Local mum Jayne Russell is an expert in all things skin when it comes to babies and mums-to-be. She told us how she juggles motherhood with being the founder of South-East-London-based skin and nutrition brand, NomNom.
Tell us about Nom Nom
Nom Nom is a multi-award winning, certified organic skincare range dedicated to pregnancy and baby and handmade in Crystal Palace! It combines massage and nutrition advice with skincare to support mum and baby from without and within.
What tips would you give to women who want to make the most of maternity leave?
Don’t try to do too much. With so many classes and activities on offer nowadays there can be a tendency to over schedule. I’m not saying don’t leave the house - it’s important to spend time with other mums - but it's also lovely to just relax and enjoy being with your baby. It really is over too soon (I can’t believe my two are teenagers)! Baby massage is a lovely thing to do together as it allows you to focus on your baby and is relaxing for you both.
When, why and how did you start your business?
I recently celebrated Nom Nom’s second anniversary! I was regularly asked which products I’d recommend for pregnancy and baby skincare issues - I've worked for as a pre and postnatal massage and nutritional therapist for 20 years. So I researched the field and was surprised to find many ranges contained synthetic chemicals and other ingredients best avoided in baby skincare, and this led me to create my own range.
I researched different oil properties and benefits, attended skincare courses, perfected consistency and texture through many hours of kitchen alchemy and finally tested sample products and gathered feedback from testers.
I wanted to give new and expectant parents assurance to trust the skincare they use during pregnancy and for their baby. There is much confusion with many brands jumping on the natural/organic bandwagon and I resolved to gain organic certification with the Soil Association so customers could have that confidence in my products. This turned out to be the most challenging and intensive part of the process as it was even more stringent than I had thought! Finally, before I could start selling, my formulations had to be assessed for safety by a toxicologist.
What's your must-have skincare product for pregnant women?
Well, I’d naturally have to say my gold award winning Nom Nom Organic Stretch Butter Camellia and Vanilla. Many skincare products are unsuitable for use during pregnancy and some can only be used from the second trimester or have strong scents which many women find unappealing when they are expecting. I formulated my butter without essential oils and fragrance, so it can be used safely throughout the whole of pregnancy and beyond. It has a gentle aroma from vanilla, coconut and cocoa butter and works wonders on dry, tight, itchy skin and stretch mark prevention. I also use it as a general body butter as nothing else makes my skin feel as soft and supple.
What are your skincare tips for babies?
Keep it simple. Babies don’t need lots of products but what you use needs be gentle. I recommend starting with water only to clean baby’s skin for the first month and then use natural products which avoid harsh ingredients like SLS, SLES and fragrance. Look for those which contain a short list of recognizable ingredients. As well as synthetic chemicals, avoid common allergens like peanut, sesame and tree nut oils. Also, getting air to baby’s skin is very beneficial. If yours is happy being naked, allow some time each day for them to kick about nappy-free!
My free skincare guide “10 Steps to Super Healthy Baby Skin” has lots of great tips for looking after baby skin and understanding skincare labelling.
Where do you shop/ what skincare brands do you love?
I always visit Crystal Palace food market on Saturday and Planta for wholefoods. There’s so much choice in natural and organic skincare now that I’m still enjoying trying new ones and haven’t found my “go to” brand yet. A few favourites are Therapi, Pinks Boutique, Barefoot Botanicals and Nourish. For makeup I like Dr Hauschka and Inika.
Where do you like to hang out in London?
I’m a bit of a local lass and love Crystal Palace Park and the triangle. The Overground is great so when I do head out it’s often to Shoreditch. When my kids were small the Horniman Museum and the Southbank were firm favourites.
What’s next for Nom Nom?
I’m very excited that Whole Foods Market in Kensington are going to be stocking the range! And I will be focussing on increasing other stockists and spreading the word about Nom Nom to new and expectant parents. I’ve also been working on sample sizes of the butters and these will be available soon. Longer term I have other products in mind - I'd love to add a New Mum range next year.