Changemaker: Marie Veronique Nadeau
Marie-Veronique Nadeau is a chemist who founded Marie Veronique in 2002. An inventor at heart who suffered from teenage acne, she was moved to create her own products when she could find nothing on the market that was clean and effective to address her rosacea. From there, she went on to develop a line for acne, and was one of the first to formulate a non-nano zinc oxide sunscreen. She continues to lead the way towards safe yet effective skincare, determined to move an industry ensconced in hype into the realm of science. She holds degrees in Math and Science and an esthetics license from the Paris Beauty College, and is a former high school chemistry teacher. She collaborates with her daughter, Jay Nadeau, physicist and bio-medical engineer, to carefully choose each ingredient in her products to solve real skin issues and address the causes of aging at the source. Her vision at Marie Veronique is to deliver superior, non-toxic skincare drawing on nature’s genius and the brain of science through innovative formulations. Achieving optimal skin health and healing real skin issues drive us to produce safe products that truly work.
1) If your life had a mission statement – what would it be?
I have a horror of being a hypocrite, so my mission is not to formulate a mission statement.
2) If you weren’t am Author and Formulator what would you be?
Playwright and Inventor
3) What about your childhood mapped your current life path (i.e. hippy parents, raised on a farm, etc)
I grew up in the sixties, meaning I was (and continue to be) a hippy parent. The best thing about growing up then was the spirit of rebellion that engaged all of us in different ways. However, by the time we hit our sixties we realized we hadn’t actually changed the world by much, and indeed had energized and entrenched the forces of opposition that currently make the lives of many milllennials very difficult. They don’t get to enjoy that halcyon period of taking time out to discover themselves, which everyone should have, and I am sorry for that.
4) What’s the one thing you didn’t expect about being an entrepreneur?
I thought it would be easier to make decisions—but every decision is weighted by how it is going to affect not just you, but your employees, and even the planet. It’s kind of like being a parent—lots of responsibility and all you get back is whining and complaints.
5) Most important ritual of self care you do?
I read books. My nervous system seems to demand that my eyeballs follow lines of print at least two to three hours a day. I suffer greatly when I don’t have that.
6) What’s wrong with the world right now?
What people, driven by the profit motive, are doing to it. Karl Marx explains it really well.
7) What’s right with the world?
We had a woman as president elect for the first time ever. Iceland has a balanced male-female legislature—first country ever. We’re confronting sexism, one of the last walls of prejudice to crumble—which is making politics almost everywhere confrontational right now. Books, movies and non-primate animals are double plus good. My cat, Fat Eddy, is 95% great. Dogs are almost 100% great. (Don’t tell my cat I said that.)
8) Are you optimistic or pessimistic about our future?
Our future as a species—rather pessimistic on the whole. I don’t think we will be smart enough to solve all our problems in time, so unless some deus ex machina thing happens to save us we may not be able to prevail, which is somewhat of a bummer after coming so far. Unfortunately the attributes that made us so successful in the short term, the opposable thumb, the ability to reproduce at any time, and a certain cunning ruthlessness, may prove to be our downfall in the long term.
However, about the planet and some other interesting species replacing the homo sapiens grand experiment–which was pretty short lived compared to say, dinosaurs—optimistic. All the evidence points to survival on some level pretty much everywhere—even if it’s just bacteria. They will probably discover bacteria on Mars in the near future, after all. And microbes are very interesting—if we entertain the possibility that They are programming us for Their eventual takeover it puts all of what we do in a drastically different light. It may not be our fault that we’re short-sighted and dim—we may be just acting in accordance with a higher plan. If so, go microbes! And let me know if You need a PR person.
9) Last book(s) you read?
Okay, two books I’ve read recently that I’ve liked a lot: The Martian, by Andy Weir, and Annie Proulx’s latest book, Barkskins. The Martian was a celebration of what’s best about humans—their ingenuity. It is the eloquent counterargument to my pessimistic outlook regarding humanity’s chances of survival.
Barkskins is an historical saga of the northwest—beginning from when the first Europeans came over to cut down the trees and despoil the land, which eventually had a disastrous impact on First Nation populations, from which in fact they have never recovered. It’s a story only Annie Proulx can tell. Makes you mourn for all we’ve lost, vast forests and infinitely varied wildlife, and wonder if what we’ve gained, tall buildings, automobiles, and the internet, are adequate compensation. I am sure some people think so, but if we polled the other animals we might get a different verdict.
Barkskins provides the counter-counterargument to the Martian. One book demonstrates how human ingenuity can save us, the other how human ingenuity has created a living hell for many creatures on our planet. One is a flight of imagination, while the other describes reality—but I suppose it’s precisely that dynamic that keeps life interesting. The danger that we’ll all die of boredom is pretty slim.