When NUORI’s founder Jasmi Bonnén started looking into the shelf lives of cosmetic products, she was surprised to find numerous studies documenting that commonly used active ingredients, such as vitamins, are unstable in cosmetic formulations.
“NUORI was born from the ambition to bring the ideal of freshness into skincare. This ambition sets the bar for all aspects of our concept,” Jasmi explains.
All NUORI products are freshly blended in small batches every 12 weeks in the laboratory in Denmark. Premium protective packaging minimizes exposure to air, light, bacteria and mold before and during use. Furthermore, all products are stamped with two dates: a Start-Using-By Date and an Expiry Date. The first date tells consumers when to start using a product, at the latest, in order to benefit from the optimum freshness and efficacy of the formula. The second serves as a reminder of when a product should be replaced by a new, fresh one.
This level of freshness brings with it two distinct advantages. It means that active ingredients are not weakened by time-related breakdown. And it allows the products to be extremely pure – 100% free from synthetic preservatives, colorants, and fragrances, as well as other chemicals normally used to stabilize the efficacy and consistency of skincare products over time.
We are thrilled to be one of eight stores in the States currently carrying this singular brand in our recently launched beauty section. Learn more about NUORI and its founder Jasmi in our interview below.
Could you tell us a bit about your background and how NUORI was born?
I started my career as a management consultant working for consumer goods and pharmaceutical companies. Then I joined L’Oréal and this is where the idea for my own range of fresh skincare was born. At the time we were implementing the new European rules for labeling of cosmetics. One of the new requirements was that all cosmetics should have a visible expiry date. But there was an exception to this rule, which stated that if a product had a minimum durability of more than 30 months (i.e., 2.5 years or more), it did not need to have an expiry date. Not surprisingly, these 30 months quickly became the industry standard for shelf life.
As I started reading more about the effect of time on cosmetic formulations, I became convinced that there was a need for a fresh skincare alternative on the market. Two years ago, I finally gathered up the courage to quit my comfortable corporate job and take the frightening leap into entrepreneurship.
In the context of the beauty world, NUORI’s approach to freshness is pretty radical.
You’ve explained it as analogous to consuming fresh food — more nourishing with fewer additives. This suddenly makes it seem like a no-brainer. Do you think we’re moving in a direction where demand for seriously fresh skincare products will become the norm?
I truly hope so! We’ve seen it happen in other industries - who buys canned peaches, orange juice from concentrate or UHT milk anymore? So why shouldn’t we demand the same from our skincare? Like you say, freshly bended formulas just make more sense, since they offer higher efficacy of ingredients and purer formulas.
What does a typical workday look like for you? How do you spend your days off?
I currently split my time between New York, where our family lives, and Copenhagen, where NUORI is headquartered. In New York my days start with the school run and cup of coffee followed by Skype calls with NUORI team members in Europe. Then I usually spend a few hours on administrative tasks. In the afternoons I meet with my US team, or concentrate on R&D. Although we work with a professional product development team consisting of chemical engineers and lab technicians, I am very involved in the whole product development process. I draft briefs for all products, evaluate and refine formulas, approve ingredients, and test all laboratory samples on myself (and my family members) before they are sent to independent testing.
In Copenhagen, I spend long days at the office, meeting with team members, drafting sales and PR strategy and reviewing operational plans. When in Denmark, I also always make sure to have time to visit the laboratory and production facility.
My days off are spent together with my husband and our two boys, aged 8 and 11. A normal Saturday would start with a long family breakfast and then some quiet time with a cup of coffee and my newspaper. Then we’re off to soccer practice and followed by a quick visit to either Whitney or the New Museum. In the evenings we love to have friends over for a home-cooked meal and glass of wine.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
When I was growing up our family lived in Africa where my father worked with development aid. He taught me to always take the high road, even if it meant working harder, facing skepticism or obstacles. In the end the most valuable asset we have is our integrity.
What’s on the horizon for NUORI? Are there plans to expand the line? Or keep it small and focused?
I am big believer in simpler living and think that most people’s beauty regimes (and bathroom shelves!) are in need of serious decluttering. So we are not interested in developing a large, complicated product assortment for NUORI. Rather, we wish to extent our range with selected, smart treatments that can be integrated into professional facials, or used at home to boost a daily skincare routine. We are also constantly looking out for new, innovative packaging solutions that will not only protect formulas, but also make products easier to use.
Who would play you in a movie?
Eddie Redmayne. His performance in the film Danish Girl blew me away. Part of the film was actually shot on the ground floor of the historic building in Copenhagen where NUORI’s headquarters are. So he’s already familiar with my neighborhood, and his cheekbones definitely beat mine!
Which of your products do you use most often?
Every night I massage my face with NUORI’s Vital Foaming Cleanser, which is the perfect one-step product for removing pollution and makeup, gently exfoliating and hydrating skin. I am also completely addicted to our Lip Treat. Just before going to bed, I apply a really generous amount of the balm to my lips and then massage the rest onto my cuticles for conditioned nails by the morning. And since I spend so much time on airplanes, I swear by our invisible Supreme Moisture Mask, which I wear during the flight to ensure beautifully hydrated skin upon arrival.