Downtown chatted with June Jacobs, founder and CEO of Naturally Serious Skincare and June Jacobs Skincare, and her daughter Rochelle Jacobs, managing director for the two brands about the importance of clean skincare and what that even means!
Downtown: What does “clean skin care” mean?
June & Rochelle: Clean, for us, is quite intense. It means a non-toxic product that is made ethically, with environmental protection from UV rays, pollution, and free radical damage, and with an ever-evolving list of NO B.A.D. (Bad, Ambiguous, Debatable) ingredients linked from harmful health effects to plain-old skin irritation. To us, clean skincare means not compromising from the ground up and in that same breath, still making effective products—from the ingredients in our formulas, to the eco-friendly packaging, in which they are placed.
Downtown: What ingredients should we avoid?
June & Rochelle: Artificial colors and fragrances, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, formaldehyde, petrolatum & PEG, mineral oil, sulfates, silicones and drying alcohols.
Downtown: What ingredients should we search out?
June & Rochelle: Antioxidants—they neutralize and improves the look of past environmental damage, protect skin from future damage and photo aging, and boost skin’s natural ability to fight environmental stress. For Naturally Serious, the following are included in our anti-pollution blend in every product: Green Tea, Red Tea, White Tea, Goji Berry, Pomegranate, and Grape Seed. This blend of antioxidants also helps the other active ingredients in the products to work in synergy and be as effective as possible.
Downtown: Why is it important to use clean skin care?
June & Rochelle: The personal care industry is effectively unregulated—which means that companies are essentially free to do whatever they want. Because it’s a free-for-all, companies can use whatever adjectives they’d like when it comes to marketing and “greenwashing” their products—“natural,” “green,” and “eco” literally have no enforceable definition. In other words, what is hyped on the front in no way needs to match what lives on the ingredient label on the back. Make sure you look to check the ingredients list has NO B.A.D ingredients before purchasing.
Downtown: What is your testing process for clean products like?
June & Rochelle: All of our products are developed based on the very strict natural NS guidelines—our ingredient list is very niche, allowing our “free-of” lists to stand out above the rest. All of our products are tested with consumers for product performance, safety, and irritation.
Downtown: What does it mean to be a mother/daughter team in this industry?
June: Having the opportunity to work with your daughter in any industry means that you always have each other’s back and support. In our case, we have very complimentary and diverse skill sets so on a day-to-day business, we divide and conquer. This year marks two decades of us working together, and I feel like I’ve had a first class round trip ticket watching her grow. There is nothing more gratifying both personally and professionally than to succeed and share this with my only child. While we can go from a full on brawl to having each other hysterically laughing all in the same minute, I now feel like I can step back a bit and let Rochelle continue on my legacy with credibility that she has truly earned. I can’t think of any better industry than the beauty and wellness industry for a passionate and dynamic mom-daughter duo like us to have the incredible opportunity to work side by side on this journey to help spread our message. Throughout our twenty-year journey, we have traveled the world together identifying and sourcing unique and innovative ingredients to visiting some of the most beautiful spas in the world and getting ‘couples’ treatments. What could be more fun than having your passion be your work!
Downtown: What are some of your favorite clean products from your lines?
June & Rochelle: The NS Get Even peel pads are extremely innovative. They produce an enzymatic, exfoliating activity purely from a natural pomegranate enzyme and are produced with a cold pressed technique, where heat is never added to the formulation process, so the formulation retains the highest quality possible.
Skin Warrior Anti-Pollution Repair Cream for its ability to protect against pollution, external aggressors, and future environmental damage all while helping to repair existing skin issues such as fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone and texture.
Lip Service, a lip serum that has a three in one effect; renewing, restoring hydration, and soothing skin to plump fine lines and soothe texture. It also acts as a primer for lip color and balm.
Downtown: What were the hardest products to make “clean?”
June & Rochelle: We hold ourselves to the highest natural standard. We have an amazing list of ingredients that we only will work from. Most all-natural products are very challenging to develop and although we work with a limited ingredient list, we are able to ensure effective clinical results through our thorough clinical testing procedures as well as providing clear and active before and after consumer images, which showcase our breakthrough formulations.
Downtown: Anything else you want to add?
June & Rochelle: The very oversaturated skincare arena leaves little white space to stand out, but with enough exploration you can create a distinctive point of difference in this market. This led us to develop a clean skincare line that not only abided by the current regulations of what “clean” means in this industry, but then took it a step further. The challenge was to offer premium products made with natural, responsibly sourced ingredients, sustainable packaging, and most importantly remaining effective. And to do it better than the rest—pioneering new complexes to enhance these ingredients and structuring our products to include patented blends paired with clinical results. There’s no question that the natural beauty industry is experiencing tremendous growth, and thus saturation right now; this gives a serious boost to public awareness, but also lack of credibility. Naturally Serious and brands alike have to work harder than traditional brands to prove efficacy in products and just how our manufacturing process works in being truly “clean.” Lucky enough, the astounding support from a powerhouse brand partner like Sephora helps establish the credibility of clean products within a very complicated and competitive environment. Their constantly evolving “clean” standards ensure that what was a very fine line into the clean beauty space is now a concrete road that brands must corroborate in order to be permitted the seal.