Nude Skincare, created by Bryan Meehan, is changing the natural skincare world by bringing to us eco-friendly and natural products that actually work! Nude Skincare seems to be the most advanced relative to the natural skincare we used to know. Here is an interview with Bryan who talks about the birth of Nude Skincare.
How was the concept for Nude Skincare born?
I used to run a business called Fresh and Wild in the UK, similar to Whole Foods in the US, which was eventually bought by them . I had customers coming in buying organic food going to the gym leading very healthy lifestyles, who were either unaware about what’s going on in conventional cosmetics. They were very aware about what’s going on with food but very unaware about what was going in cosmetics. This is one type of customer who end up buying La Prairie, or LaMer. Another type of customer who came in who did knew about the chemicals in skincare but would still choose not to use natural skincare products because the packaging wasn’t worthy, or simply think it wouldn’t work. A lot of women when they think about natural skincare they worry that it doesn’t work. That it might be clean might be pure but it is not going to help fight aging. And women worry about aging, it is a fundamental psychological worry. So I said to myself this is crazy, I can understand that the last 10 years with natural skincare the packaging hasn’t improve the formulation hasn’t improve the smells hasn’t improve and I can understand why women would reject natural skincare with that respect. Even if natural skincare is quite big it is still miles behind the conventional skincare in areas like marketing, formulations, and products that address what women are concern about like aging. I thought, gush I have done this with food and I know how to this. I think I can to this with skincare. And so, whether is the packaging, formulation, feel, smell, name, and the positioning of Nude are all designed to be more of a contemporary approach to natural skincare than what’s been around before.
How do you source the ingredients for your products?
I have literally spent 2-3 years learning from the conventional people about how the feel should be, how the smell should be. Also I have learned, what’s going on with anti-aging how they’re doing it and what natural things I can do to and how to keep up with these people in a natural way. Ingredients like: milk peptides, probiotics, plant silicones rather than chemical silicones. This is wonderful breakthrough in natural cosmetics from Nude, a natural skincare that addresses what women really want. A lot of natural skincare companies they stop at saying this is what’s not in the products and Nude has done that as well. We now ask, Ok what’s in it that is good for me, rather than what’s not in there that is bad for me. What are you going to do for me? This is the premise of Nude, this will do something to your skin, it just so happens Nude is completely free of synthetics other than a small percentage for preservatives system.
“So literally over a glass of wine and a sunny day Bono was harping on to me that I can’t just walk away from the organics industry, you got to do something else you got to do something new. How about skincare?”
What is involved in sourcing the high quality organic ingredients for your products?
We couldn’t get probiotics organically. There were number of ingredients that we didn’t use organic I will give you a great example, Hibiscus Manoi Oil, which is a Tahitian Coconut Oil. You can use a certified organic Coconut Oil which is made someplace in England. I wanted to use Tahitian Monoi which is just ten times nicer much higher quality, just beautiful product. I only use Monoi from Tahiti and you just can’t get that certified, you can get an AOC certification (Appellation d’Origine Controlee or “Controlled Designation of Origin”) which is a standard of quality or a regional quality certification but not organically certified. I still rather use Tahitian Monoi Oil than an organic Certified Coconut Oil. The quality of production of Tahitian Monoi oil is just superior. It is like getting an organic shortcake biscuit, it is full of butter full of sugar but it doesn’t necessarily mean it is good for you.
Nude products are biocompatible. What does this mean to our skin?
Biocompatible means ingredients that won’t irritate your skin. Things that are found even in natural products like alcohol and glycerin or a food based preservative system like sodium benzoate, we found irritating to your skin. Nude skincare number one promise is that whether it is synthetic or natural we would not use ingredients that will irritate your skin or make you break out. We will only use an ingredient that your body can identify with naturally. So sometimes if you use a synthetic ingredient your body can’t absorb it, it’s foreign. We will only use an ingredient that has been created in nature.
What does Pre and Probiotic mean?
The skin acid mantle on your face acts a barrier to protect your skin from pathogens and free radicals. This barrier is what’s keeps your skin healthy. Good bacteria forms a strong barrier on your skin. Good bacteria feeds on sugars and creates a strong skin acid mantle. And if you are in the sun, in an air conditioned office, or you flying on an airplane, or you are in the subway or you are exposing yourself to sodium laurate sulfate. Things we do on a daily basis break down your skin acid mantle or barrier of your skin. And actually sometimes even washing your face does more damage than good. And the premise of Nude Skincare is a healthy acid mantle skin barrier and what feeds a healthy skin barrier is pre and probiotics. Probiotics is the bacteria and the prebiotics is the sugar that feeds bacteria. So bacteria feeds on sugars and the by-product is water that keeps your skin moist and hydrated. And it makes an amazing sense to me.
