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How waterless beauty products are set to shake up the industry

28 October 2021

We speak to the founder of Dust & Glow Gaelle Thieme about her endeavours to produce waterless products in powder form.

WORDS BY Hemma Vara

I realised the beauty industry needed a shake-up. I’ve worked in the beauty industry for more than 10 years, and as time went on I became more aware of how wasteful the cosmetics industry is. Driven by innovation, I wanted to simplify and rethink the way we use products. I challenged myself to create a brand with a difference, where every single ingredient has a purpose and a benefit for the skin. Products that not only work but really help your skin and hair glow, while reducing the impact on the environment. It is the idea of putting people and the planet before profits and making sure all decisions are centred around whether or not you’re doing things that are right and sustainable for people’s wellness and the environment. 

From the get-go, I wanted to build a conscious brand, taking into consideration the full ecosystem. I wanted to challenge the status quo, but needed some expert advice to go one step further and close the loop, so I teamed up with the amazing team at Circularity (an impact-led circular design and innovation company). They helped me first validate a circular system for the aluminium packaging and secondly, explore an impact strategy that aligned with the brand’s waterless properties. Consumers are asking for transparency. They want to know where you get your ingredients, who makes them, how they can really recycle or re-use their products and how the brands are doing their part for the environment, people, and animals. 

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Dust & Glow Powder Based Shampoo.

Creating waterless, natural products without any preservative system was no easy task. It took over a year trying to re-engineer how you would usually formulate beauty products. I initially spent hours trying to source the ingredients, testing and learning, before literally contacting every single cosmetics manufacturer I knew in New Zealand. After a false start (I changed manufacturer along the way) and countless samples, we managed to reimagine beauty and personal care in a powder form. By completely removing the water from our formulas, we’ve also removed the need for chemical preservatives (water attracts bacteria) creating cutting edge formulas that are ultra-clean, 100 per cent naturally derived, genuinely sustainable, and that leave your hair and skin happy and healthy.

Some scary facts about water—by 2025, an estimated 1.8 billion people will live in areas plagued by water scarcity, with two-thirds of the world’s population living in water-stressed regions. We all know water is a commodity we take for granted, but when water shortages hit, we realise how essential it is to our daily life. Traditional beauty cleansing products contain 80 to 95 per cent water (shampoos can be up to 90 per cent water), and we often have to add more water when using them. Water is commonly being used as a cheap ‘filler’ in most beauty products. This means the ‘active’ ingredients are diluted, and since water can easily grow bacteria, there is a need to add chemical preservatives. The industry is starting to change, and some of the beauty giants have pledged to reduce their water consumption in the next couple of years. You can also see some mainstream brands going into solid bars/shampoos. Waterless products will become more mainstream in the near future.

Discover Dust & Glow at dustandglow.com

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