“It’s about skin health not perfect skin.” – Lena Chao
Lena talked to us about how dedicated Clean Circle is to using heritage ingredients. She is a first generation Chinese American and when she develops new products, she goes above and beyond to highlight heritage ingredients that are prominent in Asian cultures.
Lena highlighted the Konjac Facial Sponge, for instance. Konjac is a root popular in Southeast Asian noodles, candies, and jellies. The Clean Circle team made it into a skincare sponge that is compostable at home! The sponge itself is a gentle exfoliant, safe enough to use every day to improve skin health.
Shifting the Language from Perfect Skin to Skin Health
And speaking of skin health, when Lena brought up skin health, we got so excited! For a very long time, the conversation around skin care products only talked about “perfect skin.” Those products were often extremely damaging and addictive to the skin. All in the name of a false beauty standard.
The truth is, healthy skin is perfect skin. Everyone has blemishes and breakouts and spots – it is natural. The more we normalize healthy living for our whole bodies, which includes using better skin care products, the better we look and feel!
Changing an Industry from the Inside
Throughout this conversation the topic of the skin care industry and being an “insider” kept coming up. First, we defined that an “insider” is someone part of the skincare conglomerates, that has connections with high-end formulators, packaging professionals, and know how to navigate the ins-and-outs of beauty.
But then we took a step back. We decided to challenge this idea because if these “insiders” have context in an industry that are doing things ethically and morally opposed to a sustainable business, are they the insiders we should be holding ourselves to?
Those of us that are working towards questioning and redefining industry norms, creating new spaces for ethical and sustainable practices, and doing business in a more equitable way, need to be looking to each other for support. Yes, it’s cross industry and not everything will translate between companies. But what does translate? Sustainable business principles.
Those of us creating better businesses, whether you’re focused on healthy skin, impactful storytelling, or anything in between, are paving the way for new world-wide industry standards. Let’s keep on keepin’ on!