Subscribe to our mailing list and Save 10% on your next order

Subscribe to our mailing list and save 10% on your next order

Free UK Standard Delivery for Orders over £25

Click & Collect in store

Your cart

Your cart is empty

Have a look at our latest offers

Sustainability with Barbara Paldus, Founder of Codex Beauty Labs

Sustainability with Barbara Paldus, Founder of Codex Beauty Labs

By M. Borriero

Barbara, how did you come up with the idea for Codex Beauty Labs? Tell us about your fascinating background.

I have a now 12-year-old son who had a severe allergy to phenoxyethanol in baby products. This led me to ask questions of manufacturers, but I didn’t get very far as a consumer. I started questioning every claim on my products and wondering—having spent most of my career in biotech developing measurement tools—how the beauty industry quantified things.

This experience led me to create Codex Beauty Labs in 2018 from Silicon Valley. I wanted to offer high quality skincare with real transparency, clinical proof of performance, and put sustainability at the forefront to fundamentally change the skincare industry.

Codex Beauty Labs is built on credibility and innovation. In what ways does Codex's scientifically proven approach to sustainable skincare and emphasis on consumer education help set it apart from other skincare companies?

We are data-driven and completely transparent, believing the beauty customer should always have access to this data so they can make the most informed decisions.

We perform extensive and rigorous safety testing like preservative efficacy testing and irritation testing. We use state-of-the-art measurements to perform clinical trials to demonstrate the efficacy and penetration of our products. And we put all of our data (both inside and outside of our packaging) so that consumers can view exactly how our products performed during clinical studies.

You are also leading the way in biodegradable beauty packing. Could you explain how the brand is redefining what it means to be truly sustainable?

First of all, we fully quantify and track our carbon footprint. It’s a little bit of an obsession, to the point that we worked with the Carbon Footprint Society to design a calculator to track all our product footprints. We are also uncompromising when using FSC or PEFC certified cardstock to ensure it comes from sustainable forestry. Our tubes are made from renewable sugarcane polyethylene while our bottles are 70% PCR. And our cold-processed, microbiome friendly soaps are zero waste. In fact, by 2025, we want to drive to be a zero-waste company.

With many of us suffering from sensitised skin, what is Codex Beauty's approach to problematic skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, inflamed, and reactive dry skin?

We help people make better choices with our simple philosophy: less is more.

Less means protecting your microbiome and skin barrier from overuse of products, as inflammation of the skin can lead to these problematic skin conditions.

All of our products support the natural skin microbiome and are MyMicrobiome certified. Our Antü products reduce the reactive oxidative stress in the skin that leads to inflammation and long-term skin conditions. By hydrating and reducing this oxidative stress, you keep your skin barrier intact to prevent infection from the outside.

We also work with the National Eczema Association and National Psoriasis Foundation to evaluate our products for their seal of acceptance to guarantee they are suitable for individuals with these skin conditions.

Why is it important to protect the skin microbiome?

Because it plays a vital role in keeping our skin barrier healthy:

  • It prevents pathogens from colonising the skin and helps us deal with skin infections.
  • It serves a vital role in the proper functioning of our skin barrier to prevent pathogens from penetrating the skin and causing infection.
  • It protects us from environmental damage.
  • It communicates with our immune system.

How does the brand re-imagine newness and bio-hack ingredients to formulate the next wave in scientifically advanced products taking into account the link between gut, brain, and skin health?

We test of all our actives with skin models to see what gene expression the active induces, and therefore what its function and potency for the skin can be. Next, we look at synergistic combinations, like our BiaComplex for dry skin or our AntuComplex for red, irritated skin. We are also now doing research on understanding the relationship between gut and skin health from a microbiome perspective as well as mental health and skin conditions. We are just starting to scratch the surface of the skin-gut-brain relationship and it is very exciting!

Codex Beauty has long recognised the effects of inflammaging on the skin. What is inflammaging exactly, why is it the next big thing in the skin, and why should we care for our skin accordingly?

Younger skin only needs hydration. But, as you get older, you develop inflammation from all the things you are exposed to—this is called the exposome. The exposome consists of UV and pollution exposure from time outdoors, heavier loads of stress, hormonal changes (pregnancy), and if your diet isn’t perfect—all these factors contribute to developing inflammation. The exposome creates reactive oxidative species in your body and skin that need to be neutralised, otherwise they can lead to inflammation and ageing (called inflammaging).

It is important to reduce inflammaging because it plays a vital role in keeping our epidermis and dermis healthy.

  • Once skin has become inflamed, it is very important to calm the inflammation as quickly as possible, otherwise, the skin’s health and appearance will begin to suffer.
  • Since inflamed skin is inherently compromised, its barrier function is diminished making it more vulnerable to pathogens that can cause infection.
  • Skin’s barrier function is highly correlated to its degree of hydration. If not properly hydrated, skin’s ability to protect itself will suffer.

Can you explain to us what Biotech Beauty is and how Codex Beauty formulates scientific skincare to deliver clinical results the consumer can trust?

Biotechnology leverages cells to provide an active ingredient that is in high concentration. In our case, this is plant cells—and sometimes the ingredient is the plant stem cell itself. Biotech plant cell active ingredients are the “next generation” of “natural” products because they can usually achieve stronger activities than the plant extracts obtained by the classical methods.

I only see advantages to the consumer with biotech formulas. In contrast to the classically extracted plant-based ingredients, the extracts obtained from plant cell cultures can be easily standardised, reproducibly manufactured, and made perfectly compliant with strict safety requirements. Plant cell extracts can be made free from pathogens, pesticides, industrial chemical pollutants, allergens and any other toxic substances, because they are produced under controlled, cleanroom conditions, complying with the procedures of good manufacturing practices.

Previous post
Next post