I recently discovered Finnish skincare line Nuori and was really struck by the concept of the brand, not to mention the beauty of the packaging and simple formulations. It was started by a beauty-industry veteran named Jasmi Bonnen, who saw a need to create more transparency around the concept of “freshness” in skincare.
Jasmi produces her foaming cleansers, body balms, lip treatments, and serums in small batches every 12 weeks in order to ensure optimal freshness and avoid unnecessary additives. She also uses airless pumps and glass bottles in order to keep the product stable while it’s in your medicine cabinet. On top of that—and this is perhaps the best part—Nuori products all have a “use by” and expiration date on the packaging, so you always know exactly when something needs to be tossed.
Nuori’s antioxidant-rich, active formulas are exactly what I look for in skincare products; and I love the added bonus of being able to know exactly when something is past its prime. Learn a little bit more about the brand through Jasmi herself in our Q&A, below. Like her skincare products, I think you’ll find her philosophy and point of view on the beauty industry to be incredibly fresh. XXJKE
Rip & Tan: When did you first become interested in beauty?
Jasmi Bonnen: My mother was a huge influence; she gifted me my very first makeup kit on my 10th birthday. I dreamt about becoming a makeup artist back then. I always had a sketchbook on me and I designed different looks, all in beautiful pastel colors. Remember, this was the ‘80s.
Rip & Tan: How does your experience at L’Oreal inform your work now?
JB: Working as a product manager and marketing manager at one of the world’s largest, most research-driven cosmetics companies, has given me an invaluable understanding of how to develop, test and produce cosmetics to meet the needs of consumers. Later in my career I was able to build my business skills as a management consultant and a managing director of a branding agency as well. All of these experiences came together when I started building my own company.
Rip & Tan: When and why did you decide to start Nuori?
JB: I got the idea to create my own range of fresh skincare 8 years ago when I was working at L’Oréal. At the time, we were implementing the new EU rules regarding the labeling of cosmetics. One of the new requirements was that all cosmetic products should have a visible expiry date. But there was an exception to this rule, which stated that, if a product had a minimum durability of more than 30 months (i.e., 2.5 years or more) it did not need to have an expiry date, but only a small ‘open jar’ symbol. This symbol tells the consumer how long a product will stay safe after it has been opened, but it says nothing about how long ago the product has actually been made. Unsurprisingly, these 30 months became very quickly the big-industry standard for shelf life. As I started reading more about the effect of time on cosmetic formulations, I became convinced that there was a need for a fresh skincare alternative on the market.
Rip & Tan: Tell us about Nuori’s position on freshness. Why is it a problem in the industry and how does the brand attempt to solve it?
JB: Our whole concept is built around the simple truth that the fresher your skincare product is, the more effective the active ingredients in it are. Personally, I believe that fresh skincare makes sense the same way fresh food does—it’s more nourishing and has less additives. Following this logic, freshly blended skincare products have two distinct benefits: One, the efficacy of any given formula is higher since active ingredients are not weakened by time-related breakdown. And two, the products can be kept truly pure and highly potent, as no synthetic preservatives, nor other additives, are needed to artificially prolong the stability and shelf life of the products.
Nuori products are therefore blended in small batches every 12 weeks in our laboratory in Denmark and delivered directly to the stores. Furthermore, as a sign of our commitment to freshness we have marked all of our products with two dates: A start-using-by date and an expiration date. The first date tells consumers when to start using a product, at the latest, in order to benefit from the optimum freshness and efficacy of the formula. The second serves as a reminder of when a product should be replaced by a new, fresh one.
Rip & Tan: How does your freshness mission work logistically? What problems and solutions have you dealt with in figuring out how to ship internationally, while producing in small batches?
JB: One of our biggest hurdles has naturally been to figure out how we can professionally blend such small batches of our products. Most production facilities today are geared to large-scale production, where thousands of products are made in one go and then delivered to a warehouse for storage. We need to blend a new batch every 12 weeks and deliver directly to our stores. And we still wish to do this in a modern, state of the art laboratory and production facilities. Luckily, we have found a way to do this now, but it’s been a pretty long, uphill battle.
Rip & Tan: What product is your #1 best-seller and why?
JB: Our Supreme-C Serum Treatment is quite unique and is extremely popular in, for example, our Asian markets. Our ascorbic acid, which is the type of vitamin C used in our serum treatment, and it has been shown to be one of the most effective antioxidants, brightening skin and repairing prior damage caused by free radicals, but it is also known to be a very unstable ingredient in cosmetic formulations. This means that vitamin C starts breaking down immediately, once it has been mixed into any formula containing water. Already 4 months after blending, the molecule will have lost 30% of its original effect. To combat this, we designed the packaging with a unique dispensing mechanism that allows the 100% pure vitamin C powder to be mixed into the serum, just before the first application, and thereby bringing the formula to life in real time.
Rip & Tan: What skincare rituals or habits do you personally swear by?
JB: I like to keep things simple. My biggest beauty secret is to try to get 8 hours of sleep and stay well hydrated—both outside and inside.
Every night I massage my face with Nuori’s Vital Foaming Cleanser, which is the perfect one-step product for removing pollution and makeup, gently exfoliating and hydrating skin. I am also completely addicted to our Lip Treat. Just before going to bed, I apply a really generous amount of the balm to my lips and then massage the rest onto my cuticles to condition my nails.
When I wake up, I only splash cold water onto my face, and then apply a light day cream. I keep a bottle of Nuori’s Vital Eye Cream in the fridge for those mornings when I feel I need an extra pick-me-up: I tap on the cool cream and give myself a little eye micro-massage around the eyes. This reduces puffiness and makes me feel wide-awake.
My boys start school at 8am so my makeup needs to be fast. I put on some concealer, mineral powder, blush, and black mascara and I am out the door.
What goals do you have for Nuori in the future?
JB: We launched less than two years ago and Nuori is now available in 19 countries across world. During these two past years, it has become more and more clear to us, that our freshness concept is in fact a universally appealing idea, which is exciting.
Regarding the future, I am a big believer in simpler living and think that most people’s beauty regimens (and bathroom shelves!) are in need of serious decluttering. So we are not interested in developing a large, complicated product assortment. Rather, we wish to extend our range with select, smart treatments that can be integrated into professional facials, or used at home to boost a daily skincare routine. We are also constantly looking out for new, innovative packaging solutions that will not only protect formulas, but also make products easier to use.
Photo: Nicki Sebastian
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