For Everyone that is going to read this, could you introduce TRUE SKINCARE?
TRUE Skincare is a waterless, certified organic, natural, vegan friendly and cruelty free skincare brand which prides itself on offering genuinely organic skincare at an affordable price without compromising on elegance, ethics or efficacy. Since registering the business in March 2018, the brand quickly launched with Holland & Barrett in May 2018 and has since been listed with some of the UK’s largest retailers, including Ocado, The Hut Group, FeelUnique and Boots Online.
What inspired the creation of TRUE SKINCARE?
My background has been centred around the premium beauty industry, leading the marketing for a number of high price point, high profile brands. It was this experience which gave me an insight into how much it actually cost to make these products, how much water was going into them and how little legislation there is when it comes to making natural and organic beauty claims. I always felt like there was some kind of consumer compromise; either brands feeling like they have the right to increase the price point just because the word “organic” was written on the box, often without backing, or because it looked pretty, or consumers having to compromise on the look, feel, ethics and efficacy just to get a lower price point. Being a beauty consumer, I wanted to create something where no compromise was made, regardless of your pay cheque.
From where do you draw your inspiration to create your products?
It is two-fold really. I really listen to what our consumers want and how we can create that in the most efficacious way whilst holding on to our values. And I also do an incredible amount of research into ingredients and sustainable solutions, both from a packaging, supply chain and formulation perspective. I think it is almost an addiction! A lot of our ingredients hold clinical trials and from this determination to find amazing, innovative ingredients, we are now able to create incredible textures, such as serums, gels and creams, whilst remaining completely waterless in formulation – something which is almost impossible to find in this industry.
Which products do you find are the most popular with your customers?
It is actually a really close call! Our Certified Organic Rehydrating Rosehip & Rosemary Facial Oil was our best seller from launch, followed by our Certified Organic Clarifying Safflower & Geranium Cleansing Oil, however our new Radiance Renewal 10% Stabilised Vitamin C Serum and Hydrating Blossom & Pine Toner have been hailed by press and consumers alike and have now taken the top spot!
Apart from pricing, what advantages are available to glass packages that are not so for plastic packages?
Glass is actually typically more expensive than plastic, so this does not always place in our favour, especially since our artwork is printed directly on to the bottles to avoid the production of labels causing excess waste. It is also more expensive to ship. However, by using glass, we avoid plastic pollution entering our ecosystems, it is recycled globally and uses much less water in the production process than aluminium, for example. In addition to be compatible with almost all cosmetic ingredients, it also allows us to explore refillable options, which, as we become more robust in terms of personnel, is something we are incredibly keen to introduce. However, glass does produce more emissions than plastic, so we do offset this through a tree planting initiative where we calculate the emissions produced throughout the supply chain – from sourcing ingredients, to delivering to trade partners – in order to plant enough trees to not only compensate, but overcompensate for the emissions produced, from source, to skin.
What part of the regulations regarding packaging do you consider most tasking?
As a COSMOS approved brand, all our packaging has to be checked by the Soil Association to ensure it is compliant with their rules, so the process of launching a new product takes a little longer than most. And as a rapidly expanding brand where we are looking to launch internationally, every territory comes with its own set of rules, so you have to plan reprints around your expansion. Brexit has caused complications as it is now a requirement to have an EU responsible person printed on the packaging. For a small brand, it costs a lot to make these changes.
How much does packaging help to curb the problem of adulteration?
All our products go through compatibility testing to ensure that the packaging does not cause any detrimental effects to the products they hold, and as we use glass, this is something which is passed with ease regardless of the temperature. All of our products are also stability tested at 54 degrees, room temperature and freeze/thaw in the packaging to ensure that both the formulation and packaging remain stable at variable temperatures. Some plastics can cause chemicals to leak into the formulation when at high temperatures, so we are able to avoid this through the use of glass.
Based on your early experience, what advice would you give to other beautypreneurs that want to start their own business?
Be very clear about your purpose; as a brand, business and individual and surround yourself with an incredible support network. Although we have grown very rapidly as a business, trading with some of the biggest UK retailers, we have always remained true to our values, and that does become harder as the business grows. Consumers want to know they are buying into a brand they can trust, so transparency has always been at the heart of the business and everything we do circles back around to our core values of providing waterless, organic and efficacious products to our customers at an affordable price. I study every single retailer’s executive summary to ensure that our core values are aligned with theirs before approaching them, in order to tailor our pitch but also to ensure we are not jeopardizing our values.
As the only employee of the business, still, it can become incredibly lonely and it is almost impossible to step back and take a look at what is been achieved before moving on to secure the next “win”. You need people who can help you get there, emotionally, physically, financially and mentally, through both the good and bad times, not those that want to ride on your success.