Behind the Brand: Sixela Skincare creator Alexis Matthews
By: Robin Tolkan-Doyle, Beauty Editor
Growing up in a health-conscious home in Los Angeles as a child actor, Alexis Matthews always knew the importance of self-care and wellness. It wasn’t until her “aha” moment last year during quarantine when she noticed a disconnect in society’s need to look good and feel good that she decided to shift her career goals from the law world to becoming kick-ass female entrepreneur. Now more than ever self-care should be an essential part of people’s lives and Alexis wanted to make that a practical and accessible goal. As the owner of Sixela Skincare, Alexis created an all-natural, affordable and vegan skincare line that puts the whole body first. The collection includes a detoxing bath soak consisting of pink Himalayan Salt, Shea and Rose Petals, a clarifying clay face mask utilizing Tea Tree oil and Eucalyptus, a body scrub that has Mango Butter and Sweet Almond Oil in its listing, and a luxurious body oil with Argan, Olive, Almond and Vitamin E. Alexis designed these products to soothe and promote healthy and glowy skin while getting rid of toxins, reducing inflammation, repairing damaged skin, and preventing aging. But even more than that, Sixela Skincare is meant to address one’s mental well-being. The collection is everything you’ve been looking for in one place. Coco Eco was lucky to recently chat with Alexis about her new business.
What made you decide to get into the beauty business?
Beauty is important to me because it encapsulates physical looks, health, femininity, and wellness. It is everything I personally enjoy wrapped in one. As a child actor, looks were always number one priority. As I grew older, the superficiality of it all began to *really* upset me. Yes, looking good is important, but not for the reasons you may think. It’s only important in the sense that when you look good, you feel good. Feeling good is the *only* thing that matters and Sixela Skincare is looking to change the narrative in the beauty industry. Sixela Skincare focuses on wellness through skincare, because we believe that skincare is self-care.
How did you go about sourcing your ingredients and packaging?
Research, research, research. Before launching, I knew that being clean was Sixela’s Skincare’s top priority. I didn’t stop until I found locally made natural and organic ingredients and 100% sustainable packaging. I am really proud to say that *all* of our packaging materials are from recycled and eco-friendly materials.
How has your professional background prepared you to launch Sixela?
I went from being a child actor, to working in the legal field, to now being a business owner. From my years of experience of being in film, I understand the needs and wants of the beauty industry and working in the legal field prepared me for the amount of work required to run a successful business. Before finding what I was passionate about, I thought all of my odd jobs were selected at random. I now see that everything prepared me for this moment. Moral of the story is to keep going. You’ll end up where you are supposed to be.
Talk about growing up in a health-conscious home in LA. What did that look like?
I grew up in a single parent household. My mom picked up her two kids from our little midwestern town and left her life behind to pursue an acting career in LA. She has always been very free spirited and believes in clean living. What does it mean to be clean and health-conscious? Well...that means everything that's inside of the house is considered clean and benefits your health in some way. That's from our food, to our cleaning products, to our skincare products, to our “medications”, to our reading materials––literally everything. We rarely took OTC medications, because my mom believed in home remedies and honestly, they worked. From a very young age, I saw how being health-conscious and living clean was not only doable, but affordable.
What does the name SIXELA mean?
SIXELA (pronounced Si-Ella) is my name spelled backwards––Alexis. My mother coined the name when I was younger and it just stuck with me. I thought, what better way to represent me and everything I love in one? SIXELA is skincare, self-care, wellness, health, femininity, and luxury.
You were inspired to create this brand out of a dissatisfaction of affordable all natural skincare lines. How do you keep your costs accessible for most people?
By gauging the market. I’ve noticed that a lot of natural skincare lines tend to charge consumers more *simply* because their labels say “clean” on the bottle. I understand that sourcing clean ingredients may be more of a hassle, but pricing can be comparable if you’re willing to do the work. We tend to see exclusivity with all things that are considered good for you. Like organic food, organic products are only available to those who can afford those luxuries––this creates a divide and perpetuates the stigma that only the rich are allowed the luxury of caring for their health. I am a firm believer that good health, good products, and good ingredients is everyone's birthright.
Describe how you practice self-care. And what are some of your favorite clean products?
I have so many favorites, but my go-to’s are morning affirmations and a bedtime bath routine. I like to start and end my day with self-care. First thing I do when I wake up before I scroll through social media, respond to emails, or look at the ENDLESS list of things that need to be done–– I state my daily affirmations with a smile on my face (believe me, it makes a difference). At night, I like to light a candle or some incense to end my day with some clean aromatherapy. I really love my own lavender and sage soy candle by SIXELA SKINCARE. There’s a crystal embedded in the wax, so I speak affirmations and manifestations over it. Two of my other favorites are Cleanse & co. + Flower & Folk. They have vegan, cruelty, and dye free products that are amazing. Next I’ll use Afokoskin as a cleanser, and Sixela Skincare Step 3: Scrub for a naturally luxurious bath experience.
You really hit the nail on the head with the importance of practicing self-care and “doing less is doing more.” As the world starts to open up again, what advice do you have for people to help them maintain a healthy balance of work and self-maintenance?
My one piece of advice is to always make time for yourself. Even if it's for two minutes. Covid-19 impacted everyone either directly or indirectly. One thing that people did not anticipate was yearlong solitude. It threw many people for a loop and I saw that depression levels spiked and was at an all-time high (myself included). Taking additional time to practice wellness–– to ground and center yourself is the perfect way to practice self-care. Practicing wellness can look like anything, as long as you do it alone. Going for a walk, coloring, meditating, taking a bath, journaling, painting, reading, saying daily affirmations...absolutely anything that makes you feel at peace. Self-care allows you to enjoy your own company, be still, and be in the present moment. There aren’t many, but this is my *one* positive take away from this pandemic. I’ve learned to enjoy time spent with myself.
What’s next for Sixela?
Sixela Skincare has a lot to look forward to this year. We’re collaborating with several monthly subscription boxes this year. One more giveaway planned this year–– we want to support women in business so we will offer an EOY grant for other small women-owned businesses, and last but not least, we are super excited to announce that a brand new product will be released early summer! It is unlike anything in our line of products. Stay tuned for more updates!