Catching up with bestselling author Jennifer Rock, founder and CEO of The Skin Nerd, Skingredients and The Nerd Network.
Jennifer how have you found the response to your new launch of more sustainable products, “Click and Twist”?
There has been a fantastic response, we have been live almost every night online with different companies talking about Skingredients. We were actually with the team recently in CH Tralee, Kevin and his team are just brilliant, they get behind everything we do. They’re in a league of their own they genuinely are the amount of work they put in and how they work as a team. It’s just something we cannot take for granted the level of support so we really appreciate it.
Skingredients was a game changer when it came onto the market and with the launch of the new “Click and Twist” it continues to be so, how did the idea for this come about?
“Click and Twist” was actually to be part of the first Skingredients launch so for anyone that is a dedicated and eager Skingredients user they will have noticed that the inside of the previous packaging actually had little inserts so it was always part of what I wanted to do. I think it’s fair to say that our brand is known for educating on skin health but I really wanted to make sure that I educated myself and others on the whole conversation around beauty so when you look at the beauty sector there is 142 billion units of plastic created per annum for beauty products alone and the majority of those are not recyclable. So globally 91% of the plastic that’s created isn’t actually recycled. So when I started thinking how much I love giving skin health, I love this topic but I need to make sure that while I have a positive impact on people’s skin, I need to have a positive impact from a carbon emissions perspective on the planet too. So when you have Skingredients now versus before, if you’re using Skingredients for a full year you’re actually reducing your own personal carbon footprint by 69.2% because all of the products have become refillable. We are the first line, that we know of, to change everything in one fell swoop! Probably not the most business savvy decision to have done but it’s definitely a moral driven decision to ensure that now with all of our products you just purchase our primary starter pack ones which is like
the home if you will for all products and then after you use them you just purchase the refill and keep popping it in every time you run out and that plastic is completely recyclable, you can do it at home so it makes it easy, I don’t know about you but if something is easy to do I’m far more likely to do it!
Can you tell me about your involvement with “Plastics for Change” and what that entails for you?
I am genuinely delighted that we brought out refillable in the componentry in Skingredients. As a brand we always say that Skingredients is about the ingredient’s for the skin but now we’re really going to look at the ingredients that is part and parcel of the packaging as well. So we have the refill piece which makes it easy for people to use and keep going and recycle so they can play their part, however we wanted to take that a step further. We partnered with an initiative called “Plastics for Change”, a few of the larger companies have also partnered with them over the years. Essentially it’s an organisation that work with hundreds and thousands of people who have a disadvantaged life, they give them a job, help them with their home, lifestyle, give them an education and part of that job is to collect plastics from landfills and from the sea. So our promise is that for every Skingredients bottle purchased be it the original pack or the refill, every single time you purchase we are then going to take a piece of plastic out of landfills and the ocean going forward. Essentially like for like, every time you use Skingredients you’re able to recycle but not only that, you know you’re actually taking plastic out of the environment. The idea that 11 million tonnes of plastic per annum is put into our landfills and oceans means that if we stay that way by 2050 there will be more plastic in our sea than fish.
Moving onto your business and brand as The Skin Nerd, sometimes as a consumer it can be intimidating going into a department store looking for the right product and advice. Especially if you have a skin condition and maybe have not been met with appropriate levels of sensitivity in store. What service do you offer on your website to help your clients?
That’s such an important question, we always talk in Skingredients about how skin care is emotional so for anyone that doesn’t know, I got into skin care at age 13 because I was being teased and taunted, my skin wasn’t great and it was a tough time. So I think what’s happened is over the years you hold onto that empathy and you really can relate to people. Skin conditions can affect how you feel in your own skin, in terms of education that’s where it really originated for me. From having my own skin woes to working in the skincare industry to being an educator for 14 years in Ireland, London and the USA so I think that I’ve brought empathy and education together. I know that some people don’t like going in face to face so on our website we have a live chat, skin quiz. All of our team are completely fully qualified in skincare, everywhere we stock, and you have some phenomenal people close by in Tralee, they are beyond trained. For us its ensuring that they have the education to empower people to know how to use skincare, its time its money its effort so the very least we can do is to ensure people know how to use it best. We are literally only a DM away on social media or on live chat and we will happily give someone a phone call if they would prefer that too.
For anyone that wouldn’t be familiar with the big name ingredients and with so much different types on the market, is there any product in particular that everyone should have?
When you think of your skincare traditionally you think of dry, oily, combination, 20’s, 30’s, 40’s etc. you feel categorised due to age and skin type. Now that’s not to say that it shouldn’t exist, it should but the analogy I always use with Skingredients is every day I eat my carbohydrates, I eat my protein and drink my water so in essence we know there are certain ingredients we need internally every day to be the healthiest version of ourselves and that doesn’t matter if your Male, Female, 20’s, 30’s. And that applies to skincare too, there are lots of ingredients that are the key ingredients that everybody needs regardless so I always say that’s why some of our products are called the key for. I’m a big believer in using a hydrating cleanser every morning and evening, Hyaluronic acid is nearly instantaneous results it’s like a drink of water for the face. With Vitamin A and Vitamin C I could be here for 2 hours talking about that! It’s a game changer on a clinical level, it has an impact on pigment, lines, wrinkles, helps healing abilities, scars, it’s just such a go to ingredient. SPF is an unequivocal for me, it’s important even in Ireland where we might not have the sun 365, so in essence they are the key ingredients I would recommend. If you want to start small I would say cleanse and SPF, they’re the least sexy but remove the dust and pollution from the skin every day and shield against the elements.
Lastly, Jennifer, coming into the festive season what advice would you give our readers here at Connect to have their skin ready for all the upcoming events and makeup that goes with it?
Definitely, I think this time of the year I tend to get excited because the days are shorter so from a skincare perspective it means that you can actually up the ante on the amount of Vitamin A your using so going back to what I said earlier, the skin protein, the Vitamin A, retinol. I would get professional treatments done, I know that this is not an option available to everyone but because the daylight isn’t as harsh and you’re not as exposed to UVB rays you’re able to have a little bit more IPL and laser treatment than you might have had during the summer. Ceramides are the main ingredient in skin good fats and there important to get into the skin now that well be out in the elements, exposed to false heat such as radiators, cars etc. so ceramides are an important ingredient to get back into the skin. It will help the makeup sit better and give a dewy radiant complexion all over.