Updated: Jan 17, 2021
A behind-the-scenes look into avant-atlas - a new brand dedicated to sustainable, organic skincare and single-handedly operated and founded by Elizabeth Atlas
In case you’ve been living under a rock - sustainable, organic, and non-toxic is all the rage these days...
and luckily, Elizabeth Atlas is up to speed.
I had the chance to speak with Elizabeth Atlas, the founder of clean skincare company avant-atlas.
“avant” translates to “before” in French, and “atlas” translates to “the world” in Greek - giving birth to the brand’s motto: “take care of yourself before you take on the world.”
Let’s take a dive into the behind-the-scenes of all things avant-atlas - who the founder is, what motivated her to create a clean skincare brand in the first place, and her best tips and tricks for her customers!
Check out the Q&A with Elizabeth Atlas below:
Q&A with Elizabeth Atlas, Founder of avant-atlas
Q: What is the mission of avant-atlas?
A: “avant-atlas initially started as lifestyle design, being articles on approachable self care rituals that set the foundation to becoming the most authentic version of yourself. From day one of conceptualizing, I knew I wanted to create a skincare line.
Matcha and rose quartz are a huge part of my life, so I knew I needed to incorporate them into the products. It has become a tangible way to take care of yourself, and be the most authentic, glowing version of yourself with clean products that makes you feel confident in your own skin. I want you to use the information you learn and the products to really take care of yourself, in whatever way feels best for you – it’s how you create the foundation and mindset for success.”
Q: What motivated you to create avant-atlas in the first place?
A: “I think about this a lot … avant-atlas is something I have been subconsciously creating in recent years. I have always had a passion for sharing information and inspiring others. Many of my psychology classes talked about how intertwined general wellbeing, from movement to mediation, is with your brain functioning. And taking care of yourself is something you can absolutely control.
About four years ago, I started to become intentional with my yoga practice, started journaling daily and nightly, and became much more fascinated by skincare, so naturally I researched everything there is to know about the subject. Not to be dramatic, but these rituals really changed my life. I started practicing all of this while I was in school, so I knew that anyone can find time to take care of themselves, regardless of other obligations.”
Q: How did you come up with the name for avant-atlas?
A: “So I knew I needed to use my last name in some way – I couldn’t miss the opportunity! I was thinking something along the lines of “authentic” but it wasn’t sticking with me. Whenever I need inspiration I open up my latest issue of Vogue, so I did just that. A few pages in I read the term “avant-garde.” PERFECT!
Avant is French for “before” and Atlas is the Greek titan who held up the heavens; combining the two creates the brand philosophy, “take care of yourself before you take on the world.” And even avant being a French word reflects the minimalist-chic vibe of my brand. In the logo, “avant” is above “atlas” and the line that separates the two functions as the dash. I chose to keep avant-atlas entirely lowercase to represent the balanced and approachable nature of the brand.”
Q: Which avant-atlas product is your ultimate go-to?
A: “It’s so hard to pick a favorite! But I have to say I use the matcha + rosewater skin mist all day long – after cleansing in the morning, all throughout the day (I have one on my desk!), after a workout, before bed. It’s such a versatile product; I’m really happy I launched it first to introduce the skincare line.
The day and night serums I just launched have seriously transformed my skin. Up until this point I had yet to find a serum I really loved and one with entirely transparent, purposeful ingredients. And I love that the matcha + rose vitamin c glow serum and the matcha + rose replenishing serum are for all skin types.”
Q: Can you give a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your company? Is it currently a one-woman show?
A: “I have built avant-atlas myself from the ground up. When I have a vision for something, I am determined to make it happen as efficiently as possible.
Currently what it’s like to run avant-atlas looks as follows: formulate and develop sustainable and clean skincare line, develop entire brand aesthetic/identity, product development and research, source clean ingredients and materials, test products, manufacture products, market brand, photography (both product photography and editorial, along with videography), launches (thoroughly create organized Instagram visuals that detail for my customers what the product is, what each ingredient is used for, and how to repurpose the materials. I apply that same information onto the website, and then convert it into SEO), daily social media curation, graphic design, web design + info technology, ship orders, legal, finance, write lifestyle design articles, update the takecare club blog (a continuation of the #takecareclub hashtag I have created for the @avantatlas community, a way to show how they are taking care, and an ode to the brand philosophy).
