50 Innovators of the Year 2021
Skincare is the most basic thing we all use for self-care for on a daily basis. Most of the time, unknowingly, we use products that are not eco-friendly or can be harmful to our skin’s microbiome. These harsh skincare products often tend to create problems like irritation or excessive dryness. On the other hand, skincare products that are designed and tested to be microbiome supporting are less problematic and less likely to harm your skin. Codex Beauty, founded on this basis, also takes a step ahead to also care for the planet by adopting all plant-based production, hence reducing the global carbon footprint.
We managed to have a word with Barbara A Paldus, the CEO of Codex Beauty, a scientist, entrepreneur, and investor.
She explains more about the industry and the vision of the innovative company.
Why was the company established? How has it evolved over the years?
I started Codex in 2018 to demonstrate to the beauty industry that not only is quantitative data about all aspects of the products relevant, but it is essential for customers to make the best purchasing decisions and obtain truly functional products at best possible price. Codex, to me, is less about finding and exploiting a gap in the market than creating a movement to bring transparency and sustainability to fundamentally change beauty and educate and empower you, the consumer.
Codex initially started with the purchase of an Irish company called Bia Beauty in 2018, and we drew upon the plant science of the founder, Tracey Ryan, to create our first product collection called Bia to address skin hydration. This collection, with a novel, now patented food-grade preservation system (PreservX®), was launched in June 2019. It has taken us 18 more months to develop a new line based on plants from Chile that addresses skin inflammation. This line, called Antü, will launch between March and June of this year. After that, we have a focus on acne for 2022 and anti-aging for 2023.
We are shedding skin cells throughout the day, so it’s important to keep our skin glowing and in good condition. So how does Codex Beauty stand for exceptionally effective and sustainable skincare?
The effectiveness of our products is spelled out in black and white. We perform clinical trials on all of our products so we can report quantitative performance for specific product performance parameters rather than tell stories or make exaggerated claims. The efficacy panel on our products and the clinical test reports we are putting on our website do the talking for us.
We are totally obsessed with sustainability, and so use cartons that are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified.
We are eliminating all glass packaging in 2021. Our airless, touchless tubes are plant-based and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We went beyond the standard-issue containers to find ones made with green polyethylene; a plastic resin produced using sugarcane ethanol, which is a renewable raw material. It fixes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which helps in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We also try to develop products that are about as zero waste as possible.
What steps have you taken to sustain the high quality and prevent contamination?
We start with “clean” production:
We then use airless, touchless packaging. Airless technology is important because it prevents product contamination from the consumer and the environment. An airless tube is filled at the factory (which should be a cleanroom) and sealed. The tube has a one-way pump that allows the product to exit but does not have reflux. This means that bacteria, fungi, or other microbes from your fingers won’t touch the product (unlike in an open jar). Also, the pump will not let air contact the product so that microbes, moisture, and pollution won’t reach the product either, as these lead to contamination or accelerated product degradation.
What products are newly added to your beauty collection?
Our anti-inflammation line from Chile, the Antü Collection, will be launching from March to June 2021. The patent-pending Codex Beauty AntuComplex is made from three Patagonian plants traditionally used to treat inflammatory conditions that contain powerful antioxidants such as flavonoids (that help soothe irritated skin), polyphenols with a high anthocyanin content that can help inhibit cellular damage. The AntüComplex is supplemented by other plant or fruit extracts from South America that are known for their immuno-stimulant and analgesic properties. We are also excited to bring a moisturizer, night cream, eye cream, radiance mist, serum, and gel cleanser out this year.
What is the Bia collection focused on? What products are included in the collection?
The Bia collection is focused on hydration, moisture retention, and cleansing without stripping moisture while supporting the microbiome. Our patented BiaComplex® was designed to soothe dry skin, help shed the dry outer layers, moisturize, and retain the water by improving osmotic function and forming a protective surface film.
The collection includes five products for all skin types, each of which has a complementary special functionality andpurpose:
Tell us about the Codex beauty gift card.
It is simple. The Codex Beauty Gift card is an electronic card that you can send to family or friends with a value to redeem against Codex Beauty products. It is a paperless way to share our collections, and the recipient can purchase immediately as soon as they receive their email.
What future does the company hold?
In two to three years, I would like to see us have a successful solution for other skin problems like aging (collagen-loss and wrinkle formation) and drive Codex into more pharmacies with innovative solutions for acne, dermatitis, SPF, and after-sun care. I would also love to develop products focused on skin problems of athletes and people with active lifestyles and feminine hygiene where inflammation, infections, and microbiome protection are still unresolved.
Meet the CEO
Barbara A Paldus is the CEO of Codex Beauty. She is also a scientist, entrepreneur, and investor. Prior to Codex Beauty, she has spent two decades leading innovation in spectroscopy, telecommunications, and biotechnology. By 34, she founded two Silicon Valley companies that, among many breakthroughs, paved the way for carbon cycle/natural gas pipeline monitoring and accessible vaccine/cancer therapeutic manufacturing. Barbara has studied electrical engineering at Stanford and has been awarded 40 U.S. patents and numerous prizes in science.