Hi, I’m Camille and I’m the founder of Codi Skin and I’m guilty of leaving my skin woes quite late in life. These days, you see late-teens with a 10-step skincare routine and it blows my mind how well-informed and self-aware they are. At their age, I was sleeping with a face packed with makeup without a care in the world, hoping my skin wouldn’t be affected and will deal with the consequences later in life. When I fell pregnant, my skin was the best I had seen since I hit puberty and thought I was in the clear, that I didn’t do irreparable damage to my skin and I can continue my bad habit of sleeping in my makeup. Girls, the “pregnancy glow” is amazing, and it’s real! Fast forward 10 months and as soon as I gave birth, my skin was in the worst form I had ever seen it. I missed my pregnancy glow and missed my clear skin. Due to hormonal changes, breast feeding and sleep deprivation, my skin suffered and so did my mental health. For most, it doesn’t take the extreme of giving birth to realise you need to give love to your skin, for me, it was my wake up call.
I’m a stay-at-home-mom who decided to hit pause on my career to raise my child. It’s a huge sacrifice but it’s also rewarding and fulfilling. Moving to a one income household was challenging to say the least. We became very budget-conscious, spreadsheets became my best friend and skincare was a luxury we couldn’t afford. I used to think the larger, established brands had the solutions to my skincare problems. I mean, they have the funding, the research and the people to make it all happen. I thought an Indie brand would not work as well as an established brand that had almost exactly the same ingredients. After doing my own extensive, medical and scientifically-backed research into ingredients, I learned it wasn’t the case. Your skin is a unique footprint and there is no one solution that will work. Your skin can become accustomed to a process or your body goes through hormonal changes or it’s something as simple as the humidity can all affect how your skin will react to a skincare product. It’s confronting to know you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to achieve better skin! - It’s mind-blowing and I’m so thankful for the digital world and the emergence of Indie brands for educating me on this.
For me, I had a checklist of what I wanted for my skincare. I wanted minimal preservatives and natural, organic ingredients for my skin that didn’t take 10-steps to achieve and didn’t break the bank. Don’t get me wrong, chemicals are great! I still pair my facial polish with acids and peptides (science-backed skincare that I’ll leave for the professionals to do). The hard part was finding a skincare routine that didn’t break the bank. Our budget was so tight that spending on skincare means less money on petrol, groceries, vitamins etc and I would choose bad skin over not having essentials for me and my family, every time! Mental health is huge and being comfortable in your own skin (especially after all your body goes through during pregnancy) hits you really hard. Finding the time to give your skin love was also scarce. To help bring some money into our household, I worked freelance doing website design and maintenance jobs, working late into the early hours of the morning while my family was asleep. I was researching alternatives to expensive skincare routines and stumbled across at-home skincare DIYs and the idea of making my own. I was inspired by my brother-in-laws girlfriend who had success in making her own soap. I mean, how hard can it be to make your own skincare?- Well, pretty hard! Oh, so hard! Viral videos on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube “hacks” make it look so easy! I was so wrong and soon spent months and months trying to come up with a skincare solution that worked for me and more importantly, didn’t affect my family’s living situation. As soon as I found the winning formula, I was over the moon! It took a lot of trials and my husband was not a fan of some formulas. However, the joy of finding the perfect formula had me jumping for joy and all I wanted to do was share what I created. It was such a proud moment for me. Not only was my own skin looking much better, I found a passion in creating skincare and just wanted to share it with the world! It’s humbling and so exciting! I started to feel love for myself again.
Testing our formula was important to us. We tested our formula on over 50 people. Yes, 50! We wanted to ensure we covered all skin types including acne-prone, mature-aged, young, oily, dry, combination, eczema-prone etc. We also tested on drug-induced skin woes from steroids and birth control as we know that some prescription drugs can affect your skin. We tweaked, we tested, we tweaked and we tested and finally... Codi was born! Just as important as the formula was our packaging. We are educating my daughter about global warming and pollution and it was important for us to have sustainable packaging - practicing what you preach is so important to us! This means using glass bottles instead of using plastic, using eco honeycomb paper wrapping and tissue paper instead of bubble wrap, using compostable mailer bags and having a refill option.
As soon as we got everything in order, Codi was finally ready for launch... but I got scared. I am my biggest critic and I worried about lack of sales, lack of support, crab mentality. Before we even went live, I wanted to call it quits. My confidence level was shot, all the excitement I got from creating such a beautiful product left my system. My eczema came back with a vengeance from the stress and anxiety. Even as I write this, I don’t know if I should hit the “Publish” button. My fear is paralysing and I’m scared of failure. I ended up focused on my daughters 3rd birthday, making more cotton face masks, putting my hand up and volunteering to bake for events - anything except launching Codi. I continued using my Codi facial polish and would be in high spirits and kept thinking I needed to get this amazing product out there! I am so proud of what I have created and want to share it with the world! I was in a yo-yo of being positive and confident to being reserved and afraid. I needed to get out of my head. My birthday was approaching and thought, this is it! That’s my launch date! - September 5! It will be the gift I give to myself. This is how I will show myself love, to finally overcome my fear and launch! Well, here we are! All I ask in return is for you to be kind.
I can’t believe how much I have written in this blog, it really got away from me and I thank you for reading all the way here. Being honest is in my nature and I don’t think I could have told the story of Codi without including how scared and hopeful I am of this new venture. Your support means the world to me, I’m forever grateful.
Here’s a fun fact! What’s in a name? “Codi” comes from the last 2 letters of my maiden name - “co” and the first 2 letters of my married name - “di”. It doesn’t sound very exciting but it makes this brand so personal to me and my family.