* Recently launched C’est Moi, offers skin care and cosmetics to teens and tweens
* Committed to clean and safe formulations and sustainable practices
*Age-appropriate choices for children and teens 8-16 years old
Skin care and cosmetics are two industries that are booming right now, thanks – in part – to the soaring popularity of K-beauty and YouTube beauty gurus. But when it comes to products that are safe and age-appropriate for tweens and teenagers, the options are limited.
Now, the new tween beauty brand, C’est Moi, is seeking to fill in that gap with a comprehensive line of skin care and color cosmetics designed specifically for this age group. In addition to being marketed and designed for young teens, the brand is also committed to using clean ingredients and fostering sustainable practices that don’t hurt humans or the environment. C’est Moi is partnered with the Environmental Working Group (EWG.org) to further its commitment to the use of safe ingredients in products and to advocate for cosmetic reform in the United States.
As a beauty industry veteran (she’s been in the biz over a decade), C’est Moi’s Vice President of Marketing Jennifer Saul knows a thing or two about the behind-the-scenes world of cosmetics and skin care. We sat down with her to talk about some of the current problems in the beauty sector and how this new and affordable line aims to challenge them.
What inspired you to create C’est Moi?
We all can remember a time when learning to navigate the world during our adolescent and teen years was free, fun and more often than not, pretty rough and awkward! We were all girls once. What I would call a rather tumultuous time in my adolescence, is what connects me to understanding this age group of girls, and was one of the driving forces which led me to developing the C’est Moi brand.
What were you like as a kid?
Way back when, I had all odds against me. The issues with my skin only made things worse, and the conversation around girls and beauty in those days, was not a pretty one. We were all trying to be someone else. Now as a mother of two, I knew that I wanted something different for my kids. The conversation surrounding what is meaningful and beautiful for girls is a complex one. I knew that my expertise in building beauty brands was going to take this dialogue in a new direction. It needed to happen and I wanted to inspire positive change where there hasn’t been….ever.
Why did you decide to create a line for teens, as opposed to adults?
There is a huge gap in the beauty marketplace, where there are absolutely no brands that are thoughtfully and effectively formulating clean products for tween and teen skin. This is an important life stage where girls are just beginning to use beauty products. I wanted to create a brand that would provide what they have been missing – a fresh, clean and simple approach to healthy skin habits, that empowers girls to celebrate who they are as individuals through self expression and self discovery. This is a new generation of beautiful.
So this is about more than just beauty…
I have always been inspired by the relationship between women and girls, and how that bond and support can have an everlasting positive effect on how young women view themselves, and how they relate and navigate within the outside world. I wanted to create a much larger conversation surrounding the mission of this brand and our approach. Empowerment through education and mentorship is a key pillar of our purpose. The saying remains to be true: “Empowered women, empower girls.”
That’s pretty relevant right now, especially in light of recent events.
I think at this very moment, this is the kind of nurturing every mother could dream of. As every mother knows, it takes sincere dedication and hard work to keep our girls uplifted and feeling relevant. This is our challenge and I look forward to growing our community and continuing the conversation.
Okay so back to skin care for a minute: how is teenage skin different from an adult’s?
Young skin is delicate and highly reactive to irritants. Because tween and teen bodies are still growing and going through puberty, their skin is changing while their hormones are changing. Skin that regularly is affected by congestion and acne is by definition, irritated. Young delicate skin needs balance and nourishment to keep it calm and healthy. Additionally, tweens and teens have a higher absorption rate of ingredients, primarily because their bodies are smaller than an adults. As an example, think about how medicines are dosed for younger people. They are NEVER given the same doses that adults receive for a very good reason. Clean ingredients are important for everyone using cosmetics, but it is especially important for growing bodies.
As a mother yourself, what considerations did you prioritize when formulating the skin care line and color cosmetics?
I have worked in the beauty industry my entire career, developing and marketing products within all categories of the beauty landscape. Clean ingredients and thoughtful formulations are at the core of our approach. A lot of brands in the beauty marketplace are casting a wide net when it comes to the users they are servicing. I wanted to really prioritize the exact needs of this age group (8 – 16 yrs) by addressing their skin and ensuring the safety and efficacy of our products through rigorous testing.
What are the main skin care issue tweens and teens struggle with?
The biggest concern of this age group is skin sensitivity and breakouts. My thoughtful point of difference with these skin care and cosmetic formulas was that they needed to be gentle, effective and they must NOT include fragrance. We also won’t work with specific preservatives, harsh cleansers, or essential oils that are known sensitizers. As an example, citrus oils often cause sensitization within the skin. These types of ingredients are those that we will avoid at all costs.
The frustrating thing that I have found is that the good majority of skin care brands out there add fragrance to their formulations. These could be either synthetic fragrance or a blend of essential oils, which can likely be a very irritating approach to skin care. It makes sense that consumers are identifying themselves more and more with having sensitive skin on their faces. They react to everything in the marketplace because a lot of it is filled with fragrance and harsh ingredients. At the end of the day, you could take several natural or organic ingredients, mix them together and create something quite toxic and irritating to the skin. It is the thoughtfulness behind how we addressed formulating each and every one of our products, that makes them clean and safe for sensitive skin.
You spend a lot of time on ensuring that your products meet safety and quality standards for ingredients. Why?
The last time any cosmetic reform was made in the United States was in 1938. That was almost 80 years ago! Over the course of the past 30 years, brands have introduced thousands chemicals of into our consumer products, with NO safety data behind their usage. The EU bans roughly 1400 ingredients. The United States only bans 30 ingredients (an upgrade from 10 in recent years). There is absolutely no governing agency that regulates the beauty business. It is up to brands to make the decisions for themselves on how they want to formulate and test their products before they put them in front of consumers.
Our partnership with the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and EWG Verified is one that ties us tightly to our ingredient and manufacturing and testing standards. We have developed our products to not only meet the EU ingredients standards, we go beyond to exclude additional ingredients we feel may contribute to health harm.
What is your first beauty memory?
Both my mother and my sister were sales directors at Mary Kay. I remember being 5 years old, sitting among a sea of product and watching all of the women in my family applying face masks, creams and concealers. I knew this would somehow be my future – the HOW was just something I wasn’t sure about yet. I remember beauty being a huge part of the bonding experience between the women in my family, and I LOVED it.
For some moms, letting their children wear makeup for the first time is a big moment. How does C’est Moi foster that bonding experience between mother and daughter and promote self-expression?
Makeup usage is certainly a rite of passage for young girls that moms want to guide. Our entire brand was meant to be one that moms can trust and recommend to their daughters. We all know that girls love playing with makeup and enjoy expressing themselves. Why not know that what you are providing is clean and safe for them to use and won’t irritate their skin? Our core lineup of shades is designed to enhance her best self, with wearable neutral shades. Our makeup crayons are what give fun pops of color for those fun and special moments.
Too often moms will recommend a product or give their daughters their own products, to find that they end up with horrific reactions on their skin as a result. C’est Moi was created to help nurture and restore that trust, by providing a high quality, valuable assortment of products that are accessible.