A Female-Founded, Sustainable Skincare Brand We Love

April is Earth Month, and we’re excited to highlight some of our favorite female-founded brands with a focus on sustainability. 

{save} Skincare is a product line that is 100% free from parabens, SLS, phthalates, mineral oils, GMOs, fragrances, colorants, sulfates, and silicone. They are also 100% vegan and cruelty-free, certified by PETA. We talked to {save} CEO, Joanna Draniak-Kicińska, about clean beauty, environmental stressors, and balancing running a business with raising a family.

Joanna Draniak-Kicińska

Joanna Draniak-Kicińska, via {save}

It feels like “clean beauty” has become a buzzword these days—can you break down what clean beauty actually means, and why people should care about it? 

For me, clean beauty means natural products made without unnecessary additives like fragrance, silicones, and other ingredients that aren’t vital to the effectiveness of products. Since {save} products are manufactured in Europe, we must maintain strict ingredient standards, with over 1,300 ingredients banned from skincare products. And for the sake of our customers, we go even further, beyond the legal requirements, voluntarily excluding some of the allowed but unnecessary ingredients from {save} products. For me, knowing what’s in the products I use is extremely important, which is why I’m so dedicated to natural beauty for all those using the {save} products. 

You grew up in the beauty industry, learning from your mother who built a successful cosmetics company in Europe, and working there for 15 years. How has the beauty industry changed in this time, and what inspired you to leave and start {save}? 

I was so fortunate to grow up in the beauty industry, and I feel that my upbringing has laid a strong foundation for my new adventure with {save}. The beauty industry is always changing! I am still very invested in the European company, although my family and I have moved to the United States to start the {save} brand. I wanted to start {save} to introduce clean and natural yet effective products to the US market, and to learn more about the needs in this market.

I’ve loved using {save}’s anti-pollution line! This line is said to prevent premature aging caused by environmental stressors. Can you talk a little more about what those stressors look like, and the ingredients in your products that minimize them?

I’m so glad you love the anti-pollution line, I also love it! Environmental stressors are everywhere- In urban areas, it can be from air quality concerns or free radical activity and oxidation in rural areas. For every environment, anti-pollution skincare helps repair daily damage done by UV and IR radiation and blue light, allergens, heat and cold, and dryness.  One of the main heroes in this line is Ectoin. Scientific evidence shows that Ectoin improves the integrity of the skin barrier, thereby helping the body’s natural defenses to work optimally, as they’re designed to do. This super ingredient has also demonstrated outstanding hydrating properties and works to lock in the skin’s moisture.   

At Blood + Milk, we’re all about arming women with as much knowledge as possible to empower them to make the healthiest decisions for them and their bodies. What’s something you recommend everyone look for when evaluating skin products?  

Consumers are more educated than ever, which I love! When evaluating skincare products I suggest just taking a look at the ingredient label, and being familiar with substantial ingredients vs. unnecessary additives. With clean products, there is a diminished chance of adverse reactions, which is extremely important for those with sensitive skin.

And on that note, a mental health question! You’re a CEO, a wife, and a mother. Any self care tips for other women juggling career aspirations and a family?  

Self care is so very important! I think this is a challenge for all of us, with so many competing priorities. Making yourself a priority needs to be a part of day to day life, knowing that making this effort is vital to my success. I love the saying “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” For me, this means drinking a cup of coffee at a coffee shop after dropping my girls off at school, or just enjoying the mountains as I’m playing tennis. It’s really just taking notice of the beauty all around me.
And after all, there is no way you can do it all by yourself. It is crucial to have family, colleagues, and friends you can always rely on. I’m blessed that I have them.

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