After a chance encounter with an ethnobotanist, her interest in creating natural products grew and the rest has been history. Sophie maintains her vegetarian philosophy right from the ingredients of her products to her focus on ethical farming ensuring that each one of her products are made of raw materials that are 100% organic and the whole process is responsible and clean till they reach the hands of the customer. KM was invited for an exclusive interview with Sophie to learn more about her nature-inspired beauty secrets.
• When did you decide that you had to give up on non-cruelty free products and change your whole lifestyle and why?
Animal testing for cosmetic products is banned in France, so for me, products that were tested on animals were not available to me. I decided to move away from traditional industrial products with chemicals as most of the ingredients are extracted from oil and have no benefit to the skin. The products that were available offer a placebo effect to the general consumer – when you purchase an expensive product, you’re under the impression it will benefit and improve the skin. However, when you become informed and know how to read the ingredients, you quickly realise that none of the ingredients actually have any benefit to the skin.
• How are petrochemicals such as animal fats/oils harmful for skin?
In France, animal oils aren’t used in products at all, which speaks for itself. Just because a product is expensive, does not necessarily mean it is effective, even expensive products contain petrochemicals whilst vegetal oils actually have greater benefits for the skin.
Most dermatologists that we come across often warn us to be wary of labeling and that any product that labels itself ‘cruelty free’, ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ is not necessarily harmless for your skin. What is your opinion on that? How does KOSMÉ Paris as a brand perceive this?
Some natural and organic products are not necessarily as good for your skin as you may think. Sunflower oil, for example, is natural and very cheap, but does not provide the skin with any long lasting benefits, such as the vegetal oils which are used in KOSMÉ Paris products.
• When it comes to skincare, sensitive skin types face the toughest challenge in finding an appropriate moisturiser and anti-ageing products. How does KOSMÉ Paris cater to that segment of the market with their natural ingredients?
There have been very few cases of allergic reactions to vegetal oils – it doesn’t necessarily mean that related allergies never occur, but they are very rare. There are mainly sensitivities to traditional products and essential oils used in aromatherapy products. Using vegetal oils, such as those found in KOSMÉ Paris products, is a very good alternative to mainstream skincare.
• What would be your most recommended product from KOSMÉ Paris and why?
The Elixir des Legendes – the beauty of this product is that it combines two excellent oils, Prickly Pear and Acai berry oil which have amazing benefits in nourishing the skin, along with anti aging benefits.
Prickly Pear is a fruit grown on cactuses in areas with very little water. The fruit is very hydrating, and when harvested, the resulting oil helps the skin to retain this hydration.
Acai Berry is extensively used in Brazil in many forms. They use it mashed, or they drink a tea made from the extract. This is because of its antioxidant properties which is why we’ve used this in combination with the Prickly Pear.
• What is your outlook on the beauty regime of Middle Eastern women? What can KOSMÉ Paris offer to help us enhance our skin regime in a region that faces summer most of the year round?
I see The Middle Eastern woman as extremely conscious of her beauty regime. They have the time to take care of their skin and themselves. KOSMÉ Paris can contribute towards helping them discover more oils from other regions in the world. Using oils is embedded in the culture in this region, however, they probably have not been exposed to oils from all over the world.
• How has skincare and the use of natural ingredients changed your life?
It’s a passion and it’s very rewarding for me to travel the world and find oils that have amazing benefits. We are launching a tanning oil that comes from a natural oil found in Australia with natural sunblocking benefits. Additionally, we have recently discovered an oil in Madagascar that has great beauty benefits, which we will be launching soon.
• Finally, if you had to give the women of the Gulf any advice on appropriate skincare, what would it be?
Always wear sunscreen!