I started Harborist in 2017 as a customer – one with sensitive, allergy and acne-prone skin. It's a skin type that also affects my mum and my children.
I've spent almost two decades as a visual effects artist in the film industry, working on everything from Marvel superheroes to an Oscar-winning AI robot.
Harborist was born out of frustration that the skincare products I enjoyed using were often the riskiest for my skin type, while the best were bland and utilitarian.
We've all been there - you apply a new cleanser or moisturiser, and your skin feels great. But after a few days, it starts to look dull, or it feels uncomfortable. Your skin barrier is struggling; something about the new product isn't working.
The problem is sensitive skin claims aren't taken seriously.
But there are real consequences; from the cost of another unused bottle sitting at the back of a drawer, to the look and feel of inflamed skin and the time it takes to recover.
We know this isn't a small problem; a 2014 study of over 12,000 people revealed 31% had experienced a reaction to a skincar product in the past year.¹
So, is it our skin that's playing up, or our skincare?
I'm obsessed with unpicking the mechanics of why some skincare products cause stinging, a rough texture, or discomfort, while others leave even the most tricky skin completely unstressed.
By understanding these details and measuring the results (more on that next), you can enjoy the security of genuinely gentle skincare with the benefits of the best plant and biotechnology-derived ingredients.
The best part is that using the right, gentle products can transform your skin in a simple way; by helping your skin function better, it'll look and feel better at the same time.
You can often use fewer products too.
The underestimated ingredient
At the moment you're in the dark about how gentle your products are, so it's hard to choose the mildest.
We're using a new testing technology to shine a light on sensitive skin claims, starting with our cleanser.
A simple graphic shows you exactly how mild our cleanser is - no more decoding vague claims or digging through ingredient lists.
I believe genuinely gentle skincare is underestimated; it's the ultimate skincare ingredient.
¹ Naldi L, Cazzaniga S, Gonçalo M, et al. Prevalence of Self-reported Skin Complaints and Avoidance of Common Daily Life Consumer Products in Selected European Regions. JAMA Dermatol. 2014;150(2):154–163. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.7932