The Science of Beauty Collective, a movement of international female founders

- Categories : Our Expertise

By Hélène Azancot, Founder of Yodi

Since March 8th, the Science of Beauty Collective, initiated by American women founders in science and research, includes now more than 15 founders in the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia. We aim to move Beauty transparency forward. With Yodi, I am pleased to raise my voice and participate in this Collective to highlight the quality of French Beauty.

Moving Beauty and its practices forward

The Science of Beauty Collective gathers today several Founders of Beauty brands from all nationalities who all share the same desire: to move Beauty and its Practices forward, based on Science.

With the beauty and wellness industry saturated with seemingly interchangeable terms like “clean”, “natural”, “green”, and “non-toxic” it can be difficult for consumers to understand what these slogans actually mean. We are aware of this difficulty and our mission is to bring more transparency to the industry and create better products.

Through this collective, we : 

-Provide resources, information, interviews or participate in panels / podcasts to help consumers and the media better understand how a scientific approach to product development and marketing claim support can improve products and clarify terms used in marketing.   

-We plan to have mentorship hours for founders in the near future. 

-We help each other and empower female founders and minority founders. For those not of a science background, we help build their scientific advisory board and ask the right questions of their suppliers.

If you are a Beauty founder and you are passionate about these topics, visit scienceofbeauty.org or email us hello@scienceofbeauty.org to join our discussions and be invited to our Slack chats.  

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The founders 

Women of science or Beauty Experts, the founders and participants of this Collective have all created Beauty brands based on a scientific and innovative approach. 

Skin health and its microbiome, diversity of consumers, search for more minimalist or preservative-free products, social involvement, transparency and education are some of the values at the heart of the brands we have created.   

We know how to design and conduct experiments and studies to generate the necessary data to validate product claims in relation to ingredients, sustainability, and performance. We are also consumers and, like those we market our products to, know how competitive the beauty industry is, and how confusing its messages can be to consumers.

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Helene Azancot is the founder and CEO of YODI, a French beauty brand that works to reconcile naturalness, efficiency and safety.  With the belief that “what you put on your skin is as important as what you eat,” she launched her company in September 2020. Her mission: to bring more conscience and transparency to our beauty routines with minimalist formulas, and dermatologist-tested and patented products.

Elsa Jungman, Ph.D. Dr Elsa Jungman, San Francisco, a skin scientist and entrepreneur. She has a doctorate in skin delivery and began her career working in R&D for L’Oreal in Paris.

Barbara A Paldus, Ph.D., Codex Beauty, Atherton (Bay Area) a scientist, entrepreneur and investor. Prior to Codex Beauty, she spent two decades leading innovation in spectroscopy, telecommunications, and biotechnology.

Carol A. Christopher, Ph.D., Ellis Day Skin Science, Bay Area, is a chemical engineer, and has spent more than 25 years in the pharmaceutical industry developing new therapeutics.

Angela Chau Gray, L.Ac, YINA.CO, San Francisco, is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist. She studied plant biology at UC Berkeley before obtaining her Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine. She co-founded Yina with Ervina Wu, PhD, TCM Dermatology.

Lorrie King and Celeste Lee. CaireBeauty, NYC, are tackling the underserved needs in the period of menopause (with hormonal decline).

Rahama Wright. Yeelen Beauty, Washington DC, is a social entrepreneur who works at the intersection of policy and economic development. After serving in the Peace Corps, she launched Shea Yeleen.

Kailey R. Bradt. Susteauofficial, New-York, is a chemical engineer by trade and entrepreneur at heart. She developed the first water-activated powder-format shampoo at the age of 23.

Alessandra Zonari, PhD. OneSkin, San Francisco, is a Ph.D.and postdoctoral Researcher in stem cell biology, and is an alumnus of IndieBio, the world’s leading biotechnology accelerator. She relocated to Silicon Valley from Latin America (Brazil) in 2016 to co-found her company with Carolina Reis de Oliveira.

Britta Cox, Aquis Hair Care and K18, San Francisco, a Patented biomimetic hair care endorsed by hairstylists.

And also

Corie Miller Young King Hair Care. Atlanta

Victoria Fu Chemist Confessions, Los Angeles

Marie Drago, Doctor Pharmacy, Gallinee, London

First Clubhouse conversation

Hosted by FABFashion and BeautyTech community, the first ClubHouse discussion of the Science of Beauty Collective make these founders with very different backgrounds able to exchange and share their experiences and advice on topics such as product development, business, partnerships, product testing ... 

Talking with Carol and Barbara (just before the pandemic), we had this idea to build awareness of how science is used in beauty, and to help other founders. The Science of Beauty Collective was born, in San Francisco! We took the time to gather multicultural leaders — all equally science-minded — and that has reinforced the need to help people to find the right information and scientific approaches to beauty. We are a movement.” says Elsa Jungman, Ph.D.

Product development

Elsa Jungman: “When developing a product really try to understand what is the impact you want on the skin or hair and find how to prove that. For us for example we wanted very gentle and non-irritating products that do not impact the microbiome so we found the right third party labs to execute those tests

Helene Azancot: "Take the time of writing your chart of formulation with what you want ( labels, certifications…,) and what you don’t want in terms of ingredients, sourcing. Define your target ( skin type , efficacy, sensitivity)> And don’t hesitate to spend time with your lab to be sure you will be aligned in the process of formulation and you understand well timelines, finances and processes.”

Choosing suppliers

Elsa Jungman: “You need to know to ask the right questions to your suppliers, and know the difference between regulations: FDA and European ones don’t have the same list of forbidden ingredients, European countries apply stricter standards. Same for your partnerships with retailers, you need to understand their standards.”

Safety, ingredients

Rahama Wright: “We need a holistic approach as we build more science based beauty products. How an ingredient is sourced is as important as the efficacy claims and benefits to the customer”.

Carol Christopher: “Preservative efficacy testing is important for both water-based products as well as anhydrous products. Preservatives don’t mean a brand is not clean; they mean the product is protected against microbial growth that could harm you.

Tests

Barbara Paldus: “We are a community of female founders in beauty and wellness who value science, data and transparency and want to work with other like-minded women. There is a lot at stake with tests. As founders, we care about our customers’s safety.”

Building your company, growing your community/ partnerships:

Alessandra Zonari: “Leverage the potential partnerships with local Universities where your company is based”.

Lorrie King and Celeste Lee. “Surround yourself with great advisors if not a scientific background. Not all great founders are PhD. But you need the expertise.

Elsa Jungman: “It’s important to not look at others in our space as competitors but really allies. For us it has been incredible to lift one another up and learn from their experiences.

Angela Chau: “We are about a more holistic approach of beauty. Inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine and integrated with green science. We have TCM Wellness Ambassadors

Equipe, ressources, conseil

Rahama Wright: “Build a community that includes a diverse set of advisors and thought leaders especially in the early days when resources are limited. The right advisors can be a game changer in helping navigate business challenges”.

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Join next meetings! 

Fab April 2nd 8am pst on ClubHouse

Science of Beauty Collective April 22 8am on Clubhouse 

May 5 Zoom webinar on Eventbrite 8am pst hosted by Fab.

Read the full discussion here.

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