6.16.18 | Photo Credit: Corson Beauty
Bridget Corson Ford and Marilyn Corson are sisters who grew up learning the importance of paying attention to what they put in, on and around their bodies. So when they couldn’t find skincare products that checked all the boxes of what they were looking for, they decided to make them. And in 2017, Corson Beauty was born.
We chatted with the sisters about their beautiful skincare line, what makes it so pure and what sets it apart from other skincare products on the market. Read on for more info on this small batch, plant based skincare line that’s made in Little Rock, Arkansas and is gaining steam in the clean beauty space, and for a few personal skincare tips from these natural beauty experts…
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR INSPIRATION AROUND GROWING CORSON BEAUTY, AS SISTERS AND ENTREPRENEURS?
We grew up in a family where health and wellness was always valued. From vegetable gardening to making homemade everything (fruit snacks, nut butter, bread, household products, etc), our mom taught us that it was important to pay attention to what we put in, on and around our bodies.
From an entrepreneurial standpoint, our parents and grandparents both have started and owned their own businesses, so from an early age we saw powerful examples of people working hard for things they were truly passionate about. Our parents have restored old pinball machines for the last 30 years. Talk about a cool passion!
THE SKINCARE MARKET IS FULL OF PRODUCTS. HOW DID YOU CREATE THE BELIEF THAT CORSON BEAUTY WOULD BE SUCCESSFUL IN SUCH A LARGE MARKET?
We have always been so passionate about the products we use, and we couldn’t find a brand or product that checked all the boxes on our list…100% safe with no questionable ingredients, nourishing and effective, enjoyable to use, satisfying scent, attainable price point and aesthetically beautiful. When we were able to create a product that we wanted to use personally, we were excited to share it with others.
TALK A BIT ABOUT WHY IT’S SO IMPORTANT FOR PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND THE INGREDIENTS THAT ARE USED IN MANY SKINCARE PRODUCTS.
It sounds crazy, but because the skin is our largest organ, the average American woman puts over 500 synthetic chemicals on her body every day. That turns into five pounds of toxic chemicals absorbed per year from skincare and makeup products alone. Switching to safer products when possible can greatly reduce that number.
When purchasing personal care products, it’s important to avoid any with the ingredient “fragrance,” because fragrances are considered trade secrets and the actual ingredients do not have to be disclosed. They can often contain harmful chemicals and preservatives.
It’s also important to pay close attention to the preservatives that are in products. Many preservatives can be dangerous and should be avoided, however, some do have a place in skincare. While the claim “preservative free” initially sounds good, it can actually be very dangerous. Any product that contains water (water, aloe vera, fruit juice, hydrosols, etc) must have some type of preservative to prohibit the growth of harmful bacteria.
Regulations of the cosmetic industry in the U.S. are sparse. While the EU has banned over 1,300 chemicals commonly found in cosmetics, the U.S. FDA has only banned eight. It can be tricky because most claims like “natural,” “safe” or “green” are unregulated, so essentially anyone can use them to market their products. It’s up to us to make sure we’re not putting anything harmful on (or in) our bodies. We’re here to help with that.
SO WHAT MAKES CORSON BEAUTY DIFFERENT FROM OTHER BEAUTY PRODUCTS? WHAT MAKES IT A SAFER CHOICE?
Our goal in creating Corson Beauty was to create every single product using the safest ingredients, while still creating a line of products that really worked and created a routine to look forward to. Our products are not only safe, they also smell amazing, are effective and are at a great price point.
Our products are 100% plant based. Every single ingredient is listed on the box and every single ingredients can be found in our ingredient dictionary. Because of the low regulations and testing in the cosmetic industry, many personal care products do not have every single ingredients listed on the label.
We do not use any artificial fragrances, and the only preservatives we use are plant based. Every single one of our ingredients has been rated a 1 (the safest) by the Environmental Working Group.
WHAT ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT…IS THIS SOMETHING THAT’S IMPORTANT TO CORSON BEAUTY AS WELL?
Since all of our ingredients come from the earth (we use no chemicals and nothing synthetic), they are completely safe to go back into the earth. All of our packaging is 100% recyclable, and we encourage users to do so. We also work with suppliers who treat the environment with respect and care. Though many of our ingredients are actually organic, we do not use 100% certified organic ingredients.
