Peonies are more than just Instagram fodder. Says who? Jennifer Brodeur, skin-care expert, entrepreneur, teacher, owner of Montreal’s Bella Clinique and co-founder of Max LED Technologies (a revolutionary skin-care tool). Trust us: She knows her stuff. We chatted with the beauty guru about Peoni, her latest venture, which received the “Oprah’s Favorite Things” seal of approval earlier this year.
A different approach to beauty
“Over the past 10 years, aestheticians have started being trained to treat the very sensitive skin of cancer patients. They learn cleansing techniques, massage manoeuvres and even appropriate robe selection for the benefit of this clientele. Through this experience, we have learned that many common skin-care ingredients can be extremely irritating to the highly fragile epidermis of someone undergoing cancer treatment. And it’s not only cancer patients: I often meet women who come to my clinic after having tried it all. They spend a fortune on beauty products to find a solution, but nothing works. They are discouraged, frustrated and desperate. We knew we were onto something: If certain ingredients aggravate the skin of cancer patients, they shouldn’t be used on healthy patrons, either.”
Good for the body and the mind
“The idea of respect is very important to me. I want to develop products that aren’t just effective but are respectful toward humankind and the planet. Every single ingredient in the line was studied and vetted by other experts. When an ingredient was deemed detrimental, we nixed it without hesitation. During lab tests, many told me that it was crazy to spend so much money developing a so-called traditional lotion, but I remained steadfast. My products are 100 percent natural and contain no fragrance or dyes, essential oils or parabens. They don’t affect the endocrine system, won’t cause inflammation, aren’t tested on animals and won’t harm the ecosystem. The packaging is 100-percent recycled cardboard.”
The Peoni collection
“A few years ago, I stumbled upon a Chinese medicine book outlining the holistic properties of peonies. This gave me the idea to create an entire line using white-peony-root extract. This plant has incredible anti-inflammatory and anti-free radical properties, which translates into powerful anti-aging. I added other natural ingredients, like fatty-acid-rich sunflower oil to hydrate skin, organic green tea, which is a potent antioxidant, and licorice root for its brightening effect. Every product works in synergy with the rest of the line and contributes to the benefits of the morning and evening beauty routine. I also wanted to create a sensory experience with products that smell and feel great while delivering effective results. And, most importantly, they’re for everyone – even the most sensitive skin types.”
“From the packaging to the bottle, the entire line is made in Quebec – including the graphics, which were hand-drawn by a local artist. Right now, our labs are in Quebec and Vancouver, but eventually everything will be tested in Quebec. I’m proud to offer products designed here.”
Psst! And what about Oprah?
Every November, Oprah unveils her list of “Favorite Things” to much fanfare. This year, Peoni made the cut.
01/05 November 21, 2016
Peoni skin care: Montreal-based and Oprah(!)-approved
Peoni: a four-step ritual
Step 1: This cleanser treats and nourishes skin while purifying. Powerful holistic ingredients working in tandem include aloe, peony and argan oils, plus green tea and vitamin E.
Peoni Le Nettoyant $60. jbskinguru.com