Christina Moss - Bloom & Blossom
The skincare market is a booming industry but when beauty expert, Poppy Watt was introduced to new range Bloom and Blossom, she was sufficiently interested to meet with one of its founders, Christina Moss, to find out more.
We all know the old saying that less is more. Perhaps not the case when you are giving to a needy charity, however when it comes to the fine ingredients in skincare products it appears to be quite relevant.
Entrepreneur Christina Moss is one of the two founders of Bloom and Blossom, a premium skincare range for mothers, mother’s to be and babies and from the very start of the interview she was keen to impress upon me that one of the key principals of her organisation is to use the minimum number of ingredients to achieve the maximum results. Being used to the hyperbole that is rife in this industry I suggested she explain her philosophy to me in more detail.
"Analysing ingredients is a continual process when it comes to the beauty industry. Ideas develop and new combinations are formulated and that will always be the way.
"However such changes are not always beneficial to our bodies, but are used as efficient sales aids by some of the big corporations. For example, we want products to smell nice, we want products to lather more and we want products to have a long shelf life, but we don't want any of these requirements to affect the price. Because of this, we have a market place flooded with cheap ranges, bulked up with synthetic ingredients that can actually cause more skin care problems rather than cure them."
With this in mind, Christina - who’s career path is in marketing - and her business partner, who comes from a PR background, put their heads together and did some good old-fashioned research.
"We wanted to eliminate any unnecessary synthetic fillers, bulking agents or additives. Our studies covered a huge scale from active ingredients to what the educated woman wants to use on her body; the range is targeted at those who know their skincare products and expect high results from them and more importantly, on women who are pregnant or have just had a baby. What we put into our bodies during this time has a profound effect on the child we are carrying. Doctors will tell you to stop smoking, refrain from alcohol and eat sensibly but many mothers-to-be often forget that monitoring what beauty products they use is also of vital importance as the skin absorbs so much of what is put on it.
"The principals are the same after birth, especially if you are breast feeding.
"Many of my friends started to have babies and when looking for suitable gifts, I felt the choice of quality skincare was limited. There were some natural products on the market but they were either very hempy or hippy-ish or quite cutsie, covered in fluffy bunnies and quacking ducks. There was nothing smart and sophisticated – the kind of product you are proud to display in your vanity unit. We realised that there was a gap in the market and out of this gap, Bloom and Blossom was born. We want to emphasise the importance of safe skincare during pregnancy," Christina assures me.
"This is a more important time than ever to be aware of what you are using on your skin. We have realised that the ingredients list on skincare products is not always easy to follow and sometimes they can be hidden under packaging. Many companies disguise their ingredients by listing them in Latin, this can be deceiving and confusing to the customer, therefore at Bloom and Blossom we have listed ours in English so you can see exactly what you are putting onto your skin."
The collection uses only the absolute essential number of high quality ingredients required to deliver exceptional results.
"Every ingredient has earned its right to be there. Our active ingredient inclusion level is between 5-10%, making our products some of the most effective on the market."
To ensure the customer knows exactly what they are putting onto their baby’s skin, each product features a unique numerals design that informs you of how many ingredients are in the product, the minimum being 5 and the maximum being 12, (against perhaps 30-40 in other ranges) with further descriptions of what each ingredient is, why it has been selected and what it delivers.
To complete the collection the ladies even took care to research their packaging. The distinguishing boxes are subtle and feminine – the mother’s range is in a classic black and white, whereas the baby range is in a fresh green, purple or blue and white. Not only does this look good on your bathroom shelf but knowing that the packaging is fully recyclable, the cardboard is from FSC certified, carbon neutral and controlled sources and the products are made in the UK adds that little touch of confidence.
The skin goes through many changes during pregnancy, some products may begin to irritate sensitive skin – like petrol-based products containing petrolatum, propylene glycol, isopropyl alcohol, paraffin and mineral oil. Some may cause allergies, birth defects and even effect breast milk. Look out for ethoxylated alcohols, such as sodium laureth sulphate (SLS) – which can cause skin and eye irritation and polyethylene glycol(PEG) Parabens, such as butylparaben and others beginning with methyl-, propyl-and ethyl-. These are absorbed by the skin and can accumulate in the body.
Some studies have actually found traces in breast tissue. Parfum and fragrances, such as artificial musk can also build up in the body and have been found in breast milk. Retinol, such as tretinoin, adapalene, tazarotene and retinyl are also to be avoided as large doses in pregnancy may harm the development of the embryo.
It's a frightening list to read, especially for any first time mother. We tend to trust manufacturers and often accept that what we use in the bathroom is going to be of benefit to our bodies. Sadly the deeper we dig, the more disturbing facts we uncover.
"Bloom and Blossom has taken the pressure and worry away from mothers to be. Pregnancy is a very special time in a woman’s life. It is a time to rest, restore and relax before the baby arrives. Having the right skincare for you and your newborn is one less thing to concern yourself about."
I must confess that I came to the interview sceptical and ready to believe that Bloom and Blossom was just another marketing wannabe trying to climb on board the health and beauty bandwagon. I'm happy to admit that not only was I wrong but also enlightened by their attitude and ethos.
For more information regarding the Bloom and Blossom range, which recently launched at Harrods visit www.bloomandblossom.com