Lucy Kuper Founder of Biologi was recently in New Zealand. She was a guest speaker at the NZ Hair & Beauty Expo in Auckland. We caught up with her at the Biologi Stand along with NZ Distributors House of Camille.
What inspired you to get involved in developing a new skincare brand?
I met Ross Macdougald in 2017 while I was working as a senior laser technician, skin therapist and educator. I had already developed a deep passion for this industry and meeting Ross further cemented the fact that there was so much more that could be done. At that time, Biologi had its name, the concept and design for the first three products.
Upon meeting, we quickly realised there was synergy there and opportunity to build something really different. As such, we started working together to launch Biologi alongside our CFO Janel Morrissey in September 2017. It would be an understatement to say that it’s been such an exciting ride ever since!
About a year after we officially launched, Ross asked me if I would like to lead the brand. While I was nervous, I was also really excited about the prospect of taking the brand to the next level. Not only that, it fully aligned with my ambition professionally. I live and breathe our industry, and have a particular passion for helping clients achieve amazing results on their skin journey.
My biggest goal was to prove that a clean beauty products could absolutely sit in the professional space. What many people don’t know is that while Biologi is a ‘Clean Beauty’ brand. It is also 100% active which makes it a cosmeceutical as well.
Biologi was developed using Ross’s CLECS II extraction technology so science is at the core of our brand. At that time, Clean Beauty was only just beginning but unfortunately brands often only sat in one category, either ‘Clean Beauty’ or ‘Cosmeceutical’. We knew that we could absolutely sit in both the clean beauty space and the cosmeceutical space – but there wasn’t actually a category that represented this.
So we decided to create one – Clean Cosmeceuticals. This is technically a skincare category that was created by Biologi, allowing us to prove we were a serious skincare brand that absolutely had a place in the professional world.
Over the past 5 years we have really pushed into the professional space, and we’ve been able to fill a gap for many salons and stockists. Today, we are so proud that we have over 120 stockists of Biologi all around the globe. Many of these stockists are in advanced or holistic skin clinics who are wanting a clean brand for their clients, but one that works on a cosmeceutical level – that’s us!
How did you go about selecting the desired formula for each product?
When I first met Ross, he had already developed the concept for the original 3 products (Biologi’s Bd, Bk and Bf Serums) using single plant extracts from Australian natives. Ross’ background is in product formulation, and he created proprietary technology that enabled us to extract the activity from plants and deliver 100% active, yet natural, serums. This was a world first so it’s no surprise that they were incredibly successful when they first launched. In fact, they were so different to anything else on the market and I’m proud to say that we’ve continued to pioneer in that sense. We’re constantly developing products that are at the forefront of the industry – products that contain incredible phyto-actives that work on the skin on a cellular level, sans all the synthetics typically seen in skincare products.
As the years have rolled by, we have tweaked the names of the original 3 products and expanded their usage. Given that our proprietary extraction technology is still so new, we are learning more and more about these pure plant extracts that are extracted from our technology. Because of this, the products are constantly evolving and growing from the trials we do and our customer feedback.
We now have 14 products that harness our extraction technology! All of these products have come from identifying a gap in the market and working on how we can make a product better – showcasing what pure plant phyto-actives can really do.
What makes Biologi stand out from the crowd, what is its special point of difference?
Oh, where do I start?! Firstly, every drop of Biologi is made from clean ingredients. We like to think of it as the concentrated life force direct from the plant cells – Biologi products are 100% pure and 100% active, that means they’re never watered down, bulked out or created in a lab. We mean it when we say clean – our serums are so natural that you can actually drink them!
However their intended purpose in your face, body and hair, offering you powerful results on a cellular level. Using a revolutionary extraction system; Biologi mimics the plant’s internal closed process to extract serums that work in the bottle as they do in their unique cellular environment.
Secondly, we’re able to deliver such clean products thanks to our patented extraction technology which is a world first in the industry. In fact, we’re proud to say that we’ve been able to claim the title of ‘world first’ more than once. Some of Biologi’s products contain world first natural Vitamin C (not ascorbic acid).
That’s because our extraction technique takes pure serum from the plant and places it in your bottle, so the product works on your skin exactly as it does in the plant. This means that your skin gets nutrients that are highly efficient and effective without any synthetic additives. We’re really proud of this because many other skincare brands are selling ‘natural Vitamin C’ but it is actually a synthetic version of this ingredient.
Thirdly, as mentioned earlier, we’ve really bridged a gap between the Clean Beauty and Cosmeceutical space. So much so that we had to create our own skincare category – Clean Cosmeceuticals. Our customers know they can come to us for safe and clean skincare products that are going to actually work like a Cosmeceutical would.
Then, we are also one of the few skincare brands in the world that is truly ‘plant-to-bottle’. Biologi source their product directly from the wholesaler (cutting out all the middlemen who would normally make a profit during this process).
