Founder Katya Hegg was born in Russia, and growing up used botanical ingredients gathered from her family’s garden and nearby forests for DIY skincare. After moving to NYC and starting a family, she decided to create a natural skincare line based on Siberian cedar nut oil, which contains a high concentration of vitamin E, essential fatty acids Omega 6 and Omega 3, phospholipids, and amino acids – all ingredients that support healthy, firm, and soft skin. The line is called Lyeska, from the Russian word for forest, lyes.
Hegg has clearly taken pains to make the line as sustainable as possible. The other ingredients are certified organic or wild-harvested wherever possible. All Lyeska products are free from parabens and GMOs, and are cruelty-free. The Siberian cedar nut oil comes from seeds that are hand-harvested by local villagers using techniques that do not harm the trees. Lyeska is partnered with Ecocert, USDA Organic, and Oregon Tilth certified for production.
The line is simple and fuss-free: cleanse with the creamy cleanser, apply the quick-drying rejuvenating serum, then finish with the face lotion and eye cream. In terms of weight, even though the main ingredient is Siberian, it feels like a summer routine to me. It’s fresh and light and seems ideal for using before you lay your head down on some crisp cotton sheets. Each product has a different scent, though on a scale from 1 to Bath & Body Works, they are at a 2 in terms of the strength of their smell. Subtlety is a good thing.
The packing is pretty – a modern, pared-down version of ski-lodge chic. The lotions and serum come in glass bottles with plastic pumps that dole out the perfect amount – you just need to take a metal spring out of the pump to recycle it. All the Lyeska paper boxes are 100% recyclable and use 100% post consumer recycled paper which is certified by Green Seal and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). It is manufactured with wind power and made carbon neutral, and is processed without chlorine. The printer is FSC-certified and uses soy/vegetable inks. The cleanser comes in a BPA-free, 100% recyclable plastic tube made of environmentally-friendly resins.
After using the line for three weeks, I noticed a tiny uptick in the number of pimples on my face. This is purely anecdotal, and could be attributed to other factors that I’m not aware of, though I didn’t change anything else about my routine. Perhaps it was the processed sugar I consumed leading up to Halloween? That might be it, since after switching back to another routine, I continued to have fresh breakouts for several days after.
That’s the perils of testing skincare! I can tell you about purported benefits of ingredients, and how things smell and feel, but how it works on my skin can be misleading. Plus, I can’t tell you long-term results. Overall, it’s clear that Lyeska is very focused on providing clean, effective, and eco-friendly skincare. So if you’re in the market for a new skincare routine, it’s worth giving this a try.