products is far and away the most fun aspect of the job — this and talking with customers directly about the line. I love the community that exists on Instagram — when I see a comment from @makeupbrew or @jilliebean28 or someone who was following us from the beginning, it’s just so fun — it’s like one big friend community. In the future, I’d like to branch out into nourishing, easy-to-use color cosmetics that don’t mask the skin, but subtly enhance and let the beauty of the skin shine through.

Thank you so much, Susanne for having a chat with me and thank you everyone for stopping by and reading my blog. I appreciate your support.


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