Meet Graydon Moffat, TL Insider’s first Resident Beauty Advisor
“When it comes to your health, problems you experience are often traced to what you’re putting in your body–I approach skincare the same way”
With a new normal and new perspective, Torontinians are recognizing the importance of self-care now more than ever. At Toronto Life, we’re celebrating self-care with the appointment of TL Insider’s very first Resident Beauty Advisor–Graydon Moffat. As the Founder of Graydon Skincare, Moffat’s background of holistic wellness has become fully realized in a result-driven skincare brand powered by plant-based superfoods. With a story as inspiring as her products, Graydon’s unique take on skincare reimagines the beauty industry in a way that is more nourishing than ever. We caught up with Graydon for a Q&A, where we discussed the complicated truths of self-care during a pandemic, the advantages of plant-derived ingredients, and the one product she considers a holy grail.
First and foremost, how have you been holding up since lockdown?
The pandemic has certainly amplified my introverted–workaholic tendencies, but having gone through a major team readjustment around the time the pandemic hit, this hasn’t necessarily been a bad thing. I’ve had very little distractions to get out of the house, which enabled my ability to be as productive as I’ve needed to be during this time. Where my workdays may be longer than normal, I do support myself well with the foods that I eat, which plays a pivotal role in what our brand is about as well.
Has the pandemic caused any operational changes at Graydon Skincare?
I don’t think it’s a unique thing to say we’ve had to become much more active on social media, begin using new methods of communication, and work on projects a bit differently. But where some tasks require in-person meetings, navigating around those particular challenges can be tricky, especially for an independent brand like us. We’re currently working on a new mask formula, and with the team working remotely, it’s a whole new step of mailing our product samples for the team to smell and touch and be able to offer feedback on. It hasn’t stopped us completely, but it has affected our ability to create new products, and it has required quite an adjustment.
As we collectively continue to navigate this pandemic, many people have adopted new measures of self-care. What role do you believe skincare plays into overall self-care?
Our brand specifically chooses to create skincare products that adhere to the self-care needs of our customers. We actually have a post on our BeautyBlog which specifically addresses the role skincare can play in mental health and self-care. In this particular moment, where some people are spending a lot of time on their skincare, there are many folks who have simply fallen out of their routines. This total pivot in the way we live our lives now can truly be disruptive, to the point where some people have just stopped washing their face entirely. Our response to this is to focus on simplifying the skincare routine with a minimal number of products that offer a maximum number of benefits. It’s all about encouraging people to make good choices for their health, which may look different for everyone.
Can you share a bit about how Graydon Skincare came to be?
My professional background is rooted in the culinary industry. As someone who has worked back-of-house as a pastry chef in fine dining restaurants, I became obsessed with the therapeutic alchemy of cooking. Upon moving to Southern California, this passion of mine was complimented with a deep dive into the holistic, yoga and vegan communities, which ultimately led me to working with superfoods in a home-delivery food service I started. Through the encouragement of a friend, who was a sought after aesthetician, I began including my skincare concoctions with my deliveries–products I had already been making on my own, completely powered by superfoods.
Fast forward to my moving back to Toronto, and after igniting my yoga practice here, my relationship to health and wellness found a new form–the backbone of what would become Graydon Skincare. I began focusing more attention on making skincare products to use in my classes as a yoga teacher while connecting with the women within my yoga community who were experiencing hormonal problems and upset skin. After a few years of researching ingredients that could help with their red, dry irritated skin, I turned my culinary skills of recipe development and morphed them into making skincare formulas. It’s clear to me now what made that moment so special was that through these skincare products, I was ultimately offering an opportunity for my yoga clients to experience self-care and self love. It was almost an accidental start to formulating skincare, which through the help of one of my holistic mentors, led me to transition my home production to a lab in Mississauga, which is where I launched Graydon Skincare and have been producing from since.
How important was it for you to power Graydon Skincare with plant-based ingredients?
I think it all links back to my love for food. When it comes to your health, problems you experience are often traced to what you’re putting in your body–I approach skincare the same way. It’s all about using ingredients that have clinically-proven efficacy, and still relate to my superfood roots. Plant-based ingredients allow my team and I to formulate results-driven products that could not exist otherwise. For example, traditional retinol and vitamin C are two ingredients that often can’t be used together due to photosensitivity. Our plant-based retinol alternative can safely be mixed with our moringa based vitamin C so there’s no need to worry about going out in daylight or skin irritation–a combination we use in our water-based Fullmoon Serum.
Where some see conventional beauty brands and green beauty brands (those that focus on natural, often plant-derived ingredients) at opposite ends of the spectrum, I hope that Graydon Skincare can be a brand that leads the industry toward unification. With products powered by plant-based ingredients, I’m hoping we can raise the bar so one day there will just be “beauty” focused on the best ingredients, without any disparities.
Graydon Skincare is a participating brand in the Toronto Life x FASHION Beauty Box program, what are some products you’ve chosen to include?
Two products that we chose to include happen to be very summer-time appropriate. We’ve included the Superfood Serum, packed with Canadian cranberry, raspberry, blueberry seed oil, saffron stem-cell, and anti-inflammatory turmeric. It’s a luxurious blend of precious oils that rehydrate sun-drenched skin–a perfect addition to any night-time routine.
We’ve also included our Aloe Milk Cleanser. Not an oily feeling at all, this stellar 3-in-one cleanser blends pink grapefruit, apricot, geranium and Vitamin B3 to wash your day away–leaving your face soft and hydrated. I find this creamy, milk cleanser is the best choice for eliminating congestion build-up in your pores, common during summer months when folks tend to spend more time outside, sweating in the sun.
Let’s talk skincare essentials. Is there one product you’d consider the holy grail?
Without a doubt, it’s our Fullmoon Serum–by far our most popular item and my personal favourite. It’s a product that resonates with so many people because it checks off so many boxes.
Congratulations on being named TL Insider’s first Resident Beauty Advisor! What sort of events can members look forward to?
Yes, thank you, I’m really excited to put together some virtual experiences for members! I’m looking forward to leading a virtual masterclass on all-things skincare, where I’ll be sampling some amazing products from the Toronto Life x FASHION Beauty Box.
Down the line, we’ll be showcasing an event focusing on sustainable beauty, playing with some of the ingredients in Graydon Skincare products to better understand their uses, as well as share TL exclusive sales. I also think it might be fun to share with members what I like to call a skincare cocktail, where we could look at the benefits of some combined products and how to use them in a new way–very DIY.
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