Key Things to Know About Zero Waste Beauty Brand Loli
It's the world's first zero waste, organic beauty brand.
Interview With Loli Beauty's Founder Tina Hedges
With each and every day, it's becoming more and more important to be aware of the types of beauty products we're using.
From the packaging to the ingredients, there are a ton of items we use for our skin, hair, nails, and body that aren't as great as we believe they are.
We sat down with Tina to learn more about how Loli is improving the beauty world, why we should all be using sustainable products, and more. Read what she had to say below!
Women.com: How did you come up with the idea for Loli Beauty?
Tina Hedges: I worked in big beauty for many, many years. I worked with Estée Lauder and L'Oréal. I was driving project innovation across every category—hair, skincare, fragrance, body, everything.
On a personal note, I grew up in Jamaica, West Indies. I come from Cuban parents. I've lived around the world, including China, so I understood and watched natural beauty ingredients being blended into topical and ingestible potions and lotions for skincare and body/bath products. One day, I woke up, and I felt like I had participated in sending out into the universe a bunch of plastic bottles filled with 85 to 90 percent water and nasty toxins. What people don’t realize about the beauty industry, is most personal care products, whether it's your cleanser, toner, mask, scrub, lotion, potion, it's all water. What you're buying is water plus plastic. They add synthetics and preservatives. What you’re really buying that you think is natural is so diluted down. That didn’t resonate with me, especially given all the statistics. By 2050, there’s going to be more plastic in the ocean than fish. By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be affected by water shortage. The beauty industry sends to landfills about 192 billion units of packaging a year.
When you think about all that and the fact that women are exposed to hundreds of chemicals every day, the entire ecosystem just didn’t feel right for me. I wanted to go back to superfood, organic-grade ingredients that are sustainably sourced. We upcycle from food supply. We don’t add any water. We use food grade glass containers that can be reused for storage. We use certified compostable labels and bags. We also make sure that there’s no people trafficking. It’s fully sustainable. We ended up launching the world’s first zero waste organic beauty brand, because of it.
WDC: How did you decide on the products and packaging?
TH: I actually launched a test of Loli about two and a half years ago, where I launched a surprise three-month subscription box to test what custom blending women would want to do at home. I had a first iteration that allowed me to test formulas and packaging, as well. Then it gave me lots of ideas of what I wanted to do. When I went into stealth mode in March 2017, I recognized that I really wanted to take all the learnings from sourcing, formulating, and packaging from clean food and sustainable food brands. I got a lot of my insights and inspirations from food brands. You’ll see that we have a glass yogurt that can be reused. We use the certified compostable bags. We found out about that film from some sustainable food brands and we worked with the vendors to create those products and things like that.
WDC: Why was it important to create a more customizable feel to the brand?
TH: By reducing the amount of ingredients, making sure they’re in at a higher level, making sure we take out the water, we’re actually creating these multi-purpose, multi-tasking bases that you can use for hair, skin, or body. By allowing you to add in from our raw collection, it allows you to customize those bases. You can take our Date Nut Brûlée, which is a three-in-one miracle balm. It melts off makeup, soothes off scars, and nourishes dry, chapped, flakey skin. But you can take that base and add in sea buckthorn or turmeric. Depending on either of those two ingredients, you can help with the visible treatment of scars or treat irritated skin conditions.
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WDC: Do you have any favorite Loli products?
TH: The Plum Elixir, it’s a miracle oil for face and hair. We work with a farm in France that grows a very rare plum called the Ente plum. When they make prune juice from pitted plums, they throw away the kernel. We work with them to cold press that kernel into an ethical oil and that edible oil is more effective for skin and hair than argan or marula. If you need one product in your beauty cabinet, this is it.
WDC: Why should we be more careful about purchasing sustainable beauty products?
TH: First off, let’s talk about water. There’s the sustainable consideration, which is why are we wasting water? Why are we buying water over-packaged in plastic to then throw that plastic away? And then why do we need 15 of these products when they're all the same? It’s basically the same ingredient across all the products in your beauty cabinet. When you think about that, you’re like okay, that packaging is cute, but what am I really buying?
And then the second consideration is that what you’re buying isn’t effective, because the main ingredient is water. You’re diluting whatever ingredient they’re hooking you about. Even with most natural ingredients, they’re in there like half a percent. How effective is that? All these brands are clean and natural with science, but what does that mean? And you still turn it around and it has water as the first ingredient with a bunch of other chemicals. Even brands that tell you they don’t use a ton of chemicals, you can still find a few that they do use.
If your skin is your largest organ, then wouldn’t you want to use something that you feel good enough eating? Something that’s pure? The less it’s been processed, the better it is for you. Why use a beauty product that’s been so refined and is less effective? They want the batches to look the same. They don’t want any variance, but that’s not how we eat. We’re okay that that apple is slightly misshapen or the color is less red. I want to apply that same thinking to beauty.
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