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Interview

Beauty Today & Tomorrow at The Detox Market In Conversation with Founder Romain Gaillard

Founder and CEO, Romain Gaillard, shares his entrepreneurial insight and chats with BWB about the ever-evolving landscape of the green beauty market.

Whether you’re strolling through the aisles or scrolling through the pages, your shopping experience at The Detox Market will leave you with a smile on your face. And you can thank founder and CEO, Romain Gaillard, for that. Romain spotted the need to clean up the beauty industry long before consumers even realized how dangerous some of their everyday products were. In an effort to help people detoxify their beauty routines, he launched The Detox Market in 2010. With an extensive list of banned ingredients, The Detox Market thoroughly vets and scrutinizes brands for you. As a result, you can shop comfortably knowing that the products are clean, safe and effective.

With over a decade of experience pioneering the booming green beauty market, Romain shares his entrepreneurial insight and chats with BWB about the ever-evolving landscape of beauty.

What are the tell-tale signs you look for in a successful brand?

As the green beauty market continues its explosive growth, we’ve seen an increasing number of brands capitalizing on consumers’ desire for more natural formulations. At The Detox Market, we look at three main indicators of success when considering a brand: the formula, the founder, and the product performance. All three elements must be present.

1. Formula

Since clean beauty is a relatively new movement, there is no universal standard that everyone can agree upon. When it comes to “bad” ingredients, each retailer creates its own index. We have a strict, non-negotiable list of banned ingredients we keep up-to-date with the latest research. Safety is our priority, and when there is any doubt, we blacklist. That said, what makes a product exceptional is not just what it leaves out. Instead, it’s important to also look at what’s still in—and how those ingredients benefit the user. In other words, removing certain ingredients is not enough. In order to curate exceptional, trustworthy products that deliver, we actively seek out brands that include and maximize the potent ones.

2. Founder

From the beginning, The Detox Market built itself upon the bedrock of passionate brand founders. What was their impetus—the story—behind creating the brand? Are they in it to fulfill a greater mission or simply to make money? Where do they source their ingredients from, and how do they approach product development from a sustainable point of view? These are all important indicators of longevity and ethical values. In conclusion, the most successful brands are in it for the right reasons.

3. Performance

Incredible formulas and fantastic founders are necessary parts of the equation, but they don’t cover all the bases. What it ultimately comes down to is the quality and efficacy of the products. If a formula doesn’t work, or doesn’t live up to its promises, it’s simple—we won’t carry it. In the end, it has to pass the highest litmus test of all: delivering amazing results.

What is your take on the role of TikTok in beauty today?

While TikTok is still in its infancy in terms of industry impact (the digital landscape and its new platforms are ever-evolving), I believe it will become a huge player. In fact, video is rapidly solidifying itself as a booming medium. There is no doubt in my mind that TikTok will have a strong presence in the future.

Take Instagram, for example. In the beginning, it was more about posting your vacation photos or dinner shots. Now, it’s a critical part of branding. Some companies even tailor their entire business approach to Instagram. Also, while TikTok targets a younger audience at the moment, it will eventually saturate the rest of the market. Although, I do think the visual content will generally lend itself better to makeup, say, than skincare.

How do you see the role of brick and mortar evolving?

The pandemic has been a huge accelerator for e-commerce and digitalization. And while retail is far from dead (there’s no question stores and malls will continue to exist) there will be a number of caveats when it comes to brick-and-mortar operations; namely, a large reduction.

Physical stores will become anchors to the digital experience… A huge change in objective.

As more consumers shift their shopping habits online, retailers will learn that brick and mortar locations are not necessary for generating sales. Then, the approach to—and thinking behind—stores will continue to evolve. My prediction is that stores are going to change into more experiential environments. In other words, they will become places to create videos, Instagram reels and lives, and social media content, rather than simply somewhere to shop. Physical stores will become anchors to the digital experience… A huge change in objective.

What will we see more of in the next 12 months?

The next year will continue to be very challenging and filled withchanges, especially for retail. COVID-19 has had an undeniable sink-or-swim impact on the sector. Some stores have suffered and folded, while others have been able to sustain, adapt, and reinvent themselves, often emerging stronger in the process. We’ll see legacy companies go out of business and new companies emerging. The pandemic has been an incubator for many entrepreneurs, a time for creativity, ingenuity, and experimentation… Over the next 24 to 36 months, I anticipate a surge of new concepts and brands coming to market. This will be very exciting.

How do you see the makeup category being resurrected? 

Consumers are discerning, and their expectations surrounding ethical practices, eco-friendly packaging, and peak performance are here to stay.

Makeup will be resurrected through innovations. Next-generation beauty is quickly becoming part of this generation. For instance, we’re seeing more companies than ever before taking the time to think through the long-term implications of their products, especially when it comes to sustainability. Consumers are discerning, and their expectations surrounding ethical practices, eco-friendly packaging, and peak performance are here to stay. In conclusion, this is a good thing! Whether by choice or by virtue of consumer tastes, the beauty industry is changing—and because rising tide indeed lifts all boats, everyone benefits.

What products have impressed you the most in each category?

Hair

The Innersense Scalp Scrub is extraordinary. It’s made with Hawaiian red salt, celery seed, tea tree, and peppermint oil, and works as good as it feels.

Body

OSEA’s Undaria Algae Body Oil never ceases to impress me. Infused with mineral-rich seaweed and antioxidant-packed acai oil, it’s softening, nourishing, and never greasy.

Makeup

When it comes to makeup, ILIA’s Lip Wrap is unmatched. I love the universal, pigment-free blend. Further, the hyaluronic acid keeps my lips from getting chapped (much appreciated during the cooler months).

Skincare

Detox Mode just launched a new cleanser collection, and I’ve been using the Nourishing Jelly Cleanser religiously. There is truly nothing else like it. We worked for months to get the formula just right. As a result, it has a unique, emulsifying jelly-to-oil texture that transforms into a gentle cleansing milk. The rosehip and ylang ylang add the perfect touch of comfort.

Before bed, I use Odacité’s Crème de la Nuit, made with vitamin C and ashwagandha. The clinically-proven, water-free blend of botanicals makes a visible difference overnight. It also comes with a dual-use acupressure massage tool and spatula.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I’d tell my younger self many things: Don’t worry so much,it’s all going to work out, obstacles are apart of the process. When you’re living the moment in real time, it’s hard to see the road ahead; that’s okay. What matters is that you keep moving forward (you’d be surprised how often the staircase appears).

I say all this, and yet, in the words of Japanese author Haruki Murakami, “There are many things we only see clearly in retrospect.” So perhaps my advice would fall on deaf ears anyway, in which case I’d tell myself: Buckle up for the ride!

Alicia Zhang

Originally from Los Angeles, Alicia lived in Shanghai for 11 years before moving back to the states to attend the University of Miami, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and minors in art and philosophy. Currently residing in New York City, Alicia applies her knowledge of strategic communication and design in her career. She enjoys painting, rugby, exploring, and more often than not, you’ll find her petting someone’s dog.

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