So we’re pleased to announce that she has now created her own brand called 3107, named after her birth date. We caught up with Dija and asked her to tell us all about it!
What are your background and heritage?
I’m British with Sierra Leonean and Nigerian heritage. I was actually born in Sierra Leone and moved to London when I was 10. Now I live in very north London!
After the start of your career in the city you re-trained as a facialist. What did you learn from that?
Clients (women in the vast majority) want their skin to feel healthy and look good at the age they are at. It’s not about looking as young as possible, but rather looking their best and radiant for their current life stage. They also want to achieve this without breaking the bank or being bamboozled with high claims and facts.
Simple effective skincare that works is what I hear time and time again.
Alongside that, I know there is a rising interest in skincare with organic credentials for various reasons. Sometimes it’s new mums wanting to use organic products to match that of baby, it could be someone who’s been ill and feel they need to use products they perceive as kinder to the skin. Or even sensitive skin types who are trying to avoid products with preservatives or laden with actives.
When I do Skin and Lifestyle Consultations (which will start up again in April) I realize that a lot of women are also very busy and don’t have time for extensive multiple steps in their skincare routine. I am constantly being asked to simplify routines and steps so that great results can be achieved in little time.
Here are some .best primer for large pores 2020.
What do you think we need more of in our skincare?
My experience tells me we need to change our approach and attitude to skincare as opposed to what we need more of in the first instance. There are so many options out there and it’s easy to take a slapdash or even a desperate approach and try everything without paying enough attention to what really works.
It’s important people take the time to learn their skin type and be aware of how it changes through the seasons and life events so they can respond accordingly. I find people spend a lot of time reading blogs now and sometimes are swayed into purchasing (sometimes very expensive) products that work for bloggers and influencers but then don’t deliver for them.
By spending time knowing your own skin, you can then learn which ingredients work best for you. That way it is easier for you to pick and choose through different brands and create your own personal and effective skincare arsenal. I always advise clients to be loyal to the ingredient and not the brand!
Product wise, my experience tells me that we could all do with more oils in our skincare, both internally with good fats e.g avocado, salmon, nuts and topically to nourish and treat our skin from the outside in. It’s getting better, but people are apprehensive about using oils thinking it will make them oiler especially if they are already on the oily skin spectrum.
Again, by understanding different properties of oils, it becomes easier to choose the right ones depending on skin type.
Experience also tells me that facial massage is something people leave out of the skincare routines. We’re all so busy that we cut it out in favor of getting to bed as quickly as possible. But a 5 minute massage morning and evening as we cleanse can do wonders for toning and clarifying the skin by getting rid of toxins. It will also help products and any oils work more effectively. One thing I always say if if your skin is looking lacklustre, facial massage in the evening with a good oil will get it looking much better by morning.
What are the main reasons and inspirations for launching 3107?
Gosh, it was a few things that all seemed to come together at once. I’ve been making and giving away skincare especially facial oils and balms for friends, family and clients for as long as I can remember. Also when clients would ask to buy the facial oils I used in treatment and I wouldn’t be able to sell to them as I wasn’t set up with insurance and all the other legalities that surround selling cosmetics.
With the encouragement of a friend who wanted me to make products for her to retail, I decided to explore setting up a skincare line that mirrored the things I hold important and fused with a lot of feedback I’d had from clients. Especially the feedback that organic skincare can be expensive at one end of the scale, but on the other end it can lack in presentation or luxe feel. I was (and still am!) convinced that by careful consideration of ingredients and stripping back to only what’s necessary and effective then it would be possible to marry organic and luxe without damage to the purse.
I have always used a lot of botanical oils in my skincare, so working with oils is what I know and love so in the end it was a natural progression. 3107 London also fits in quite well with the juggling act I already have as a mum and facialist.
What are your favorite ingredients for beautiful, healthy skin?
Naturally, I love oils in my skincare. My favorite oils are Apricot Kernel Oil as the skin recognizes it easily, absorbs easily and high in Vitamin A. It’s my go-to oil, not only for me but also for clients. Sea Buckthorn Oil – apart from the glorious orange hue due to high levels of carotene as well as essential fatty acids, it helps the skin with radiance and great for dry weather battered skin. In days gone by it was used on horses to make their hair and skin shiny! Black Cumin Oil as it helps to balance my sometimes oily skin and it’s minerals – zinc, calcium, magnesium contribute to skin recovery and healing if its suffered any trauma. I find a drop of rosewood and lavender essential oils in a base carrier oil is sometimes the perfect tonic to skin that’s in a state of flux. The former will repair and regenerate, the latter soothes and calms.
Always great to hear about such natural ingredients in skincare. Do you use-or recommend any of the mild acids that have been popular in the last decade?
Apart from oils, I love hyaluronic acid for helping skin retain high levels of moisture. Salicylic acid for helping with exfoliation, keeping pores clean and free from spot-causing bacteria.