Unveiling the science behind conscious beauty: A glimpse into Grown Alchemist's R&D

By Cassandra Stern

- Last updated on GMT

The product was "inspired by our consumers’ modern lifestyles, urban living, the needs of sensitive skin and their commitment to environmentally friendly ingredients,” shared McDonnell. © simonkr Getty Images
The product was "inspired by our consumers’ modern lifestyles, urban living, the needs of sensitive skin and their commitment to environmentally friendly ingredients,” shared McDonnell. © simonkr Getty Images

Related tags Skin care cleanser waterless

Following the brand’s latest release of its Meltaway Gel-Milk Cleanser, Kelly McDonnell, General Manager at beauty brand Grown Alchemist, shares the meticulous R&D process behind the launch, emphasizing its dedication to conscious beauty.

To remain competitive in an ever-evolving industry driven by innovative advancement, cosmetics and personal care products, manufacturers rely heavily on their investments in R&D as a cornerstone of progress. Recently, science-backed beauty brand Grown Alchemist launched a revolutionary addition to its skin care collection: the Meltaway Gel-Milk Cleanser. This product features a 95% water-free formula that can be used without water, a 96% biodegradable formula, and 99% natural ingredients.

We spoke to Kelly McDonnell, General Manager of North America at Grown Alchemist, for her insights into the intricate processes behind the burgeoning brand and its most recent product launch. With over 18 years of industry experience, including working with brands like La Mer and Bobbi Brown, McDonnell is working with Grown Alchemist “with green chemistry and innovation in bio-advanced technology led by cosmetic chemists who develop consciously crafted products that are always formulated for better absorption and utilization of the skin, to produce high-performance results, without using any harmful ingredients or packaging, to both people or planet.”

The Brand's Essence

"Grown Alchemist is a fast-growing beauty brand with a portfolio of products across face, body, and hair,” McDonnell began, and “all of our products are formulated using a combination of min 94% natural active ingredients.” When approaching a new product formulation, she explained, “our in-house product team utilizes market trends and insights on product types and skin concerns to inform customer need states and identify gaps, working with our lab of cosmetic chemists who share the latest technologies and advancements in green chemistry and formulations.”

This uniform approach was also applied to the brand’s latest product launch. "Our ingredients have been carefully curated to balance the critical efficacy function of deep cleansing with the experience in use and skin after-feel," stated Kelly McDonnell.

"In Meltaway gel-to-milk cleanser,” she explained, “we used a blend of oils that balance cleansing, nourishing, and softening the skin while being antioxidant-rich.” Grown Alchemist’s R&D team took this approach because “our goal was to limit the number of ingredients and make what we do incorporate as effective as possible,” she said, adding that “we also wanted a blend of oils that could when combined with water, break from a gel oil into a super light milk."

Influence, inspiration & future opportunities

"As Grown Alchemist is in the business of science-backed and conscious beauty, it was important that with the Meltaway Gel-Milk Cleanser, we continue to expand our portfolio of high-performance cleansers," said McDonnell.

The versatile formulation, which can be used without water for purposes like camping, traveling, or even the desire to reduce water consumption, the product was "inspired by our consumers’ modern lifestyles, urban living, the needs of sensitive skin, and their commitment to environmentally friendly ingredients,” she shared. Regarding sustainability, “the Meltaway Gel-Milk Cleanser was consciously formulated with a 95% water-free formula with only 12 ingredients made up of 99% natural active plant-based oils,” she added.

Regarding future opportunities for the brand in the body care space, McDonnell said that she anticipates "will boom in 2024 and beyond.” To meet consumer demand in this personal care sector, “we have always had a strong portfolio of natural and effective body and hair care formulas to deliver solutions for consciously crafted biological beauty head-to-toe; without compromising the planet and overconsumption," she said. "Our future opportunity is expanding this and providing more adaptable offerings to meet lifestyle choices of those seeking longevity,” she added.

"I am excited to share that Grown Alchemist will lean heavily into these trends and opportunities," she said. For example, this year the brand will be “focusing further on releasing more cleansing solutions with a promise of all our wash-off formulas being minimum 95% biodegradable to protect our waterways," and "our future product releases will deliver more functional results for body skincare concerns, such as KP, elasticity, and dryness."

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