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Controversial Ingredients: One Brand’s Perspective

By: Ada Polla and Anne Pouillot
Posted: November 29, 2011, from the December 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

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We firmly believe in our industry’s ability to self-regulate, and to play a role in educating, re-educating, informing, and reassuring consumers. We firmly stand against marketing tactics that take advantage of consumers’ confusion about the terms natural or organic. We also firmly stand against marketing scare tactics that focus on what is not in a product (“free of”). Finally, we firmly believe that if a brand is going to reformulate its products, it should be up front about the process and the motivations behind the change. We are indeed reformulating our products to remove parabens and propylene glycol, and doing so for commercial reasons rather than for scientific reasons. We do believe, most importantly, this change will make our products more appealing to consumers without compromising their quality of efficacy.


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Ada Polla is the co-creator of the Swiss antioxidant skin care line Alchimie Forever, which launched in the U.S. in 2004. Her strategic focus and implementation have yielded double-digit annual revenue growth for the company. She holds an MBA from Georgetown University, majored in art history and political science at Harvard University and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1999. She is also a GCI magazine editorial advisor.

Anne Pouillot joined Alchimie Forever in February 2006 as an intern, then was promoted to scientific and technical assistant. She graduated from Dijon University (France) in June 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in biochemistry. In February 2006, she obtained her master’s in biochemistry with a specialization in plant molecules. She is involved in the conception and formulation of Alchimie Forever products, works closely with laboratories and manufacturers, and participated in the promotion and commercial development of Alchimie Forever in Europe.