Belgian brand JYB Cosmetics has brought their take on bio-organic skincare to the market circa 2014, and adamantly operates on a 100% transparency policy ever since. Savant peeked into their world of organic oils and earthly blends, and discussed the allure of today’s traceable beauty with Gauthier Berlemont, brand’s Marketing Director in United Kingdom, at Fofolles World Pop-up weekend held in Chelsea, London.
JYB — that’s miraculous, nourishing skin food in sexy packaging, all the trimmings. That’s the formula of honesty in a bottle, and no witchcraft.
That’s no news transparent beauty is having a moment in twenty sixteen. It feels like we finally care about what we put on our skin as religiously as we follow what goes into our bodies as real, nutritious food. Considering the cosmetic industry today, why do you think brands have finally turned to telling the truth?
I think you made a valid point — similarly to [this backlash trend of] food industry turning more transparent and people turning to organic food products and whole foods [as a conscious choice], they have also started to realise that nourishing the skin with the right, nutrient-rich ingredients is as important as providing balanced nutrition for their bodies. It appears that paraben and preservative heavy creams, that have no real effect, simply do not do the trick for us anymore. In a world where everyone wants to look younger and healthier, mainstream cosmetics can bring about a common side effect of prematurely ageing the skin.
“The texture is very rich, as if you rinse your face with 100 grams of pure rose [oil]. We want to bring the best of nature to the end customer, and have no time for lies.”
So would you say that Fairtrade bananas is as popular of a product as the fairtrade trend in skincare?
Indeed, you can support transparency in the food industry by buying and eating Fairtrade labelled bananas every day, and [for the customer] to introduce fairtrade beauty into the everyday use, we also advise people to use our products without skipping a single day. By religiously applying the day creams every morning and night creams before bedtime — only then will you see the difference. The secret of active use is that your skin becomes more structured and tightened pores disappear completely, it’s a miracle [of nature]. I mean, take the food or beauty industry, the world is a much more beautiful place with honest products.
What makes JYB stand out?
Our products are enhanced with a velvety, non-greasy texture, delicate fragrance and all consist a list of bioactive ingredients. There’s a row of pure ingredients that we use, from Jojoba to Macadamia to Orange Flower to Bulgarian Rose. All ingredients come from their true countries of origin — for example, we source Argan oil from Morocco, and Rose Hip from South Africa, etc. The texture is very rich, as if you rinse your face with 100 grams of pure rose [oil]. We want to bring the best of nature to the end customer, and have no time for lies.
I’m intrigued now. Tell me more about the brand’s behind-the-scenes…
Long story short, I discovered the product back in Belgium, and I found its formula exceptional because it actually has the highest percentage of organic ingredients in the whole wide market. At the same time, there’s no compromise [in terms of packaging]— the presentation is unique and trendy, unlike anything you can find in the cosmetic industry available today. There’s even more to the heritage and history of the product line. In fact, the brand was founded by two completely different professionals — one [founder] was already related to the beauty industry, and the other one was related to the finance and banking. Another wonderful story of how the combination of the most different industries can bring a successful product to the market.
“Take the food or beauty industry, the world is a much more beautiful place with honest products.”
It’s a relatively small product range on display. Also, each bottle is cherished with a fairly kind name, such as Like a Virgin, God Save the Skin and Sweet Dreams, as we like our true friends these days. Does that form a part of the honesty principle?
It’s a range of 10 different products altogether. All are made for facial use, and there is one body milk. The key thing is that we produce only products we ourselves believe in, hence the carefully selected range, and the names are designed to make them more desirable and user-friendly. We have worked very well on the transparency of the product by informing the consumer about the exact percentage of organic ingredients already on the packaging [they range from 52% to almost 98%, which is extremely high compared to other products that declare themselves fuss-free].
“About 7 years ago we found out that the organic — what you would call smelly and horrible natural ingredients — are the most beneficial for the skin, and they need to be made more attractive and accessible to the consumers.”
So, honestly, no fancy laboratories?
The products are still produced in a small-scale laboratory in Belgium — in vacuum chambers, to be precise, that way nothing goes missing of nature’s greatest power. We also follow a planet-saving policy to market the products without using any outer-packaging. Our mission is to be a 100% natural product — there are no biochemicals, no perfume, no parabenes, additives or colourants.
Leaving all the beneficial effects of your product aside, why should transparency matter in today’s beauty industry? How has the audience responded so far?
To me it is still personally linked to the story of our products. So, about 7 years ago we found out that the organic — what you would call smelly and horrible natural ingredients — are the most beneficial for the skin, and they need to be made more attractive and accessible to the consumers.
On one side, you have the ‘traditional’ cosmetics — commercial brands, which are widely known because they have done all the marketing and are selling their product due to excessive advertising, but are, in reality, packed with additives, colourants, and other biochemicals. After long-term use, they only worsen the skin’s texture as they fail to enhance the skin’s own natural condition. So, we gained access to the other side of the beauty industry — through testing, we found out that by combining the right formulas of organic, earthly ingredients, we can still manage to create nice textures and bring out the benefits of those exact plant-based ingredients without additives. The secret of branding lies simply in our natural ingredients formed into sexy, yet compact bottles that women like to carry in their handbags. We often forget that nature is the best remedy for the skin — no need to look further.
What is the main hardship in the marketing realm?
To be fair, we didn’t expect that the ‘honest beauty’ market has also grown incredibly tough. To give an example of how competitive the market has become nowadays, it’s even a challenge to get the product through the testing phase as the selection criteria for some retailers and health food branches has tightened tremendously — there are a few hundred products waiting to be tested in the line! So you truly have to make your product stand out to be a breakthrough. But once the key people try it, they buy into our concept, as we have nothing to hide as we come along. Being present here at Fofolles Popup week allows us to gain visibility — we found this a good opportunity to allow people to test our product and get more exposure in the Chelsea area.
Online aside, where else do you stock and sell? What’s JYB’s lookout for the near future?
Overall, the product has witnessed huge success in Belgium. We do sell on our website online, and also at selected online retailers. By far it’s more like an apothecary product — we stock in several pharmacies in Belgium. In Europe, we stock in France, UK, Spain and Italy now. We also plan to expand to the Middle Eastern market, for example, we are in negotiation with Dubai and Qatar at the moment, that mainly through online retailers. We try to start selling in the Gulf region. We’ve done a good job in the first two, time-test years, although we expect it to be more popular within the next 5 years. The more people are aware of it, the more they help to spread the message about the effects and importance of organic beauty in particular. It will change their skin’s texture and future, it’s as easy as this.
“We have worked very well on the transparency of the product by informing the consumer about the exact percentage of organic ingredients already on the packaging [they range from 52% to almost 98%, which is extremely high compared to other products that declare themselves fuss-free].”
There’s been a new Best Friend (exact name of JYB’s 71.6% bio-organic must-have cream) I’ve carried along in my handbag for a few days. A nice, moist texture of Agave and Shea butter that makes the skin feel firm and calm in the mornings. No complex additives, yet no skin SOS-s unresolved. JYB Cosmetics, merci!
JYB Cosmetics will be exclusively represented at Cosmoprof Worldwide, the professional trade show and exhibition for the beauty industry, in Bologna, Italy (March 18-21, 2016).