In Conversation With Karen Behnke About Her Organic Brand Juice Beauty
An obsession with skincare leads to many discoveries, the most exciting of which are brand stories. Building a skincare brand and developing new products from scratch can be a monumental task. It often needs a visionary at the helm and lots of hard work–and Karen Behnke, founder, Juice Beauty, is the perfect example.
Launched in 2005, Juice Beauty was born out of a passion for environmentalism, a commitment to wellness, and an obsession for safe beauty products. Her goal was to create luxurious organic formulations that performed better than conventional beauty products. And now that the brand has branched out to India, we had a quick chat with its founder to talk about products, ingredients and what she has in store for us.
ELLE: Give us an insight into the early beginnings of the brand – what inspired you to start a range of clean beauty products?
Karen Behnke (KB): Having built one of the first corporate wellness companies in the US, I developed a keen interest in personal care products with my first pregnancy at the age of 40. Experiencing hormonal changes and the beginning of lines in my skin, I set out to find healthy skincare solutions that delivered visible results.
I was astounded to learn that, although the skin can absorb what is placed on it, very few available healthy personal care products worked well. Years after my second child was born, in 2005, I launched the company from scratch, wanting to create meaningful change in the industry. I then led an initial 5-year journey with PhD chemists, physicians, and microbiologists to perfect Juice Beauty’s chemistry.
ELLE: How is the brand unique in terms of product formulations and processes used?
KB: First and foremost, it is our product’s efficacy–it continually challenges the status quo by radically transforming the chemistry of beauty by providing clinically validated, authentically organic beauty products. Juice Beauty exceeds the conventional chemical efficacy for healthy skincare. It masters an exceptional formula that ensures powerful action with an infusion of advanced high potency ingredients and eliminates potentially harmful and unhealthy pesticides. With a unique proprietary blend of antioxidant-rich certified organic botanical juices in its product line, Juice Beauty takes its prowess in clean formulations up a notch in the world’s fastest-growing beauty space.
ELLE: How does the ‘farm to beauty’ philosophy fit into Indian consumers’ beauty rituals?
KB: As a socially responsible beauty brand, we pride ourselves in our special sustainable initiative – FARM TO BEAUTY. It aims to enhance the powerful antioxidants and limit pesticide and synthetic fertiliser residue in beauty products. We believe that the informed Indian consumers of today’s time are making a conscious shift to clean and waterless beauty products. The innovative products work on a holistic level inside and out, are multi-use and deliver transformative results on varied skin types.
ELLE: Indian consumers have different tastes and needs when it comes to skincare. How do you think they will benefit from the newly launched product range?
KB: Firstly, we are elated to announce the launch of Juice Beauty in India on Boddess.com exclusively and offer the best-in-class clean beauty experience to our Indian diaspora with a plethora of clinically validated, authentically organic beauty products. I believe that India is an amazing country, filled with tremendous beauty and stunning skin tones.
The Indian consumer will hopefully love all our products, but they will go crazy over our Green Apple Age Defy Moisturizer! Also, our Phyto-Pigments Foundation, which is available in so many shades, is powered by plant pigments and will blend right into many skin tones. Plus, it’s an Age Defy Serum + Foundation in one – just shake to mix.
ELLE: Being a “clean” beauty brand, what are your insights on the ‘green revolution’ in skincare? Is it just trendy right now, or will we see a significant shift to organic/natural/clean products?
Karen: We really think that change is here to stay. The public has been educated to read ingredients, find companies that they can trust, and ask the right questions while expecting high performance. The downside is that it is tough to decipher all the marketing messaging that can actually be “greenwashing”. Rest assured that Juice Beauty goes “beyond green” or “beyond clean” to authentically organic, high-performance ingredients.
ELLE: What are some of the standout ingredients from the label that skincare enthusiasts can look forward to indulging in?
KB: Product development, with our professional chemists, is my passion. I love working with all of our ingredients, which we pioneered for the clean beauty industry, providing a better alternative to leading conventional chemical ingredients.
For instance, organic grapeseed instead of silicones, coconut alkanes instead of dimethicones, plant pigments instead of synthetic dyes, refined non-nano zinc instead of chemical sunscreens, argan plant + deep purple carrot instead of carbon black and more.
ELLE: Your brand is very vocal about its mission of sustainability. What does being sustainable with one’s beauty practice mean to you personally?
KB: It is very personal to me as I have been an environmentalist since high school. When I read Rachel Carsen’s Silent Spring at a young age—I felt connected to her. I was astounded by how she created such worldwide environmental change. Her story greatly inspired me.
We believe in sustainability at its’ highest form. Organic ingredients on the inside to protect people, animals and the planet; sustainable packaging on the outside; and a green company from top to bottom from solar-powered corporate headquarters and our farm to only buying used, recycled or sustainably made furniture.