The Secret of Arctic Beauty
INARI – the Secret of Arctic Beauty
»It is a story of how returning to your roots unleashes new opportunities and dreams.«
Hello, Sirkku! Was it clear to you from the beginning that your path would lead you into natural cosmetics?
As I’m not 30 anymore, there was a career life before INARI. I had a chance to work in several fascinating companies beforehand, having different roles in the field of marketing and product management.
Anyhow, founding my own company with something meaningful was a long-term dream for me. Supporting skin healthiness with natural cosmetics and being able to work in connection to my home country Finland is a perfect combination.
What was the trigger moment that ultimately led you to INARI?
It is a story of how returning to your roots unleashes new opportunities and dreams. I was born and raised in Northern Finland and one of my fondest memories involves the exploration of the Nordic wilderness with my mother and grandmother to harvest fresh berries and plants.
These hand-picked treasures, bursting with essential vitamins and antioxidants were then used by my mother to create elixirs that combat the flu and various ailments. Actually, very delicious!
After settling down in Germany, I went back to my hometown visiting my mother where all those happy and warm memories emerged, leading to a full-on «Eureka» moment: while in the sauna, my beloved wellness and healing spot, I had the vision to introduce the wonders of these powerful antioxidants in a skincare line by combining them with cutting-edge biotechnologies for maximized benefits.
How long has INARI been around?
I got the vision of the arctic skincare back in 2016 and it took two years to create a crystal-clear concept, develop and test the products and form a legal company structure among the other thousand things; we launched INARI in Summer 2018.
What were the first steps in the market like?
The first steps included contacting potential retail stores and media to build up awareness. As a small startup, the beginning is full of work and tough times, as you need to make miracles with small recourses. We were very happy to attract influencers and media, so we could tell our story and have our products presented even in magazines like VOGUE.
What makes INARI and it’s products so special?
INARI Arctic Beauty is a transparent and authentic line committed to selecting Finland’s most potent ingredients which are growing in this pristine and unspoiled region. The INARI Arctic Beauty experience is a dive into the exceptional resiliency and adaptogenic abilities nested in the regional flora. Skills that are mandatory to survive and grow in the Arctic wilderness.
In summary, INARI fuses modernity and tradition with a Nordic vision of beauty by utilising Nordic botanical heritage in conjunction with current biotechnological advances. A reverence to resilient, luminous, and revivified skin.
Which of your ingredients stands out in particular?
A hard question, as each ingredient has its own strengths and function, but if I have to choose something I mention Chaga and Roseroot. Both are growing only in cold regions; they have strong antioxidant qualities being great actives to keep skin radiant and strong in different ages.
Additionally, these plants are adaptogens, so they make your body resistant to stress, can slow the appearance of aging in skin, and improve your well-being. These special natural plans are able to adapt to what the body needs. Roseroot, also known as “Ginseng of the North” was used already by Vikings to boost their physical and mental performance.
How long does it usually take you to develop a product? And how can one image the process?
The development process takes at least 12 months, but it can also be longer. It starts by defining the skin problem we want to solve, analysing possible bioactive ingredients, and defining the specs like the size, packaging, and usage.
The testing phase is exciting when the lab gives the first products for testing, which we test thoroughly in the team and mostly give back a long list of change demands. This goes back and forth until we are truly satisfied. Then all safety testing needs to be carried out, the packaging material and design developed.
Will you stick to the current range, or will you gradually expand it?
We are not in the urge to expand the range but I definitely have many ideas. The most important is to understand what our customers want, and they appreciate the ease of a compact line. Our product range holds only the essentials, which are effective and safe to use, this is typical Nordic state of mind philosophy.
Is there a favourite region or place in Finland to which you always like to return and which is particularly beautiful?
I love the region around lake Inari in Lapland with pure and beautiful nature. For me there must be water nearby, I love looking at the wide landscape, sunbeams shining in water, and just hearing the wind and nature. Living in a wooden cabbage and sauna each evening, that’s pure relaxation.
I also enjoy the urban life of Helsinki in the summertime, it is a great place to hang around in cafes and to feel the maritime atmosphere combine with the trendy city life.