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Green Beauty Conversations by Formula Botanica | Organic & Natural Skincare | Cosmetic Formulation | Indie Beauty Business

Updated 1 day ago

Rank #31 in Fashion & Beauty category

Arts
Fashion & Beauty
Health & Fitness
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Welcome to Green Beauty Conversations, the podcast that challenges you to think about how you buy, use, make and sell your natural beauty formulations. Our host Lorraine Dallmeier tackles topics that will make you think and encourage debate about green beauty with your friends, followers or customers. Formula Botanica is the accredited online organic cosmetic science school, hosting thousands of students in 150+ countries who have enrolled for their award-winning online formulation courses. The school has long been a hub for artisan skincare entrepreneurs, who form part of their large, engaged global online community.The global green beauty community looks to Formula Botanica for guidance on major events in the industry, such as new ingredient releases, innovative formulation techniques and indie business guidance. Formula Botanica is at the forefront of the global green beauty industry and is committed to bringing you the best and most up-to-date information from the green beauty world. Listen to the Green Beauty Conversations podcast and become part of the global green beauty movement.

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Welcome to Green Beauty Conversations, the podcast that challenges you to think about how you buy, use, make and sell your natural beauty formulations. Our host Lorraine Dallmeier tackles topics that will make you think and encourage debate about green beauty with your friends, followers or customers. Formula Botanica is the accredited online organic cosmetic science school, hosting thousands of students in 150+ countries who have enrolled for their award-winning online formulation courses. The school has long been a hub for artisan skincare entrepreneurs, who form part of their large, engaged global online community.The global green beauty community looks to Formula Botanica for guidance on major events in the industry, such as new ingredient releases, innovative formulation techniques and indie business guidance. Formula Botanica is at the forefront of the global green beauty industry and is committed to bringing you the best and most up-to-date information from the green beauty world. Listen to the Green Beauty Conversations podcast and become part of the global green beauty movement.

iTunes Ratings

184 Ratings
Average Ratings
168
10
3
1
2

Thoughtful and Balanced

By @BadGlinda - Nov 07 2019
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What I love most about this podcast is the diversity of viewpoints. The result is an exploration of topics that is always thoughtful and always balanced. We hear authorities with different perspectives and Lorraine and Gemma put them in conversation with one another always with a mind to the practical take away for listeners.

Aloha from Hawaii

By Napua'ala - Mar 06 2018
Read more
Love the podcast. I gain knowledge as well as inspiration to bring my line to a new level

iTunes Ratings

184 Ratings
Average Ratings
168
10
3
1
2

Thoughtful and Balanced

By @BadGlinda - Nov 07 2019
Read more
What I love most about this podcast is the diversity of viewpoints. The result is an exploration of topics that is always thoughtful and always balanced. We hear authorities with different perspectives and Lorraine and Gemma put them in conversation with one another always with a mind to the practical take away for listeners.

Aloha from Hawaii

By Napua'ala - Mar 06 2018
Read more
Love the podcast. I gain knowledge as well as inspiration to bring my line to a new level

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Cover image of Green Beauty Conversations by Formula Botanica | Organic & Natural Skincare | Cosmetic Formulation | Indie Beauty Business

Green Beauty Conversations by Formula Botanica | Organic & Natural Skincare | Cosmetic Formulation | Indie Beauty Business

Updated 1 day ago

Read more

Welcome to Green Beauty Conversations, the podcast that challenges you to think about how you buy, use, make and sell your natural beauty formulations. Our host Lorraine Dallmeier tackles topics that will make you think and encourage debate about green beauty with your friends, followers or customers. Formula Botanica is the accredited online organic cosmetic science school, hosting thousands of students in 150+ countries who have enrolled for their award-winning online formulation courses. The school has long been a hub for artisan skincare entrepreneurs, who form part of their large, engaged global online community.The global green beauty community looks to Formula Botanica for guidance on major events in the industry, such as new ingredient releases, innovative formulation techniques and indie business guidance. Formula Botanica is at the forefront of the global green beauty industry and is committed to bringing you the best and most up-to-date information from the green beauty world. Listen to the Green Beauty Conversations podcast and become part of the global green beauty movement.

Rank #1: EP3. How to comply with cosmetics regulations

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We recently hosted a chat in our online classroom to find out what people’s biggest fears were about starting their business. We had many varied and interesting responses but there was one issue that kept coming up - formulators are scared of non-compliance with cosmetics regulations.

In this podcast episode Gemma and Lorraine discuss what global cosmetic regulations are, what they mean to cosmetic formulators, how important they are and the steps that you can take to make sure you comply with cosmetics regulations in your region of the world.

Feb 20 2018

27mins

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Rank #2: EP6. Essential Oil Safety with Robert Tisserand

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Robert Tisserand has just joined our Facebook group’, Lorraine messaged me excitedly. ‘The Robert Tisserand?’ I replied. ‘YES, THE Robert Tisserand’.

This was an exciting moment for us at Formula Botanica. As organic cosmetic formulators, Robert Tisserand’s seminal work on essential oil safety had been a staple resource for Formula Botanica for years and his research into essential oils are highly regarded and respected within our wider community.

Last year Lorraine and I were able to arrange a meeting with Robert in London and we kept a steady dialogue flowing since then.  When he agreed to be a guest on the podcast we were thrilled and we were determined to make the most out of this opportunity and share it with as many of you as possible.

Robert Tisserand is an expert in aromatherapy and essential oil research.

  

In this podcast you will learn:
  1. Why essential oil safety is an issue and why he decided to write his book ‘Essential Oil Safety’ back in 1995.
  2. Some of the issues with the EU guidelines and what the current research on essential oils shows in terms of allergens in citrus oils and why his safety guidance differs.
  3. Some examples of why safety guidelines are necessary and why essential oil safety is still such an important topic and worthy of our attention.
  4. The benefits of using essential oils in cosmetic formulation.
Key takeaways:
  1. Get Robert’s opinion on the recent lavender and tea tree oil controversy where recent research suggested that both oils were hormone disruptors.
  2. Why you should research essential oils carefully when using them in skincare or haircare formulations and why some research can be considered scare-mongering.
  3. Why legislation continues to be a challenge, why it is likely that it will increase in the coming years and how this relates to safety.

To help people make informed decisions about essential oil usage, The Tisserand Institute has launched a six-part, certified Essential Oil Safety Masterclass with Robert Tisserand. Follow the link to register. Registration is only open until the 12th of April so make sure you act quickly to take advantage of this great course.

You can find out more about Robert and The Tisserand Institute by following the links below:

We hope you enjoyed hearing Robert talk about essential oil safety and what it means to him. As usual if you have any feedback or suggestions for us please don’t hesitate to get in contact.

Please share, subscribe and review on iTunes

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica: Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please share, subscribe and review on iTunes or Stitcher so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Apr 10 2018

24mins

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Rank #3: EP24. How Cannabinoids Work in Skincare

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What is CBD skincare? If we'd told you even a year or two ago that CBD skincare is related to cannabis, it's likely to have triggered an automatic association with scheduled drugs. However, today, certain bio-active compounds, or cannabinoids, found within both cannabis and its relative hemp are being used not only in medicine but also far more recently as legitimate, active ingredients in high-performance skincare.

In brief, cannabis itself is scheduled as an illegal drug in most western countries although as recently as October 2018, it was legalised in Canada for recreational use. It has hit the news in the UK in particular this autumn with the case of a boy with epilepsy who was denied legal use of cannabis oil to ease his symptoms. It seems timely then to look into the rising trend of cannabinoids in skincare formulations.

The main psychoactive part of cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is one of just under 500 known compounds in the plant, including at least 65 other cannabinoids. Another group of cannabinoids however do not contain the psychoactive elements; these are cannabidiol (CBD) and it is these compounds that have been subject to cosmetic science research for their anti-ageing and other beneficial properties.

The journey of how cannabinoids came to be regarded as botanical compounds of huge interest to the beauty industry is of course a complex one. To help unpack the virtues of hemp cannabinoids in CBD skincare, we invited Samir Juneja of CBD of London, the UK's first luxury CBD skincare brand to Green Beauty Conversations.

