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Q & A with the Founder of nude skincare, Bryan Meehan

Posted Nov 05 2008 10:02am

Q & A with the Founder of nude skincare, Bryan Meehan I recently had the great pleasure of speaking with the founder of nude skincare, Bryan Meehan from his offices in London.  Nude skincare according to Harpers Bazaar UK’s beauty editor, Newby Hands, is “the first natural skincare range with visibly anti-aging results…”  And that, my friends, is why I had to investigate and now am hooked.  Here are some highlights from our wonderful chat.

Michelle Barge,
I like that you’ve brought luxury to natural beauty products for the eco-conscious woman.  This speaks to me completely:  I shouldn’t have to sacrifice elegance in my bathroom, for natural products that are free of parabens, sulphates, PEGs, propylene glycol, TEA, DEA, phthalates, mineral oil, silicones, GM and potential carcinogens. I write a lot about this. So how did this line come about?  What was the evolution and development of the line?

Bryan Meehan, nude:
My original start was in sales and marketing for Guiness®.  I came to the states, garnered an MBA and in 1998, I co-founded Fresh & Wild [the Whole Foods of the UK, ed.] in London.  During that time, I noticed that many of our customers were buying all their organic food from us, but going down the road to Space NK to get their skincare products. When I asked them why, they told me that they didn’t trust that natural & organic beauty products were going to have any effect on getting rid of their wrinkles. These natural ranges were completely overshadowed by other highly effective conventional brands. Whilst the conventional approach relied on a chemical cocktail, it was hard for the ‘natural’ brands to be a credible alternative when their packaging was archaic and the creams were oily with few active ingredients. At best, their effect was neutral.  On top of all this, I married a woman who was already environmentally conscious - you know, saving things and recycling.

With nude I’ve combined all the values and principles of my experience in organic food with the careful understanding that skincare, even when it’s this natural, needs active ingredients that will address concerns like premature aging.
In the marketplace, how do you differentiate yourself from Ren and Stella McCartney’s line.  Personally I’ve used both.  Ren didn’t offer me the anti-aging properties I was looking for and for Ms. McCartney’s line – as much as we love her – I couldn’t get passed the hype.

Well, I never like to talk ill of another line.  Stella took the certified organic route, like when you’re dealing with food products.  When it comes to beauty they look at it from the mentally of food (organic skincare)  – talking about what’s not in it.  But with skincare just saying what’s not in it, they aren’t mentioning all the other stuff that is in it including – alcohol and glycerin.  Technically they can state that there’s nothing synthetic in the product.  That in-and-of itself is not necessarily a good thing for the skin.
What do you think is the greatest ager of the skin?

Defending your skin against skin irritations is the best thing you can do.  [The whole] concept is to use no product - natural or synthetic - that irritates the skin!  Skincare must work with the body’s natural biology meaning biocompatible.
So that’s what you mean by biocompatible.  Got it.  Love that.  Also you use pre and probiotics in your line.  I know about probiotics, chiefly in foods.  Can you explain this in relation to skincare?

Beautiful skin comes from having a strong acid mantle.  Probiotics are good bacteria that protects the skin. To get that strong acid mantel you need a good healthy dose of healthy bacteria on the skin’s surface. Probiotics eat sugar and their by-product which is water.  Probiotic is bacteria itself - the physical bacteria. Prebiotic is what the probiotic feeds off of – pure sugar.  And probiotics thrive off of sugar.
So basically it’s about keeping a healthy eco-system for the skin.  You also work with all these great “next generation” botanicals.  Açai seems so yesterday with this line-up.  Give our readers a quick run down on cupuaçu, manketti, baobab and avellana and what they do for the skin.

Cupuaçu is a fruit bearing tree and the pulp from the fruit is used in our moisturizing creams as a moisturizing agent. Manketti and avellana are fruit and nut oils we use in our products and the baobab is a sustainable tree oil from bark and can sustain huge temperature fluctuations.
Bryan, the packaging is beautiful. Tell us how good nude’s packaging is for the environment?

With the packaging the 200 ml jars are all made from post-industrial polypropylene. The whole range is recyclable.  With recyclable packaging, you should be able to recycle all parts of the containers – like with ours.  There’s no springs or pumps that can’t be fully recycled.                                                                                I also like that your cleansing regime per skin type is minimal!  No one wants to spend that much time on their skin.  Tell me a bit about your product development and how the lines works synergistically per skin type.  I use the Cleansing Facial Wash every morning and all I can say is my skin just feels balanced.

The core cleanser is the Cleansing Facial Oil, but the American market is a bit nervous about putting oil on the face, so we developed the Cleansing Facial Wash.  The cleansing oil, for normal to dry skin, is all about simplicity.   The quality of the ingredients we use is so high that it allows them to all work so well together.  We don’t squelch on raw product just for growth margin.
In using your line, I feel it’s unisex.  Can you attest by giving my readers your regime?

The line is indeed unisex.  My regime:  I use the Cleansing Facial Oil or wash to shave, then spritz with the Hydrating Water and follow with the Age Defense moisturizer.  I use the Facial Scrub once a week.
Your price points, and well deserved, are in the $34-100 range.  And I have to say my Cleansing Facial Wash has lasted a long time, as your products are so potent.  If you had to pick the 3 must have products from your line what would they be?

Hmmm, let’s see.  That’s a good question.  (After a love fest of back and forth over how great the products are, Bryan chose:  Replenishing Night Oil, Cleansing Facial Oil, Miracle Mask, Facial Scrub.)
And if we weren’t in this economic crises and money was not an option, what else would you add to that list:

The Smoothing Body Refiner – this product drastically tones the body and has show a remarkable inch loss in a study done in the UK. Advance Smoothing Complex – this is pure anti-aging serum in a bottle.  Skin feels tighter immediately.  And, the Moisturzing Body Cream.  This product recently won Allure Magazine’s Editors Choice Award for Best Natural Selection for 2008.
Your line also has a line of supplements.  Explain how that plays into your skin care line?

Working with the skin’s biology this is beauty from the inside out…
You’re wasting money putting things on topically if you’re not eating completely optimally and who does that.  You need to balance your organs with the anti-oxidants.  Age Defense Day Supplements primarily defends body against premature aging.  These supplements have day and night doses.  The daytime dose is packed with anti-oxidants and the night dose strengthens the cells and adds in cell renewal.  I actually saw an immediate difference taking these each day.  The Hydrate Supplements are essential fatty acids the body cannot produce themselves.  These supplements are rich in Omega 3, 5, 7, and 9.  In stressful times it’s an amazing supplement to take.  These supplements aid in alleviating dry skin and brain function.  There’s also an Advance Multivitamin 3and a Detox Supplement.
Finally, I hear you might be rolling out to select Whole Foods as you’re now in Barney’s, which is very high end.  Is this the case?  I’m only curious as I want everyone to get a hold of this fabulous, elegant, sensible line.

We are now in select Sephora’s and at and in Whole Foods in Texas and Colorado.  You can also find us on our website
Bryan, it’s been a pleasure.  So glad there are folks like you out their making great product.  Any closing thoughts:

The skin is a beautiful organ.  Don’t fight it, feed it well.

Written by:  Michelle Barge

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