Ilana Hart May 31, 2021
Q&A with Michael Azoulay, FRÉ Co-founder & Co-CEO
How does FRÉ define clean beauty?
Our philosophy regarding clean beauty, is to create clean skincare that performs. This means that we try to use all-natural ingredients whenever possible. But, we won’t compromise the efficacy and performance of our products from a dermatological perspective. When it isn’t possible to create an all-natural formula, we then use additional ingredients that are safe and non-toxic, based on the EWG standards.
How do you find the right balance between skincare that performs from a dermatological perspective and the use of 100% clean ingredients?
Our formulators are experts in understanding which natural ingredients perform, and we’ve already discovered many amazing, all-natural ingredients that are very powerful for creating healthy skin. Using this knowledge, they can examine a specific skin concern, decide which natural ingredients to use, and then combine that with other safe ingredients to create the most effective skincare solution.
Our clean beauty policy is very strict, and we use exclusively natural and safe ingredients. We have a team that is knowledgeable in selecting the right ingredients from nature that are also high-performing on the skin.
FRÉ’s entire skincare line is based on argan oil. Why is this the key ingredient, and how was Argania Active Complexⓒ developed?
When we decided to create a skincare line specifically for active women, we sought a natural solution to some of the most common skin problems, like breakouts, deterioration of the skin barrier, photosensitivity, premature aging, and dehydration.
We discovered that argan oil was a sort of magical ingredient that had all of the properties needed to combat these skin issues. Our team of dermatologists and researchers then went one step further to developArgania Active Complexⓒ, which combines pure argan oil with argan leaf extract and stem cells. The active principles in the various parts of the argan tree are complementary to one another and create an even more powerful and comprehensive solution for skin issues that occur due to sweating and sun damage.
Who is behind the scenes developing new FRÉ products?
We have a team of experts that includes dermatologists, doctors in biochemistry, and state of the art skincare formulators.
How do you go from the idea stage of a new product to formulating & testing it?
First, we examine our customers’ needs by conducting a survey every quarter. We ask them what their dream product is and try to understand what the natural extension of the line is.
Our goal, of course, is to create a product with completely new functionality, and we always strive to innovate.
CLEANSE ME is a great example, since it’s our most recent product launch. We learned from the customer survey that there was a strong need for a makeup remover. Once deciding on the direction, we conducted market research on different makeup removers and clean beauty brands. Our team then began to formulate the product using 100% all-natural and safe ingredients. It took six months of testing to get to the formula exactly right.
In parallel to creating the product, we also look for the right packaging. For CLEANSE ME, it was important for us to create a 100% eco-friendly and sustainable product, so we sourced PCR (recycled) plastic and also designed a refill bag, which reduces plastic usage overall.
How does clean beauty connect with FRÉ’s social mission?
It’s very connected. From the first set that we sold in 2016, we committed to plant an argan tree. Till now we’ve planted and committed to plant over 70,000 trees, and giving back to nature is a strong part of our social mission.
Our philosophy of using natural ingredients and being sustainable is a large part of our mission. We are not yet 100% sustainable and natural but we’re striving toward this goal. When possible, we use glass bottles or recycled plastic, and we are constantly working on upgrading our packaging, ingredients, and formulations, and reducing our carbon footprint.
We’re proud of where we stand today. Over 80% of plastic packaging is made of PCR (recycled plastic). We have the “I AM” line with Talia Sutra, where we use 100% natural ingredients and 100% eco-friendly packaging. That’s our compass.
Are clean beauty & green beauty interchangeable?
For us it's one and the same - being both clean and sustainable. It’s very logical and aligned to use ingredients that are safe and natural, and to try to protect the planet
What are your goals for clean beauty by the end of 2021?
We will continue to make progress in 2021. We still have some things to improve, like our iconic bubble bag. We definitely don’t want to get rid of it, so we’re working on creating an eco-friendly solution for this. We also plan to upgrade the FRÉ Body line so that it is fragrance-free and uses only natural scents. These are just a couple of examples.
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