Launched early in 2018, CBD of London is pioneering CBD ingredients in luxury skincare and has had coverage in major UK magazines such as Tatler, GQ and Vogue. But, as Samir says, there's a lot of education on CBD skincare to do yet for high street retailers to engage. This is why we invited CBD of London to the podcast to spread the true information on CBD skincare.

In this episode, you'll hear about:
  • The science behind CBD and its differences from THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid compounds;
  • How the human body has its own cannabinoids, which act as receptors to topically-applied CBD;
  • The powerful benefits of CBD in anti-ageing, anti-pollution and anti-inflammatory cosmetic products;
  • How CBD is extracted from hemp and the pros of certain methods of extraction, like super-critical CO2; and
  • Why CBD, while a trending new ingredient, is still misunderstood.
Key take-outs from this episode include:
  • It can take time to build a brand using new, unknown ingredients, especially those with connotations or a legacy of use in other ways. However, pioneering does bring its rewards as you have near-on first-mover advantage;
  • Make time to educate your audiences and customers on the power of your ingredients, pointing out the positives and benefits; take every opportunity to speak to them using blog posts and social media to the maximum;
  • Make the science behind your ingredients accessible and understandable. Remember people can research online but also find misinformation, so be transparent and helpful.
  • Think carefully about your branding and brand positioning, as these are key to giving the right impression of your product offer. CBD overcame the cannabis connotations by creating a visually-appealing and high-end offer communicated consistently across its website, packaging and other collateral.
Find out more about CBD of London, its story and about CBD skincare science here:

CBD of London website. CBD of London on Instagram. CBD of London on Facebook.

Listen, Download and Subscribe to Green Beauty Conversations

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica: Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please share, subscribe and review on iTunes or Stitcher so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Dec 11 2018

21mins

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Rank #4: EP4. The Beauty and Science of Plum Oil

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When we met two of the sisters from Le Prunier Plum Beauty Oil at the In Cosmetics conference in 2017, we immediately fell in love with their plum beauty oil. Once we heard more about their story and the development of the plum beauty oil we knew that we wanted to interview them and find out more. At Formula Botanica we love oils. We also love meeting skincare entrepreneurs and finding out more about what they are making, their processes and how they find inspiration. 

In September 2016, siblings Jacqueline, Allison and Elaine Taylor co-founded Le Prunier, an innovative and organic beauty line based on the Power of Plum.  The sister's story begins in 1916, when their great grandfather, Earl Taylor, began farming the rich soils of Sutter County, 30 miles north of Sacramento. Their grandfather, George Taylor, continued the family tradition, followed by their father and uncle. The sisters spent much of their youth on the farm, helping with harvest, working farmers markets and attending trade shows to promote their product.  

In 2014, they made the decision to explore alternative uses of the plum by partnering with two world-renowned labs. Their goal was to uncover the hidden benefits of this powerful fruit, while maintaining sustainable, organic farming practices. Among one of the areas they explored was utilizing the overlooked byproducts of the plum. What they discovered—the most precious and powerful oil—is now Le Prunier. Today, the sisters carry on the farm’s legacy with a 4th generation perspective—tradition meets innovation.  

In this podcast you will:
  • Learn the story of how they developed a skincare range from waste on their farm.
  • Be introduced to the science behind their plum beauty oil and why it makes a great choice for all types of skin.
  • Find out how Le Prunier secured retail deals with Neiman Marcus and other routes to market.
  • Learn what it’s like to launch with one product and then work on diversifying your range.
  • Find out they work together as sisters and play to each other’s strengths. 

You can have a look at the benefits of plum beauty oil as well as the heritage and sustainability behind Le Prunier by visiting www.leprunier.com or by following them on social media: 

To claim your 10% discount on the LePrunier Plum Beauty Oil - which won best facial serum oil at the Indie Beauty Expo 2017 - enter the code FB2018 at checkout.

We hope that you enjoyed listening to this episode and please get in touch with us if you have any question or comments.  

Please share, subscribe and review on iTunes

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica: Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please share, subscribe and review on iTunes or Stitcher so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Mar 09 2018

13mins

Play

Rank #5: EP21. Melinda Coss on How to Price your Skincare Products

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Knowing how to price your skincare products is one of the most important factors in getting a viable beauty business off the ground. You're passionate about natural skincare formulation, but are you guilty of shirking the numbers? It's all too easy to get our heads in the pot enjoying making skincare but forget the nuts and bolts of running and growing a business, such as profit, retail and wholesale margins.

Spreadsheets not just formulae sheets should be your number one priority once you've decided to make a serious business out of your skincare products.

To help talk you through the numbers and how to factor enough wiggle room into your margins, we welcome a familiar face in the skincare business world, Melinda Coss. A several times entrepreneur and pioneer in the natural beauty industry, and experienced skincare business mentor, Melinda walks us through the most important things to think about in pricing skincare products. She takes us from working out the unit cost of products to the percentages retailers and distributors might expect and which you have to factor in.

We don't speak accounting jargon but we do recommend hitting replay so you can take down notes as Melinda packs in a lot of advice for new skincare entrepreneurs. This episode is a goldmine if you're currently doing back of the envelope or worse, finger in the wind accounting in working out how to price your skincare products.

So get your notebook open, and dust off your ability to do percentages. However, don't worry as you're in good company; Melinda has run and sold several successful businesses and says that with some help, savvy and willingness to learn, the number crunching can become second nature.

In this episode, you'll learn:
  • Why working out your reasons for wanting to run a skincare business are key to understanding what profits you wish to make, or, simply put, why your mindset makes your market;
  • How your branding and your brand's positioning in the market are critical to determining how to price your products at a level that meets consumer expectations;
  • Why natural and organic skincare is rarely cheap;
  • How a 'time and motion' analysis of every cost aspects of your activities in producing products will give you the insights on which to base pricing; and
  • Find out how and when it makes sense to run discounts and other incentives like 'buy one, get on free', or to offer free shipping.

Melinda doesn't talk in abstract terms. She runs through some ballpark percentages that you should be aiming for when working out how to price skincare products and gives examples of other key facts and figures you need to know to run a business.

Key takeouts about how to price your skincare products include:
  • Take time to work out what you wish or need to earn from your business in its first year. On that basis, you can make the financial and production forecasts required;
  • Work out in minute detail your unit costs, not forgetting to factor in your hourly rate and everything relating to packaging down to the sellotape!
  • Then, add on 70% and you'll arrive at your base trade costs. After that, add on 7% for contingencies so you ensure you have some leeway for costs you've not envisaged up front; and
  • Remember that your figures are your most important tool. Business is about making money whatever the passion that lies behind it.
More on Melinda Coss

Find out more about Melinda Coss's Ultimate Skincare Business Masterclass, a six-month programme which starts in January 2019. It covers not only the financial aspects of your skincare business, but also takes you through an intensive training programme to get your business dream from paper to reality. Use the Formula Botanica affiliate link entering the code Hello Success to claim £500 off the Skincare Group Masterclass if you book before the 6th of November, subject to availability of places.

Melinda Coss website. Melinda Coss Skincare Mastermind on Facebook. Melinda Coss on Twitter.

Listen, Download and Subscribe to Green Beauty Conversations

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica: Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please share, subscribe and review on iTunes or Stitcher so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Oct 29 2018

32mins

Play

Rank #6: EP34. Top 10 Beauty Trends 2019 at In-Cosmetics Global

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This Green Beauty Conversations episode sees the Formula Botanica team report on the top beauty trends 2019 as seen at In-Cosmetics Global held this year in Paris in early April. In-Cosmetics is one of the beauty industry's key calendar events, and is a vast gathering of all branches of the cosmetics' sector and is open to both trade and the public.

The Formula Botanica team comprising School Director Lorraine, Education Manager Timi and Business and Relationship Manager Gemma spread out among the vast exhibition halls to cover as many niche and sectoral beauty zones, workshops, supplier stands and talks as possible to give us a rounded and hot-off-the-press perspective on the top beauty trends for 2019.

Formula Botanica also garnered a prestigious slot at the event; Lorraine was invited to give a keynote presentation and chose to tackle the traditional polarisation of synthetics vs naturals in a keynote entitled 'Challenging the assumptions of naturals in cosmetics'.

