Emma Allen is the New York woman behind our favorite beauty product Everyday Oil. Get to know her story
That lunch date with myself in New York already turned out to be an inspirational driving force, because it led us to feature the “Female Gaze“ issue of i-D magazine back then. On every trip to Dimes, my food mecca when in New York, I always include a quick pit stop in the restaurant’s own supermarket, which is located just opposite – and that’s where I ran into the brown glass bottle that contains Everyday Oil. I put some on and went to eat. Then came back and bought it because I couldn’t get over its fragrance. And a few days later, I showed up again to buy another bottle to take back to my, at the time, very pregnant friend Sara.
Since then, all of us here at hey woman! went in on a bulk order for it – so now it really is time to let the woman behind Everyday Oil, Emma Allen, tell her amazing story. Voilà.
I remember standing in the aisle at Whole Foods when the face or body product that I was using at the time would run out and being confused about what was really worth purchasing, the price points and the ingredients, and what I was really supposed to be using on my skin. I was always wishing I could find an all-natural line that I really loved, that I could just buy and not think about. I’m a big fan of products and routines that you can adopt for life – I love things that you can just use forever.
Then I started wanting to use oils on my face. And honestly, looking into the ingredients and what was available on the market just made me realize that the product I really wanted didn’t exist yet. At first, I started making Everyday Oil just for my face – it felt like such an indulgence to use it all over. But once I started doing it, I realized how much I loved having only ONE product for everything. That was the dream.
I started making different versions of Everyday Oil, refining it over time and experimenting with new things. My mom tried it and loved it so much I started making it for her, too. She always had issues with rosacea, but once she stopped using soap on her face and started using Everyday Oil, it cleared up. It was kind of amazing.
Then I started making it for friends, and when they ran out they were always bugging me to make them more. I would get asked a lot what I was wearing (based on the scent) and where to buy it. I think at some point I just thought, wow, this really should be a product people can go out and buy.
The main obstacle during those early days was that I had a lot of projects going on and I didn’t have a lot of time to turn Everyday Oil into a real thing. That was good though, because it gave me time to really think through the branding and how I wanted it to come across. But people’s response to it has been so positive and that has convinced me to stay on it.
I get emails from people telling me how it has transformed their skin, and that really makes my day. You never really know how people will respond to something once it’s out there in the world on its own, so it’s been really great that people seem to understand it without me being there.
For the product name, I wanted it to be as straightforward as the product. I didn’t want it to be gendered at all, and I had this idea that I wanted it to come across almost like a generic, but the best kind of generic product. I wanted Everyday Oil to be this big bottle that you keep in the bathroom and use for everything – something that the whole family uses.
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Lotions and creams are full of fillers and emollients – basically junk – but your skin absorbs so much of what you put on it, and I don’t think these kind of things are the best idea for your skin. The amount of really good ingredients you get is very slim. If you think about an expensive face lotion, for example, it may be marketed as containing “green tea”, “algae”, or “vitamin c”, but in reality the amount of those ingredients that they contain is miniscule. The majority of what you’re buying is water and emollients.
Everyday Oil, on the other hand, is made from 100% plant products. There is no filler. You get a blend of six organic cold-pressed plant oils: argan oil, coconut oil, castor oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, and shea nut oil. These are blended with essential oils of palo santo, clary sage, lavender, and geranium. Essential oils have an emotional component as well. For instance, there have been studies showing that lavender increases alpha waves in the area of the brain that promotes relaxation, and palo santo oil has been used for centuries in South America for spiritual healing ceremonies to clear away bad energy and to purify the spirit. Geranium has this really beautiful uplifting element and also has this magnetic power as well as being an aphrodisiac. So beyond the skin care qualities, there is this spiritual element that may sound kooky, but I find it to be very real. I think one of the things that kept me excited about the oils was how many people would smell it on me and have this emotional reaction to it.
I really wanted it to check every box, including an amazing yet subtle fragrance. And I wanted to create a texture that absorbed really well into the skin, one that could be used without creating a film.
I researched and read a ton about the properties of different oils and played with them, looking for properties to cleanse, heal, combat skin conditions, and protect the skin. When you are dealing with plant products, it’s similar to food – you find a lot of variation in quality and process. I only work with suppliers who can provide paperwork and do testing to authenticate each batch. One day I hope to work more with farmers directly.
Some essential oils are natural preservatives and are extremely anti-microbial. A lot of carrier oils (like coconut oil or argan oil) will go rancid over time, and I had that happen to me with natural products in the past. Luckily, with Everyday Oil the blend of essential oils is able to act as an amazing preservative. So it’s very stable and has a shelf life of over two years without using synthetic preservatives of any kind.
Everyday Oil is completely produced in Springs, NY – which is the bay side of East Hampton in Long Island, where I live. Companies I admire the most exist at the intersection of entrepreneurship and love for the world, and I hope to be able to maintain that feeling with everyday oil.
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For more inspiration, visit Everyday Oil’s Instagram Account here. To get this amazing oil, you’ll have to ask a friend to bring it back from the US when they’re travelling. In any case, visit their website here.
Julia co-founded one of the first fashion blogs in Germany in 2007 and became a freelance consultant for digital strategies after publishing her first book in 2010. After an eventful four years with Condé Nast working mainly in the digital department of Vogue Germany, she decided to launch her own online magazine with her dream partner, Veronika Heilbrunner. She is based in Berlin and loves to read books.