The Lowdown: Casa Mencarelli
Introducing our brand new blog series called 'The Lowdown' where we'll be shining a light on the incredible and inspirational stories of our brands, their founders and how their range of natural and organic beauty and wellbeing products came to be.
Our first blog features Casa Mencarelli founder and company director Lucia Mencarelli who started the brand less than 2 years ago as result of her personal experience with allergies, skin sensitivity and the need to find a healthy alternative to mainstream skincare.
One of the main reasons we stock the Casa Mencarelli brand is because of the purity of the products and their minimalist formulations which are still a total luxury to use. The formulations are incredibly pure and with no essential oils or fragrance, they are suited to those with even very sensitive skin types.
We sat down with Lucia to learn more about her and the brand...
Why did you start your brand?
Having developed multiple chemical sensitivities it meant I had to revolutionise my lifestyle, from food to household and fabrics to skincare. I changed everything to organic and I started looking at making my own skincare with no added fragrance or essential oils, but still very rich in nutrients and antioxidants. I then got professional qualifications for organic formulations and laboratory testing. I created the range and finally got COSMOS Organic Licence from the Soil Association.
What is the story behind your brand name and what is your ethos?
Casa means house in Italian, so this is House of Mencarelli, which is my surname. My mission is to lead the Clean Beauty Revolution with Italian passion and have zero compromise on ingredients and packaging.
Describe your brand in 3 words.
Mediterranean diet for skin.
What is your most popular product and why?
There are actually two products.
Crema di Pomodoro – Tomato Night Cream & Cleanser which can be used as a Nourishing Night Cream or as a Cleanser, to be massaged and removed with a wet face cloth.
Acqua di Miele – Honey & Orange Toner because it has a delicious honey smell, it is very soothing and calming on the skin, it minimises the pores, giving a better complexion and it is ideal for all skin types.
Which product did you launch the brand with?
I launched all the 5 products together in order to have the complete skin routine, from detoxing and cleansing with Clay/Lemon, to tone and calm, to moisturise and regenerate with Sea Buckthorn Serum and Balm, and final cleansing soothing and nourish by night with Tomato, Carrot and Rice Bran.
What’s the best product for dry and for oily skin?
The Bellissima Balm is very moisturising, soothing, regenerating, healing, so it’s ideal for dry and very dry skin. The Green Clay Lemon Mask & Scrub together with the Honey & Orange Toner are ideal for oily skin types. As a light moisturiser 3 drops of the Sea Buckthorn Serum will rebalance the skin.
What hints/tips do you have for using your products?
You can mix and match the 5 products and change the way you use them, depending on the season or areas. Also the Mask comes in powder, so it can be personalised with a liquid of choice, depending on skin types. For example mix it with grapefruit juice, or almond milk, camomile, green tea, or kombucha. There are endless combinations.
What does your own beauty routine look like?
Gentle cleansing in the morning with the Clay Mask, used instead of a detergent, Toner then Serum and/or Balm depending on how my skin feels. At night I only use the Tomato Cream as a Cleanser, together with the face cloth, to remove everything, also when I am not wearing makeup. Nothing else is needed as the skin feels hydrated, supple, and very clean.
Do you have any certifications/awards that our customers should be aware of?
The products are all COSMOS Organic Certified by the Soil Association. Also we have won several awards with Beauty Shortlist 2019 and 2020, Pure Beauty International Award 2019, The Green Parent Natural Skincare Award 2019, and the Free-From Skincare Awards 2019.
What’s next for your brand?
Currently I'm formulating a new serum, then looking at hair care as people always ask about my hair. So I guess this would be the natural development.
How are you standing out from the crowd?
No compromise on ingredients and packaging. Top quality food grade organic raw ingredients from the Mediterranean area. All coming in glass packaging, including the 2ml samples. Cartons are FSC paper printed with vegetable ink. Many retailers tell me that the ingredients used in my range are the best they have ever seen, which is great because it means that they check the INCI and that customers are starting to check too.
How do you source your ingredients?
Trying to source all from the Mediterranean area, traditionally healthy, nutritious, antioxidant and healthy ingredients. I choose the suppliers and test each batch of samples before production. Once all agreed I place the order and all goes to manufacturing.
How are your products made?
We use a small manufacturer based in Scotland, they have Soil Association Licence for their premises.
How long does it take you to develop new products?
It really depends on the product type. Products containing water have a longer process because they need a challenge test done at external laboratory, which takes about 7 weeks each time, so we could be waiting 3 months. On the other hand anhydrous products (products containing no water) have shorter timings.
How are you tackling sustainability?
Our Organic Certified ingredients are sustainably grown, keeping into account the cycles of nature and without intensive methods. For the packaging I choose recyclable materials and encourage recycling and upcycling on social media.
What have been your biggest success so far?
Surely having won so many Beauty Awards in so short time.
What’s been your biggest learning?
Before starting production, always double check that the ingredients sent by the supplier are correct as they might send the wrong ingredient! It has happened twice to me in 18 months.
We absolutely loved learning more about the Casa Mencarelli brand and the care and passion that goes into every one of Lucia's products.
Discover the Casa Mencarelli range