[interview] Honestly It's Launches Coffee-based Foaming Scrub Powder

The three-in-one foaming scrub powder uses a water-free formula that is stored in single-use pouches that degrade within six months.
The three-in-one foaming scrub powder uses a water-free formula that is stored in single-use pouches that degrade within six months.

Honestly it’s has announced its first upcycled, coffee-based foaming scrub powder, My Addiction. Update: Global Cosmetic Industry recently interviewed brand team about Honestly it's development. 

Related: Creo Successfully Ferments CBG, CBGA at Commercial Scale

The three-in-one cleansing, exfoliating and glowing powder is 64% coffee-rich and 14% antioxidant-rich, per the brand. It contains almond oil and vitamins A, D, E and K.

The product uses a water-free formula that is stored in compostable single-use pouches that degrade within six months.

Ingredients: Coffee Arabica Powder, Used Coffee Grinds, SCI Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Coco glucoside, Glycerin, Vitis Vinifera Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil, Olea Europaea Oil, Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil, Tocopherol, Cаffeine, Cetearyl Olivate (and) Sorbitan Olivate, Lactobacillus Ferment.

How have you approached your selection of packaging to be as sustainable as possible?

Honestly it's: It was the most challenging part of our product development process. However, we had a clear goal not to use any plastic and non-renewable ingredients in our products, but to have a biodegradable packaging. Thus, this left us with a small market of suppliers to work with.

After identifying a couple of producers with possible products meeting our criteria, we started negotiating to later agree on biodegradable sachets made from corn starch.

At the beginning our product was in a liquid form for which a corn starch sachet wouldn't be a match. How could we avoid plastic for packaging a liquid product? It took a lot of trials, experiments, and research.

We had three options: reusable plastic pouches, aluminum tubes and glass. There was a lot of debate about which one is better and more sustainable. All  three options had their own pros and cons. However, none of them satisfied us.

At the core of Honestly it’s we want to avoid plastic pollution and reduce carbon dioxide emission, which is caused by the production of the packaging and shipping it products. This mindset led us to the main reason for our problem: liquid.

Liquid products need plastic packaging; they also take up a lot of space when shipping. And are actually heavy. The answer to the liquid disaster was powder.

The moment we realized that by removing water from our formulation we can achieve our purpose was our own “eureka” [moment]. And this is what we did.

We removed water (aqua) from the formulation of My Addiction Foaming Scrub- Powder. We quickly realized that by removing the water from My Addiction Foaming Scrub Powder we did not lose our product’s purpose and its skin benefits. A simple wet skin and or a sprinkle of water is enough to activate My Addiction Foaming Scrub Powder.

Water waste is a big problem in the skin care industry that is not spoken about at all. Powder-based products are easier to store and carry around. This is how we decided to pack My Addiction Foaming Scrub Powder in compostable sachets, that decompose in six months.

They take less space, are light, and are easier to use. The role of upcycled ingredients in your products. The first product that we worked on in 2019 was a Whipped Foaming Scrub. The formulation was ready, the cleansing base, exfoliating particles and moisturizing ingredients.

For the formulation, an exfoliating particle should be sugar, salt or coffee. Being a coffee addict, the first thing we thought of exfoliating particles were coffee grounds. Coffee is known to constrict the blood vessels, help to reduce inflammation and puffiness, tighten and brighten the skin. It can also visibly smooth away cellulite. That is why we tried to work with dried coffee grounds and it worked out well, with good results within three weeks of using the product.

(We saw the reduction of blemishes at the back of hands and shoulders, dry skin patches, Keratosis pilaris, etc.)

Another ingredient we decided to upcycle was tangerine peels. Which is filled up with a lot of antioxidants and rich in vitamins that boost the skin's regeneration and also have brightening properties.

The two ingredients in the same base visibly give different skin results.In addition to coffee grounds and orange peels we developed other orange and coffee Foaming Scrub Powder combinations, that we can not wait to release next year!

After a lot of observation and research it was clear for us that there is a big gap in the skin care industry where there is an abundance of food waste diversity that can be directed towards skin benefits.

How have you worked to establish ethical ingredient supply chains for your brand? 

Honestly it's: We closely work with our manufacturer to ensure that the ingredients used in our products come as much as possible from organic sources with the relevant certifications. It has always been our aim to work with the ingredients with the least impact on the environment, which we at the current stage only can identify/check based on the certifications provided by our partners.

However, our goal for the future is to work with different partners where we can assure the ethical sourcing of our ingredients by getting directly involved in the ingredients production process or producing them ourselves. How you are communicating your values to consumers.

Circular beauty is a very new niche in the skin care industry, that is why we believe we need to invest more into educating our audience about upcycling, recycling, cruelty free and pollution.

The best platform for us is our Instagram page. Every week on our feed and daily on our stories we make a content related to our philosophy (circularity, pollution, animal rights). In addition to our Instagram page, we work hard on our website, write blogs and update the numbers (facts about pollution, circularity) on our home page for the visitors to see the first thing when they enter our website.

Even our packaging has all of our values on the label. We mention hashtags and icons like #zerowaste, #vegan, #upcycled. Relevant information [is presented] on the packaging.

Is there anything you wish to share regarding where you want the brand to retail/what markets you wish to reach?

Honestly it's: We are already working on a line of Upcycled Foaming Scrub Powders that include not only upcycled coffee grounds but also upcycled orange peels that we will run a Kickstarter campaign on next year.

In addition to that, we would like to develop a full skincare line for acne-prone skin that as well will include upcycled ingredients. For 2022 we are planning to work with retailers in Germany, the United Kingdom and France.

We believe that working with retailers/distributors we will be able to spread circular beauty awareness and message faster and to more people.

With our products in 2023 we would like to enter markets like North America and Southeast Asia where we can grow and expand our range, and spread awareness for circular beauty and plastic pollution in skin care.

More in Suppliers & Services