Comparing notes and looking back to previous editions of In-Cosmetics, this podcast sees the team dive into some 10 top beauty trends; some evolving still; some contentious; some fascinating; and most all three at once!

The trends we focus on include: formulation and ingredient innovations; the industry's focus on the skin's microbiome; water-reduced and waterless beauty; sustainability; greenwashing; food's influence on cosmetics; and bewildering and less than transparent new terms that cropped up such as 'sub-zero waste'.

One theme that stood out throughout In-Cosmetics was how indie has gone mainstream; a fact acknowledged by In-Cosmetics 2019 as this was the first fair that included a dedicated Indie Beauty Trail.

We came across around 50 Formula Botanica graduates and students at In-Cosmetics and would encourage more of you to attend next year's fair in Barcelona. Our team offer advice on how to make the most of In-Cosmetics, which can be an overwhelming experience.

Listen in, be inspired and discover how to include the top beauty trends 2019 in your formulations and brands.

In this episode, you'll find out about how:
  • A new breed of emulsifiers is giving rise to innovative products with transformational textures and dual purposes. We discovered incredible 'jelly' textures that turn into powders and creams, as well as thick cleansers that turn to foaming products.
  • Food-inspired cosmetics are hitting the market big time and catching attention with names borrowed from food products. Examples include: Body Vinegar, and Face Chutney.
  • Cosmetic products aimed at helping protect and nurture the skin's microbiome are on the rise and forking into three branches of functional products using pre-, pro- and post-biotic ingredients. We're curious to discover more about the underlying science behind their claims.
  • More suppliers are gaining certification (Ecocert, Cosmos etc) for their ingredients. This should make life easier for formulators and brands seeking certification of their end products.
  • Simplicity is the new ace card for formulators. We saw a noticeable absence of suppliers and cosmetics' brands promoting the latest exotic ingredients and far more emphasis on 'less is more' and locally supplied is better; and
  • How greenwashing is still rife but masquerading in different guises. For example, products claiming sustainable credentials not because of their inherent ingredients or recyclable packaging, but because they donate to green or ethical projects.
Key take-outs on how to make the most of In-Cosmetics as an indie brand include:
  • To avoid overwhelm at the vast In-Cosmetics fair over three days, plan well in advance which zones to visit and book workshops and talks before you go. You can do this on the In-Cosmetics' website. Register for free to get updates.
  • Before you go, buddy up with fellow Formula Botanica graduates and students on our online classroom or Skincare Entrepreneur Mastermind Facebook groups. Together you can cover more bases and feel less intimidated especially if it's your first big beauty trade fair.
  • Don't be worried about representing a small, indie beauty brand. We found suppliers this year far more willing and helpful to the indie sector than in the past. Suppliers were eager to talk about smaller MOQs (minimum order quantities) and seemed to have geared up to the indie sector's needs.
  • Do try to attend some formulation workshops as you will learn a lot about how to work with new, innovative ingredients like emulsifiers.
  • Do visit the Sensory Bar and any other innovation zones even if a lot of the products showcased are not natural. You can gain invaluable insights into upcoming trends from mainstream cosmetic brands which can open your eyes to possibilities in your natural formulating.
Listen, Download and Subscribe to Green Beauty Conversations

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica: Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please share, subscribe and review on iTunes or Stitcher so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Apr 30 2019

59mins

Play

Rank #7: EP7. Top 10 Beauty Trends at In-Cosmetics Global 2018

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This year Lorraine and Gemma attended the In-Cosmetics Global 2018 exhibition in Amsterdam. In-Cosmetics is now in its 27th year and is billed as the leading event for personal care ingredients. The exhibition aims to bring together ingredients suppliers with product manufacturers with a focus on networking and building relationships.

With around 780 exhibitors and 9000 visitors, to say that In-Cosmetics was jam-packed, busy and a tad overwhelming at times would be an understatement. However, the weather in Amsterdam was glorious, Lorraine and Gemma got to hang out and speak to loads of people in the industry and most importantly we got to see our students and graduates and hear what they had to say about their experiences at In-Cosmetics.

The event is typically dominated by the mainstream cosmetics industry with little focus on the green and natural beauty movement, but we were pleasantly surprised at what we learnt during our two days at In-Cosmetics.

Lorraine came up with the idea of creating a trend report summarising what we saw at the In-Cosmetics exhibition and how these trends tie into what we are doing with the green beauty industry so obviously Gemma thought ‘let’s do a podcast about it’. In this podcast you will learn about the top ten trends that we saw at In-Cosmetics Global exhibition.

 

In this podcast you will learn:
  1. Lorraine & Gemma's top 10 beauty trends for 2018 (and beyond), based on what's happening in the mainstream cosmetics industry, as well as our discussions with Mintel.
  2. How indie beauty brands can use this information to storm ahead in the industry by making their formulations with natural ingredients while still hitting all the latest trends.
  3. Our thoughts on In-Cosmetics Global 2018 in Amsterdam and why you should attend, if you're interested in where the green beauty industry is headed.
  Our Top 10 Beauty Trends for 2018:
  1. The Unicorn trend is influencing ingredients suppliers to design ingredients that work for people wanting to formulate with glittery, sparkly and holographic style products.
  2. Gels are becoming a massive formulation trend. There were so many different sorts of gels at In-Cosmetics, such as gel emulsions and gel balms. Gels can be hard to make for natural formulators but they are in high demand and were a major trend.
  3. Skin yoghurts such as after-sun, cooling and moisturising yoghurts were a massive theme and we saw many examples of interesting and innovative formulations based on the concept of a yoghurt for the skin.
  4. The continued search for the elusive, natural, botanical extract: there were loads and loads of botanical extracts around with a key trend being on locally sourced botanical extracts. These were all touted as the new ‘wow’ ingredients and we provide plenty of examples in the podcast.
  5. Sustainability and how ingredients suppliers are keen to embrace the concept in their business but in reality, they could not back up their claims of sustainability in a real way. We feel that indie brands are really leading the way in this area.
  6. Athleisure is taking off as the cosmetics industry is copying what's happening in wellness trends. We see a great opportunity to develop some very innovative niches for indie brands using the Athleisure trend.
  7. Genderless products and ranges are on the rise and we saw numerous ranges formulating and designing ranges that are not driven by the rigid gender binaries but embrace the concept of gender fluidity.
  8. Anti-blue light pollution: the market is developing actives that can cater for anti-blue light pollution and there are some great suppliers who are designing ingredients for this trend which is getting bigger and is here to stay.
  9. DIY skincare: Consumers are driving the desire for beauty regimes that can be personalized and put together by the consumer to address unique individual skincare needs.
  10. Skin microbiome: This is a hot topic in the industry right now and Mintel had it listed as a key trend. There are brands that are formulating skincare that is sensitive to the skin microbiome.

The brands, speakers and blog posts we refer to throughout this podcast can be found here:

We hope you enjoyed our latest podcast on the top 10 beauty trends for 2018 (and beyond), based on our recent visit to In-Cosmetics Global 2018 in Amsterdam. If you have any feedback or suggestions for us please don’t hesitate to get in contact.

Please share, subscribe and review on iTunes

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica: Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please share, subscribe and review on iTunes or Stitcher so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Apr 25 2018

38mins

Play

Rank #8: EP35. Can organic skincare ever be high performance?

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It is hard to imagine today with organic-certified beauty products readily available a time when launching a high-performance organic skincare brand would have required the founder to make the market, educating customers to the benefits of organic beauty.

Now, barely a week passes without us hearing of a big brand in the personal care industry buying up clean, green, organic beauty brands as well as creating their own ranges on the naturals' spectrum. However, we might not know just how difficult it was for organic brands entering the market a couple of decades ago when their voices and valid claims would fall on deaf ears.

Our guest in this episode, serial wellness entrepreneur Karen Behnke, took a leap of faith back in 2004 to start a high-performance organic skincare brand under the name 'Juice Beauty'. Now a highly-acclaimed international beauty brand, Juice Beauty offers award-winning skincare and make-up products that meet rigorous USA organic regulations.

Karen's declared mission at the outset was to create high-performance organic skincare with scientifically-proven efficacy that was also backed by solid eco values. She found herself in the early noughties pitching Juice Beauty against an industry largely sceptical of natural and organic products' ability to match, let alone exceed the benefits of traditional personal care products whose formulas were composed largely of synthetic ingredients.

