Friend of Sunlighten Q&A: Synthesis Organics founder Theme Rains
This month, the Sunlighten team sat down with Theme Rains, the inspiring founder and formulator behind the award winning brand Synthesis Organics. This Australian made and certified organic skincare brings us conscious and luxurious products to help nourish and protect our skin.
Taking us back to how it all started, initially studying to become a lawyer, Theme speaks about the life events that inspired her to start a journey in healing arts and aromatherapy
Theme, we're massive fans of the Synthesis Organics brand and what it stands for. Can you tell us about how your journey started after you left behind a career in human rights law to journey into practice in the Healing Arts?
You could say that my journey started when I deferred my final law school course to take some time out to travel. Human rights law had been how I envisioned making a difference in the world, but through my travels and reading I was exposed to the great healing and spiritual traditions of the world. Stepping out of the all-consuming world of law study, I suddenly realised that to make a positive difference, the first step was taking responsibility for my own healing and the effect I had on all those around me— I jumped out of the comfort zone of my intellect and into my heart and commenced my ongoing journey of commitment to the Healing Arts and the creation of Synthesis Organics.
Applying your learnings to skincare and aromatherapy, your intention was to create beauty and wellness products of unparalleled purity that could serve as a holistic healing influence to restore us to harmony with Nature and our own true essence. What was your inspiration and motivation behind bringing to market some of the first Certified Organic beauty and wellness products ever made in Australia?
Synthesis products were created as a way to share the tangible and intangible healing influences that have touched and shaped my life. The inspiration was to create holistic products that were pure enough to eat, and pure enough to hold the benefits of the energy medicine modality I trained in for 14 years. The purity is essential to deliver the life-positive benefits directly to the body, carrying them through to the mental, emotional and energetic levels of the user. To accomplish that, I had to start with the highest quality certified organic ingredients available, including the best clinically proven Australian bioactives to harness that pure, vital intelligence from the plant kingdom. At first, this was just for my fellow therapists who were still using products containing synthetics and harmful substances in their otherwise beautiful treatments. The initial goal was to help elevate this experience for both the therapist and the client by replacing products that were having a negative, energy draining effect with products that were life-positive and both protected the therapist and had tremendous benefits for the client. This naturally led to alignments with wellness properties and spas where therapists could work with the products, and from there to customers who wanted to take home the benefits they experienced in the treatments.
Where did your passion for creating organic skincare & aromatherapy products stem from? What was the turning point for you?
Following my passion for nature, healing and wellness of body and earth, I always aligned with organic, life-positive and business-for-purpose values. This could have taken many different forms, but emerged as skincare and aromatherapy. Skincare is something so intimate, that we apply to our bodies on a daily basis, that influences our whole system. Transforming that daily ritual into a holistic healing experience, connecting us to the life-force of nature, nurturing skin and uplifting spirit, revealed itself as a beautiful, accessible way to be part of the conscious wellness revolution. I aspire now to be part of making a difference through supporting everyone who touches our products to shine the beauty of their most harmonious, connected and nurtured self.
My passion was fuelled by beautiful mentors along the way, such as Judith White who shared her wisdom and passion for aromatherapy with me over many years. She co-led the emergence of accessible therapeutic aromatherapy with the creation of her first business Inessence, and wrote many books for Hay House. I learnt so much from Judith, including how to source the highest therapeutic oils from the optimum terroirs around the world, to have the purest and most elevated effect on all who used them.
You use Australian Certified Organic ingredients and wildcrafted botanicals throughout your products, what is the process behind choosing these key ingredients and can you tell us a bit about their therapeutic benefits?
My process for choosing ingredients starts with researching and testing for evidence-based effects for the function of the product we are creating. We look for native Australian and locally grown ingredients first, however there are certain plants we need to source from overseas where they are growing in their optimum terroir for therapeutic use. The therapeutic benefits we look for include their impact on the skin, which is intrinsically linked with the brain, and thus their impact on overall wellbeing. I’ll then lean towards the plants that smell the most pleasant as we want the whole experience of using them to be uplifting. We carefully assess the sustainability and ethics of the growing, harvesting and sourcing of each ingredient before committing to include them in our range.
With non-toxic and cruelty-free beauty growing in demand, why do you think it's important for beauty brands to be transparent when it comes to ingredients?
