Interview: RAAW by Trice
Skin is our biggest organ. We live and breathe in it every day. Out of a passion for skin and a clean lifestyle an organic, line of skincare products to bring you a luxury experience was born. Trice Christiansen founded her line RAAW by Trice after extensively studying herbal medicine and the healing properties of plants and herbs as practiced in traditional Chinese and eastern cultures. We talked to Trice about her products, her process and what inspires her. Read the interview below.
Tell us a little about the journey from creating oil blends by your own hand to where you
It all started when I moved to New York. I was living a healthy life, ate organically and took good care of myself - except when it came to the beauty products, I assumed, I was pampering myself with every day. For some reason, I never thought about all of the harmful chemicals they contained and they actually go straight into our bodies. One morning I woke up with a horrible rash on my face - it came from an expensive high-end brand I trusted. The skin around my eyes was purple, wrinkled and flaky. It was horrifying. In that moment I decided I would never put any harmful chemicals on my skin again. I wanted a beauty routine that was good for my skin, my body, and my environment. I began studying herbal medicine and the healing properties of
plants and herbs as practiced in traditional Chinese and eastern cultures. I created a product that healed my eczema right away and my skin looked even better than before actually...and that’s how it all started. I was hand making it for the first years, but I knew I had to find a manufacturer. After interviewing 42 manufacturers, I finally found the one and only: A small-batch, sustainable lab in upstate New York, owned by a 70 year young french man. He is just as passionate about ingredients and “the power of nature” as I am!
We've never seen blue oil before, tell us a little bit about the Blue Beauty Drops.
I wanted to make an oil for all skin types... many of my friends had been suffering from irritated, oily and acne prone skin and they spent so much money on expensive creams with harmful chemicals and hormones. I knew that Jojoba oil was used to assist in wound healing, treat skin infections and acne, due to its anti-inflammatory effect. So I combined it with calming blue oils such as Blue Tansy and Blue Yarrow. The healing properties of Blue Tansy stem from the azulene pigment that gives the oil its striking sapphire color. The high quantity of azulene gives the ability to soothe, calm and heal damaged skin. Blue Tansy has powerful anti-inflammatory features and contains strong anti-redness properties. Great for irritated and acne-prone skin. Blue Beauty Drops work for all skin types and is one of my personal favorites now!
What is your beauty routine?
After I shower in the morning I use organic apple cider vinegar as a toner to close my pores. Then I use Blue Beauty Drops and the Laminaria Eye Creme. Blue Beauty Drops absorbs really fast so it’s easy to use under makeup. The eye creme really tightens the skin, so it’s magical on those tired mornings - best trick to look like you’ve slept for 9 hours! At night I wash my face in raw honey and leave it on for a few minutes. After I rinse, I apply the Plankton Enzyme Creme and mix it with a few drops of Rosehip Facial Oil to give the skin a hydration treatment overnight.
What is the one product in your line you can't do without?
That’s a tough one... I have four that I CAN NOT live without, but if I had to choose one product I should bring to a deserted island, it would definitely be the Blue Beauty Drops! It’s a miracle worker for my skin and it literally makes my face glow of health!
The packaging is beautiful, you are telling a clear visual story. Tell us a little about the palm tree logo.
I moved from New York to Los Angeles in 2016 to be closer to my father, who shared my passion for holistic self-care. We explored the powerful impact of aromatherapy and how fragrance enhances the self-care experience. After he passed away, I knew it was the right time, for me, and for RAAW, to evolve by incorporating the sensory experience of fragrances into the beauty care line. I chose the palm tree as our logo because it gives me a feeling of home. There was a beautiful palm that lived just outside my Dad’s place. It became part of our daily ritual. So many moments, stories, potions and fragrances were all created while staring at that palm tree, so it seemed fitting that it be the emblem of the brand.
What ingredients should we be aware of and completely avoid?
It’s impossible to avoid every single synthetic chemical, but you can do your part in limiting the amount of toxins your body is exposed to. Be sure to eat clean and look for products containing only natural, wild harvested and organic ingredients. That being said I’m always avoiding: Toluene, aluminum and sunscreen chemicals. Aluminum is “hiding” in most deodorants - it blocks the pores so you can’t sweat and your body absorbs the aluminum into the bloodstream instead. You can find natural and organic deodorants and sunscreens though - they might not be as efficient, but your body will thank you for it!
Tell us more about your fragrances, what was the inspiration behind blackened santal?
I always had a passion for fragrance. Nothing describes a memory, a moment or a person better than fragrance. The perception of smell consists not only of the sensation of the scents themselves, but of the experiences and emotions associated with these sensations. My father told me many stories from his world wide travels when I was growing up. He was a film director and he travelled all over the world. For some reason he would always describe the scents, music and the sounds as well. It was like a movie in my head. I decided to evolve a more natural fragrance line based on organic alcohol derived from sugar cane and perfume oils based on coconut oil. I wanted to create new memories. Blackened Santal is actually the first fragrance I made - I wanted to recreate a special summer night in L.A. a mix of scents from my terrace. The smell of wood, nature, the scent of flowers from all the citrus trees with a mix of spices from the candles melting together on the outside dining table. To me, Blackened Santal is the perfect combination of fresh, heavy and sweet notes.
What is your signature scent or a scent you love?
Besides the Blackened Santal perfume I must say that I’m slightly obsessed with Ylang Ylang essential oil. The scent is very rich, floral, jasmine nuances, sweet and exotic. I have Ylang Ylang in a few of the skincare products already, as it has amazing beautifying benefits. Ylang Ylang will be one of the primary notes of the new soap and body lotion, that will be launching this summer.
We are all fascinated by the charcoal fragrance diffusers. Is there a story behind this product? How is it different from other diffusing systems on the market?
Well - I wanted to create a natural diffuser, but the liquid in most diffusers are filled with toxic chemicals. So as an experiment I made mine with coconut oil instead. It makes the diffuser last a very, very long time... because inhaling toxic chemicals is just not worth it. The activated charcoal comes from Japanese Oak and will help eliminate unwanted odor and toxins. The charcoal slowly absorbs the oil and lightly perfumes the room.
How has moving to Los Angeles inspired you?
L.A. has inspired me in many ways. I feel more calm and happy when I’m here, surrounded by the beautiful nature. I am amazed by all the incredible plants, flowers and all the scents -everywhere you go. Jasmine flowers and citrus blossom are not that common in Denmark where I grew up. L.A. has inspired the new fragrance line.
What can we incorporate in our lives (beyond beauty products) that can help our skin be healthier?
The trick is to get the right nutrients from the inside. I’ve cut down on caffeine and replace it with lemon water to stay hydrated. I add a teaspoon of chia seeds to my morning juice to get omega fatty acids and make sure to snack on raw almonds during the day. I try to stay hydrated and eat lots of healthy oils from sources like avocado and nuts, to make sure my skin gets the nutrition from the inside. For breakfast I make an acai bowl to get all the antioxidants and vitamins on an empty stomach - that way your body and skin will get the most out of the vital and nourishing ingredients. I usually blend the acai bowl with a little unrefined coconut oil, banana, chia seeds
to get omega 3 and 6 and top it with nuts, berries and cacao nibs. Dark berries are energy boosters and also packed with beautifying antioxidants.