What is your background and how did you decide to enter the category of skin?
When we first met at the ages of 19 and 26, we shared a passion for natural wellness. It became a driving force in our lives, as a couple and as business partners. We had both suffered from digestive issues in our younger years, and after selling The Art of Shaving to P&G in 2009, Myriam experienced health issues caused by environmental toxins. This pushed us to immerse ourselves in expanding our studies of nutrition, wellness, meditation, sleep, and home detox. Through this process, we discovered that existing “clean” brands didn’t meet our needed standards of efficacy, safety, and transparency, and that these were the brands flooding the market. We knew we had the expertise to create a breakthrough innovation for consumers and had a clear vision for our next brand. We wanted to create not only a skincare brand but a wellness brand that redefines transparency and raises the bar on purity, safety, and efficacy on behalf of consumers. From this philosophy, Ingredients® was born. After leaving The Art of Shaving in late 2010, we filed a trademark for the name. We called it Ingredients® because we are obsessed about what we put on and in our bodies.
What is your mission behind Ingredients, and if you could change one thing in the world of health, what would it be?
Our mission at Ingredients® is to empower consumers to detoxify their lives and lead a natural lifestyle in pursuit of optimal wellness. Every day, the average person comes into contact with hundreds of harmful chemicals found in personal care products, household cleaners, foods and drinks. We want to change that with products made of only plant extracted ingredients. It is clear today’s consumers are asking brands for more transparency and products that deliver optimal results without sacrificing safe ingredients. Although the clean beauty industry has made vast improvements, we believe there is still a gap in the market to raise the standards of efficacy, safety, and transparency. If we could change one thing about the world of health, it would be that all brands and companies practice radical transparency. Radical transparency means having nothing to hide, putting consumers’ interests before our own, and believing that everyone has a right to know exactly what they are putting on and in their bodies.
You have some items that don't traditionally sit in the beauty section: teas, nasal spray, elderflower syrup, please share why these are important additions to your range?
Ingredients® is a wellness brand with a unique mix of SKUs. We currently play in four different categories, which are skincare, body care, wellness care, and teas. We believe the best way for consumers to reduce toxicity in their personal care products is to replace the ones they use every single day with non-toxic and chemical-free alternatives. To help consumers reduce toxicity in their daily lives, we created a wellness toolbox of daily essential wellness care products. This is why our brand offers everything from a face cleanser and deodorant, to a throat and nasal spray. With a name like Ingredients®, our vision is to expand into many other categories of products that promote optimal wellness – bar soap, eye drops, ear drops, oral care, and beyond. Your concept behind IW is super interesting, and the first of its kind that we've seen.
How do you do your sourcing and formulation?
Our brand’s expertise in Green Chemistry has allowed us to formulate our products entirely in-house with breakthrough innovations in non-toxic formulas. Ingredients® products contain 8 or less plant-based ingredients in high concentrations for maximum results. When creating a product, Myriam finds the best source for each curated ingredient from the best producers in the world. We always use 100% plant-based ingredients. Our ingredients are all extracted from plants, such as seeds, nuts, herbs, flowers, leaves, roots, bark, fruits, mushrooms, and natural sea sources or bee products. They are raw, refined, cold-pressed, and organic whenever possible. We chose this for our brand because humans have been using plants for self-care for thousands of years, so we know they are safe and effective. Plants are complex and offer a multitude of therapeutic healing benefits to the skin. A single plant can contain hundreds of phytonutrients. This means you get an array of nutrient benefits in a whole plant rather than the handful of isolated chemicals from synthetic ingredients. Instead of diluting our formulas with distilled water (aqua), we use active plant hydrosols in our water-based products. We also use lactobacillus which is a natural preservative and probiotic ingredient in place of synthetic preservatives, fillers, and additives found in most personal care products. The real key to our formulas is that they are made with 8 plant-based ingredients or less to maximize the concentration of each ingredient and to maximize our product’s efficacy and purity.
What brought you to the decision to list out percentages of ingredients? Do you think that this kind of radical transparency is the future?
Our goal is to refocus consumers on what matters most when they purchase a personal care product – the ingredients. We knew we wanted to put each ingredient with its exact percentage on the front of the bottle for that reason. This puts the emphasis back where it should be – first on the formula and what is inside, then on our packaging, which is ecofriendly, and our labeling, branding, and marketing. The list of harsh chemicals not found in our products is too long to list. There are thousands of ingredients commonly used in the industry that our brand considers to be toxic and ineffective. Instead of listing what we don’t use, we decided it would be simpler to place every ingredient – the exact percentage formulation in fact – directly on the front of our bottles for all to see and share. We believe we all have the right to know exactly what we put on, and in, our bodies so that we can judge each product’s use, benefit, or potential harm. This kind of radical transparency is an industry first, and we believe it is the future of our industry.
You are a married couple with children running a new company, can you share any secrets for working together successfully?
We first met in Miami at the ages of 20 and 26. Soon after moving to New York City, we founded The Art of Shaving’s first store which we funded by selling our car all within two years. We grew to become great partners with complementary and opposing strengths and talents. Over time, we understood we could trust each other to manage our respective lanes. Sharing this journey together has brought our relationship to another level that couples rarely experience. But, to be transparent, working, living and parenting with your spouse is not easy. However, it has worked for us. Our secret for working together successfully is our commitment to each other. No matter what challenges we face, we face them together knowing that we are in it for the long haul.
What are your favorite products from the line?
Eric: The Shea Butter Stick, Throat Spray, and Plant Water Mist. The Shea Butter Stick is a unique product in the marketplace and is multi-purpose. By delivering it in a stick form, we can use it on the go, hands-free. It is non-comedogenic and can be used after sun exposure or cold winter weather. It is also amazing as a hair pomade. The Throat Spray is the first dietary product we have created. It boosts the immune system, soothes the throat, and tastes great. The Plant Water Mist is my most favorite because I grew up in Morocco with Neroli and Rose hydrosols which are the two main ingredients in this product. It smells amazing and can be used throughout the day.
Myriam: The Face Cleanser, Face Serum and Oil Complex. This skin care regimen is designed to detox, repair, boost collagen and elastin, and bring your skin back to a state of health and balance. When you balance the skin’s microbiome, you address all skin “issues” leaving your skin healthy, hydrated, and plump.