As the wise proverb goes, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." For Suzanne Shpall, that step was recognizing a need for gentle yet effective skincare products for pregnant women and those with sensitive skin. Thus, Elder Flower was born - a plant-based skincare line that prides itself on using only the highest quality ingredients. Combining modern research with centuries old practices, Elder Flower products use antioxidant, adaptogenic and hydrating properties found in ancient plants, mushrooms and botanicals. With results that can be felt and seen after each use, Shpall aims to educate consumers and grow awareness around medicinal plants in skincare and self care.
In this interview, we will have the privilege of delving deeper into Suzanne's personal journey and inspiration for creating Elder Flower. As she shares her personal skincare routine and favorite Elder Flower products, we are reminded of the importance of taking care of ourselves, inside and out.
It is Suzanne’s mission to inspire others to prioritize self-care, using safe and effective skincare, and recognizing the impact that conscious consumer choices can have on both our own well-being and the world around us.
Join us as we explore the story behind Elder Flower, and discover the wisdom and beauty that can be found in a commitment to self-care practice steeped in the bounty of nature.
Q: Give us a story behind the Elder Flower. How did you start? What inspired you to launch Elder Flower?
A: I’m an eternal plant lover and have always chosen work in fields that expand my appreciation for the world around me. My background is as a Creative Director working industries spanning CPG, Beauty, Food, Fashion and Cannabis. Being a Cali girl, I’ve always had an affinity toward and need for connection with nature, but my experience in CBD/cannabis is where I really fell in love with the power of plant medicine.
My experience in the CBD & Cannabis space sparked a deep passion for plant medicine and I am completely captivated by ancient alchemy and sustainability. It’s my mission to create something beautiful that can actually help people. I also have sensitive skin, and have friends with severe endocrine issues like PCOS and Endometriosis. Looking at all the products on the market, I couldn't feel confident that what I was using would be safe and gentle. Then, I met mushrooms.
I’d always known and loved them as a nutrient-rich ingredient in my risottos and soups, but learning about all the benefits of topical application inspired me to make Elder Flower a reality.
I created this brand with my community in mind. Starting with my female friends and family who have sensitive skin, hormone imbalances that cause them pain or my dear friends who are soon-to-be and new mothers. I also created this for the men & people in my life. Our products are designed to be unisex. My fiancé and I use them together. In fact, it's one of the small moments we get to connect, plan, chat, or decompress from our respective days.
Elder Flower the name is actually a nod to the ethos and intention behind the brand. We’re combining learnings of our elders, ancient plants & modalities of self-care and healing with modern applications to help people to feel more confident, beautiful, centered - to flourish.
Q: What does your skincare routine look like?
A: Every morning I wake up and wash my face with a gentle oil cleanser and warm (not hot) water. Right now I’m testing a formula for our first cleanser, it has hints of basil in it and it's amazing. I pat my face dry and start by applying three-four pumps of the UNDERGLOW Hydrating Serum. This is a fantastic base serum and keeps my skin hydrated throughout the day. I love the scent of orange blossom, the citrus notes are bright and awakening.
I follow that with two-three pumps of UNDERGLOW Moisturizer to really lock in moisture. It also helps give me a bit of a glow to start my day. The scents between these two products complement each other so nicely and stimulate different senses.
Each night, I follow a similar routine, but 2 nights a week I skip the serum + moisturizer and apply the UNEARTH Overnight mask. It’s amazing. I also use it the night before any big event, meeting or if I’m going to a dinner party and want to look extra glowy.
My fiancé does the same and loves the slightly earthy scent of the Moisturizer. It doesn't feel gender oriented so we can share products. He has extremely sensitive skin and I'm so proud we've developed products that work for him. In fact, we share bottles Which is not ideal because once I left for a work trip and took everything with me. He called me that night and asked me “why would you take my skincare?!” That was a moment he realized how much joy and comfort he found in his own skincare practice. The disruption of it was jarring.
We can easily forget how important it is to connect with ourselves in these small ways. It's crucial we care deeply for ourselves in order to care for others, and approach the world with kindness and curiosity.
Q: What are your favorite Elder Flower products?
A: That is an unfair question because I am completely biased and love them all! I’d have to say though, if I had to choose, it would be our UNEARTH Overnight Facial Treatment mask. It is literal magic. It has this amazing retinol alternative in it called Nephoria and functional mushrooms plus some simply lovely botanicals to make it the most gentle, effective and yet hydrating mask I’ve ever used. It’s also so easy to use! Because it dries quickly on the skin, you can either apply it and go about your day at your desk or (ideally) sleep in it without getting your sheets messy. I am so proud of this product.
Q: Can you tell us more about plant-based skincare?
A: Plants are eternal healers. Technology is great & necessary for modern existence, don’t get me wrong, but nature is the consummate alchemist. Mother Nature is the ultimate designer. Sometimes we get so caught up on the “science” of things we disconnect from the source. We overlook the riches of the natural world.
There is magic in the unseen, poetry in things that take root. Plants have been a quiet, abundant resource for a millennia, bolstering our health and healing - and that of the planet. Plants, when used in skincare, support the skin microbiome and improve skin health with less or no harmful side-effects. The fats and acids in plants assist in calming acne, fighting skin's dryness, combating oiliness, smoothening scars, and increasing skin's elasticity and so much more.
Our bodies speak our needs to us through symptoms that convey a message - signaling a need for rest, hydration, etc. What if we could attune so closely to our bodies and to nature that we could know all the medicines which could aid and support our well-being?
Q: What does the future hold for Elder Flower?
A: We have so many exciting products in the pipeline, from expanding our skincare line to delving further into self-care with products to support your gut, brain and provide healthy alternatives to some of our most common vices. I can’t wait to share them.
Beyond that, we’re building a supportive, lasting community. We’re working on a few exciting collaborations that would give people access to resources, adventures and education. I am so excited and honored to share more and more of Elder Flower with the world.
Through her love for plants and plant medicine, Suzanne has created a skincare line that prioritizes using the highest quality ingredients to provide gentle yet effective products for those with sensitive skin or hormonal imbalances. Elder Flower's mission to educate consumers and grow awareness around the benefits of medicinal plants in skincare and self-care is a powerful reminder of the importance of taking care of ourselves, inside and out.