Nourish skincare is designed and formulated as a skin rejuvenating, natural range that is perfect for daily skin care needs but also helps you optimise your skin's health. No small feat: exceptional performance using organic ingredients that deliver healthy, gorgeous products for the consumer. Here we catch up with co-founder Dr Pauline Hili, who was Technical Director at Neal's Yard for over 20 years.
So tell us a little bit about your own history and experience, and what sparked your interest in natural beauty?
I came into the beauty industry from the food and brewing industry. I had qualified as a biochemist and a chemist in Australia and then was working and travelling around Europe when an opportunity to join Neal’s Yard Remedies came available. It was a very fortunate opportunity for me that really supported my natural interests and research. I found sensory science really exciting and had a real passion for plants and natural ingredients. I spent over 20 years developing products as the Research Director for Neal’s Yard and did my PhD on the antimicrobial properties of essential oils. The research was so good and finding out what these plant ingredients were capable of and then applying it into formulations that provide benefits on the skin was just a dream situation and really has been the formula for my career to date. My favorite thing is when plant and plant ingredients prove my fixed ideas wrong and demonstrate much more capability than I had given them credit for. Nature and plants have been my mentor and teacher from a very young age in my career and they continue to guide my interest and energy in the natural beauty sector. Seeing the results of a formulation being demonstrated in clinical trials, which we have across the Nourish range is the ultimate professional prize. Working with passionate, articulate and intelligent consumers such as those in the beauty industry makes in a real pleasure to be working in this sector and keeps my interest high. Innovation and a desire to have products that raise the benchmark in terms of performance is my absolute driver.
And how did the idea for Nourish come about?
The idea for Nourish came about through wanting to provide a really effective product of value using organic ingredients, conducting a very rigorous research program and clinical trials that lead exceptional performance for the consumer. We have heard a lot of discussions over the past years about Inside Out - beauty from in and the use of supplements. I would like to now move to Outside In, which is the idea of creating topical products that are so good that they support improvement of any underlying issues causing skin issues. The Nourish range is based on the effective use of vitamins and minerals known to be crucial to normal cell metabolism and specifically the skin. The range has been thought out with very specific scientific objectives and many years of experience of knowing how ingredients behave on the skin.
What have you found to be the most challenging part of setting up and launching Nourish?
The most challenging thing about launching Nourish has been not finding enough hours in the day to do all the things one wants to do. Also, as a start up, demonstrating that you do not have to have a huge budget to create pioneering products that push the boundaries of innovation. Spreading the word that quality is about how you think and not the size of your budget has been a challenge also.
There are lots of natural brands on the market. What do you think sets Nourish apart from the others?Nourish has a pioneering spirit that is based on many years research and experience and is founded out of an absolute desire to place the consumer at the heart of our thinking. We see ourselves as part of an evolving community and need to be providing an effective service to our consumers on an ongoing basis. Part of that is really pushing the boundaries of shared knowledge to create effective products. Everything from the ingredients we choose, the formulations we create, the social media we share and the way we deliver to customers needs to be at the forefront of excellent. Great companies are built from attention to every detail of the customer experience.
If you had to choose, what’s your favourite Nourish product?
I am constantly asked this question and my answer is always 'the one I am working on next!' Seriously, of the current range I think the Argan Skin Renew has exceptional performance as demonstrated by the clinical results of increasing skin hydration by over 25% for 24 hours.
Are there any plans to further expand the existing range?
Oh yes! I am biologically programmed to create products. For me it is like breathing. I cannot exist if I am not envisioning and making research and products. It is instinctive for me - whatever I see in the world, from a fallen leaf to waste product from a process, I am always trying to work out how it can be turned into something valuable and of use. The Nourish range will expand to fulfill our customers’ needs, with products that are pioneering and that provide something, even a small innovation, to push expectations higher.
Christopher Reeve said “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable”. It can be done! Innovation and shared knowledge help it happen. Anything is possible. This would be my career mantra - having been told so often what could not be done and then being fortunate enough to watch it happen. Naturals are now mainstream and I feel privileged to have been part of the journey
Who do you admire, and why?
I admire people who have a singular career passion and who dedicate themselves and their skills to making it happen – in particular all the scientists and innovators who work alongside commercial facilitators. We are incredibly lucky at Nourish to have a young dynamic team who challenge me constantly, which is extremely rewarding.
If you could treat yourself to one thing this month, it would be....
A day in the sun reading the latest publications on skin and ingredient research.
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