Home Beauty Cleaning up: an interview with BYBI founders

Cleaning up: an interview with BYBI founders

by angelinavc

How gorgeous are these contemporary-looking products? So of the moment. I can’t get enough of BYBI‘s products – not only do they aesthetically appeal – with their bold, bright packaging – but the natural, clean formulas are also right up my street.

The London-based cult brand was launched by two female entrepreneurs – Elsie and Dominika – in 2017. They wanted to marry efficacious formulas with stylish packaging plus ingredients which are 100% natural, vegan and cruelty free. Two of its hero products include this Multi-Purpose Babe Beauty Balm, £18, and the Strawberry Booster, £12.

The Babe Balm has a light, creamy texture, unlike many multi-purpose balms which tend to be heavy and too rich. It absorbs into dry patches, parched lips and cuticles and sinks in immediately, leaving skin revived and moist.

The Strawberry Booster, meanwhile, is 100% cold-pressed strawberry seed oil. I’ve added it to my everyday routine by using a few drops as a first-skincare-step before moisturising every morning. It improves skin texture, adds a glow and gives a boost of hydration.

For more insight into the brand and its ethos, here, I talk to the founders:

What was the impetus/inspiration behind founding the brand?
BYBI stands for By Beauty Insiders. It was born from Clean Beauty Insiders, a natural beauty blog and podcast by us, Elsie and Dominika. We’re natural beauty bloggers, formulators and entrepreneurs who started Clean Beauty Co as a document of our journey into natural beauty.

Building up our clean beauty blog before starting the BYBI brand gave us time to immerse ourselves in the market and really understand where the gaps were. For us, after trying many other natural skincare brands and also making our own products, there was a clear gap for a beauty brand that upheld great ethics around sustainability and ingredients, but that was marketed in a way that spoke to a mainstream beauty consumer. 

Is ‘clean’ ‘eco’ approach the way forward for the beauty industry?Dominika: Both ‘clean’ and ‘eco’/’sustainable’ beauty is definitely more than just a trend. It’s a movement that’s very much driven by consumer demand for better. Just from listening to our community, we’ve found that people seek out clean and sustainable beauty products for a diverse range of reasons. From not being able to understand their ingredients labels, to experiencing problems with their skin or becoming aware of excessive packaging. 

We definitely believe it’s not a fad; the clean and eco approach is becoming the norm and not the exception. Larger corporations have taken note and developed cleaner products packaged in recycled packaging. Whereas beauty destinations, such as Sephora, now have dedicated clean beauty sections, highlighting its importance to the modern market. On bybi.com every ingredient used and how to recycle each product is clearly listed on the product page and we also have a values page that explains in detail our approach to formulation and packaging.

What is the most challenging area in developing an eco-range?
Elsie: When it comes to packaging, sourcing eco materials can be challenging, as the supply isn’t readily available yet. We also need to re-educate consumers on beauty packaging expectations and why some make better eco choices. For example, we used a cap instead of a pump for our oil cleanser, Swipe Clean. This wouldn’t be the norm, but it can be recycled and uses far less plastic than your average pump.

Where possible we print directly onto glass, making it as easy as possible for our customers to recycle. For products that cannot be packaged in glass (balms and scrubs for example), we use a bio-plastic material derived from biodegradable sugarcane.

How is BYBI different to other so-called ‘clean’ beauty brands?
Elsie: Most natural beauty products on the market felt niche, alternative and a little old fashioned, and yet the actual products themselves perform really well. We wanted to make 100% natural, vegan and cruelty free skincare appealing to a mass market, in a way that no other brand was offering: effective natural products that look great on your bathroom shelf. Alongside this we are striving to do better when it comes to our planet; be that through our raw materials, packaging or suppliers. There is no room for compromise on either the quality of our products or the way they are produced – it’s possible to create great skincare without putting a strain on our planet, there just aren’t many companies doing it.

What is the future of beauty when it comes to being eco aware?Dominika: There’s been a huge rise in awareness of the state of our planet and the impact our consumption has on this. Social media and general ease of access to information, teamed up with large scale media coverage, such as the David Attenborough series, has shone a light on key issues and people are motivated by this knowledge to make a change. The consumer is looking for ways to do their bit which naturally means they are attracted to brands with a conscious to help in this quest, but equally want to find ways to achieve this without compromising their existing routines or habits.

The future of beauty means you won’t have to compromise. People are drawn to BYBI for example because we’re environmentally responsible, vegan and cruelty free but also make products that benefit the skin, so our consumer doesn’t have to choose between effective beauty products or a conscious brand; we tick both boxes.


*This review is based on press samples

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