As an exemplar for emerging, organic beauty brands, Karen talks us through the secrets of success in building and growing a truly high-performance organic skincare brand. She explains that it is as important as ever, if not more so, to stay true to your declared, transparent mission and ensure you create truly high-performance organic skincare products that do deliver on promise.

In this episode on high-performance organic skincare, you'll find out about:
  • Why it's best not to rush your products to market. Dedicating budget, time and effort to creating something innovative can be key to your brand's point of difference in the market.
  • Why efficacy is the holy grail of high-performance organic skincare if you wish to grow your beauty business and gain loyal customers in the increasingly crowded naturals' sector.
  • Why budgeting for scientific tests to prove any efficacy claims your formulations offer can be the most important decision you make in starting an organic skincare brand.
  • Formulating high-performance skincare is also about creating the right emotional and sensual consumer experiences. How a cream, for example, glides on - the 'slip' - is just one criterion that customers will review your products' performance on.
  • Why transparency in how and where you source ingredients - from field to supplier  - gives you more control over your supply chain, valuable insights into the provenance of your organic products and messages that can empower your brand.
Key take-outs include:
  • Science-led innovation helps you stay ahead in the organic beauty sector.
  • Be aware that any organic, vegan, or other business claims will be investigated, so ensure you have a declared mission statement and principles guiding your business from the start.
  • Decide which certification and/or claims are more important to your mission - whether vegan, sustainability, ethical business and so on - and be prepared to go the extra mile to ensure your brand adheres rigorously to your mission.
  • Consumers are very demanding these days so understand the implications of any 'way of life' you or your brand project in your marketing messages.

You might like to see some of our other podcasts and articles on aspects of sourcing and formulating with high-performance organic skincare ingredients, including:

Sourcing sustainable organic skincare ingredients (podcast with Jem Skelding of Naissance) How to research cosmetic ingredients for organic skincare How to make a high-performance vitamin E serum The benefits of vitamin C in high-performance skincare

Find out more about Juice Beauty, its range of high-performance organic skincare products and make-up and its commitment to sustainable, organic practices:

Juice Beauty website. Juice Beauty on Facebook. Juice Beauty on Instagram. Juice Beauty on Twitter. Juice Beauty on Youtube. Juice Beauty on Pinterest.

Listen, Download and Subscribe to Green Beauty Conversations

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica: Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please share, subscribe and review on iTunes or Stitcher so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

May 14 2019

32mins

Play

Rank #9: EP40. Selling Beauty Products on Amazon

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The thought of selling beauty products on Amazon either gets indie beauty brands excited or in a tailspin. The behemoth of e-tailing may be our go-to place to shop for everything these days, yet for all our familiarity with it as consumers, many new beauty brand entrepreneurs find Amazon an impenetrable platform and beyond their grasp.

A few years ago, the mantra used to be 'if you're not on social media, you don't exist'. However, our guest in this episode of Green Beauty Conversations would be more likely to say 'if you're not on Amazon, you don't exist'. Marc Bonn, senior account manager at Expert Edge a London-based, digital consultancy focused on Amazon retailing, generously gives us a tip-packed hour of practical advice in this episode on the whys and wherefores of selling your beauty products on Amazon.

If there is one single, valuable piece of advice to come away with from our interview with Marc, it is that it's never too early in your beauty brand's life to get selling on Amazon. If you don't stake your claim on your retail space on Amazon, the chances are that in time, middlemen will be selling your products and will probably not present them in line with your brand values and positioning.

Marc admits that Amazon has its own particular e-tailing eco-system and that brands need to adopt a totally different approach to selling there compared to dealing with regular online, or off-line stores. However, he says that the benefits of potential reach and volumes can outweigh the costs involved in that initial learning curve.

Even as we start to see Amazon selling its own brand beauty products on its platform, the opportunities are there for new brands. In many respects, Amazon presents smaller brands with a level playing field vis a vis established names, so long as indie brands learn how to work the Amazon system. Plus, beauty brands need to be on Amazon even if just for PR purposes, rather than ramping up sales.

In this episode on selling your beauty products on Amazon, you'll hear about:
  • Why getting on Amazon early in your brand's retail life is ideal as you will learn the ropes and also protect your brand from erosion by middlemen reselling your products on Amazon.
  • Amazon's three selling options and learn which is best for you: seller accounts, which are ideal for new entrants and where you, the merchant, fulfill deliveries; seller status but where orders are fulfilled by Amazon (FBA); and vendor status, which Amazon itself fulfills and which includes the bonus of attracting Prime customers.
  • How Amazon's lowest price-match mechanism works and why it isn't something to fear as a small or indie brand.
  • The key aspects of your seller's page to focus on such as quality product imagery, optimised Amazon SEO and well-honed content.
Key take-outs from our chat with Marc Bonn include:
  • Details of how Amazon helps smaller, niche beauty brands on its platform with initiatives such as its 'Launchpad', and its Indie Beauty and Luxury Beauty zones.
  • Why you may need expert help in listing your brand and products on Amazon successfully as even what seem like simple issues such as choosing relevant retail categories or keywords can be make or break.
  • Why you need an advertising strategy and to promote branded adverts to ensure you make the most of the platform and counter the big, established names in beauty.
  • Why Amazon is useful to have a presence on even if you don't have sales as a main aim; remember, consumers  will often search on Amazon to read about your brand and check prices even if completing a purchase in high-street stores. Amazon may be a PR tool for you instead.
Find out more about Expert Edge consultancy and how it can help beauty brands sell on Amazon:

Expert Edge website. Expert Edge on LinkedIn. Expert Edge on Twitter.

Listen, Download and Subscribe to Green Beauty Conversations

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica: Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please share, subscribe and review on iTunes or Stitcher so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on: Facebook. Twitter; and on Instagram.

Jul 23 2019

1hr 2mins

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Rank #10: EP36. How to Pitch your Beauty Products to Buyers

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Did you know that one of the most effective ways to pitch your beauty products to a buyer is to formulate your cosmetics' range from the start with your ideal retailer in mind? Understanding what a retailer is looking for in your beauty brand and getting to know their retail space inside out is just some of the groundwork you need to do before approaching a buyer. After all, they get hundreds of email pitches every day and you need to grab their attention.

In this near hour-long episode of Green Beauty Conversations, our guest Gemma Harling of Lumi Consultancy provides a goldmine of information for the beauty entrepreneur serious about getting stocked in top retailers.

As a former senior buyer for one of the UK's largest beauty retailers, Gemma gives us insights into the role of the time-poor beauty buyer. She knows what gets buyers to sit up and take notice of a new beauty brand and has seen also just about every pitfall eager start-up founders make. As Gemma says, she has seen "the good, the bad and the ugly" of brand pitches, and is here to see your brand stands out and gains traction with your target retailers.

Getting a reply to an email, let alone a foot in the door to pitch your beauty products to a buyer in person is tougher than ever in a fast-moving beauty retail world where brands can come and go off shelves in less than six months. Buyers are on the look out for the 'next big thing' and while they don't wish to miss the chance of discovering a truly innovative, exciting indie brand, they also need to keep their large, established cosmetics' brands happy. Your pitch needs to be strategic if you're to get noticed!

Be prepared to take notes as Gemma walks us through her top 5 tips on how to pitch your beauty products effectively, from first email to buyer presentation.  Gemma has kindly prepared a workbook to download -  'Race to Retail' - which is a brilliant roadmap to follow in preparing to get retail ready.

