Great ScenceEthical Health & Beauty News & Features
This article first appeared in our spring ’19 issue of MyGreenPod Magazine, The Organic Revolution, distributed with the Guardian on 31 May 2019. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox
Plastic pollution is never far from Krista Taylor’s thoughts: she lives in Cornwall and spends a lot of time sailing round the local coastline with her husband, Rob. ‘I love the outdoors and am constantly reminded of the waste that washes up on our beaches’, she tells us. ‘So much of it plastic’.
Krista founded Scence in the summer of 2018; she wanted to create a vegan and plastic-free range of skincare for those who care about the environment and what they put on their skin. ‘Something had to change’, Krista explains, ‘and I had a vision about what I knew the future of packaging should look like.’
In search of a ‘new direction’, Krista left graphic design and fine art and retrained in anatomy and physiology. ‘I ran my therapeutic massage practice while developing the Scence range’, she explains.
Krista learnt about the efficacy of plants in skincare – particularly the ‘fascinating qualities’ of essential oils – and began selecting the natural oils and butters she would use to replace the harmful ingredients so often found in mainstream skincare products.
‘Aluminium would be top of my list here’, Krista tells us. ‘It’s used in antiperspirants to block the sweat glands, but we don’t feel that disrupting the natural function of the body is the answer. Parabens are also common preservatives in cosmetics. We don’t use either of these, or palm oil.’
Our sweat, produced from the apocrine glands, is virtually odourless – the smell is caused by bacteria breaking the sweat down into acids.
For Scence deodorants, Krista uses mineral powders that slightly alter the pH level of the skin’s surface, making it difficult for bacteria to thrive. Organic arrowroot absorbs moisture and antiseptic qualities of the essential oils further neutralise the bacteria.
It all sounds wonderful, but if you lead an active lifestyle, can plant-based deodorants really be as effective as the mainstream chemical formulations? ‘Absolutely!’, reveals Krista. ‘I originally developed the deodorant for myself; I needed a totally reliable and effective deodorant for the physical and close-proximity work I was doing as a massage therapist. It has been formulated to last all day and can keep you fresh for up to 24 hours. A tube will last for two to three months when used daily, so it’s also great value.’
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The addition of organic coconut oil helps to nourish and moisturise the skin and the essential oils bring specific aromatherapeutic benefits, meaning the balms are far more than just odour-busters.
The packaging dilemma
Krista’s background in art and design proved extremely useful when tackling the challenge of plastic-free packaging. For four years she worked alongside a UK paper packaging manufacturer to design, develop and create the plastic-free, fully compostable paper tubes and jars used for Scence products.
For Krista the packaging dilemma has been the biggest challenge; ‘It has taken years of stability testing and adjusting formulations to ensure the right balance of ingredients to deliver excellent and effective skincare in a paper container’, Krista says. ‘We had to ensure the product could withstand temperatures of up to 40 degrees without leaching through the packaging. It has taken a lot of time and patient observation in the laboratory to get this right.’
The result is a beautiful range with packaging that can be composted, recycled or even used as a seedling pot when the balm has run out. It has taken individuals and retailers by storm; ‘We are truly overwhelmed by the positive response from the public and retailers’, Krista tells us. ‘It has been an incredibly affirming experience that’s made all the years of development and hard work worthwhile.’
Raising the bar
With demand for natural products rising and the tide turning on plastics, things are moving quickly for Krista. She has loved being a part of a growing family of eco-conscious and caring people who have resolved to offer ethical alternatives to their customers.
‘So many new zero-waste stores and existing natural health and organic produce shops have embraced Scence’, she tells us. ‘The people are lovely and every new store we supply feels like another success story!’
Scence is a family business which Krista hopes will continue for generations to come, with the same level of quality and sustainability. ‘We have a sense of duty to enrich our environment and provide guilt-free alternatives for current and future generations’, she says. ‘It’s our mission to lead the way and set an example in the cosmetics industry.’