We work with suppliers to get the best quality, most nourishing ingredients. We use cold pressed oils, steam distilled hydrosols and we never use fillers. Our suppliers have a commitment to responsible sourcing and do a ton of cool things to give back to the environment and those that they work with. From having warehouses with solar panels to giving a portion of sales to agricultural communities, we’re proud to say that our suppliers respect and care about those they work with and the land they work on. None of our suppliers ever test on animals and neither do we! Only on ourselves and our human loved ones.
LET’S TALK BRIEFLY ABOUT YOUR CHIC, CLEAN PACKAGING…WE ARE SUCKERS FOR GORGEOUS BOTTLES SITTING ON OUR BATHROOM COUNTER!
We almost think of cosmetic bottles as a piece of art. Something you are proud to display on your bathroom counter or shelf, and something you’re excited to grab for every day not just because of what’s inside, but because of the entire experience. We also went with glass because it doesn’t contaminate, and it helps to protect the products inside.
IS THERE A CERTAIN AGE GROUP THAT TENDS TO PREFER YOUR PRODUCTS, OR ARE THEY SUITABLE FOR WOMEN OF ALL AGES, WITH DIFFERING SKINCARE CONCERNS?
Ingredients found in nature truly do work to nourish the skin. We have users in their twenties and users in their eighties, and our products are designed to work well with many skin types. The three most common results we’ve heard from users are reduction of redness, minimization of fine lines and wrinkles and reduction of blemishes.
To combat oily skin and blemishes we’ve included ingredients like watermelon seed oil and squalane which balance the skin’s natural oil production, manuka honey which draws out bacteria and white willow bark which naturally exfoliates. All of the oils we use in our products are low or non comedogenic, meaning they hydrate without clogging pores.
To reduce redness and reduce/prevent wrinkles we’ve included ingredients like sea buckthorn oil and rosehip oil which hydrate skin and are high in antioxidants and hazelnut oil which deeply moisturizes and tightens the skin.
ARE YOU CURRENTLY LOOKING TO EXPAND YOUR LINE, AND WHERE CAN PEOPLE FIND YOUR PRODUCTS?
Our products are currently available at www.corsonbeauty.com, at W.inc Beauty in Little Rock and at Bare Bowls in Palo Alto, CA. We plan to continue to expand our line, and we are currently working on a few colorful face masks!
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST REWARDING PART OF BEING SISTERS AND TAKING ON A STARTUP COMPANY?
We’ve dreamed of starting a company together basically since we could talk. As sisters, it’s been really cool to see that dream come to fruition together and to share that joy with one another. It’s allowed us to celebrate together, encourage one another and to face challenges with someone we implicitly love and trust.
WHAT ARE THE TOP THREE FAVORITE BEAUTY FOODS YOU LIKE TO KEEP IN YOUR DIET?
Water | It keeps skin and the body hydrated, processes nutrients and removes toxins.
Collagen | Between the ages of 25-30, natural collagen production declines 1% – 2% each year. It increases elasticity and contains anti-inflammatory amino acids which can help with blemishes, eczema and psoriasis.
Healthy fats | Nuts, seeds, fish and other healthy fats contain omega-3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory, meaning they can speed healing of the skin, and they also can help reduce blemishes.
WHAT ARE THREE SKINCARE PRODUCTS YOU BELIEVE ARE ABSOLUTE NECESSITIES FOR EVERY WOMAN?
Face Oil | Oil has a bad rap in skincare products, but it’s not something to be afraid of! Using a nightly face oil can help reduce and prevent wrinkles, regulate the skin’s natural oil production, reduce redness, hydrate and reduce the negative effects of free radicals.
Sunscreen | We like using a good physical, mineral sunscreen to protect against sunburns, sun damage and wrinkles. Physical sunscreens do not have potentially dangerous chemicals, and they do not clog pores like chemical sunscreen can.
Non-Drying Cleanser | It’s crucial to remove daily dirt and grime from your face, but we suggest doing it with a gentle cleanser that will nourish your skin rather than leaving it dry and stripped. Our Cream Cleanser with manuka honey and jojoba oil does a great job of this.
WHAT’S THE MANTRA YOU’RE LIVING BY RIGHT NOW?