In this episode on how to pitch your beauty products, you'll hear about:
  • Why it is important to be clear about who your  target customers are. Don't just think of an avatar but drill into any data you have to back up your brand's customer profile. Understand too the retailers' customers and see if yours match their customers' profile.
  • How to select your target retailers with intention. For example, a luxury-end department store with one branch might not be appropriate for your brand even if it seems a glittering prize. Think laterally and do your homework on which retailers are more suited to your brand.
  • Why you need a clear retailer USP: understand how your product range and brand give the retailer an edge, perhaps by filling a gap in their current offer.
  • Why you need to know your target retailers inside out. Walk the walk by going into their stores and seeing which brands and trends they promote.
  • How visiting some live beauty events or trade fairs can be a great way to meet your target retailers and buyers. They are also brilliant opportunities to understand retail trends. See our post on latest indie beauty trends in our round up of In-Cosmetics Global 2019.
Key take-outs on your brand's pitch include:
  • Find the right buyer to contact. Try using LinkedIn to research them and then follow them on social media. Many beauty buyers have their own accounts. You will pick up on what they are looking for in a brand and understand more about their approach to retailing.
  • Include a 'power statement' about your brand in your initial email. You could use impressive sales statistics, testimonials or press coverage.
  • Don't be woolly about your business projections in your pitch; present sales' forecasts for each retailer but don't pluck figures out of the air - do your homework!
  • Include your pitch presentation in the first email, but ensure it's clear, concise and visually impressive. Some buyers might be curious about your power statement and want to see immediately whether your brand is worth following up on.
  • Be persistent in following up any communications with prospective buyers, but don't pester them.

If you enjoy this podcast, see also our post 10 Tips to Attract Retail Beauty Buyers to your Skincare Brand.

Find out more about Gemma Harling and Lumi Consultancy's services to indie beauty brands here:

Lumi Consultancy website. Lumi on Instagram.

Listen, Download and Subscribe to Green Beauty Conversations

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica: Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please share, subscribe and review on iTunes or Stitcher so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on: Facebook. Twitter; and on Instagram.

May 28 2019

51mins

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Rank #11: EP27. Reviewing Indie Beauty Trends & Events

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There is no better time to take stock and review indie beauty trends and events than the start of a new year; nor is there a better time for a change. So, in this episode of Green Beauty Conversations podcast we see a role reversal with host Gemma in the hot seat as our interviewee, while school director Lorraine asks the questions.

This is one of our longer podcasts as Gemma does an extensive, insider round-up of the value of attending, as a visitor and as trade, both Indie Beauty Expo, which had its inaugural European debut with its London show late last October, and Stylist Live which took place at Olympia, London, in November. Gemma describes Stylist Live as "indie brand heaven" as it combined beauty with a range of lifestyle, homes' style and wellness sectors to offer a really great day out.

Just as exciting are the indie beauty trends that Gemma noticed emerging at these events which ranged from brands offering varying levels of product customisation to those promoting a more holistic, wellness view of outer beauty.

What struck Gemma as she took on her roving reporter role was the number of Formula Botanica students and graduates whom she met at these two major UK events, both as brands exhibiting and as visitors doing market research and simply having a great day out and a meet-up.

Above all, what we and everyone we know who attended both IBE and Stylist Live noticed was the overriding atmosphere of collaboration and genuine eagerness to move the global green beauty movement forward together. As Gemma says: "Both shows had a feeling of indie entrepreneur collaboration. Stall holders, though technically in many ways in competition, showed real kindness to each other."

To conclude this episode, our duo focuses on two of last year's major achievements for the school: the Formula Botanica 2018 conference - our largest and most successful to date - which took place in London in early November; and the Cosmetic Executive Women Award Ceremony which saw Lorraine receive the Digital Achiever Award sponsored by Google. Both events were remarkable for bringing pioneering people in the beauty industry together to network and forge opportunities.

In this episode, key indie beauty trends you'll hear about include:
  • The noticeable growth of crystal-infused beauty products either made with or containing crystals in various forms and offering a holistic concept of beauty;
  • Part-customisable skincare using pre-made bases which give consumers the option to choose their own active and other ingredients, such as fragrance, to tailor products;
  • The boom in natural make-up brands keen to demonstrate that all-natural cosmetics can be high performance too; and
  • Ingestible beauty and food supplements that work hand in hand with topical cosmetics to help provide a holistic approach to beauty and wellness.
Our key take-outs about attending indie beauty events include:
  • First, define your trade or consumer show objectives. Work out your goals in attending, whether market research, sales, networking or meeting prospective retail buyers. Do your homework on events and shows to see if they are a good fit for you.
  • Indie Beauty Expo (IBE), which is set to expand further into Europe, is primarily a trade show aimed at getting your brand before retail buyers, distributors and so on. There is a consumer 'Shop Indie' evening, but otherwise it's mainly a trade opportunity.
  • Stylist Live has a real buzz to it and is a three-day consumer show. It offers a great opportunity to get your brand before potential customers and gain all-important feedback.
  • You will need stamina to exhibit at either event!
  • If you exhibit, do ensure you have your marketing and brand collateral on point and in an easy format for customers to pick up and take away. You may be too busy to chat to everyone, so ensure your give-aways send out a clear message about your brand, products' differentials and so on.

Both IBE and Stylist Live are annual events in London, with IBE set to appear in other European cities, such as IBE Berlin (22-23 March, 2019).

You might be interested in listening to our podcast Why beauty tradeshows are good business with guest Paula Francis of SuperFoodLx.

Listen, Download and Subscribe to Green Beauty Conversations

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica: Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please share, subscribe and review on iTunes or Stitcher so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Jan 15 2019

48mins

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Rank #12: EP16. Beginner's Guide to Branding a Beauty Business

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As we watch indie beauty brands crushing it on Instagram with amazing eye candy images and gathering tribes into the tens of thousands, we may think that kind of brand visibility is an impossible dream for our own beauty businesses.

While it does, of course, take hard graft to get that kind of brand awareness, you can go far if you know from the start how to define, style and build your brand on strong foundations. Our guest in this episode of Green Beauty Conversations offers some invaluable advice and practical to-do's on branding a beauty business for success.

Joining us is professional photographer and branding guru Briena Sash, founder of Wellness Stock Shop, which is an extensive resource of stock photos tailored to the needs of the natural beauty and wellness industry.

Briena has joined us for a branding webinar in the past at Formula Botanica, but here, for the first time, she shares three key branding exercises to work through before you rush out to hire a graphic designer or talk logos!

Listen in and then download the workbook Briena has kindly shared with us and put your new insights to work. Even if your brand is up and running, there is plenty here to help you hone your beauty branding strategies for greater success.

In this episode, you'll hear:

  • How both visual and emotional elements combine to form the essential building blocks for branding a beauty business.
  • Why you need to invest up front, as early as you can, in defining and styling your brand.
  • But why you need also to dig deep and map your brand voice yourself before hiring a graphic or brand designer.
  • About how branding is never static, and why you need to revise, refresh and rethink your branding periodically.

Briena shares three practical exercises in the Branding Workbook accompanying this episode.  We recommend you take your time working through it.

Key take-aways from this podcast include:

  • Successful beauty brands are those that connect with their customers and audiences on an emotional level.
  • Visual branding - from the fonts you use to your Instagram images and packaging - derive from and support your brand voice. They are powerful, but they aren't the first things to start with in a branding exercise.
  • Branding a beauty business is more about developing a lifestyle people enjoy or aspire to!
  • Think of your brand as a personality: what kind of person is it, and what kind of people would be attracted to chatting with it?
  • Above all, think of your customers and potential customers. What are their needs and how do your products solve their issues, light their fire and inspire them?

Find the Wellness Stock Shop:

Wellness Stock Shop website Wellness Stock Shop on Instagram Wellness Stock Shop on Facebook Wellness Stock Shop on Pinterest

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica: Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please share, subscribe and review on iTunes or Stitcher so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Sep 04 2018

42mins

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Rank #13: EP15. Top 10 Tips for Branding Indie Beauty Businesses

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We kick off a series of podcasts on branding indie beauty businesses with a marathon interview packed with actionable advice. You've no doubt heard the one about your brand being more than your logo, but have you worked out what this means in reality?

Here, at Formula Botanica, we thought we knew all about branding, and how it applies to indie beauty businesses, but our chat with Rob Moore of The Design Co certainly opened our eyes. We'll give you a clue to just how much more there is to branding: it's only by Tip 8, that we start talking about logos and visual design.

The eye-catching visual elements that we tend to think of as branding are only the tip of the brand iceberg. A truly strong, successful brand is one that creates touch points with its audiences from the very start and pays attention to fine-tuning the little details that go into running a business day to day.

Rob is an energetic, inspirational designer who went through this self-same checklist when he set up his own branding agency just a couple of years ago and needed to define what he wanted for his business.

