10 Questions with our Founder and CEO, Gaelyne Leslie

If you ever wondered about the brains behind our business, here's your chance! We sat down with Gaelyne Leslie to chat about the brand, skincare, and her favourites.  

1. What led you to starting Crawford St. Skin Care?

Crawford Street started as a hobby. I was working in investigative television, and was researching stories about chemicals in our everyday environment. I was shocked to discover that there were chemicals in practically everything we brought into our homes; our cleaning products, shampoo, creams, even baby bubble bath. Then, in that same year, two horrible family health issues convinced me I had to make my own natural skin care products for myself, my family and my friends.

First, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and that led me on a frustrating and fruitless search for a natural deodorant. I tried everything - from crystals to powders -  and nothing worked and most smelled awful! 

Second, on the eve of my 40th birthday, I looked in the mirror to see that my entire face had broken out from a severe allergic reaction to a brand-name face cream. Tests and research revealed that my reaction was caused by chemical preservatives used in almost all brand-name skin creams. As an investigative journalist, I dug deeper to uncover that most of these same chemicals were suspected of contributing to a wide range of health issues, including cancer. 

That was it.

I started researching ingredients, reading everything I could find about natural skin care and I experimented with hundreds of formulations until I found the balance between one that worked with a pleasant, natural scent. My hobby quickly became a growing business when friends told more friends the orders just started coming from health-conscious people concerned about chemicals in their products.

2. Why is it so important that Crawford St. Skin Care uses natural ingredients?

Natural ingredients are important for two reasons. First because our skin is our largest organ. It is a permeable membrane, meaning that it is not an impenetrable shield. Your body rids itself of toxins through the skin and the skin brings into the body whatever you put on it. 

3. What are your top 3 favourite Crawford St. Skin Care products?

My daily go to products are the Rose Geranium Cleanser and Toner and I can't live without the Restorative Beauty Balm.

4. How do you layer your skincare products? 

After applying toner, to help balance my skin's pH and prepare it to receive moisturizer, I usually apply a little Restorative Facial Oil to the drier areas of my face and always on my neck. Then depending on the time of year I will apply a moisturizer or the Beauty Balm. Don't forget to moisturize your lips too! The Beauty Balm is great for this.

5. When you’re not busy running Crawford St. Skincare, what do you do to relax and unwind?

I like to play badminton a couple of times a week and read. My guilty pleasure is watching NFL football.

6. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

My mother used to say, if you think someone else's life looks better than yours you had better look at the whole picture. What she meant is, sometimes the public part of people's lives (or their Instagram feed!) looks glamorous and exciting, but they probably have problems too, and their problem might be much bigger than yours.

7. What is your favourite book?

Right now the book I'm recommending to everyone is A Gentleman in Moscow. It is one of my all time favourites. He is truly a gentleman!

8. Do you have a hidden talent?

I am an excellent massage therapist. I love giving my family and friends a nice relaxing massage when they are tense or stressed.

9. What is your go-to snack?

Ever since I was a kid my go-to snack has been cheese, crackers and fruit. It's the same snack I give my own kids. Although they like Sha-Sha Bakeries ginger snaps in place of crackers.

10. Where do you find most of your inspiration?

Most of my inspiration comes from travel. When I feel like I need some new ideas or inspiration I look to other places. What skincare products are they using in London right now, what natural ingredients can I find in Costa Rica, even a recent drive to Niagara-on-the-Lake inspired a new product idea. Stay tuned!


Curious to know how Crawford Street develops new products?

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