The Wednesday Launch
A new skincare phenomenon has descended upon me. And it has descended in the form of the first and only skincare brand created to call out food and fragrance allergens. As so many of you know, I am passionate about skin health and I consider this to be one of the most important skincare launches I have ever done, and I’ve done rather a lot. So please allow me to introduce you to Oodee, Allergen Neutral Skincare.
Such is the importance of this launch, that I have taken it out of the Weekend Read, and that’s a first too because I don’t believe I have ever launched a brand outside of the VH newsletters, and I’ve been writing those for more than twenty years. But then Oodee, and its three core launch products, deserves to stand alone, because what I am doing here is not only launching a brand, but launching a huge awareness campaign regarding allergies and skincare. A subject that the beauty industry really doesn’t want to talk about, but I’m talking about it because I am allergic to most skincare products, and I know I am not alone.
So let’s do some straight talking and I will start by saying that unlike the food industry, which is legally required to call out the 14 major food allergens enabling the consumer to have complete transparency, the beauty industry is not obliged to do the same. It is not a requirement to highlight food allergens on cosmetic products, and although beauty brands must legally list 26 fragrance allergens by name, there are actually 82 in total. This means a consumer who suffers from intolerances, or allergies, has no way of knowing which products are suitable for them, and in so many instances may not even realise that their skincare can cause a flare-up. The thing that is truly bothersome here is that in the vast majority of cases, it is not your skin that is the issue, but the skincare you are using.
According to research carried out by Allergy UK, the UK has some of the highest prevalence rates of allergic conditions in the world, with over 20% of the population affected by one or more allergic disorders. And it’s ever increasing. I write incessantly about the use of essential oils in skincare, yet the beauty industry have stated in the past that they are non-irritants, which beggars belief. And if I’m continuing to write from personal experience, I am also highly allergic to Kiwi Fruit, so why are we not treating our skincare as we treat our diet? I share this simple message with you. If you don’t eat it, why on earth would you put it on your skin?
I shall continue with a quote from Dr Peter Green, who is the world’s leading gluten and celiac doctor, from Columbia University: ‘For people who have a gluten intolerance and would like to avoid gluten in their skincare regime, then Oodee is the answer’. This is further backed by words from Dr Celia Zubrinich FRACP, an Allergist and an Immunologist: ‘More awareness and research studies are needed on topical allergen exposure. This subject ought to receive more attention in the coming years. Brands like Oodee are paving the way for people to be aware of the ingredients in their skincare products and choose to avoid known allergens’.
I am particularly attracted to pioneering brands, but it’s far more than that. If we are to understand what a brand stands for, then we need to dig deep and we need to educate ourselves. And although I know rather a lot about allergies, I have been wading through five years of research and development carried out by Oodee, and I could not have written many of these words without the help of the in-depth research papers, and the extensive list of known allergens, which I will share with you soon.
Skincare has to change. And it has to change because of the confusion that surrounds allergens and potential irritants in beauty products. Since when were skincare products, which are loaded with allergens, ever suitable for sensitive skin. Since when was ‘clean beauty’ clean when so many of these brands contain allergens that may trigger intolerances and skin flare-ups. And I have in front of me the ingredient list of a vegan, plant-based skincare product. There are ten food and fragrance allergens in this formulation. Research has indicated that 58% of ‘clean’ beauty users have suffered from a skin irritation or flare-up while using a beauty product, and 90% of those who did, had no idea why.
And that’s the issue really. Some people know their skin triggers, others don’t, which is a huge concern. What is even more concerning is that there are very few who truly understand the extent of this issue. All too often steroids and anti-histamines are doled out without any due consideration for the root cause of skin issues. It may well be a short-term fix, but it’s not the solution, and it won’t be until we gain a fuller understanding of allergens in skincare, so that we may make educated skincare choices.
If I may, I would now like to share some further research with you and this comes in the form of three different lists. The first lists the 14 major food allergens responsible for 90% of all allergic reactions; the second 26 fragrance allergens, and you may well be surprised by some of the ingredients listed. Finally, the third lists all other known skin irritants. So if your skin is prone to flare-up, please do check the ingredients of the skincare products you are using as this may help you. And, if you get small bumps under the skin, this may also be an allergic reaction to certain products. That much I know. From experience.