Since then, he has been key in branding several start-ups turned successful indie beauty businesses such as Pink's Boutique and Proverb Skin whose founders were guest speakers at the Formula Botanica 2017 Conference. As he admits, it's not an easy task to brand, or rebrand, but he hand-holds us through his top 10 tips giving us a clear action plan to follow.

If you're thinking of turning your passion for natural cosmetics into a business, or even if you're already running one, Rob's advice will revolutionise how you've thought about branding or growing your brand.

Rob is offering us his Essential Guide to a Strong Brand, which we suggest you download and use as a checklist once you've listened in.

In this episode on branding indie beauty businesses, you'll hear about:  
  • Why your brand name is a big deal and needs as much planning as your entire branding exercise;
  • What to look out for when buying domain names and applying for trademarks;
  • Why your brand's reputation is built from the very start, and from those little everyday interactions with your audiences;
  • Why your product is not your brand;
  • How your customer service and your employees are critical brand ambassadors; and
  • How your own story and journey to starting your business is key to captivating customers and making an emotional connection with them.
Key take-aways include:
  • Each product sale can take as many as 12 brand touch points with your customer. Bear this in mind when designing your website, your daily customer service touch points and post-sales follow-up.  Leave nothing to chance.
  • Don't talk up your products nor use hyperbole in how you portray your brand. In some ways, it's best to undersell and then over deliver in order to gain happy, loyal customers.
  • Remember that customers are key in branding indie beauty businesses.  They build your brand reputation, not you. They are highly influential in marketing your brand on social media and through word of mouth.
  • Think of the bigger picture: don't make every single action sales related. Get out there and do good in your local community or for example by donating a percentage of some sales to charities or causes that are in line with your brand mission.

You can find The Design Co here:

The Design Co website The Design Co on Facebook The Design Co on Twitter The Design Co on Instagram

Listen, Download and Subscribe to Green Beauty Conversations

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica: Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please share, subscribe and review on iTunes or Stitcher so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Sep 03 2018

58mins

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Rank #14: EP5. Growing a Natural African Heritage Beauty Brand

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I was sitting quietly at my desk, head-down, getting on with my work (as all good working-from-home employees should do) when I received a message from Formula Botanica's Director Lorraine: ‘Two of our graduates from Daughter of the Soil are on Dragons' Den right now! You need to watch it.’

I stopped what I was doing right away, tuned in and watched Hellen Lawuo-Meena and Maria Magembe from Daughter of the Soil pitch to the Dragons. (For our readers/listeners who aren't in the UK - Dragons' Den is the UK's version of Shark Tank where entrepreneurs pitch to a panel of 'dragons' to raise funding for their business). It was nail biting and the entire Formula Botanica team was rooting for them.

After watching their epic performance, I said to Lorraine: "we need to interview these two very inspiring women". We were so proud of them and what they had achieved so far and we really wanted to share their story with the rest of our community.

Daughter of the Soil is a UK-based African Heritage natural beauty brand with a simple philosophy – to give back to the earth and communities celebrating the natural treasures within our rich soils. Their pledge is to make a real difference to the lives and future of African rural women in Africa – providing them with an ability to earn a sustainable and protected income.

Hellen and Maria's brand goes full circle - it showcases some of Africa’s most unique and treasured ingredients so that women can look supremely beautiful on the outside – and it helps them to support the communities who give those treasures to us, so that they can harness their power and beauty from the inside too, and give something back.

In this podcast you will:
  • Hear how Maria and Hellen came up with the name and inspiration for their brand (SPOILER: it’s a great story. Like, really great).
  • Find out how they started working together.
  • Hear what REALLY happened on Dragon’s Den and how they supported each other through the entire process.
  • Learn the ethos and values behind the Daughter of the Soil brand.
  • Find out what it's like growing a natural African Heritage brand and why Hellen and Maria see such a huge gap in the market.

Visit Daughter of the Soil online:

We hope you enjoyed listening to the interview with Daughter of the Soil founders Hellen and Maria as much as we did. Maybe you now feel brave enough to dare Dragon’s Den or a similar programme in your country?

We hope that you enjoyed listening to this episode and please get in touch with us if you have any question or comments.

Please share, subscribe and review on iTunes

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica: Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please share, subscribe and review on iTunes or Stitcher so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Mar 28 2018

26mins

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Rank #15: EP14. Sustainable Beauty: Discussing the Top Challenges & Concerns

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In our very first Green Beauty Conversations podcast, we discussed what natural means in skincare and this week's topic about sustainable beauty is another of those hotly-debated issues that has no clear-cut definition. We'd go so far as to say there are even more interpretations of the term 'sustainable' as used in the natural beauty world than there are shades of green.

To help us unravel sustainable beauty and shed light on the top concerns, we spoke to Dr Barbara Olioso, a cosmetic chemist with a long-standing fascination for the traditions of herbalists and formulating with natural ingredients. With over 20 years in both  the beauty and food science industries, Barbara now runs her own business, The Green Chemist Consultancy.

In this episode, Barbara talks us through the perennial dilemmas about sustainability that face us in our everyday formulating, let alone when we start a beauty brand. From bio-based packaging to sourcing sustainable ingredients and from child labour issues to cruelty-free claims, we touch on just about every elephant lurking in the offices of green beauty businesses.

We admit that you might come away from listening to this episode with more questions raised than answered! We hope it helps you make your own conscious choices in deciding what sustainable beauty means to you, whether you are home formulating, buying green beauty or running a cosmetics' business.

In this episode, you'll hear about:

  • Why the label 'green' or 'natural' does not mean a cosmetic product or brand is a sustainable beauty entity;
  • Benchmarking your own formulations and green beauty business against 17 UN sustainable development goals;
  • How unsustainable practices can lurk in the most unlikely corners of the green cosmetics industry;
  • How the food industry is influencing and helping drive sustainability in beauty;
  • Why there is no 100% sustainable natural or synthetic ingredient; and
  • Why there is no 'one-size-fits-all' approach to implementing sustainable practices. 

Barbara gives us plenty of pointers on what to think through as we map our own path in sustainable beauty and articulate our mission and ethics.

Key take-aways from this podcast include:

  • Don't assume that a naturally-sourced, botanical ingredient is a more sustainable raw material; do thorough homework on its provenance, in particular on the supplier and grower.
  • Zero waste is desirable but the cosmetics' industry needs to use packaging that protects both product life and consumer health and safety.
  • New developments in how we formulate cosmetic products - for example, solid shampoos that reduce plastic consumption - are pioneering sustainable beauty; this is a trend to watch.

Barbara Olioso's consultancy offers a range of services to natural beauty businesses, including skincare formulation and certification advice as well as short webinars on areas such as Cosmos certification and natural alternatives to synthetics.

You can find Barbara online here:

The Green Chemist Consultancy Website. Dr Barbara Olioso on LinkedIn. Dr Barbara Olioso on Twitter.

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica: Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please share, subscribe and review on iTunes or Stitcher so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Aug 17 2018

24mins

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Rank #16: EP38. What is Skin Microbiome Skincare?

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We're all familiar with seeing the words probiotic on everyday foods like yoghurts, but in the past few years skincare products are sporting similar labels and the beauty industry is abuzz with talk of skin microbiome skincare. You may have seen pro-, pre- and even post-biotic skincare products and wondered what they are and what they do for our skin. We came across all three microbiome skincare products trending at the 2019 edition of industry fair In-Cosmetics Global.

A microbiome is defined as the entire colony of micro-organisms that live inside or outside the human body. Our skin biome is composed of micro-organisms ranging from bacteria, fungi and viruses to mites. This gathering of micro-organisms doesn't sound too appealing. After all, cosmetics aren't manufactured (usually) with the intention of containing live, active bacteria, which is why they are regulated and must pass stringent microbial challenge tests to be placed legally on the market.

In this podcast, we hear about how scientific research into the skin biome is revealing the important role a healthy, micro-organism colony plays in maintaining the overall wellness and balance of our skin. We hear also about how our overuse of traditional personal care products is partly to blame for disrupting the skin's balanced pH. Anti-bacterial cosmetic products contribute to stripping away our skin's microbiome - including the so-called friendly bacteria - which is a first line of defence for our largest organ, skin, and our body as a whole.

