Q & A with Maya Chia Founder Susanne Norwitz
Susanne Norwitz is the talent and passion behind the amazing Maya Chia skincare line. In 2014, she left her corporate career to pursue her passion for creating a skincare line that was as much effective and ethical as it is luxurious.
Maya Chia was the result of interest and love for the Maya Culture and the tiny but powerful chia seed - a nutritional powerhouse with a range of skincare benefits. Maya Chia uses a patented process to extract the oil called supercritical extraction. The gentle oxygen-free, solvent-free process results in an oil with a total absence of chemical residues and impurities, and one that most closely mirrors the biochemical profile of the plant. These products are absolutely divine, the whole range is pure goodness, and it's almost impossible to pick a favourite!
We spoke to Susanne about the inspiration behind Maya Chia, the brand's journey so far and her own Maya Chia skincare regime!
How did the idea of creating the Maya Chia line arise?
I was undergoing a detox from Goop, and as part of that detox, it recommended incorporating chia seeds into your regimen. I wasn't that familiar with the ingredient, and when I began to learn more, I was floored by the benefits of this lil' seed. It is one of the world's most nutrient-dense botanical source - rich in omega-3 fatty acids, essential minerals, and antioxidants.
How has the Maya Chia journey been so far?
It has been interesting in ways that I could have never anticipated. Super fast-paced, challenging, really fun and so rewarding. Connecting with our customers has been the best part. I try to remind myself and my team every single day that when we are creating in the studio that it's an honour to do so, because these products end up in people's homes - as far away as Australia for goodness sakes. And we never take that for granted.
When creating Maya Chia products, what is important to you in regards to the features of a product?The goal in creating new product is always the same. To deliver on its promise, and then some. We want our consumers to be like, "wow, this stuff is really good. And then over time, holy *bleep, this stuff is the real deal." I want them to be so excited by the performance of the product that they'd recommend the product enthusiastically to their best friend - that's not a frenemy : ) - or their mom.
What have you found to be the biggest misconception(s) about clean skincare products?
The greatest misconception is that clean beauty is not every bit as efficacious (and often times, more so) than their traditional counterparts. You don't have to compromise anything when you are buying clean skincare.
Maya Chia are fast becoming a brand on everyone’s skincare wish list. What are your Maya Chia go-to daily products and why?
I've been asked to choose a favorite product from our line in the past, and this question is like Sophie's choice for me. I prefer a scaled-back minimalist approach to my routine. While the products I use may vary a bit, every single day I use The Great Cleanse, it's really gentle but provides a thorough cleanse and effortlessly removes makeup, without having to double cleanse. Then I follow up with the Super Couple in the morning. It's great as a primer under makeup, the coral color imparts a gorgeous look of vitality to the skin as well. I also use The Eye Achiever (our latest launch) in the morning, and actually apply throughout the day. It feels so soothing going on, and applies beautifully underneath concealer. Then, I apply The Highlight of the Day for a no-makeup makeup look (I switch out the colors depending on my mood). Sometimes I use the pink shade the happy hour or the bronze shade after hours as a blush replacement. Other days, the golden hour works great added to a little tinted moisturizer and spf. At night I use the Great Cleanse, the Super Blend pressed serum moisture concentrate and the Eye Achiever, and then I have the waterless wonder balm perched on my nightstand to apply to my hands and feet before bed. Ooh, I also use the Revitalizer body oil on damp skin when I get out of the shower, it's such an indulgent treat, but powerfully moisturizes the skin. Oh boy, I think I might have pretty much pointed to everything in the line, but I swear I use all the products I mentioned.. I guess it's good thing that I do. : )
What do you get up to when you’re not MAYA CHIA-ING?
Ha! I "Maya Chia: a lot these days!. : ) For me, because it's such a passion, it's not like work really. Of course, there are some days that are not so fun and beyond challenging, but the passion for what you do sustains you through the harder stuff. To borrow a phrase (and forgive me if it sounds hackneyed) "if you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life" But we also have two teenage boys that keep life busy, and I love to be lazy and hang out at the bookstore and read magazines and drink too much coffee. The people at the local Barnes and Noble know me by name.