Myroo Skincare is the UK’s first ‘free from’ skincare brand. Free from all 14 food allergens and made from 100% plant-based vegan ingredients, the company are sensitive to their customers and to the planet. As their philosophy says itself ‘kindness is at the heart of everything we do’. Sarah sits down with founder Rachael Dunseath, who offers her business advice to aspiring young people, and of course, her expert skincare wisdom.
Referring to Rachael’s nickname ‘Roo’, Myroo’s products are all produced in Yorkshire. Using carefully selected ingredients and made in small batches, the brand can ensure their products are always fresh and high-quality. After experiencing increasing allergies throughout her life, Rachael saw a gap in the market for free-from products. With over ten years of experience in marketing for financial services, she was well-equipped with knowing what it takes to manage and build a brand.
While Rachael’s business knowledge was of course a major benefit (she explains that EU skincare regulations are particularly strict, so her commercial insights here were particularly valuable) Myroo started slow and small. “We had several re-brandings in our first few years”, Rachael tells me, and this early “slow growth” period allowed her to find the brand’s ‘“free from” niche, and really experiment with the company’s identity. As Myroo gained momentum, Rachael enlisted the help of Leeds University alumni Buttercrumble, graphic illustrators who transformed Myroo’s image into what it is today.
Being 100% plant-based, Myroo pride themselves on being a sustainable and transparent company. Rachael sources ingredients with the lowest carbon footprint possible, and her packaging is recyclable and biodegradable. Although in an era when the major cosmetics brands are ‘greenwashing’ – that is, capitalising on the ‘clean’ skincare movement by making tokenistic offerings such as one-off ‘organic’ lines or sometimes just putting a green leaf on their packaging – I ask Rachael how we can try and navigate the confusing skincare marketplace and make conscious choices.
“Look out for specific ingredients on ingredients lists” Rachael tells me, if there’s something you don’t (or do) want in your products, then she advises you take a note of their scientific names (known as INCI name) and keep your eyes peeled. She also suggests that good skincare brands will always be prepared to talk about their products, so if you have questions about ingredients or processes, get in touch. Rachael says its important to her that her customers can always speak with her and her team directly if they have any concerns.
Refreshingly, she also emphasises the need not to be scaremongered by the clean movement in skincare. “Everything’s a chemical” Rachael tells me. “Water (or aqua as the INCI name goes by) is a chemical”, so don’t be too concerned by ploys like “chemical free” because they don’t really mean anything.
Relying on the riches of oils and butters nature has to offer, Myroo’s products are soothing yet luxurious. I tried the Orange Blossom cleanser. Containing apricot kernel oil and starflower oil, the product emulsified my makeup effectively, and removing it with the gentle muslin cloth ensured my face was left completely clean but not stripped. The cleanser is also available fragrance free, although given I find skincare routines a bit of a ritual, the rejuvenating orange scent made the process that extra bit special. The products are also packaged beautifully- they’d make for a great gift.
I asked Rachael her advice on setting up business for a young person. “It’s a great time to go for it” she says, “you probably have few responsibilities, no mortgage, no children, the stakes are less high”. We discuss the benefits of starting small, and she says that slow growth should not be seen as a failure. “You can make lots of valuable mistakes and learn lots because you don’t have much to lose as a small business” and Rachael reminds me that “overnight success stories” are unrealistic. Although with ten years of industry experience already behind her, she also says there’s benefits to establishing your industry skills first so you can apply them to your venture.
Now we are all waking up to the ethical and environmental implications of our consumer habits, the move away from big brands, to smaller, independent ones seems like a no-brainer. Myroo are a great example of a company who, with control over their supply chains, can remain true to their philosophy of kindness. Their products may be a little pricier than drugstore alternatives, but they make a worthwhile investment- first and foremost for our precious skin, but also for the planet.
Myroo are available online, and also @myrooskincare on Instagram. Their Amazon store are currently offering 25% off for Prime customers.
Title image credit: @myrooskincare Instagram