Our podcast guest Jasmina Aganovic is a chemical and biological engineer, alumni of MIT and co-founder of Mother Dirt, a skincare company whose tagline is 'rethinking clean'. Mother Dirt, a spin-off from AO Biome, a world-leading, clinical-stage microbiome company, was born out of research aimed at finding a scientific answer to the question: "Why are we cleaner than ever, have more products than ever, and yet a growing number of us have sensitivities, allergies, and other skin issues?".

Mother Dirt's hero product - AO+ Mist - contains a live culture of a specific bacteria that has been clinically proven to restore clarity and balance to skin within four weeks. Jasmina explains that even though their science showed that 'rethinking clean' was indeed the way to go, Mother Dirt faced almost insurmountable challenges in getting AO+ Mist to market. The beauty industry, from manufacturers to distribution networks and retailers, isn't geared up to handle cosmetic products with live cultures requiring refrigeration. It is used to dealing with long shelf-life products.

Listening to Jasmina, you'll learn to sort the facts from the fiction in skin microbiome skincare. You'll also hear about never giving up if you have a sound, revolutionising beauty concept to bring to the market - even if it flies in the face of received industry wisdom! 

In this episode on skin microbiome skincare, you'll hear about:
  • How Mother Dirt is challenging the traditional, perceived notions of healthy skin and personal care products and what that means for the beauty industry;
  • Why not all bacteria are bad and what damage the accepted norms of eradicating and sterilising bacteria can do to skin;
  • How dirt, literally soil, contains bacteria that can in fact help alleviate skincare issues such as inflammation and hyper dryness; and
  • Why skin microbiome skincare products need to be backed by sound science not hyperbole.
Key take-outs include:
  • If you are bringing a new cosmetic concept to market, be prepared to educate your market, including your partners such as potential retailers and distributors on the product, its needs and how to sell it to consumers.
  • A totally new-concept skincare product might be best served selling direct to consumer to start with.
  • Do your market research and, if you can, run your products through focus groups to hone your positioning and messaging. Being a first mover comes with a price but there are rewards.
  • If your product is niche but has no specific consumer niche, you will need to work hard to think through how to position it in the market and about its branding and brand story. On the other hand, there are advantages to be had from cutting across traditional marketing silos. Get to understand your early-adopter customers and gauge their responses to help guide you in your marketing and retail choices.
Find out more about Mother Dirt and the science behind its skin microbiome skincare:

Mother Dirt website. Mother Dirt on Facebook. Mother Dirt on Instagram. Mother Dirt on Youtube. Mother Dirt on Twitter.

Listen, Download and Subscribe to Green Beauty Conversations

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica: Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please share, subscribe and review on iTunes or Stitcher so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on: Facebook. Twitter; and on Instagram.

Jun 25 2019

44mins

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Rank #17: EP22. Defining Green Cosmetic Chemistry in Easy Steps

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Isn't green chemistry always at work in our artisan labs when we're formulating natural organic skincare? Our answer would be, yes it is, but probably not to the extent it could be, nor in line with how we would define green cosmetic chemistry.

Believe us when we say we're not trying to make your formulating lives harder! However, take a moment to think about how consumers are increasingly asking penetrating questions about the green credentials of skincare brands, both large and small. You'll realise that the artisan formulator with business aspirations needs to work to green chemistry principles to survive in today's ever more sophisticated green beauty market.

To truly adhere to green chemistry, you need to go way beyond what is in the pot and think about the whole life cycle of your products. This includes knowing how they are harvested in field and forest to how they are finally flushed down the drain at the end of their lives.

In this episode, Formula Botanica Director Lorraine Dallmeier, who is a biologist and environmental scientist, opens our eyes to the gamut of issues we need to be aware of and start to address in our efforts to formulate to green cosmetic chemistry principles. As Lorraine says, "No one ever said it would be easy being a green formulator". But by listening in to this podcast, you'll discover that what seems an overwhelming agenda of measures can be tackled in increments, as and when you can. Awareness is the first step on the green chemistry road.

In this episode, you'll find out about:
  • The definition of green cosmetic chemistry and how it breaks down into manageable areas to tackle in your own formulating careers;
  • Why prevention is better than cure and how you can do this by devising formulae that reduce your carbon footprint from the start;
  • How even natural botanical ingredients can be hazardous to plant and animal life;
  • Why including fewer ingredients and choosing local ingredients is one easy, first step to adhering to green cosmetic chemistry principles;
  • Why you need to think about the total life cycle of your products and think about how they wash off and out into the eco-system;
  • and why you need to help customers dispose easily and safely of wasted product and packaging.

During the podcast, host Gemma mentions some of our related blog posts and episodes which are ideal further reading, listening and references on green issues in natural organic skincare formulating. Take a look at the links below:

Key take-outs from this episode on green cosmetic chemistry include:
  • Work on building excellent relations with your suppliers so you can find out as much as you can about the provenance of your ingredients, including whether they are harvested, produced and delivered sustainably and ethically.
  • Design for degradation! By this we mean working out how your product will degrade and be disposed of.  Green cosmetic chemists don't focus only on how it will perform its skincare function but take a holistic look at its impact on the environment and human health and well being.
  • Remember, that even so-called natural and organic ingredients can cause eco toxicity and be harmful to the plant.
  • Learn more about how your chosen ingredients are produced and try to discover if any undesirable bi-products are either used in their processing and extraction or created as a result of their production. The fact that the ingredient doesn't contain harmful substances doesn't mean it hasn't caused them.
Listen, Download and Subscribe to Green Beauty Conversations

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica: Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please share, subscribe and review on iTunes or Stitcher so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Nov 13 2018

36mins

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Rank #18: EP37. Do you need to be a Cosmetic Chemist to Formulate Skincare?

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At Formula Botanica, we receive a good many queries from prospective students wanting to know if they need to be a qualified cosmetic chemist to formulate skincare products.  The cosmetic chemist vs skincare formulator conundrum has gone higher up the agenda in recent years as we've seen ever more non chemists as formulators and founders of indie beauty businesses.

At Formula Botanica, we teach diplomas and certificates in cosmetic product formulating. An increasing number of our graduates go on to formulate beautiful, high-performance products as well as run successful indie beauty businesses having been inspired and empowered by the courses they took with us.

This is possible because in nearly all parts of the world, irrespective of whether the formulator is a cosmetic chemist or skincare formulator, the cosmetic products themselves must meet strict compliance regulations to be sold legally.

What we teach at Formula Botanica are the key concepts of chemistry; a competent cosmetic product formulator would need to know to create products that are safe, stable and meet - and often exceed - consumer expectations. Some core components of cosmetic chemistry that we include in our Diplomas are pH measurement and monitoring, emulsification, methods of natural cosmetics' preservation, and the use of solubilisers and surfactants.

Some Differences between a cosmetic chemist vs skincare formulator

There are of course some fundamental differences between a cosmetic chemist and skincare formulator. A cosmetic chemist would be steeped in the science of how cosmetic ingredients work together and would know the likely outcome of any formula even without a practical lab trial. A cosmetic chemist would need formal, recognised, usually graduate-level qualifications in chemistry along with a specialist training (a post-graduate qualification) in cosmetic science. They may well end up working in the R&D lab of a large cosmetics' firm.

A cosmetic product formulator would not necessarily know the in-depth science of how ingredients work but could, through applied study and practical application of their formulating skills coupled with detailed observation, build up a considerable knowledge bank about their ingredients and formulation outcomes.

A cosmetic chemist working in a large lab might not be the one who dreams up the lovely new formulas as they might be more restricted in how much of the route from first creative idea to marketable product they get their hands on. However, they may be at the forefront of R&D bringing innovative cosmetic ingredients to market.

It is inevitable that there is some overlap in roles and also a lot of grey areas and misconceptions about what both careers involve. In this podcast, Formula Botanica School Director, Lorraine Dallmeier and podcast host and Relationship Manager Gemma discuss the two roles and career paths along with their respective pros and cons. This podcast is a must-listen for anyone wondering about the training and career options in formulating cosmetics' products especially if looking to focus on natural, organic formulation.