A year ago I began working with my amazing career coach, Sandra, who really helps to propel my visions forward. Most importantly, she encourages me to be my most authentic self – the same way I encourage people to be through avant-atlas. It is definitely a lot of work doing everything myself, so I look forward to expanding avant-atlas in the future.”
Q: What would be your one greatest tip to your customers so they can get the most benefit out of your products?
A: “My greatest tip is to use the products daily! And to read all the information on the website under the products (there is a lot there), and follow the Instagram as I am always posting new ways to use everything.
The products are designed to fit your lifestyle and skincare routine – not completely overhaul it. The matcha + rosewater skin mist can be used after cleansing, or anytime during the day. The matcha + rose supercharged eye serum can be used anytime as well, as the first step in your skincare routine. The vitamin c glow serum brightens your skin during the day while the replenishing serum hydrates your skin at night and has no exfoliants so it is safe to combine with the retinol you may be using.”
And just for fun…
Q: Who is your biggest inspiration in the realm of clean beauty & skincare? Why?
A: “It’s difficult to find one person who inspires you when you’re doing something not many have done before. That is because your path, like DNA, is so unique. I think it’s important to be inspired by the person you will be tomorrow – because that motivates you to put in the work today. That being said, Estee Lauder got her start by making her own products so I thought, why can’t I do the same? Especially during these times, the less people handling the product, the better. And now the Estee Lauder company owns Le Labo, who practices slow perfumery and originality through ingredients right from the earth. And not to mention the loveliest scents which smell nothing like the samples in your magazines. I also pull inspiration from Glossier CEO and founder Emily Weiss, who created a loyal community surrounding the brand.
I am also inspired by my mom who has shared her beauty rituals with me from a young age. For example, why she does a facial mask at night, and in a simple way four-year-old me would understand, she said 'it makes your skin beautiful.'
Aside from that, there are many products she cannot use because she is allergic to the ingredients in there. Those ingredients are ones I can barely pronounce – it’s because they are chemicals that should not be on your face to begin with, and quiet honestly, are ones everyone is allergic to. My mom has been able to use all avant-atlas products, with zero sensitivity to them – because they are formulated with completely natural ingredients! That has been incredibly rewarding.”
avant-atlas is the perfect option for those interested in clean and healthy living, starting with the personal care products they use. With each purchase of avant-atlas, you can feel confident you are purchasing products that are:
Free of Parabens
Noncomedogenic (will not clog pores)
And better yet - to enhance shelf life and to ensure the greatest customer experience, each product is made to order.
Here's a quick glimpse into these clean skincare products, perfect for the toxin-free guru!
Day & Night Serums
This perfect duo for day and night features all clean ingredients, like organic natural jojoba oil, organic matcha, and organic rose oil, to name a few. According to the avant-atlas site, both serums are to be used after cleansing and toning for hydration and illumination.
Matcha + Rosewater Skin Mist
This just so happens to be the founder's favorite pick! This matcha + rosewater skin mist is as versatile as a skincare product can get. According to the avant-atlas site, use this skin mist in between skincare steps to lock in products, as a toner, as a refreshing mist after a hard day at the gym, or even as the last step in your makeup routine to set your foundation!
I personally use this skin mist in my nightly skincare routine as a refreshing boost!
Matcha + Rose Supercharged Eye Serum
With an area as sensitive as around the eyes, wouldn't it make sense to use products without harsh ingredients? Luckily, this avant-atlas eye serum is made up of matcha infused jojoba, strawberry seed, olive-derived squalane, rose, and vitamin e. I have no trouble pronouncing these ingredients, which is exactly how skincare should be.
avant-atlas is an excellent brand for anyone interested in taking the leap into non-toxic and clean living. As a brand dedicated to safe ingredients, ingredient transparency, and self-care as a whole, avant-atlas checks all the boxes.
*This article is neither affiliated with nor endorsed by avant-atlas. avant-atlas was selected for this piece because it encompasses the values set forth by JG Copywrite Me’s toxin-free initiative.
All photos taken by Elizabeth Atlas, founder of avant-atlas
For more beautiful photos like these, and for more information about avant-atlas, follow the brand on Instagram (@avantatlas) or head over to avantatlas.com.