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The Interview: How Founder Katy Cottam is championing women’s health with her microbiome balancing bodycare brand Luna Daily

Sophie Smith
30 May 2024

Head, vulva, knees and toes… An unexpected remix of the classic children's song, but an important message Luna Daily champions nonetheless with its range of microbiome balancing bodycare for all skin - even the most intimate.

Founded by beauty industry veteran Katy Cottam, Luna Daily was created to give women a choice and combine bodycare with the outdated ‘feminine hygiene’ category. Its line-up of gentle yet effective products form part of the brand's wider mission to connect women to each other and their entire bodies, with education that drives understanding and normalises the conversation around intimate care and women's health.

In this interview with, Cottam speaks about the inspiration behind Luna Daily, how it's filling a gap in the market, how the brand champions women’s health beyond its product offer, her ambitions for the brand, and more.

What inspired you to launch Luna Daily?

Luna Daily was born from my own teenage experience of getting thrush after an intensive course of antibiotics. I was 19, studying in India, and when I returned to the UK I was really unwell. I was put on a very intensive course of antibiotics that fundamentally changed my gut and skin microbiome. From that moment onwards, I wasn’t able to use traditional body products to care for my intimate skin, but I really resented having to use these outdated, synthetic, highly embarrassing 'feminine hygiene' products available, with all the "whats wrong with her?" associations.

Ever since then, I felt like it’s an undeserving category for women. It also got me thinking, "Why are we embarrassed about caring for our vulvas?" and "Why do we even need separate products for our vulvas?". I decided life was short and quit my job as Global Head of Brand at Charlotte Tilbury to set up Luna Daily after conducting some pioneering research, which confirmed it wasn't just me that felt this way. The Luna Daily strap line is Head, Vulva, Knees and Toes – we are a microbiome and balancing bodycare brand for all skin, even your most intimate, catering for all ages and stages from daily care through motherhood and menopause.

How did you take the brand from concept to creation?

The first thing I did was conduct research amongst thousands of women of all ages, stages and skin types to confirm that it wasn't just me that felt this way. Three themes of that research were, unfortunately, a huge lack of failure in our education system, meaning that we're not taught about anatomically correct language. We don't know the difference between the vulva and the vagina, which means we can't label anatomically correct language correctly. and this lack of education drives confusion. The second theme was that body washing products are causing gynaecological problems - for 43% of women, their body washing routines have caused them to have a gynaecological issue. The third is that people are really embarrassed by the existing ‘feminine hygiene’ category, with the products available typically only bought if you've had a problem and that further drives the shame.

So, the first thing we did was conduct some research, then I set out to create the brand identity and brand name. The word ‘Luna’ derives from moon in many languages, and the moon is a visibly reassuring yet beautiful daily presence that connects every woman everywhere. I like to think that we are shining a light on topics that for so long had been kept in the dark.

How has Luna Daily's range developed since launch and how do you decide what products to bring out?

We launched Luna Daily with a range of core products designed for all skin types and designed to be used everywhere on the body, but also to drive proactive self-care routines – rather than a category which can rarely have reactive products. We really wanted to think about the regime and catering to different needs and times.

We have the core Luna Daily ‘Everywhere’ range, which as the name applies – can be used everywhere! This includes a natural lotion, wash and a (No) Soap bar, as the world's first soap-free bar proven to be 30% more moisturising than traditional soap. We also have the Luna Daily Spray To Wipe, which is an alternative to single-use wipes and our Luna Daily Everything Oil, which is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of redness, bumps and dark spots. Very soon after that, we launched a fragrance-free range for super sensitive or allergy-prone skin and the Luna Daily Hydrating range, which is great for dark, dry, dehydrated or hormone-reactive skin, perfect for perimenopause and menopause. We also just launched a Skin Support Oil for stretch marks, hyperpigmentation and dark spots and a Repair Treatment for scars, particularly uneven texture and scars from C-section, acne (including body acne), or surgery.

How we decide what to launch next comes from our medical team, the Luna Daily Medical Collective, and also customer insights. The Luna Daily Medical Collective is built up of a team of phenomenal medical experts that share insights of what they're seeing in the clinic, but also feed into all of our product development and approve all of our products, knowing what our customers are asking for. The stretch mark oil (Luna Daily Skin Support Oil) was one of the most requested products! It’s brilliant to be able to carve out new innovations and categories that have been typically underserved. We will never bring out a product that already exists or we don't really think there's a real function and we will always aim to improve it versus what exists in the market, be that through formulation, clinical testing, packaging, and all of the above.

