What springs to mind when you hear the words “natural beauty”?
Perhaps it’s achieving that fresh-faced, I-woke-up-like-this glow, or maybe it’s more about understanding the environmental impact of the products you use.
It’s interesting that the timing of the bare-faced beauty moment has coincided with our awakened environmental consciousness, which asks us to look at our daily habits and the effect they have on the planet.
Old brands have started flaunting new tricks, with many of them launching eco-conscious lines to show off their newfound commitment to saving the planet. But these conglomerate beauty brands aren’t always willing to change their business model for the sake of sustainability.
Then there’s BYBI, an all-natural skincare company founded by Elsie Rutherford and Dominika Minarovik. Their definition of “natural” isn’t about creating another unrealistic beauty standard—it’s not about repackaging “youthful” as “natural” to flog another eye cream. BYBI are working towards more honest definition of “natural beauty”, one steeped in sustainability, that empowers you to strip back the layers and feel comfortable in your skin.
They see themselves as a skincare brand using clean and efficient products designed to optimise skin health. To then, natural means creating a business firmly rooted in sustainability, achieved through the 3 pillars of ingredients, manufacturing and packaging.
BYBI products are made in the UK, and 70% of them are packaged in glass. They only use bioplastic derived from sugarcane where necessary, but they’d prefer not to use it at all.
You'll receive your order wrapped up in grass paper tissues and boxes (which is more sustainable than paper), and you can rest easy knowing all the ingredients used are renewable, up-cycled and ethically sourced.
We spoke to Founders Elsie and Dominika about the most shocking ingredients in mainstream beauty products, and how new brands are shaking up the industry.
Why do you think people are often more concerned about what they put into their bodies than on them?
Food and supplements are easier to understand, more visible and power our bodies, impacting our overall health. We all know what a good plate of greens looks like, and the benefit it has to our body. Skincare and bodycare can still impact our overall wellbeing, but it serves less of a purpose when it comes to vital bodily functions.
What are some of the most shocking ingredients you found in mainstream products?
We were more shocked about what wasn’t in them! For some of the mainstream products we used and loved, there was a very small percentage of active naturals and a whole lot of water or filler ingredients which only served a purpose to bulk out a product.
Why is your CBD oil booster so great for skin?
It’s great for blemish-prone, congested or irritated skin as it helps to reduce inflammation.
How dynamic is the beauty industry and how do you continue to innovate as a brand?
Typically, the beauty industry is not very dynamic at all. From manufacturing to packaging, practices are traditional, slow and resist change. However, newer brands are challenging this and paving the way for change. We’d like to think BYBI is playing its part in this change right now, especially when it comes to sustainability. We are able to innovate constantly by reflecting on current practices and making small, effective changes where we can. As a smaller brand we can be nimble and adapt quickly, something larger brands do not have the luxury of.
Your business grew out of an interest and passion for wellness—does being a founder ever threaten your wellbeing? How have you learnt to deal with that?
Definitely! As co-founders the ups and downs you experience when running your own business are constant. Couple this with a fast-paced, busy startup environment, it can be easy to forget about your own wellbeing entirely. Having a business partner to share the same experiences with—the successes and stresses—helps to keep it in check.
We see health as having three pillars—physical, mental and soulful. Which do you find the easiest and most difficult to maintain and why?
For us, physical health is definitely the easiest to maintain. We both enjoy exercise and love
maintaining our fitness. The most difficult to maintain is probably the soulful. As entrepreneurs and business owners, it can be hard to totally switch off and prioritise an activity that’s simply good for the soul!
Sustainability has so many different levels. Where are you on your sustainability journey and where would you like to be in five years?
Our goal is to be the most sustainable beauty brand in the world. We acknowledge it’s a huge goal, but consumers are demanding better—and it’s their purchasing decisions which will drive change.