Once, January Olds struggled to reconcile who she was and who she wanted to be. She had amazing jobs as an aesthetician, product developer and educator for respected beauty lines, but somehow she didn’t feel satisfied.
That all changed when she decided to start her own line: The seasoned skin expert drew on her own struggles with her complexion and launched January Labs, a beauty collection with an emphasis on pH levels that carefully considers not only which ingredients are included, but also how those elements might work most harmoniously together.
Here, Olds dishes on how finding work she cared about increased her happiness all around:
Live The Process: From where does your interest in skincare stem?
January Olds: When I was young, I developed issues with my own skin and tried out a lot of products. I became interested in concocting homemade remedies too. I would have friends over, and we would look through my mom’s magazines and soak up all the information on the latest beauty tips and try them all out. I absolutely loved giving my own grandma facials! I was probably around 13, but it all started off when I was young, for sure. Beauty in one form or another was always instilled in me.
LTP: When and how did you found January Labs?
JO: I worked as an esthetician for twelve years, focusing a lot on product development and education for established brands such as Epicuren and Clarins.
During that time, I was able to observe, learn about and discover elements that were missing, but were crucial to the health of my skin. I founded January Labs when my previous work was coming to an end. I was curious about how to expand skincare and started off by thinking about my own problems and desires. So, it’s personal and hands-on, which I think gives January Labs a unique story. I understand skin issues both personally and scientifically. That said, our line itself is made up of simple ingredients. With a lot of time and research, I was able to ensure that all the products we make are simple, easy to use, effective and safe.
My skin struggled with pigmentation issues, hormonal acne and aging. My line is essentially a reflection of what has helped me throughout the years.
LTP: How did your past experience inform the concept for your own collection? And what products would you recommend to a skincare novice?
JO: I’m able to see the need for good skincare from both a consumer standpoint and a researcher platform. It’s really fun for me to bridge that gap. My line is good for all skin types, which has been a longtime goal of mine. It took awhile to formulate something without all that junk—parabens, sulfates etc.—but, when I became satisfied with my first product, I knew it would be possible to help people.
In terms of products, the big thing is simply to steer away from the unhealthy ingredients and look for the good ones. For instance, my main ingredient in my night cream is lactic acid, which helps women with the three most common issues: hormonal breakouts, pigmentation problems and aging. So, I would say, start with any January Labs products! Ha. But, also, be aware and creative with how to combine certain element. For instance, if you struggle with acne, consider adding a probiotic to your regimen.
LTP: What is your current wellness/beauty obsession?
JO: I’m addicted to hot yoga right now. It’s so good for the skin and the body and helps with digestion, detoxification and truly just makes me happy. One thing I feel strongly about is manifesting. It helps me more clearly see what I’m dreaming about—especially for myself and my business. Also, now I drink matcha instead of coffee. I am currently addicted!
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
JO: It all comes down to what’s on the inside. I believe you’re most beautiful when you are most happy. So, happiness would be about having a good sense of who you are. A part of knowing who you are is asking yourself how you feel about yourself. For many years, I’ve struggled with getting to that place: knowing who I am and having that clear vision of what I wanted life to be about. For me, doing something that I love and believe in has helped me define happiness. I’m pointed in that right direction. I’m able to put ego and pride aside to cultivate relationships that matter too and just do good in the world. And that’s happiness.
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
JO: I mean, this will be cliché (and you would agree), but, to me, it means finding a way to evolve and become better every single day—better in relationships, in business, better at being your most authentic self. I’ve had a lot of life experience, but I’m still constantly learning from and embracing my mistakes and triumphs. That’s what it means to me: To be present, knowing that today is everything and not dwelling on yesterday or getting anxious about tomorrow.