HAPPI: We know consumers have been doing more research than ever about ingredients in skin care, but how is this information different than what other companies provide to them?
BARB PALDUS: We obviously have an INCI list on all of our packages as this is a legal requirement. However, we do not include the percentage of each ingredient in a product, because we are concerned that this data is not indicative of the effectiveness of the product. The higher the activity of an ingredient, think vitamin C or resveratrol, the more dependent its efficacy is on the formulation because the product matrix determines its bio-availability. Does its potency degrade over time? Does it react with the other ingredients? Is there something in the formulation that neutralizes it? Also, certain ingredients, when combined, can result in synergistic effects – essentially the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. We see this when we test the effects on skin cell gene expression as individual components and then mixes of these ingredients. The synergy can lead to activation or deactivation of genes that aren’t expressed in the individual ingredients. This is exactly why we report on the *final* efficacy of the product formulation based on clinical trial on people. You can make the same argument for in vitro data – this doesn’t account for the complexity of human skin which includes sebum, the microbiome, and dead skin cells. Efficacy data of the final product on a large enough sample population, ideally 30 or more people, is the only true representation what the product will actually *do*, rather than an extrapolation of performance from ingredients tests or petri dishes. This is exactly why we created the efficacy panel as the final statement of truth.
HAPPI: Why is Codex putting this claim info right on the product instead of just online?
PALDUS: A summary of the efficacy panel will be on the side of the secondary packaging. The full efficacy panel is on the inside of the secondary packaging as well. It will also be posted on the website along with explanations of what each test means and what it corresponds to on our claims.
If we look at our food packaging, every box has a Nutrition Facts panel. When shopping, we use this to compare products and pick the product that is best suited to our personal dietary needs and nutritional goals. Similarly, the Efficacy Facts panel is directly on our packaging so that customers can see the performance of the products and how they can address skin issues, such as dryness, inflammation or dark circles around the eyes. This allows the consumer to make fast decisions between the products in our different collections, Bia, Antu and future ones, as well as a decision about the value of the product. We hope that others in the industry adopt these standards, as this will allow the customer to quantitatively compare products for performance and value. Our goal is to empower the customer in the store, as well as online.
HAPPI: Why does this level of transparency speak to how Codex Beauty Labs approaches formulation and the brand itself?
PALDUS: This level of transparency demonstrates that we are willing to share our clinical testing results with the consumer. It also allows us to write out claims in a simple way, each word is associated with a real measurement, that is based on data of the actual product performance. This eliminates effects of the formulation on the ingredients and accounts for any synergies achieved by the formulation. In the end, the most transparent yardstick is product performance —how the ingredients act in the formulation and how the formulation acts on the skin. When you add in all of the safety testing and independent third party certifications, this completes the picture about the product for the customer. It’s the ultimate metric.
HAPPI: Shifting to new products, what’s the latest from Codex Beauty Labs?
PALDUS: Our anti-inflammation line from Chile, the Antü Collection, will be launching online on March 5, 2021 and at select retailers in April. The first two products launching are a moisturizer that help recover from UV exposure and a night cream that helps soften the skin. Antü was the most powerful Pillan spirit in the mythology of the Mapuche native people of Chile. Antü represents the Sun, as well as light, wisdom and spirit and was said to have created the Andes mountains. The patent-pending AntüComplex was designed to soothe irritation and reduce inflammation, especially from sun exposure and pollution. It is made from three Patagonian plants (maqui, matico and murtilla) traditionally used to treat inflammatory conditions that contain powerful antioxidants such as flavonoids (that help soothe irritated skin), polyphenols with a high anthocyanin content that can help inhibit cellular damage. The AntüComplex is supplemented by other plant or fruit extracts from South America that are known for their immuno-stimulant and analgesic properties.
All products in this line focus on managing reactive oxidative stress (ROS) in skin. They are designed to soothe irritation and reduce inflammation, especially from sun exposure and particulate pollution. We are excited to bring a moisturizer, night cream, eye cream, radiance mist, serum and gel cleanser out this year! My son is a huge fan of the day cream and night cream anytime he gets a sunburn. I’m a huge fan of the serum and eye cream. They take years off my face!