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REN Co-founder vies to spearhead drive away from skincare and into biomecare

Gaelle Walker
05 August 2021

REN Clean Skincare Co-founder Rob Calcraft is seeking to disrupt the UK’s skincare industry with the launch of the new microbiome science-driven brand Cultured.

Available at Cult Beauty from 5 August, Calcraft hopes that Cultured will spearhead a move away from skincare and into biomecare.

In an exclusive interview with TheIndustry.fashion Calcraft said: “Our little motto is ‘Say goodbye to skincare, say hello to biomecare’.

“Rather than fill a gap, we’d like to spearhead a new category, a new market which is microbiome science-driven products.”

The launch of Cultured marks Calcraft’s long-awaited return to the beauty industry since leaving REN, which was acquired by Unilever in 2015.

The beauty landscape had changed “so much” in the intervening years, with Calcraft pulled back in as a result of “the scientific revolution that is microbiome science,” he said.

Cultured exists because of the scientific revolution that is microbiome science," he added.

“It has not only changed our understanding of our bodies but more specifically, it has altered forever our understanding of the skin, how it functions and how to look after it. It’s proper science, it’s disruptive and it’s very exciting.

“We now know that the microbiome is integral to skin health and plays a vital role in the immune system. It also has the potential to radically improve the way we care for our skin.

“We became obsessed with microbiome science and the skin; we wanted to bring the world a skincare range that had microbiome science at its heart, that capitalised on the possibilities it offered to improve the health of skin and its appearance, as well as hopefully providing the psychological lift of feeling happy in and with your skin.”

"Cultured activates cells deeper within the skin using microbiome based actives that upregulate overall skin performance.

"It boosts epidermal growth, skin self-renewal, skin ‘cohesion’ and the production of key proteins and enzymes vital for skin quality such as collagen, elastin and anti-microbial peptides. The result is an increase in skin quality, radiance and ‘youthfulness’.

"We have partnered these actives with other new-era, skin-enhancing ingredients, such as fermented oils and glycolipids that deliver outstanding results with light, silky, modern textures that absorb easily and have delightful skin feel.

"So different philosophy, different science, different ingredients, different actives and different textures and skin feel."

Cultured is launching with the Biome One collection – a trio of products that offer a “streamlined regime “to support and balances the microbiome while activating the skin’s ability to protect, repair and renew itself.

Cultured is also "doing its bit" to care for the ocean and earth biome - with a goal to  eliminate all virgin plastic componentry by 2025, Calcraft added.

Cultured’s bottles are made from 100% recyclable glass which have been spray coated in an environmentally-friendly water-based paint.

Where plastic is “unavoidable” the brand also uses recyclable and recycled plastic where possible.

Tubes are made with 40% PCR plastic while caps are 100% PCR.

The brand also doesn’t produce any sample sachets, with Calcraft adding that he would support a ban on them in personal care.

“The advances in recyclable and recycled plastic technology are significant and we are constantly on the outlook for better packaging solutions.

"Our goal is to eliminate virgin plastic componentry by 2025,” he added.

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