What is Nude Skincare’s main premise?
The premise about nude is because of my background in organic food, we want a skincare range that would work with the body’s own natural biology. If I think about what starting point for Nude Skincare should be, if I think about the skin how it works how it has survived the past thousand of years by itself without any labs or any marketing PR people saying what you should do what you shouldn’t, what you should put on your skin or what you shouldn’t. But how the skin works by itself. So it is incredible. So when I start learning about these things and thinking about it, my chemist who worked with me, he suggested we should use pre and pro biotics. He said he had actually given the idea to a number of conventional cosmetics companies before they had just thought well if we start preaching people that the body is capable of looking after itself then there’s not much of an industry. So it’s very much Nude is a company the embraces pre and pro biotics., the idea of protecting your skin’s acid mantle and feeding your skin, working with your own skin’s biology.
Can you tell us about Nude’s unique packaging and shipping system?
We worked really hard to try be as environmentally friendly as we can, we would love the all range to be biodegradable but it’s going to take 5 years to that. So the starting point, we managed to on the bigger bottles use 50% post industrial recycled materials, post polypropylene. All the range is recyclable. Instead of an outer carton we have a sleeve which is a bio-degradable sleeve. It’s a thin sleeve you rip it off it will bio degrade on compost heap. That’s the starting point for us. Long term we would like to be able to use totally biodegrable everything (packaging) but the industry is so undeveloped we actually investing in it working with manufactures if we can develop a totally biodgrable materials, but it is very difficult.
It seems that it is almost impossible to develop totally pure and eco-friendly skincare products. Do you think Nude Skincare is getting close?
I am probably the guy who is most advanced in the area, but I am humble enough to say that we can do more. We had a crack at it we had some success but we still have a long way to go. I will give you an example, the polypropylene that we use which is completely recyclable it’s PP5 which means it’s a form of polypropylene form of plastic that some cities in the States won’t recycle it because they don’t have the capabilities yet, they may in 3 years time. So what we probably going to do is give our customers a pre-paid envelope saying if you send your packaging to this address we will recycle it for you rather then relying on New York City to do it.
Bono and his wife Ali Hewson are co-investors in Nude. How did this business relationship evolve?
I met Bono and Ali primarily through the store that I had in London through a mutual friend who is not Irish. So when I sold Fresh and Wild I was sitting down with Ali and Bono having lunch somewhere, Ali’s was telling me about her new Edun line which is an ethical clothing line. And I was talking about the skincare opportunity and everything. Ali has the rights to the brand name Nude. Ali and Bono have a juice bar business in Dublin called: Nude. And I was just saying gosh you know that will be a fantastic name for our skincare line and we thought about and we said let’s do it! So literally over a glass of wine and a sunny day Bono was harping on to me that I can’t just walk away from the organics industry, you got to do something else you got do something new. How about skincare? And he said you do that and I will do it with you and you can use the name Nude. Ali was very much the muse and the inspiration for Nude Skincare and worked with me on the products.
Nude Skincare was tested on supermodels like Christy Turlington and Helena Christensen instead of animals. How did their feedback effect your final decision on the products?
Christie Turlington helped sampling the products and giving her feedback and lots of her friends have been helpful along the way. Helena Christensen is in love with Nude products she said she loves them so much she is practically eating them. Helena is a big fan. Christie was definitely very helpful giving us her thumbs up along the way and thumbs down if we got it wrong. Christy loves Nude’s facial scrub by the way.
Nude Skincare is available at Harvey Nichols and Whole Foods in the UK. Where will it be available in the US?
We are launched in Harvy Nichols and one Whole Food store in London which was just opened. And we are available in Barneys from middle of September this yearin the following locations: Manhattan, Boston, Chicago, Beverly Hills, San Francisco and Dallas. We are the main green product in Barneys we have a big section and Barneys is really getting behind us which is great.
What was the best aspect of creating Nude?
I had this relationship with a type of customer that been going to Fresh and Wild and Whole Foods and it is just nice to continue this relationship with them with Nude Skincare. It is the same type of customer, we are a great team. And everybody been so positive about it, they are really responding to the massive efforts that we put in it and we getting recognized and appreciated.
What other passions do you have besides your business?
Family, Martha’s Vineyard and I am heavily involved in a charity called Concern which fights poverty mainly in Africa: www.concern.net
Are you going to be interviewed with the UK show Richard and Judy?
I so don’t want to be on TV. I kind of have a really nice life when people don’t know too much about me and it’s a great balance. I would love be a great success at Nude but to be here with my family than be success with Nude and be on every TV show and traveling never getting any moment.
It was a pleasure to interview Bryan to find out more about Nude skincare visit their website: www.nudeskincare.com