In this episode tackling the roles of a cosmetic chemist vs skincare formulator, you'll hear about:
  • Why your decision to choose one training route over the other may be more down to personal circumstances such as lifestyle, finances, commitments and time, and your desired career in the cosmetics' industry;
  • How a cosmetic chemist has the chance to work in world-leading beauty brand labs but conversely how a product formulator may enjoy more freedom and creativity in formulating products and in career options;
  • Why a cosmetic product placed for sale in most parts of the world, whether it is formulated by a chemist or product formulator, will have had to undergone the safety, stability and microbial testing to be placed legally on the market for sale;
  • Why it is imperative that any cosmetics' business founder is transparent about their own personal or their employees' cosmetic formulating qualifications and must be confident in explaining how and why their qualifications  - whichever route they choose - enable them to do their job professionally;
  • Why building a successful cosmetics' brand requires a swathe of skills that are not inherent in either product formulation nor chemistry backgrounds and would require extra skill sets;
  • Why the lack of formal, tertiary-level cosmetic chemistry courses worldwide and the costs entailed in continuing in higher education might make a shorter-term, distance-learning formulation course a more accessible option for some.
Key take-outs include the three main steps to becoming a competent, natural cosmetics' skincare formulator:
  • Step one: First, get to know your ingredients thoroughly and learn how to research their properties. This will give you a sound basis on which to build your formulating skills.
  • Step two: Practice formulating and never stop testing out new combinations and ratios of ingredients. Only through practice can you create more advanced formulas that consumers demand.
  • Step three: Learn how to test your formulations professionally (safety, stability and microbial tests are mandatory). Develop the patience to test and make understanding testing one of your most important learning goals as a cosmetics formulator.

If you enjoy this podcast, you may also like our podcast on How to Comply with Cosmetics' Regulations and our post Why I love natural, by a Cosmetic Chemist.

Listen, Download and Subscribe to Green Beauty Conversations

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica: Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please share, subscribe and review on iTunes or Stitcher so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on: Facebook. Twitter; and on Instagram.

Jun 11 2019

44mins

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Rank #19: EP17. Working with a Designer on Branding your Beauty Business

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One of the questions we are most often asked at Formula Botanica is whether it's worth hiring a designer to help with branding your beauty business. With start-up beauty brands pressed for cash flow and with the proliferation of free or low-cost design apps and programs, it's tempting to think we can do it all ourselves.

In this episode of Green Beauty Conversations, we answer most of those FAQs, and hope to clarify why and when you might wish to outsource to a designer. We go behind the scenes of a typical branding process to talk you through what you can expect from a graphic designer or branding agency, and how best to work with them in smooth collaboration.

Our guest is Nancy Poller founder of Aligned Design Co, which is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs with their branding from initial discovery phases to fully-fledged visual interpretation. Nancy has a long-held passion for the beauty sector, having, as she admits, spent hours trawling the aisles of Space NK and top department store cosmetic counters. She has developed a keen eye for what's trending and shares some good advice on how to stand out from the pack of competitors.

Nancy kindly shares her Workbook on Brand Discovery, which might prove food for thought before you hire a designer. It helps you dig deep into what your brand stands for and is a mini version of Aligned Design's Client Discovery process.

In this episode, you'll hear about:

  • The ingredients of brand identity;
  • The latest trends in beauty branding and why it might not be a good idea to follow them;
  • Why your competitors are a great resource in helping you define your brand;
  • How to decide on which brand designer to hire, whether freelancer or an agency; and
  • What to expect when collaborating with a designer in branding your beauty business.
Key take-aways from this episode on branding your beauty business include:
  • What part of the branding process you can do yourself, and what is best outsourced;
  • Why you need to budget for a professionally-designed logo, even if they look simple and easy to do yourself;
  • Why and how your branding contributes to defining your tribe and your business vibe; and
  • Understanding that your branding is meant first and foremost to resonate with your customers and retail partners.

For more gems from Nancy on how to go about branding your beauty business, find Aligned Design Co here:

Aligned Design Co website Aligned Design Co on Instagram Aligned Design Co on Facebook Aligned Design Co on Twitter Nancy Poller on Pinterest

Listen, Download and Subscribe to Green Beauty Conversations

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica: Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please share, subscribe and review on iTunes or Stitcher so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Sep 06 2018

24mins

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Rank #20: EP33. Sourcing Sustainable Organic Skincare Ingredients

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At Formula Botanica, one of the most frequent questions our community asks is where to buy certain organic skincare ingredients. Our students have access to our resources list of recommended, trusted suppliers around the world. However, knowing more about how suppliers work behind the scenes can help you ask the right questions when sourcing ingredients to suit your formulating needs.

Being a supplier of organic skincare ingredients isn't an easy business to be in. There are numerous challenges in getting specific ingredients to each and every customer when and where they want them.

Ensuring availability of natural organic skincare ingredients isn't the only issue our suppliers have to contend with. As natural formulators, we ask them also about the sustainability of their organic skincare ingredients, as well as whether they were grown, harvested and supplied in line with ethical business practices.

To help explain the supplier's viewpoint, we spoke to Jem Skelding, Founder and CEO of Naissance, a global supplier of natural organic skincare ingredients. As Jem explains, challenges in sourcing and supplying ingredients range from factoring in the 'usual' problems of accessing remote rural regions, and dealing with poor harvests and erratic weather affecting availability to acute situations such as war, famine and flood.

For Naissance, a company whose business ethos is founded on ethical practices and which works in partnership with, rather than just buys from rural communities and collectives around the world farming natural ingredients, these challenges are 'all in a day's work'.

In this podcast episode, host Gemma discovers the surprising lengths Naissance goes to in order to serve not only its end customers - the formulators - but also everyone in its supply chain from its own team to myriad small farming communities across the globe.

Our aim in interviewing Jem is to sensitise us to just what goes on behind the scenes in supplying ethically- and sustainably-sourced organic skincare ingredients, and for us, as formulators to know what to ask of our suppliers as well. Jem also shares his insights into running and growing an ethical business, having founded Naissance some 20 years ago and building it from kitchen table to global brand.

In this episode, on sourcing organic skincare ingredients and ethical business, you'll hear about:
  • Why starting out in business from day one with a rock-solid commitment to ethical practices and dedication to providing high quality helps guide and and manage all your business relationships transparently;
  • How going the extra mile spending time with your customers, listening to their needs and giving advice is not a waste of time at any stage in business, but rather a valuable investment in your future;
  • Why it is worth working towards organic, or other ethical, sustainable or quality certification awards for your products and/or business. However, Jem also explains that your certification goals should not burden your own suppliers and partners; try to work with them and help them to help you so it's a win-win for all;
  • How selling internationally is more than just about translating a website. You should seek to understand the countries and cultures you are trading in and put in some 'face time' visiting your trading partners to really grasp your international customers' needs.
Key takeouts from this episode include:
  • Ethical business is built on honest, open communications and being sensitive to your partners' needs and goals, whether they are those of your staff or of the numerous other entities that you rely on to do business.
  • Don't underestimate the tax and legal side of growing a business, especially once you trade internationally. But do pay your dues in each country you operate to ensure you support people on the ground there.
  • Help everyone in your business chain profit, improve and share in your success as your business grows.
  • Be sensitive to the daily life and realities of the communities from which you source your organic skincare ingredients. A Shea butter collective, for example, might be eight hours from an airport or port and have to deal with all sorts of issues in delivering your product or raw material.
Naissance-Formula Botanica Starter Kit

Naissance has teamed up with us to create the Formula Botanica starter kit for students completing their award-winning online Diploma in Organic Skincare Formulation. The diploma teaches you how to develop your own unique formulations so that you can start the skincare business of your dreams. It contains a good range of essential ingredients including carrier and essential oils, floral waters and functional ingredients like emulsifiers, exfoliants, gums, pH adjusters and surfactants.

Find out more about Naissance, its range of organic skincare ingredients and its commitment to ethical business:

Naissance website. Naissance on Facebook. Naissance on Instagram. Naissance on Twitter. Naissance on Youtube.

Listen, Download and Subscribe to Green Beauty Conversations

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica: Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please share, subscribe and review on iTunes or Stitcher so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Apr 16 2019

31mins

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