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Do you actually know what ingredients are in your skincare products? You might be able to name a hero ingredient or two, like aloe or shea butter, for example, but probably not more than that. And in most cases, ingredient lists are printed in a teeny, tiny font on the back of the bottle that often isn’t easy to read. But Ingredients is trying to change all that. In case the name didn’t give it away, the new wellness brand is all about transparency, especially when it comes to what’s inside the bottle.
“The idea was to put ingredients in front of the bottle,” said Myriam Malka, co-founder of Ingredients, along with her husband, Eric Malka, in a recent interview with SPY. “We are obsessed with ingredients and with what goes in our body. Skin is our biggest organ and absorbs 70% of what you put on.”
That radical transparency is a cornerstone of the new company. It’s also something of a must for any new skincare brand, which is why the concept might sound a little familiar. In 2021, Ingredients isn’t the only company trying to appeal to men and women who actually want to understand the ingredients in their skincare products. The Ordinary has a similar brand message, as do some new men’s skincare companies such as Lumin, the men’s body and hair brand. As more customers demand comprehensible ingredients, environmentally-friendly ingredients and packaging and non-toxic formulas, more companies like Ingredients are trying to meet the demand.
How will the young company set itself apart? The Malkas said that they want to offer more than mere transparency. Ingredients is also 100% plant-based and completely free of toxins, and the Malkas said they want to bring clean beauty to a whole different level.
“Clean is just not clean enough for us,” Eric told us. “What clean means is safe ingredients, whether they’re chemical or not. The reason for that is it’s very hard for the majority of brands to circumvent using fillers. Clean has emitted some of the worst ingredients, but they’re still using chemicals. For us, clean means 100% active, 100% natural plant-based ingredients and that’s what our products are.”
Ingredients is far from the husband-and-wife team’s first foray into skincare. As co-founders of The Art of Shaving, they are already well versed with the ins and outs of the industry. After moving on from The Art of Shaving, with Myriam’s expertise as a plant-based, green chemist, launching Ingredients was the perfect next step. During their hiatus, the clean beauty industry had really taken off, but the existing brands still didn’t meet their standards of efficacy, safety and transparency.
“Our goal was to refocus to consumers what matters most when they purchase consumer products,” Eric said. “It’s not a cute bottle or marketing claims, but what’s in the product.”
By making the brand all about the ingredients, they’re aiming to change the conversation to what truly matters. That also goes for their eco-conscious values. When it comes to being green, many people assume the most important factor is whether the packaging is recyclable and how it was made. But once again, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
“Every ingredient has been harvested in a sustainable matter,” Eric said. “A lot of ingredients are hand-picked and processed in very sustainable ways, which is impossible for petrochemicals and chemicals, which are hurting the planet more so than packaging.”
That’s where their farm-to-bottle philosophy comes in. “We have a very strict process for ingredients,” Myriam said. “We have contact with a lot of the manufacturers and farms and visit the farms when we can, though with Covid it’s been difficult. We really scrutinize the plant, where it is from, the region, when it is picked, how it is processed, organic certification and decomposition breakdown.” By working directly with ingredient sources and manufacturers, in addition to ensuring the highest purity and quality, it also reduces costs, allowing them to create luxury products at more accessible prices.
Their website includes an Ingredients Index, with a breakdown of every element so that customers can understand the sourcing and entire process. Plant-based ingredients are much more complex than their synthetic counterparts, Myriam explains, since synthetics are just one ingredient, while plants contain up to a hundred beneficial micro-compounds. That’s why each product is like a multivitamin for your skin.
Since Ingredients doesn’t use any synthetic preservatives, which kill bacteria but also the healthy microbiome in your skin, their formulas support the skin’s microbiome. The line has the same pH as skin, so it naturally balances the complexion. “We believe in essentials; less is so much more,” Myriam said. “I believe the less you do to your skin, the better your skin will be.”
As a result, the line is tightly edited, focusing on just three skincare products. (Ingredients also makes wellness products outside of skincare.) The entire line is designed to work with all ages, skin types and genders.
“We’re keeping our regimen very focused and simplistic because an over-complicated skincare routine is not something we subscribe to,” Eric said. “Ten products are not needed. The serum can be used as an eye gel. We don’t need to overwhelm consumers with things we wouldn’t use on a daily basis ourselves.”
Get to know the curated Ingredients regimen below.
1. Ingredients Face Cleanser
Designed to cleanse and balance in the morning and evening, this organic, foaming face wash removes impurities, makeup, bacteria, pollutants, dirt and dead skin cells. To protect the natural microbiome, it’ll never over strip skin, keeping it healthy, hydrated and balanced. The formula is infused with neroli hydrosol to rejuvenate, selaginella lepidophylla extract to moisturize, concentrated aloe extract to soothe and probiotics.
2. Ingredients Face Serum
To make the most out of this multitasking serum, apply it to wet skin after cleansing to ensure the ingredients penetrate deeper. Packed with phytonutrients, antioxidants and amino acids, it ticks off several boxes by moisturizing, soothing, brightening, rejuvenating and plumping skin, as well as boosting collagen production, courtesy of ingredients such as rose hydrosol, calendula extract and concentrated aloe extract. The anti-inflammatory serum also contains vegetable collagen and tremella mushrooms, a plant-based hyaluronic acid, to give skin density a boost.
3. Ingredients Oil Complex
Just a few drops will lock in moisture. The organic Oil Complex is chock full of omegas 3, 6 and 9, as well as phytonutrients and vitamins from unrefined marula, rosehip seed and sea buckthorn. There are also fruit oils to help protect the skin’s natural lipid barrier, improve collagen renewal and skin elasticity, and nourish. Skin is left brighter and balanced.