14 Major Food Allergens; 26 Fragrance Allergens; Other Known Skin Irritants
Before I introduce you to the Co-Founders of Oodee, I will just say that this brand has been a long time coming. I’m not talking here about the five years of research undertaken by Oodee, but more about the need to redefine standards and values in the beauty industry. Empowerment comes with choice, and I will do all I can to support Karen Harwood and Victoria Tydeman as they set the benchmark with this new, responsible and pioneering sector of skincare.
So the introductions. Karen Harwood is a Co-Founder and CEO and she is the skincare professional who couldn’t use skincare. Victoria Tydeman is a Co-Founder and COO and I have known Victoria for the longest time. We met when I launched SteamCream for her, a brand she has since sold. It was at that time that I told her that however beautiful her brand was, I couldn’t use it because of my allergies. And that’s something she has never forgotten. I am so grateful for that.
As I turn to the three launch products, I think it would be very easy to believe that by forensically formulating Allergen Neutral skincare, it could be ‘less than’. Except nothing could be further from the truth as Oodee have created plant-based, high-performance, result-driven formulations. Its proprietary ingredient, DermaRDE+ (Recommended Daily Everything+) is a true multi-vitamin for skin and it combines 22 vital nutrients, superfoods and potent actives, scientifically proven to optimise the health of our skin. Additionally, the formulations contain the world’s first Allergen Neutral fragrance, because sensorial experience is important too.
Let’s do the products, and it’s a three-step routine:
Halo Foaming Cleanser: This is a deliciously lightweight whipped cream cleanser. It is non-drying (I’ve been testing) and it stars two hero ingredients, Rice Protein to gently purify and cleanse the skin, and Prickly Pear extract to protect, soothe and lock in hydration, so you don’t get that tight feeling after using it. Anything with Prickly Pear in it is good with me and the Halo Foam Cleanser is scented with Avocado and Apricot.
Halo Foaming Cleanser by Oodee £24 for 150 ml
Aurora Perfecting Serum: Oodee call this radiance in a bottle and I understand why. It is supercharged with a cocktail of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients, including Niacinamide and Biodynamic Shiso Sprouts, the latter of which is known to improve luminosity in skin. Once again, the warming notes of Avocado and Apricot are present in this serum, which glides beautifully on your skin and neck. We must never forget our necks!
Aurora Perfecting Serum by Oodee £65 for 50 ml
Nova Illuminating Moisturiser: Nova Illuminating Moisturiser brightens like the star it is named after, say Oodee. And I understand why because it really does brighten your skin. It is loaded with a potent mix of Vitamin C and Biodynamic Buckwheat Sprouts, which combine to protect and improve skin tone. It is beautifully rich and luxurious in texture and whilst Oodee proclaim this to be their hero product, I actually think they are all pretty heroic actually on so many different levels.
Nova Illuminating Moisturiser by Oodee £55 for 50 ml
Right Oodee, consider yourself launched. Except I’m not quite finished yet. For balance, I understand that whilst an ever-increasing number of people are experiencing sensitivity to products, it doesn’t affect all of us. But this is an extraordinarily important launch and campaign, and as such I believe the journey ahead is crucial if we are to uphold everything that we collectively believe in. And quite honestly, you can use this powerful skincare range even if you don’t have allergies.
We are supporting this launch with a rather special offer. There are several reasons for doing this, but primarily if your skincare is problematic, we would like to give you the opportunity of trying all three products, as these may well be your skin saviours. Each of us are different, but if we want to experience a change in our skin, then our products have to change. If you were to buy each of the products separately, the cost would be £144. Except I’m guessing most of you won’t be doing that, as I tell you that the introductory price of Oodee’s 3-Step Phenomenal Skin Edit , containing all three products, is £105.
3-Step Phenomenal Skin Edit by Oodee £105 (Halo Foaming Cleanser; Aurora Perfecting Serum; Nova Illuminating Moisturiser)
Finally, thank you for reading this. Launching a new brand is never easy, but I hope that in some way my words will raise the awareness and transparency that have been so lacking for those of us who have very little choice in the products that we use.