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California Beauty Brand Forays Into Skincare With Upcycled Ingredients


ILIA Beauty forays further into skincare with an eye cream made of upcycled and plant-based ingredients. Sasha Plavsic, founder of ILIA, has always prioritized skincare in the cosmetics she formulates, arguing that it is the basis of a healthy, minimal look. Skincare and makeup are seen as one, she says.

The Bright Start Activated Eye Cream, which debuts today, is a lightweight formula made with sea fennel extract, a plant-based retinol-alternative, coupled with avocado extract, caffeine, peptides, and light reflecting pearl. And unlike other retinols that should not be applied before stepping out in the sun, this eye cream can be safely used during the day.

“I found so many eye creams didn’t sink into my skin. They just kind of sat there,” Plavsic says. “Or if they penetrated into my skin, they didn’t work well with my concealer. So I created Bright Start Activated Eye Cream to do a few things: absorb nicely into the skin, brighten, pair well with concealer, and improve fine lines and wrinkles over time. The packaging with the cooling ceramic applicator helps create a ritual and moment for yourself, something we need to prioritize more for ourselves.”

As a brand that’s always thinking about sustainability, the eye cream has a simple addition that cuts down on waste, she adds. “ILIA’s Upcycled Avocado Extract is a zero-waste byproduct of the avocado oil industry. After avocados are pressed for their oil, our nutrient-rich active is extracted from the remaining skin, pulp, and seed so that all parts of the fruit are used.”

In addition, the sea fennel extract, is sustainably harvested on the coast of France. In fact, Plavsic and her team started the process of formulating this cream about two years ago but getting the packaging, sourcing, and feel right took time.

ILIA has been a proponent of recycling and cutting down on plastic waste. In fact, most of ILIA’s products come in minimal packaging, that’s paper-based and can be recycled easily. The tubes and bottles themselves, Plavsic says, are to be recycled specifically through their partnership with PACT collective.

“Bright Start packaging can be recycled in three simple steps: cut open the tube, and rinse out any remaining product, twist off the ceramic tip and recycle all parts through PACT Collective on ILIABeauty.com,” she says. “Most consumers don’t know the intricacies of recycling, and everyone is playing a small part that builds up into a larger movement. ILIA is the leading contributor to PACT and has provided 30% of all PACT collected materials.”

ILIA, which started from Sasha’s family home, literally in her garage, has transformed into a $100 million brand over the last decade and its aim remains the same, she notes: to challenge the conventions of clean beauty, with innovation created to support and enhance skin, with highly researched, top-of-the-line quality ingredient combinations and feel-good formulas.

Could this mean more skincare products in the future? Yes. In addition to makeup, Plavsic is passionate about healthy skin, and practices a “less is more” philosophy in her own makeup look. So more skincare products are a natural extension of the brand.

Plus, the eye cream does more than just help brighten the area. It’s also designed to give a moment of calm, she notes: “The cooling ceramic tip, which doubles as a massage tool, makes Bright Start Activated Eye Cream especially powerful as part of your AM routine for a moment of calm as you begin your day before the chaos of life erupts. It forces me to take a moment to slow down before racing out to get the girls ready for school.”

Something that came out of necessity for Plavsic, this could be a game changer for the beauty industry: consciously-made, designed to be recycled, and offering a cleaner approach to skincare.

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