What sets Luna Daily apart from other brands?

The first thing is that we are not a feminine hygiene brand – Luna Daily is a microbiome balancing bodycare brand for all skin, even intimate. The ‘feminine hygiene’ category has marketed to people that you need specific products for your vulva and it's a lie, you don't need specific products for your vulva! Your vulva is just skin – all skin has a pH of about four and a half to five and a half and your vulva is the external part of your female anatomy. It has very similar glands to those under your arms, which is why you typically grow hair in both regions, but it's just skin, it's not a different pH. Therefore, we don't need specific products for our vulva. It's often that women will present issues such as dryness, irritation, BV or thrush, but the truth is, all of our bodies are better off using microbiome balancing, much more suitable pH products for all of their skin. If you suffer from dry skin, itchy, flaky skin, eczema, or psoriasis, it might be because of the pH or the microbiome has been disturbed. Our ethos is that we are products designed for everywhere from head, vulva, knees, and toes - all skin, including your most intimate, so these are products that you can trust that they will be safe to use on your intimate skin. But importantly, they're also really enjoyable to use everywhere else. So in that sense, we're very different to feminine hygiene brands.


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As a female-founded brand, how does Luna Daily champion women’s health beyond its product offering?

First comes products, and how we create a globally differentiated category of products that has not existed before, the second is by normalising conversations, and the third is by helping revolutionise education. These two pillars are as important as the first pillar, because ultimately, the federal health crisis that we are in is because of a lack of conversation and a lack of education. So, all three pillars are fundamentally important to Luna Daily as a brand.

How do you feel about the brand’s growth since launch? Can you tell me about any highlight moments?

Luna Daily is two years young and the first-ever intimate product brand to launch into Sephora stores in North America. We are in 500 Boots stores in the UK and are available at Cult Beauty and Holland & Barrett too. So from a retail perspective, I'm phenomenally proud of the launches because it's a real reflection of the change in the retail environment, which ultimately is what helps change consumer behaviour by seeing our products on a shelf next to products that you can use on your vulva, next to haircare, skincare, and makeup.

Some other key highlights have to be launching the world's first Vulva Therapy campaign. There is a video of me on TikTok that has over a million views explaining the difference between a vulva and vagina and similarly an article on our website explaining the difference got over 700,000 organic search views, which I'm really proud of because it shows that there is a real need for education, and we're helping to change it.

Another highlight was working with a group of other female founded brands to overturn Meta's global guidelines around reproductive and sexual health. So we actually managed to change the guidelines. Really scarily the word vagina was one of the most censored words on social media. It was really quite worrying.

Has Luna Daily's retail partnerships contributed to the brand’s growth? Any plans to expand its presence further?

It's absolutely contributed to our brand's growth. I really believe that making it as easy as possible for people to buy these products as part of their daily/weekly routines is really important. Also, seeing these products next to other categories does so much for changing consumer behaviour, and the embarrassment is a factor. Our focus for now is going to be continuing to grow our presence within our retail partners in the UK and US and build up productivity, but you will definitely see range extensions too. We have some exciting new innovation coming up next month, that is a whole new category for us. So you'll see lots more innovation coming from us. But our focus really is going to be expanding within the retail partners we're in.

What was your marketing strategy when the business first launched? Is this different from today? 

Our marketing strategy has always been to facilitate and drive conversations between women of all ages and stages. And that hasn't changed and will not change. What has changed is where we spend our time, our focus and our resources, and leaning into influencers and creators to help us drive that conversation further.

I would say less and less we're relying on traditional paid media and more relying on earned media, particularly for influencers and creators. We've had real successes on both Instagram and TikTok of going viral and we see a direct impact not just on awareness of the brand but actually in sales and conversion too.

What are your ambitions for the brand?

I would like Luna Daily to be the number one Womanhood brand globally, helping women to connect to each other and their entire bodies and supporting them through every stage of womanhood.

From a more personal perspective, I want millions more people to feel like I do now and less like I did at 19 years old. I now feel free of the shackles of shame and embarrassment – I don't mind saying the word vulva! I don't mind saying I got thrush when I was 19 and I am proof that if you normalise the conversation and educate, then it no longer becomes embarrassing. So, I want more people to feel like I do now.

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