Made with You
Glad you made it back.
As of recently (and as you’ve probably been inundated with), we launched our Made with You range - the first crowd-developed line of skincare. The range was born from our personal and communal defeats in the skincare industry – one large slice of that defeat stemming from the incredibly large volumes of waste involved. In 2018, the beauty industry generated over 142 billion units of packaging – most of which (93%) ended up in landfill or ocean. Crazy.
Another slice stems from the deceptive labels and false claims of products that stem from an unregulated and misleading industry. Some people call it marketing, others greenwashing, but all in all, it’s unreliable and quite frustrating – particularly if you’re looking to support your skin with any issues you may be facing.
And we know you agree. We know this because we recently collected data from our community that showed that the number one priority when buying new skincare is if a product or brand that stands for “no nasties”. And what was the second most important? If a brand or product considers the sustainability or life cycle of a product.
So, we’ve begun our research journey. Phase One: Understanding our market - people just like us - and our needs for natural products that are effective, versatile and good for the planet, the trends in the industry – or whatever you want to call it. We’ve also being busy researching the latest skincare technology, trends and fads to demystify this often confusing landscape.
Conscious consumerism is a concept that drives our project. Unfortunately, any major shift in the way people consume doesn’t happen systematically – it starts with us, everyday people. Kat said it perfectly in her article, titled Conscious Consumerism: The New Luxury? – “The idea of voting with your dollar is hardly new”. Drawing from her research, comparisons from stats she found through her research only proved she found that consumers will want to pay more for sustainable goods and choose to support brands that have at least some level of transparency and incorporate sustainability into their offering practices available.
So, what’s the bottleneck? Well one major set-back is that there is a hard-coded perception of luxury that comes with more expensive items or brands regardless of their quality. Another is that the default throw-away nature of single use packaging is ‘ok’ because it all gets recycled, right? Wrong. Our society has been conditioned consume incredible amounts of single use plastics and think that not only is it normal, but it’s good for the planet because it gets recycled. In case you didn’t know: simply, it doesn’t.
Note to self: How do we make this more widely known and available to all, without diminishing our product quality or brand morals? And how do we develop a range that challenges all these preconceived perceptions and do something better?
While we’re on the marketing investigation train, there’s another piece of research on product labelling that and what they really mean. The idea being that consumers are being told that a product is completely sold a natural and/or organic product, whether it’s actually true or not.
The regulations in Australia around the use of the word ‘organic’ are flimsy at best; brands cleverly finding loopholes and branding to target and mislead consumers. And unless you’re checking the ingredients list (which 90% of you said you do*) and understand how to decode the list (which only 8% of you know how to*), then you’re probably a tad confused or just looking for familiar sounding ingredients (which 49% of you are doing just that!*)
*According to our community survey
We also chatted to Elle, a biochemist, product specialist and Noéma contributor, about the topic of deceptive labelling. Hear her thoughts below –
From a formulation perspective, our first step was to actually understand the skin and its environment. Tash wrote a piece called pH Levels and Your Beauty Products where she researched and identified the needs of the skin’s microbiome – essentially whether your skin is being stripped of its natural oils or nurtured and protected by based off the products you use, like products containing surfactants, for example, which create that ultra-squeaky-clean feeling after cleansing. For many, that’s a normal feeling. Conversely, that’s the feeling you need to be weary of – as you’ve just stripped disrupted your acid mantle, exposing the skin and eradicating its protective layer. This paves the way for pollutants and foreign bacteria to enter the skin – hello dry, acne-prone, and sensitive skin.
From there, we began our first research piece into exploring product categories. The first – hand and body hydration. Elle wrote about how these are usually formulated, as well as hero-ing our four favourites in the market right now: What do they do to stand apart? You guessed it – their ingredients and formula. None have those “nasties” or preservatives you’re probably immune to seeing, and each have a variety of oils that work synergistically for its intended purpose. Take a peek at Elle’s article 3 Ways to Soothe, Moisturise & Hydrate Your Hands & Body.
What’s coming up –
More groundwork. To be transparent – we need to ask a lot of what’s and many how’s, not to mention the why’s. How do we establish good product formulation? How do we adopt good design principles that are both sustainable and user-friendly? How do we ensure that our cleansing products don’t include ingredients such as surfactants, used by many before us?
Not to mention our first co-development workshop is happening this week! A few of our shortlisted co-design applicants have been invited to the Noéma space for a panel talk with experts in their field. Apply to be invited to our next workshop event!
Noema’s forthcoming products are as much for you as it is for us. Discover how you can collaborate with us below.
Stay tuned on our Journal – a direct channel of progress and findings of our process in formulated our range of Activated Essentials.
Co-Design Your Activated Essentials —
Here at Noéma, we’re busy researching the best ingredients - so that we can make the best activated essentials for you, with you. We’re taking a radically new direction in skincare; we use you as the key ingredient.
By collaborating with industry experts such as naturopaths, biochemists, product specialists and formulators, our aim is to create an Activated Essentials product range with the best ingredients, formula and design.
We’re taking applications from our diverse community to contribute to co-designing an essential micro-range of products right for them. Get involved in upcoming events and workshops covering wellness, self-care and design.