Founder story

Kate Porter

Originally from the North of England, I now live in Hertfordshire with my husband and children. Before creating Harborist I'd spent 14 years as a visual effects artist in the film industry, working on everything from death-eaters to an Oscar winning AI robot.

Sensitive, allergy prone skin affects my mum, my children and myself.


The underestimated ingredient

Harborist was bourne out of frustration that the luxurious, ethical brands I enjoyed using were often the least suitable (even when they claimed different), while the best were bland and utilitarian.

With reports of sensitive skin as high as 40% worldwide¹, it seemed there should be more choice; products that felt good to buy and use, which would be really, truly gentle.

To put the idea into action, I sought out independent labs with a focus on research, creativity and with a heightened understanding of reactive skin.


¹ Misery, L. , Loser, K. and Ständer, S. (2016), Sensitive skin. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol, 30: 2-8. doi:10.1111/jdv.13532

The first of three products launched in 2017 - the Balm-Gel Cleanser. The super gentle yet luxurious formula went on to win multiple awards, scoring 9.7/10 from an anonymous sensitive skin testing panel.


Bringing transparency to sensitive skin claims

At the moment customers are in the dark about how gentle their products are, making it hard to choose the mildest. So now, we're using a new testing technology to shine a light on sensitive skin claims, starting with our cleanser.

A simple graphic will instantly show exactly how mild each product is - no more decoding vague claims or digging through ingredient lists.

I believe genuinely gentle skincare is underestimated; that it does more than avoid irritation - it actually helps your skin to function. The ultimate 'magic' skincare ingredient.


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