Foodies take note: what you put onto your body is just as important as what you put into it. That’s the message of Adina Grigore, the 25-year old founder of Sprout Wellness skincare.
“I was fed up with overpriced products that claimed to be all natural or organic and actually weren’t,” says Grigore, whose glowing complexion is the company’s ultimate marketing tool.
Sick of suffering from sensitive skin and allergies, the nutrition school grad began formulating creams, cleansers and more in her Greenpoint kitchen last year.
In November she hung a shingle, and Sprout Wellness was born. And her approach to the beauty biz is nothing short of revolutionary:
“I want to simplify the way that we consume skincare. I don’t make things that are for different skin types, I make things that any skin type can use. I believe if you have one really good product you don’t need anything else,” Grigore says.
Her recipes features familiar ingredients like olive oil, rosewater, cocoa butter, and organic sugar. Sound good enough to eat? It is.
“Skincare products are absorbed by your pores and feed your body. To be [health-conscious] and not think about that is crazy to me,” she says.
Although her ingredients and processes are transparent, Grigore’s not worried about losing business to DIY-ers. “If people make it themselves and don’t buy it from me, I still think that’s better than using most commercial products on the market.”
Grigore has earned that confidence; in six months she’s gone from filling a few orders a week to working every night to meet demand. Sprout Wellness is now sold on her website http://sproutwellnessnyc.com, and at Williamsburg outposts like Urban Rustic, Shag, Organic Planet, and Artists & Fleas. Prices range from $4 for lip balm to an $18 All-Over cream. Below, Girgore shares a few lessons from Beauty Business 101:
Q: Sprout Wellness contains no chemical preservatives. How do your products stay fresh?
A: Each formula has an ingredient that acts as a natural preservative. Adding a drop of tea tree oil in the cleanser will extend it’s shelf-life to a year. My toner uses apple cider vinegar that ferments over time and won’t go bad.
Q: What are the worst offenders found in commercial skincare products?
A: Parabens and sulfites. They are not only bad for you, but the environment as well. A lot of companies are getting away with using them because the research is still developing. It takes to long to prove these things in the scientific community. But they have been connected to carcinogens, allergens, aggravators.
Q: What have been some of your biggest challenges in building your brand?
A: People are very used to opening product and having it smell like “mango cupcake” or something. And I am trying to help people understand that it shouldn’t smell like that, it’s not natural. I use things like coconut oil that are naturally fragrant, but I’m not going to use additives to make my product smell like fake chocolate.
Q: What beauty industry myth would you like busted?
A: “Oil-free” has become a buzzword in skincare , but oils can be so healthy for all kinds of skin. Mineral oil, which has often been used in skincare and cosmetics, should never go on skin but essential oils are completely different. I use coconut oil, shea butter, sweet almond oil — all of these things are actually great.
Q: How has being based in Greenpoint impacted your business?
A: This is the most supportive community I have ever lived in. Everyone makes things and has multiple projects on their plates. It made me believe that I could do this.