We know our products are Clean because we work with the farmers who grow our ingredients. Pure extracts of Kakadu Plum, Davidson Plum, Finger Lime and the list goes on. Nothing diluted, just 100% active products that works to transform your skin at every stage and age.
And finally, (but I could go on forever) the results just speak for themselves. So many of our customers kindly send in their before and after photos and it’s almost unbelievable what our products have done for their skin. People with sensitive skin like eczema, rosacea, dermatitis, or even acne prone, or pregnant women know they can turn to us and find a product that is going to help them.
You are based in Ballina, not far from Byron Bay. How does living in such a lovely area effect the way you see the world as far as skincare?
I feel so grateful to be able to live here! It’s an incredibly calming, inspiring and relaxing place which often gives me the right headspace to think outside the box, and work on ways of doing better for the planet and for people.
What is personally your favourite Biologi product and why?
Ahhhh that’s like making me choose a favourite fur baby! I love them all, but my skin in particular loves Bf Restore Serum. It contains just two ingredients and harnesses the power of Finger Lime, delivering world first natural Vitamin C. This is a brilliant all round product that works to hydrate your face, body, lips and even hair. It’s the ultimate take-everywhere product and even better that it comes in many different sizes – love the 20ML travel size which I take all over the world with me.
Up there with the Bf Serum would have to be the Bk Vitamin C Serum which another incredible skin saviour that I like to alternate with the Bf. It’s made from Kakadu Plum and works incredible as an eye serum or all over the face for a Vitamin C hit. Then I also use the By Blackberry Seed Oil every evening, this goes on after my serum. I like to think of the By as the ultimate ‘oil-in-one: It’s a nutritive cold pressed oil that harnesses the natural power of Blackberry Seed Oil to deliver a world-first plant-based Vitamin K.
Our By Blackberry Seed Oil assists in repairing, protecting the skin, whilst providing superior hydration. I LOVE this oil because I wake up with a complexion that’s bright and luminous. And last, but not least, our new Bio Cellulose Sheet Masks! They are unlike any other sheet mask I have tried, are perfect for travel, and are guilt free. When I say guilt free, I mean the fact that they are eco-friendly and sustainable, but still aligned to our brand ethos of 100% active skincare.
If you were to give someone one piece of advice, regarding their skincare, what would that be?
Everyone’s skin is different but one thing that is always true is that an effective skincare routine also needs to go hand in hand with a great diet, gut health, professional treatments etc to get incredible results. The other thing is that the aim should always be healthy skin, not perfect skin — there’s no such thing. It’s all about real skin, real results.
Sustainability is the current catch phase, where does Biologi stand on this?
Sustainability is at the forefront of everything we do At Biologi. We’ve implemented practices and policies that prioritise environmental, social, and economic sustainability. We control our entire production process from plant to bottle. This often means dealing with suppliers close to home where we have built strong relationships with communities who harvest our ingredients (as well as creating ethical wholesaler arrangements with legitimate companies whose product is harvested by those living in the Aboriginal communities).
For us it’s incredibly important to work closely with these communities and ensure ethical and sustainable practices. While it’s often common for skincare brands to have several links in a supply chain, we source our product directly from the wholesaler (cutting out all the middlemen who would normally make a profit during this process).
This also ensures we know where our ingredients are coming from (to maintain safe practices with our suppliers and ensure purity of ingredients). This means customers can always rest assured knowing that Biologi products use single ingredients of a pure plant extract and have not been diluted along the way.
We’re also aware that we have things that we can improve and are continually looking at ways we can do this. A great example is our packaging – we have continually searched for a more environmentally friendly alternative to our packaging. Given the nature of our serums, we are limited to the current plastic offering which is crucial for our serums to contain their activity in the bottle (with the exception of our oils Br Rosehip Oil and By Blackberry Seed Oil which is housed in a glass bottle, and our sheet masks).
However, to reduce our environmental impact, we have launched Biologi Bottle Swap, Powered by TerraCycle. This program gives customers the ability to return their empty Biologi bottles for recycling in return for a 15% discount on their next order. By sending the waste to TerraCycle, Biologi and its customers will eliminate the need for it to end up as litter, in a landfill or incineration facility. Instead, new materials and products will be made with the collected bottles, reducing the need to extract new materials from the planet.
Looking into your Crystal Ball, where does the future of Skincare lie?
Ah, the million dollar question! I think it will start to become more science and evidence led, rather than the trend of the past few years which has been very focussed on aesthetics (a.k.a people buying products just based on pretty packaging or ‘trending’ ingredients that make no sense). People will start to look for skincare that is going to give them real results, not just products that feel temporarily nice on the skin.
I think we’ll also see a move towards people treating their skin more holistically – that is, looking at their diet, gut health and lifestyle, and how they can also treat these things to help their skin. While skincare is certainly part of the equation, all the other factors need to align as well!