Smart Cookie: Brennan O'Connell, Founder Of Luua - Ecobuy
Australian Pink Clay Face Mask
1) Could you tell us a little about yourself and what’s your business about?

I’m Brennan! I’m 30 and live in Melbourne, Australia. I am finishing up a PhD in Earth Science studying ocean chemistry and reef environments. I started Luua, my skincare line, during the many months of Covid lockdown in Melbourne. Why skincare? I created a rosewater skincare line because I struggled well into my 20s with acne. What finally cleared my skin was using a gentle rosewater cleanser and letting my skin heal itself instead of layering acne product after acne product.

Most of the rosewater products I found on the market were either filled with artificial fragrance or watered down with rosewater being only a small component of each formulation. We add no fragrance to our products and the “water phase” of Luua products is entirely rosewater!

Each product is formulated for a gentle, non-stripping, and rejuvenating experience. Our products are made in small batches, are cruelty-free, and are sold in glass jars.

2) Do you have a morning routine? If so, what is it you do to set yourself up for the day ahead?

The only thing I consistently do in the morning is make coffee and eggs. Sometimes I make a little to-do list for the day and I love checking things off as I go. I keep meaning to get more done in the morning but that is not me! I love sleeping in.

Face Mask Clean Beauty

3) Why did you choose to go sustainable and eco-friendly?

I am working on a PhD in Earth Science at Melbourne Uni. I see first-hand the effects of plastic waste in our ocean, climate change, changing ocean chemistry, and exploitation of our natural resources. Also, 120 billion units of packaging are produced by the cosmetic industry every year and I wanted a rosewater skincare line that did not contribute to this waste.

All of our glass jars can be reused and recycled. We also don’t box our products to reduce waste and ship our products with a 100% carbon-neutral service. I couldn’t find a sustainable skincare range using the ingredients I wanted, so I created one!

4) What was the hardest part of starting your own business?

I have a strong chemistry background (I study ocean chemistry) so I thought it would be a breeze to pick up cosmetic chemistry and formulate my rosewater skincare products. It was really challenging and I ended up hiring a cosmetic chemist to help formulate my mask after I gave it my best shot. It was frustrating and heartbreaking every time my mask would need to be reformulated. Cosmetic chemistry and ocean chemistry are different! We got there in the end and I am really happy with the final products.

Luua Face Mask Clean beauty

5) One book and/or documentary everyone should read/watch? Why?

I love the book the Power of One by Bryce Courtenay. It’s a great coming of age story. It’s very inspiring to make something of yourself and believe in yourself despite obstacles. I’ve read it over and over and always feel super motivated to do something awesome after I read it.

6) Best piece of advice you have ever received?

Nobody is paying any attention to you. It sounds bleak but it’s helped me move on from wondering if people are thinking this or that. Some other good advice from the Small Biz Bites podcast is you can’t have all three in your business and be successful: cheap, great service, good price. Pick 2.

To learn more about Luua Click HERE!