Silmachy Remedies, founded in the poignant woods and meadows in Latvian nature, knows that grooming the symbols of manliness, the beard and the moustache, requires patience and diligence. What better way to offer a greener and healthier aftercare alternative for the modern man than a brand using pure, entirely natural compounds with attractive masculine packaging. Born out of a personal story that ties with trusting in quality and long-term results, Silmachy Remedies products are researched and hand-made by a certified pharmacist. The powerful natural herbs and their best properties meet in perfect harmony in all-organic Silmachy Remedies grooming products, a great seasonal Xmas goodie bag pick for the precious loved ones.
Words: Hanna-Amanda Pant
When it comes to men's grooming products, why do you think it is important to offer them as natural ingredients as possible?
I have always been a fan of natural skincare products – anything natural, in fact - since my skin is a bit allergic to cosmetics containing aggressive chemicals. Studying pharmacy gave me this opportunity to learn how to make skincare products with therapeutic and healing properties. Shortly after graduation, in 2015, I noticed that here in Latvia the only grooming products available for men were imported, mostly from the U.S. and UK. Also, they contained a high rate of chemical compounds.
Why your interest in men's grooming? How does catering for men's skin differ from the needs of a woman's?
Knowing that men, too, have different skin types, that vary from sensitive to dry to acne-prone skin, I felt they don't always have a possibility to use natural, locally-made cosmetics for their everyday grooming rituals. I started studying men's skin, and found out that it's thicker, more oily (because of sebaceous glands), and with lower pH level (that's why it’s more prone to acne). I think all this inspired me in one way or another to start Silmachy Remedies.
Green beauty industry has been making waves a couple of years now. How does it resonate with the values some Latvian brands (including yours) represent? We all have heard of Madara Cosmetics, but do you find there have been many newcomers to the industry who want to offer clean beauty to the modern consumer?
Indeed, since the green beauty industry has grown, with many more competitors on the market, the natural cosmetics have become a bit more accessible to the average consumer. I am only glad that more and more people are choosing to live their life responsibly, and cherish some important values, such as sustainability and quality over quantity. To be honest, I think that most of Latvian brands are aiming for the idea of natural and clean beauty, helping your skin to thrive, instead of being covered up by make-up.
"Knowing that men, too, have different skin types, that vary from sensitive to dry to acne-prone skin, I felt they don't always have a possibility to use natural, locally-made cosmetics for their everyday grooming rituals."
Your brand has a funny background story: you started out because you wanted to offer diligent grooming for the beard and moustache. Why do you think it's important to keep these key manliness symbols neat and intact?
I find moustache and beard to be a great way for a man to express himself. Whether you have them or not, changes the shape, character and expression of your face. My father had his beard most of his life and now my husband has it. And the one thing I have learned from observing them is that, men, who look after their facial hair, look and even feel more self-confident and respectable. Beards, in a way, are like a brotherhood. A man’s beard may have a lot to endure – it can take beatings from bad weather, mud, food and drinks… things get stuck in it! It needs good hygiene and some care, too. Even a few drops of beard oil can make a man smell attractive. And it's a great concealer for smokers, too. Ladies will definitely appreciate that.
What are your key products for men's everyday grooming?
One of our top sellers is a beard oil for growth that contains cedarwood, bergamot and other oils rich in vitamins. It's meant for daily use – just take a few drops of beard oil in your hands and rub it in your beard, and the skin underneath it. Also, there is a hand balm for those dry, chapped hardworking hands, which doesn't contain water at all – it is made only out of natural butters, oils and waxes, to make sure men's hands are getting the best care they can.
According to what you have witnessed, do you believe nowadays (also thanks to the influence of social media) men care more and more about what they put into and on their bodies? Or are they still a little bit reluctant to admit they care about their appearance, too?
Well, men are different – while some enjoy following the developments in the cosmetics industry, others don’t. I’ve often heard men say that grooming rituals just take too much time, and they can’t be bothered to do much more than just wash their face and comb their hair in the morning. That’s why I’ve tried creating products that are practical and do not require any special 'rituals' (although, of course, men, too, are allowed to indulge in self-care rituals). I love how much attention some men give to grooming their moustache – they do it with such delicate touch and care!
What are the most important ingredients you have incorporated into your products and what are the actual benefits of these specific natural ingredients?
I'm quite excited about most of the ingredients I use, since they all are natural and each one of them has a great purpose in taking care of the man’s skin and hair. But one of my recently-discovered favourites is the Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) extract. It is a great astringent (tightener) for skin pores, which is one of the main effects needed after shaving. It also smells very tempting….
I would think that starting a cosmetics label from scratch can be incredibly tricky and demanding. What have you learned and were there times you wanted to give up along the way?
Silmachy Remedies has been like a learning curve for me, a true journey. Since I work alone, I have learned a lot in terms of management, accounting and marketing, which were all areas unknown to me before. I guess, I like to be challenged. Sure, there have been moments of doubt, especially, as the market gets more crowded, but there's always this 'one more thing' I want to try and do before I give up. Luckily, in these two years, I've had ideas that have been widely appreciated by men. And that inspires and motivates me to do even more.
"A man’s beard may have a lot to endure – it can take beatings from bad weather, mud, food and drinks… things get stuck in it! It needs good hygiene and some care, too."
What are the key aspects that define sustainable, holistic lifestyle for you? How popular would you say is the movement currently in Latvia?
I think there is quite a large number of people trying to do their best to live a better, greener life. For me the main key thoughts are that one should be responsible for the choices you make, and things you buy and leave behind you, as well as for the way you treat you body and mind.
What are the influences that informed your latest packaging and branding?
I wanted to make the brand look more appealing to men, and I think the black colour combined with a minimalist design did the trick. One thing we left unchanged was the logo – our lovely Silmachy farmstead, surrounded by woods and meadows. It's where it all started and where all the magic happens until now.
Which is the absolute must-have product out of your range we should definitely include in our Xmas list for boys this approaching season?
For all the bearded guys who want to keep their face warm this winter – there is this beard oil I mentioned before, that stimulates beard growth and volume, with a light woodsy-floral scent of cedarwood and bergamot. To those who prefer to shave, I'd say, it's the new aftershave lotion with sandalwood, myrrh and witch hazel extracts, which soothes and moisturises irritated skin. It doesn't contain alcohol, so it's suitable even for owners of the most sensitive skin.