Ilia Beauty’s founder Sasha Plavsic has been on a journey to make beauty products cleaner for more than a decade now. This summer, the brand launched a product that combines beauty with skincare, and hopes to redefine how makeup is conceived for women in the coming years.
“We’re not just a makeup company anymore. If there’s an ingredient like Vitamin C, we dig into it, and we find a way to make it the most effective for the skin. The pipeline can be endless. We’re here not just to launch products, but to build great ones that will stand the test of time,” she says.
The latest addition to the Ilia lineup is the Beyond Trip Serum SPF 40: a Vitamin C serum combined with a mineral SPF (non-nano zinc oxide), Niacinamide, and oils that hydrate the skin (jojoba, meadowfoam, and squalene). Free of fragrances, synthetic dyes, vegan, cruelty-free, and formulated without gluten, Plavsic and the Ilia team have tried to create a product that’s as “clean” as possible.
“I believe that Vitamin C is most effective with SPF, to protect it from degrading when exposed to light. [It] combines Vitamin C with mineral SPF for the first time to target the visible signs of sun damage and to protect from the future signs in one step. Pure Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid) and mineral SPF normally can’t exist together in the same formula,” she explains. “Because of our breakthrough encapsulation technology, which stabilizes and protects the skincare actives, C Beyond delivers potent Vitamin C, mineral SPF and Niacinamide in one application. In order to perfect the product, Ilia went through 45x revisions.”
Available in just three shades, unlike some other Ilia products (that come in 18 options), this is not a product designed to give loads of coverage. Rather, it’s a translucent finish that will cover a wide range of skin tones and help neutralize the white case that results with sunscreens, Plavsic says. “This was designed for the skincare enthusiast and those that want a really great base, with a few products streamlined into one stop. This is a treatment product more than it is makeup.”
In an effort to cut down on confusion, and make it easier for women, Ilia aims for multi-use products that showcase a women’s beauty, and celebrate her age, rather than hide it entirely.
“We believe in skin that looks like skin and radiance that comes naturally. With transparency as our guide and color as our vehicle, we challenge the conventions of clean beauty to create something radically new, through safe, potent formulas that make your skin look and feel alive.”
While the product is housed in a plastic bottle, Plavsic has been advocating for better recycling for years now, and experimenting with various take-back programs to send “empties” to the right recycler. That’s what the led the company to partner with Pact Collective, a non-profit targeting waste produced by the beauty and wellness industries, to recycle its products. Pact Collective states that approximately 120 billion beauty and wellness products are produced each year — and most of that ends up in a landfill at the end of its life.
Started by beauty and sustainability industry executives, the collective brings a unique lens specific to the industry that has been lacking thus far. The process is fairly straightforward: consumers are asked to clean their finished bottles, remove labels, and send them to Pact (or drop them off at one of their partner locations). The organization hopes to add more drop off locations to their roster to make it easier for consumers (currently, most are in major cities only).
Furthermore, Plavsic notes that the company is hoping to help with reforestation efforts by joining 1% for the Planet with the goal of planting 1 million trees by the end of 2023, primarily in Peru’s Amazon rainforest.
So can skincare, beauty, and sustainability come together? Plavsic surely hopes so.