Inside Phaedra Botanicals, there is much motion at the moment. The development of the new product goes hand in hand with the creation of small, low-cost samples to make the testing of Ex Prūnīs accessible to everyone. The young company's first product has circulated four continents within less than six months. Most recently, the Aussie Hannah Brown presented our founder Lucie's journey from science to business in her post From the deep blue sea to e-residency.
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What makes Ex Prūnīs consumer-friendly is the rich sweet aroma of the Ente plum oil gained by a meticulous selection of fully ripe Ente plums with high antioxidant levels, grown in the protected orchards in France.
As Lucie continues her attempts to disrupt the way, we perceive our skincare, and what we know about it, we asked her about the most surprising moments in the short history of her company.
She, somehow, can't pinpoint how exactly it all happened. All she remembers is that somewhere between it all, she found herself having some time at hand and diving into research that required looking behind the scenes of the certified organic.
What surprised her the most in the skincare industry was the lack of traceability of the ingredients used. Those who purchase skincare have no way of knowing where each component came from and the way it was processed.
Organic meant there were no synthetic compounds applied during the farming, but whether the ingredient was raw or refined remained unknown. Moreover, there was no way of knowing if the products carried other impurities that might represent even more significant harm, such as heavy metals.
Lucie describes the beginnings were quite scary. "I met with lab representatives that sold highly diluted organic products where the active ingredient was below 5%. Glass merchants who were unable to provide any documentation on the origin and purity of their glass. It was shocking, but eventually, I found great partners who shared our ethos and were responsible, and I knew together, we could make a difference."
After long research, she settled on their first product, the Ex Prūnīs made from certified organic Ente plums; tested for Mercury, Arsenic, Cadmium, Tin, Nickel, Lead, Antimony, Barium and other harmful contaminants. That she selected the best partners has been recently confirmed by the award Slow Cosmetíque appointed to them, including consideration of formulation, ecology, ethics, marketing discourse, and sustainability.
"I fell in love with the ingredient. I applied this wonderful lightweight oil for the very first time and have not stopped ever since."
"Traceability and knowledge of the products we apply on our skin and all the ingredients within should be a must," says Lucie.
The knowledge should come before the purchase, and with small brands and their new approach, it is slowly becoming a reality. Knowing the origin of the ingredients in your products, the way they were processed, what tests were performed on them, and whether it is raw or refined are only the basics. Then comes in the question of the packaging. Lucie says it is critical.
"If you keep your ingredient standards and purity high and then shop cheap glass from Asia without any certification, you practically mess up all the purity you try to guarantee."
"Strict regulations in Europe, including REACH-Regulation, and other directives, make us source all our glass from within the EU, which, of course, costs us much more, but is worth it. We then can be sure that the contents of our products remain as pure as when we tested them," she concludes.
Author: Maël D.