It’s a sweltering hot Summer Sunday in Santa Monica, and I’m meeting up with January Olds, creator of January Labs, at a fresh juice café on Montana Avenue to talk about her companies product development and re-educate myself on her unique formulations. We immediately laugh at how typical it is of us estheticians to meet up at a pressed juice café on the street quite possibly most synonymous with luxury boutiques and skincare in West LA, and then I proceed to order a double espresso and lox and bagels while surrounded by people drinking their slushy green lunches. Yes, sometimes I even violate my own nutritional advice.
I met January over a year ago, after she had written me a sincere and passionate email
about her small-batch skin care line. Private practice estheticians are used to companies
reaching out to them, even offering free products, but it’s rare they really take the time to write a letter personally addressed to you, or take the type of care January did in answering my questions. I had been working with Hylunia almost exclusively for the past 8 years at this point, and I was open to trying new products, but out of the many that had come my way, nothing impressed me to the extent I wanted to introduce it into my practice.
That all changed when I tried January Labs. Her signature product, a mask called Glow & Go, described as a “facial in a jar” (a statement most estheticians will give a very heavy eye roll to), looks like honey and smells like cinnamon candy. Though I admit, no facialist likes to hear a product can do any part of our job for us, this mask delivered. Not only did it feel fantastic, my pores were actualy clearer and my skin felt like it had a peel and recovered already- “glow and go” didn’t just sound catchy, it was accurate.
After nearly 20 years in the beauty industry, having worked for companies like Sephora and trialing literally thousands of products, from the serious prescription stuff, to the 500$ eye luxury eye creams, to the top organic and holisitic lines, I find myself naturally jaded and nonplussed by most products that come my way. Another unique feature I noticed was January Labs packaging. No, not because it’s amazing looking (though they are pretty darn attractive), but because I noticed the product was air-lock sealed, so the moment it hit my palm, was the first time those ingredients touched oxygen. This is extremely valuable, because the moment a nutrient oxidizes, it loses potency. Think of those pouches of perishable fresh food that sit unrefridgerated in the market- they can do so, only because they are air-lock sealed. This is how January Labs manages to deliver an extremely nutritionally viable product. Though 9% lactic acid may sound aggressive for a night cream, January Labs chemists PH opimize every ingrdient, so it’s at the ideal PH to benefit the skin, rather than be overly acidic and irritate it. The Retexturizing Night Cream also contains peptides and ultra hydrating hyaluronic acid, to nourish the skin while the lactic acid is aggressively fighting wrinkles. I confess, I’ve even texted this out by using her night cream right after a peel and saw no irritation in my skin.
It was Glow & Go that got me interested in January Labs, but it was January Old’s integrity that set her, and her company apart for me. Having both a mother and a grandmother that have survived breast cancer, working with high quality, paraben-free, ethical companies, and educating my client on safe, effective skin care has been at the forefront of my work as an esthetician. Though January’s team of chemists and extensive background being behind the scenes in skin care make her line effective, her commitment to doing so without using any dyes, hazardous chemicals, fragrance, or harmful preservatives sets her apart in a way that’s personally signficant to me.
My passion for skincare and beauty doesn’t just come from wanting to make people look and feel more beautiful, it’s also rooted in a desire to see fewer people develop skin cancer like my grandfather, and breast cancer like my mother and grandmother did. Though January Labs is a company I’ve only spent a mere 2 years working with as I write this, I see myself working with them for the rest of my career, and every time they develop a new product, I get giddy and excited to try it, because I know it will be amazing like all their other creations.