REN Clean Skincare, the beginning.
REN Clean Skincare was founded 2000 in East London by Rob Calcraft and Antony Buck. Not only did a ‘Clean’ market not exist, but Clean products themselves were unavailable, and Buck’s wife found this out first-hand. While pregnant, she suffered reactions to her current beauty products, consequently becoming more wary of the ingredients within. We’ll not call her the OG beauty influencer, but it was her quest for ‘safe’ skincare that inspired the birth of REN Clean Skincare at the time.
Clean Beauty, no compromise.
Buck and Calcraft wanted to create skincare brand that challenged the often-synthetic ingredients in traditional skincare. A brand that Buck’s wife, and many others like her experiencing the same skin sensitivity, could use. Armed with a comprehensive ‘NO’ list of ingredients that they wouldn’t include to negate the chance of causing irritation, they started researching bioactives from natural origins with proven skin benefits. This refusal to compromise the health of the skin barrier underpins all formulas at REN Clean Skincare to this day.
At the forefront: skin sensitivity.
With the trend for microdermabrasion, acid peels, and injectables on the rise, ‘sensitive skin’ was (and to an extent, is) an overlooked category. It may not have been seen as ‘sexy’ or marketable, but with the rise in those identifying as having a sensitive skin type and with Buck’s wife as an example, our founders made sensitive skin the focal point of their offering. Till now, we still formulate all of our products, whether anti-aging or exfoliation, to be suitable for sensitive skin. We don’t believe in compromising the skin’s protective barrier to get results. And, looking at how Clean Skincare snowballed - neither did you.
The rise of Clean Skincare.
From idea to reality, Clean Skincare made its way into the UK market. Here’s a quick timeline from when we were pioneering Clean, to who we are now:
2000: REN launches into the Andaz Hotel, London (formerly the Great Eastern Hotel) with its own store on Liverpool Street where it is still sold today
- 2004: We launched into Liberty London.
- 2005: We undertook a Partnership with John Lewis
- 2010: We provided skincare for British Airways First Class amenities bag
- 2011: We launched into the ‘Away Spa’ at W Hotel London
- 2014: Our products become available in M&S
- 2016: We launched into Selfridges, London
- 2020: We’re now available in over 50 countries, worldwide
It’s not just the proliferation of Clean Skincare that makes us happy, but the love we got for creating unique products for skin types that needed it most. Renowned Makeup Artist, Male Groomer and a family member of our co-founder, Lucy Halperin, whose client list includes Kate Mara, Dev Patel, Jason Bateman and Brad Pitt, shared how much she loves our iconic Global Protection Day Cream. “It’s one of the first moisturisers of its kind, with great healing properties, which I have used continuously since it launched 20 years, not only on my clients but also on myself,” even handing it down to the future generations, “it was the first skincare product that I introduced to my daughter who now uses it as part of her daily routine”.
The future of Clean Skincare.
Over the last 20 years, beauty lovers have become more cognizant of what’s in their products, with many looking for more natural-origin alternatives. While lucky for us, this isn’t the only thing that has changed: we’re now more conscious of the impact we’re making on our planet. We’ve always prided ourselves on sourcing ingredients from sustainable origins, in a way that doesn’t compromise the health of our environment, but as years went on, we knew this wasn’t enough.
In 2018, we pledged to become the first Zero Waste beauty brand by the end of 2021, in that we’ll only produce recycled, recyclable or reusable packaging. We’ve also undertaken partnerships with planet-focused NGOs like Planet Patrol (UK) and Surfrider Foundation (US) driving hands-on positive change for our planet.
While we once heralded ingredients as the standpoint of a Clean brand, packaging - especially in premium beauty, which often uses mixes of plastics, glass and metals to symbolise luxury, creates an impact we can’t ignore. We’re proud again to be the first brand to pioneer a 360° approach to what it means to be Clean, and we can’t wait to share more stories with you throughout the upcoming weeks.