James Jardella founded Skin Sapiens because of his own eczema issues and concerns about what skin care products to use on his new-born son.
Initially a simple kitchen-table start-up, it quickly evolved into an award winning business acclaimed by the likes of Vogue and distributed in stores like Selfridges.
Although James’ venture was started for personal reasons, he did come into the industry with some experience — having worked at L’Oreal for some years.
Initially, James graduated from university with a Master’s degree in Medical Engineering and had clocked up a decade’s worth of experience working in consumer goods.
Perhaps, because of his first-hand knowledge of the beauty industry, or maybe his life-long suffering from eczema, he had grown wary of brands that use unnecessary, irritating ingredients that masquerade as innovation but only serve to confuse.
However, it was the birth of his son, Alex, that prompted him to experiment with making homemade formulations, using nature’s best botanical ingredients — many of which he found close to home.
He studied published papers in scientific journals – in order to take common skin concerns and match them with the best natural ingredients, with proven benefits. He then moved onto books, blogs and DIY cosmetics recipes to learn the techniques for bringing these ingredients together, in a safe and effective way.
James Jardella, Founder of Skin Sapiens, said:
“My kitchen in many ways became my lab. I’ve ruined more pots and pans than I’d care to admit in the process. But my wife – a pharmacist – and I, were intent on putting formulations on our baby’s skin that were authentically natural, beneficial for his skin and made with ingredients that we knew and trusted.
Most people have no idea what’s in their skincare, and yet in order to judge how a product will react with your skin, you have to know first what’s inside it. It’s impossible to control your relationship with your skin if you have no idea what you put on your face and body every day.”
He experimented with oil blends and wax combinations, using plant-based active ingredients, with scientific benefits, to create a nappy balm that would also be able to help calm his own eczema-prone skin.
The result was a multi-purpose baby balm, which was made from cold-pressed avocado, olive and calendula oils, which he thickened with berry wax. He also said:
“Quite quickly I convinced a former colleague to put in all of his savings too, but it wasn’t enough. I sold my 2-bed flat in Lewisham to make sure I could get our first product to market without giving over control of Skin Sapiens. I just wasn’t willing to do that while what we were creating was still in its infancy.
First, I identified and approached an expert laboratory with 25 years’ experience in vegan formulations and got them on board to make this vision happen. After 18 months’ collaboratively working on the formulations, we produced and launched six products – all made with fewer than 11 ingredients.”
Each Skin Sapiens product formula is made with the best plant-based natural actives and nothing else. The whole range is 100% vegan, certified ECOCERT COSMOS Natural and is Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free.
The COSMOS standard also ensures that their suppliers are audited for safe manufacturing processes, and their own green credentials.
Since their inception, two years ago, the brand has picked up a Beauty Shortlist Award and they’ve also agreed their first retail partnership with one of Britain’s best retailers.
You can find out more about Skin Sapiens here.