Rena’e Thomas-James, Founder and CEO of Take Me Away Essentials (TMAE)


Spring 2024

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When Rena’e Thomas-James moved from Jamaica to Canada, she found that none of the products she tried seemed to overcome the problems with hair breakage and dry skin she faced in the Canadian climate. She knew the solution would be found by going back to nature, to her home country where formulations from plants provided remedies to a host of skin and hair problems. She founded Take Me Away Essentials (TMAE) on the belief that “every bush/herb has good use for the hair and skin.”

Elixuer had the pleasure to chat with Thomas-James to learn more about how TMAE’s skin and haircare products can help people achieve their beauty goals.

Being a Canadian business, do you think that severe winters here need specialized skincare products? What are the core ingredients in TMAE’s products that make all the difference?

Oh, Canada! When I first moved to Canada and felt the temperature here with no humidity, I really didn’t know what to make of it. I kept telling myself that something is wrong with the way my skin and hair was adjusting to the weather and eventually it will change. About four or five months later, I realized that I was no longer in the tropics, and this climate is now my norm. My hair and skin were not impressed with the fall or winter seasons; however, the formula of all TMAE products focuses on moisture, nourishment, and rejuvenation. 

Having healthy skin and hair throughout the year — and especially during the colder months — is a focus of mine. There are months that will require us to be more diligent with caring for our hair and skin, but the end result of healthy, glowing skin and strong, healthy hair is possible. It is my goal to not only make this my reality, but also to make this a reality for everyone who uses Take Me Away Essentials products.

You state that TMAE’s products use a higher concentration of organic botanical oils than water. Can you share the major benefits of these oils to skin and hair?

Botanical oils have been used within hair and skin care products for centuries, and the benefits they provide are absolutely beautiful for the skin and hair.

A few of our favourite oils are castor oil, sunflower seed oil, and pumpkin seed oil. These oils penetrate the skin, targeting issues like skin rashes and dry patches, while exfoliating the skin. We as consumers often do not realize that the botanical oils in our products contribute to the overall health of our skin and its appearance.

What products are essential to your daily beauty regimen that you would advise others to use?

I chuckle when I am asked, “What products are essential to your daily beauty regimen?” This makes me laugh because I am a true consumer of my own products.

I love to start my day with a nice shower, followed by my skincare routine, which includes our facial serum. I also take full advantage of moisturizing my skin while it’s still damp, starting with our body oil and following it with our body butter on top. My personal favourites are the eucalyptus-mint and the citrus scents, and our bestsellers are coconut-lime and vanilla-almond. This is a beautiful combination for my skin and leaves my skin soft, smooth, moisture-locked and glowing throughout the day.

I also use our hair and scalp nourishing oil during my morning routine, which is about three times per week. I also use our hair butter and hair hydration mist about once or twice per week, depending on whether my hair needs the extra moisture boost or not.

I usually close my day with a shower, followed by a full facial routine that includes our facial serum and facial night cream. These products work with the body’s overnight process to repair and rejuvenate your skin from the day’s activity, while preparing your skin for the day ahead. I also use this time to do a full body-moisturizing session using our body oil and butter. This routine helps to keep my skin soft, smooth, moisturized, and looking and feeling healthy.

“Relax, Nourish, Rejuvenate” is TMAE’s motto. While good beauty routines can fulfill this motto, what other changes do you find necessary in people’s lives to truly feel relaxed, nourished, and rejuvenated?

It is true that a good and well-maintained beauty routine can help relax, nourish, and rejuvenate a person. However, it’s important to look at your life from a holistic perspective, treating yourself as one individual and not several different persons who need different things to live a relaxed, nourished and rejuvenated lifestyle.

For example, I find that routines are beneficial for the average person, even if they think they need them or not. Having a structured day and week, I find, means that we operate at our best.

I like starting my day with my full and personalized morning routine that I referenced earlier, which includes a moisturizing routine with TMAE body butter and body oil. This routine calms my nerves and encourages me to move on to journaling and devotion time, before I dive into the day’s work. 

Arslan Ahmed | Staff Writer

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