Founders of Veriphy Skincare Uplift Women in STEM
One would think that the cosmetics industry would be built upon symbiotic relationships. For skin to be healthier, consumers should be using high-quality formulas. For makeup to perform well, it should be applied onto a base of good skincare. And with regular use of good skincare, consumers can use less makeup to cover up fine lines, discoloration, or any so-called imperfections.
If anyone wants their skincare and makeup routine to work in tandem instead of in competition, consumers need high-quality, clean, and effective formulas in every beauty category.
Instead, we see a plethora of skincare and makeup options that are packed with comedogenic ingredients which clog your pores and make your daily makeup and skincare routine a never-ending cyclical process of maintaining the status quo with no improvement to your skin’s health, or appearance, in sight.
Founders of Veriphy Skincare, Alison Crumblehulme and Jessica Kizovski, saw there was an opportunity in the beauty industry to create a skincare line that not only helped acne, but also recharged the skin and created a clean base for makeup artists.
Before launching Veriphy Skincare, Crumblehulme was a VP of Business Development at Mirexus Biotechnologies, the company created to bring phytoglycogen (Veriphy's star ingredient) to the market. As a chemist and MBA grad, she saw incredible potential in this material, which sparked the idea to develop her own skincare line with the ingredient at the forefront.
Fellow chemist and accomplished make-up artist, Kizovski was also blown away with the ingredient and took to engineering several innovative, high-end skincare formulations with phytoglycogen. Together, they were a perfect match for launching a skincare business.
Find out about their special, not-so-secret, ingredient plant-based PhytoSpherix® phytoglycogen, how their line is run by and benefits women in STEM, and their personal Veriphy Skincare favorites.
If you're just as thrilled as we are to try out clean, vegan beauty brands, then you're going to want to sign up for Kinder Beauty so you can experience Veriphy's 20/20 Eye Cream in our October box!
ABOUT VERIPHY SKINCARE
KB: Tell us about your plant-based PhytoSpherix® phytoglycogen ... how it's sourced, why it's better than its non-vegan counterpart, and why it's great for your skin.
AC & JK: Phytoglycogen (PhytoSpherix®) is the power behind Veriphy Skincare. Featured in a high concentration, you can find this powerful ingredient in every product.
Glycogen (or referred to as phytoglycogen, when plant-derived) is naturally occurring. It is found within every cell of your body and plays a vital role in energy storage. Like many components in the skin, as we age, our natural storage of glycogen decreases. Less glycogen means less energy. When you apply it topically, you not only replenish your skin's natural storage of glycogen, but you also help to fuel your cells to produce other essential compounds like collagen and elastin.
PhytoSpherix (phytoglycogen) is sourced from non-GMO sweet corn and is extracted using a patented green, water-based process free from any harsh chemicals. This extraction process allows for sustainable manufacturing and leaves the phytoglycogen completely intact and unmodified.
Prior to the discovery of plant-derived glycogen, glycogen was mainly extracted from animal sources. This form of glycogen can be damaged during the extraction due to the harsh extraction process and can be problematic to those with shellfish allergens.
KB: As two women in STEM, you made it a part of your business to help other women start a career in similar fields. Why do you find women avoid STEM concentrations and in what ways do you help other women in STEM?
AC & JK: As a start-up led by women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), one of our early initiatives is to promote and celebrate women in STEM as they (we) are largely underrepresented in these fields.
We believe women are less likely to study and stay in a STEM career due to the lack of support and awareness for women in these fields. Like referring to women as "girls," the language used in the industry leads to an environment where, consciously or subconsciously, women are viewed as less valuable. Women are also tasked with balancing their work and home life. As a society, we need to offer more support to keep these talented and brilliant women in these disciplines.
To support our commitment, the "The Veriphy Skincare Award for Women in STEM" was established. Each fall, a scholarship is awarded to a first-year female student in STEM.
Also, the brand's models featured on Facebook, Instagram, and our website are all women in STEM. We feature a different woman each month and highlight their fantastic story and research. Check them out at www.veriphyskincare.com.
KB: What have been some of your biggest wins and challenges as small business owners?
AC & JK: One of our biggest wins has been recognition from the industry. We knew we loved our brand and product but winning awards from both the consumer perspective (best eye cream) and the buyer end (buyer's favorite) really validated our efforts!
One of our biggest challenges was scaling up our business. It wasn't only about scaling the size of our business but also scaling up product production. As a cosmetic chemistry graduate, I have trained in formulating cosmetics but mainly focused on lab-scale projects (small batches). When it came time to scale our production needs, I relied on our manufacturer's expertise to help guide me. We had issues when sourcing our ingredients as distributors and suppliers seemed to forget our orders. It is hard to seem like a serious industry player when your order is 100X smaller than other brands and companies.
KB: How has the pandemic affected your business?
AC & JK: We have been fortunate because our business is mainly online. While traditional brick and mortar took a considerable hit, online seems to have remained steady. We did miss out on some incredible expo opportunities where, in the past, we have met with top press, retailers, and buyers. We are sad to have missed these opportunities but are excited to embrace the new normal and all that comes with that.
KB: How can your community support you during the pandemic and beyond?
AC & JK: We have an amazing and devoted community that has stayed engaged with us during the pandemic. Our audience has helped us navigate our business by providing feedback and showing us some extra love on our social channels. We ask our audience to follow us on our socials and to remain engaged with us!
KB: What does clean beauty mean to you?
AC & JK: Clean beauty means the ingredients used in the product are sustainable and that formulators avoid any ingredients consumers may have concerns about.
KB: The clean beauty industry has grown massively over the last decade. In what ways would you like to see this industry change and improve?
AC & JK: I would love to see the industry provide more education for consumers. Clean beauty has many definitions, and I believe that brands should embrace transparency. Ingredients have become a huge part of not only the product but the marketing story. I think consumers deserve to learn more about each raw material and its role in their product, especially in clean beauty, where new innovative approaches are used to replace unsustainable or ineffective ingredients.
KB: You say that Veriphy bridges the gap between clean beauty and clinical results. Have you found that there are still not enough brands who offer real results without all of the nasty ingredients? If so, in what ways can brands improve?
AC & JK: There has been a shift in the industry to value more scientifically validated products. That being said, I think some clean beauty brands continue to use unsustainable ingredients due to the lack of understanding. Natural ingredients are not always more sustainable, and, in some cases, the extraction process can be more harmful to the environment.
As more brands lean on ingredient claims, I find fewer and fewer brands are researching their finished formulations. I think it is important for consumers to understand each ingredient's function and how they function together.
KB: How would you describe the Veriphy customer and/or who your line works best for?
AC & JK: Veriphy products can be used by anyone looking to improve the look and feel of their skin. We have formulated our products to address the most prevalent signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and dull complexion.
ALISON AND JESSICA’S TOP PICKS
KB: For new Veriphy customers, which skincare basics would you recommend as a starter pack?
AC & JK: The Triple Threat Discovery Kit is an excellent intro to the brand. I also recommend the CTRL+ALT+DEL Facial Cleanser as it is a gentle cleanser that integrates seamlessly into your current routine.
KB: Where can we find you and follow you?
AC & JK: American shoppers can find us on our website, QVC, Von Maur, and Amazon. Canadian shoppers can find us on our website, Shoppers Drug Mart, Portia Ella, Shop Eco, and Amazon.ca. Follow us at @veriphyskincare on Instagram and Facebook.
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