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The Lowdown: Codex Beauty

Our Lowdown blog series is all about getting to know the people behind the amazing natural and organic beauty and wellbeing brands we stock. 

This time, we're catching up with Barb Paldus, CEO of Codex Beauty. We share the same views on natural but potentially irritating preservative phenoxyethanol (none of the products we stock use this ingredient) and so created her own natural preservative which is unique to the Codex Beauty range. 

Barb Paldus Codex Beauty

Read on to hear why it was so important to Barb to refrain from using this ingredient...

Why did you start your brand?

I’m a PhD Silicon Valley technologist and entrepreneur.  My son, Josef, was born with a severe allergy to phenoxyethanol.  When I first put diaper cream on him, he completely blistered. As a result, I started Codex Beauty in 2018, to bring safe and effective skincare to all. Along the way we have invented a novel preservation system that is food grade. In June 2019 we launched our first product line, Bia from Ireland for hydration and protection of the skin’s moisture barrier.

What is the story behind your brand name?

The Codex was originally a bound manuscript that has expanded its meaning to a database hierarchy in the internet age. It's essentially a system for storing and organising knowledge. 

What is your brand’s mission/ethos?

With our Codex Beauty Code, we wish to set the new standard in safe, functional skincare, whose performance is quantified by quantitative measurement tools, and whose production supply chain is sustainable and supports the Circular Economy.  We are about data-driven beauty, data-driven results and ethically minimising our Carbon Footprint.

Describe your brand in 3 words.

Bio-Science. Safety. Sustainability.

What is your most popular product and why?

Skin Superfood – it's an incredibly versatile product that can be used by all skin types, all ages and in any area that needs additional nourishment and hydration. As soon as people try this product, they fall in love with it as they can see instant results.

Which product did you launch the brand with?

We launched with 5 core products that created a complete cleansing, hydrating and moisture barrier protecting skincare collection. The products were our Exfoliating Cleanser, Eye Gel Cream, Day Cream, Skin Superfood and Facial Oil

How are you standing out from the crowd?

  • Safe, functional skincare with quantifiable and tested performance.
  • Innovative, bio-science-based formulations.
  • Patent-pending food-grade preservation system. NO phenoxyethanol.
  • Sustainable packaging from sugarcane bio-ethanol that reduces carbon footprint by up to 80%.

    What’s the best product for dry skin? 

    Our Facial OiI. Before we launched our first collection, we sent all of our products out to a have clinical third party testing on them. After 4 weeks of testing 100% of the people testing the products measured 168.2% more hydration in the skin measured with a Corneometer®

      What’s the best product for oily skin? 

      Ironically it is also the Facial Oil. In the same test phase 93% of test subjects measured a 27.5% sebum/ oil decrease at 4 weeks measured with a Sebumeter®

      What hints/tips do you have for using your products?

      For maximum absorption, apply a wet, hot towel to your face before applying the products.  This will open the pores. Then, apply small drops lightly to the surface of the skin. Finally, massage the product gently into the skin in small circles. 

      What does your own beauty routine look like?

      When I wake up, I use our Exfoliating Wash on my face and Bia Cleansing soap on my body in the shower.  After I pat my face try, I then apply a small amount of the Eye Gel Cream and Facial Oil. I follow this with the Day Cream to lock in the hydration. At night I use our Wash Off Cleansing Oil and follow it with the Facial Oil mixed with Superfood for a nightly hydration boost.

      Do you have any certifications/awards that our customers should be aware of?

      Yes – we pride ourselves on having third parties verify our claims and audit our manufacturing process: EcoCert COSMOS, EWG Verified, Leaping Bunny and Vegan for our products and PEFC/FSC for our cartons, as well as Carbon Footprint Assessed for our airless tube packaging.

      How do you source your ingredients?

      First and foremost, we look for innovative active materials that are manufactured using biotechnology.  This is the most sustainable and efficient way of generating cosmetically active, pure ingredients.

      If we need to find the ingredients in plants, we work with our growers and gatherers to ensure that we always start with the best plant materials. If a botanical ingredient is wild harvested, then it is done with respect for the local area. If it is cultivated, then it is done under the best conditions and harvested at the optimum time for that plant to ensure the most potent constituent profile. 

      We support fair trade and work with growers who are organically certified so that our herbs are grown without the use of pesticides and herbicides. We do this because we value the health of our customers and the health of our environment. Scientific evidence has proven that organic agriculture results in much greater biodiversity. It also protects the environment through legally binding standards that prevent pollution and ban herbicides and artificial fertilizers. Organic farming is playing an increasingly important role in mitigating climate change as well, by taking carbon out of the atmosphere and safely locking it away in the soil.

      Our Quality Manager works with every one of our plant materials suppliers to guarantee that their growing and harvesting methods are done to the appropriate standards to produce safe, effective, and sustainable ingredients.

        How are your products made? 

        Codex Beauty follows what’s known as current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs), which regulates everything from how a product is stored to how it’s transported. Our products are made in a GMP compliant factory in Ireland to our high standards.

          How long does it take you to develop new products?

          It takes up to a year to take a product from an idea to a fully tested product ready for market. Our R&D team are briefed on ideas and inspirations for new products. A Product Development Roadmap is created, and the R&D team get to work. Our formulators draw on their knowledge of state-of-the-art biotech ingredients, plant extracts, oils and butters as well as the latest analytics and tools in cosmetic science. Samples are passed back and forth through the team until we are happy and are then evaluated by an external focus group. Then the newly developed product goes through a series of tests making sure that it will be safe and effective for use.  These include preservative efficacy testing, product stability testing, product accelerated aging, RIPT (Repeat Insult Patch Test), and performance testing at a third party. In many cases, the active ingredients in the product are also studied for their effectiveness in skin and microbiome models. 

            How are you tackling sustainability?

              Codex Beauty is committed to the principles of sustainability, which we have integrated into our business strategy through our Codex Beauty Code:

              • We carefully consider the environmental impact of our operations, from raw materials sourcing to water consumption and waste production in manufacturing to packaging that minimizes the carbon footprint of transportation and disposal.
              • We only work with companies that are equally committed to promote sustainability. We audit all our suppliers to ensure that they support and monitor sustainability in their operations, that they treat their labor force with equality and dignity, and that they are committed to using their local community as suppliers and workers.

              Codex Beauty also strives to continuously improve its products, operations and logistics. To this end, our quality group closely monitors developments in the international regulatory framework for both terrestrial and marine ecosystems, in order to protect our environment at a global level through the adoption of innovative technologies.

                What have been your biggest successes so far? 

                  One our biggest successes is that we have managed to launch across the globe in less than a year. We are currently available in the USA, UK, Ireland, Germany, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Austria, UAE, China and Hong Kong.

                  What’s next for your brand?

                  We will continue to innovate and introduce safe, functional skincare collections. Our next collection will address oxidative stress in order to address the effects of urban pollution and sun exposure.

                  If you'd like to sample any of the products within the range, then head to our Try Before You Buy page to request your free samples.

                  Discover the Codex Beauty range