Ingredients are at the heart of beauty brand formulations. Transparency is so important as it allows consumers to make open-eyed choices about what they want to apply to their skin and absorb into their body. Considering that an average two kilograms of personal care products are being absorbed into the skin on a yearly basis according to some studies, if that two kilograms is made up of life-positive, biodegradable ingredients full of antioxidants, omegas and natural healing building blocks, they’ll simply move through our system, energising and nourishing us along the way. However if those two kilograms consist of ingredients which don’t biodegrade, accumulate in our system, connect us to deforestation, child slavery, sweatshops, animal cruelty (yes… all of those are linked to skin care ingredients) then the resulting absorption becomes very ‘heavy’ and burdens our immune system and sense of wellbeing. This is why transparency of ingredients is so incredibly important. Everyone should be able to choose freely and with full information what they are using on their skin.
When I started Synthesis, being certified organic, non-toxic, cruelty-free and fair-trade was considered niche. I think it’s great that the industry as a whole has evolved, alongside consumer intelligence and awareness.
Your philosophy is Enlightened Self Care, what are your self-care and wellness essentials you can’t live without?
Our philosophy of Enlightened Self Care is about being responsible for our wellbeing so that we can shine and function at our highest potential which then positively impacts everything and everyone around us. Just like how tuning forks work —when you strike one tuning fork and move it towards another, the second fork will begin vibrating at the same frequency which is the law of resonance. So, just by using the purest, highest quality and vibrational beauty products on ourselves, we not only help attune ourselves, but, through resonance, everyone and everything that comes into our orbit. We aim to make products that support a shift in consciousness and the embodiment of that is what we call radiant conscious beauty —and it’s infectious in the best way!
In almost every spiritual and energetic tradition in the world, the words spirit and breath are practically interchangeable. So when it comes to wellness essentials, there is no better place to start because we can’t live without breathing for more than a few minutes. Conscious breathing has tremendous benefits and is one of the easiest, most accessible and important self-care essentials I can think of. Other wellness essentials I can’t live without include spending time in nature, eating high vibrational plant-based organic food, drinking energised pure water and enjoying an infrared sauna at least three times a week.
Sustainability is one of your core brand pillars. What are some simple ways we can be more environmentally conscious when purchasing and using self-care products?
Packaging is one of the most important factors, so check for non-toxic packaging (for example, acrylic is very toxic to produce) and recyclability. Glass is infinitely recyclable but heavy and breakable, PET plastics are well-recycled in Australia but not indefinitely. We know recycling can be difficult so we use packaging that is pre-recycled wherever possible and also provide a closed loop recycling program through Terracycle which ensures all components can be recycled.
When it comes to labels, check for genuine certified organic status, for example, an ACO, OFC, COSMOS or USDA logo. This tells you the product has been audited and checked to ensure genuine organic ingredients are being used, which means they have also been sustainably, ethically, environmentally and consciously produced, and that you are avoiding any hidden chemicals or synthetics that could be polluting your body and the environment. The certifiers also ensure the products are not packaged in toxic, leaching or well-known polluting plastics.
What is your vision for Synthesis Organics and what can we look forward to seeing from the brand this year?
Our vision is to be a healing presence and leading brand that elevates our industry to its highest potential by demonstrating what is possible with natural ecological and ethical principles. As part of this vision, we really want to bring our skincare production as close to Nature as possible so we are building our HQ (heart quarters) on an organic farm in Federal, a small town in the Byron hinterland, where we will be growing and extracting some of the botanicals used in our products. We aspire to create a beautiful and healthy place for our team to work and thrive in which will include access to regular wellness activities and resources (including a Sunlighten infrared sauna).
We are also just about to launch another transformative product that has been years in the making. It combines neurocosmetic advances along with the organic and energy medicine fusion that all our products are formulated with. This means that, along with hydrating and nourishing the skin, this cream also biomimics the effects of meditation. What that means for the skin is that it helps to reduce and repair signs of stress and fatigue while infusing it with a blast of life-force energy and aromatherapeutic benefits to elevate your mood and support you to feel and look your best. I’m really looking forward to sharing more about this product and the amazing plants that are part of it.
To read more inspiring Q&A’s with our other friends of Sunlighten, be sure to visit the Sunlighten Lotus Library and shop the Synthesis Organics range here.