Aly Rahimtoola, founder of clean beauty brand Herbal Essentials tells us all about his uncomplicated skin products that actually work for all ages and skin types. (Think Himalayan Spring Water!), and why green is the new black.
Green is the new Black but with all those options out there, how to know which brand you can trust? What should you look out for?
Trusting a brand is a difficult process, especially when your favourite ‘skindependent’ brands seem to get swallowed up by big corporates every week, often this means their values and ethos go along with it. We try to keep things simple, making sure our natural origin content is always at 90% or above and that we give back to where we take from. The Citizens Foundation is a great example of this, we sponsor the Chamankotli Campus in Northern Pakistan, close to where we collect our key ingredient. TCF is a not-for-profit organisation that works to bring about positive social change through the power of education and gender-equality. The green movement isn’t just about ingredients and packaging, it’s about making conscious and sustainable decisions in everything you do.
What makes Herbal Essentials stand out among a sea of brands?
Uncomplicated skin products that actually work for all ages and skin types. As an example, our key ingredient is Himalayan Spring Water. It’s a pure and powerful source of nature that has unique and unprecedented concentrations of macro-minerals, clinically proven to support your skin cell renewal process. These minerals are known to support your skin barrier, boost your natural antioxidant production and fundamentally moisturise at a cellular level. With this as a basis of all our formulations, we use ancient botanical actives to specifically target skin concerns that everybody deals with. So, we can bring people incredible formulations at accessible prices.
What are the biggest challenges when it comes to building a truly natural collection?
Understanding the balance between nature and science but knowing that nature always needs to win. Which is why our natural origin content is marked on the front of all our formulations and will never go below 90%. Our newest product launches are benchmarked at 99% and we’ve developed our first PCR (post-consumer recycled) packaging, which we are incredibly proud of.
How can we be more conscious consumers to affect change in the beauty industry?
I think the wave of conscious consumers is powerful and here to stay, I believe that everyone is starting to research & support smaller brands that reflect their values as a person. Being a conscious consumer is as simple as supporting independent brands and retailers that are making the big changes and green movements that corporations feel they do not need to make. This is truly the best way to be more conscious in everyday life.
How do you communicate green skincare’s efficacy to today’s consumers? Do you feel the emphasis on science and innovative methods are as crucial as the ingredients? How do you strike a balance?
Striking a balance between nature & science is at the core of Herbal Essentials. We firmly believe that nature provides us with everything we need for healthy happy skin, whereas science allows us to use nature innovatively, efficiently, and sustainably. We’re giving the power to our customers, proving efficacy of our formulations with blind testing through consumer trials whilst maintaining a simplicity in our formulations. We find this to be the most honest & reliable way to prove our skincare is effective and we use this information to make our claims. The results of this have been incredible and we’re shouting about that instead of traditional methods like celebrity endorsements. As the team say in the office, “there is beauty in simplicity!”
For those wondering, how can natural skincare be effective without preservatives, parabens, synthetic fragrances etc.?
There are a lot of misconceptions around ingredients and the truth is, we’re constantly developing and innovating how our products are formulated so they’re naturally effective. Science has really helped us develop stable & safe preservatives without Parabens, that means our customer can access our French-made skincare all over the world at an accessible price point.
Any natural beauty myths you could debunk for readers?
- Just because its synthetic doesn’t mean it’s bad for your skin, in-fact because science and regulations have developed so much, there is rigorous testing to ensure these synthetic ingredients are safe and actually stabilise our natural ingredients and make them more effective.
- It costs a lot, so it must be good – This is one of the biggest misconceptions in the beauty industry. Skincare formulations vary marginally in cost, what you’re paying for is actually celebrity endorsements, beautiful packaging & a big marketing budget. We work directly with our suppliers to cut down the cost and bring direct savings to our customers, because everyone deserves skin confidence.
We cannot speak for all brands, but to us it’s all about being transparent with what we are doing, and what we are planning to do to improve. We are all on a journey to a greener life and we can all improve & get better. But we (brands) need to be the initiators of this change, making the customers greener decision easier. We’re always evaluating our packaging, formulations, and supply chain to make sure we are constantly adapting, and we support all brands who are doing the same.
Given Covid-19, masks are here to stay for the foreseeable future. Could you share tips on minimizing maskne?
Our goal is to help everyone get skin confidence so understandably, Maskne has been one of our biggest concerns during the last year. We’re getting some incredible feedback from our customers about our Purifying Collection, made up of gel formulations and using ancient botanical actives like Neem, Peppermint & Aloe Vera to balance sebum production, controlling excess oils & targeting pores.
We’re also working with a NHS Doctor & Skin Expert Dr.Kemi to provide support for our customers that are dealing with this tricky issue. Here are some of her top tips in dealing with this:
1. You need an excellent skincare routine complete with ingredients that will boost and strengthen your barrier.
2. Change your mask regularly to avoid bacteria accumulating on the mask and consider using materials such as silk which are kinder to the skin.
3. Build up your skin’s barrier as much as possible to withstand the constant friction of the fabric against your skin and you can do this by avoiding harsh scrubs and exfoliants.
Shop Herbal Essentials products at https://herbal-essentials.com/