How Being Diagnosed With Thyroid Cancer Led To The Founding of Purfect Skincare
We deem Irina Ivanova the godmother of luxurious, sustainable, plant-based skincare rituals and have the pleasure this month of speaking with her, taking a peek into her formulations as well as her beautiful brand’s ethos and why it was founded in the first place!
We’re so excited to see Purfect in our box this month. For those who aren’t familiar with your journey, pls introduce yourself and how you founded your brand.
Hi everyone! I’m Irina and I founded Purfect three years ago together with my youngest son Dimitre. There is a “mother and son” story behind the brand, but simply put, Dimitre is the brain of the company and the creator of the business model, and I have put my soul and love in our products and they are truly my inspiration.
We are Purfect - a clean skincare brand born in San Francisco, committed to high quality, innovation and effectiveness while maintaining a first-class ethos of protecting our planet. The fundamentals in the creation of all our products are Love for the people and high ethical responsibility.
“Our small but mighty team is on a mission to prove that beauty products can be pure, effective and at the same time luxurious and affordable.”
We use COSMOS organic certified oils and herb extracts, applying innovative technology to all our formulations in order to make products that effectively bring youth, health and softness to the skin.
Purfect at its core, is a very authentic brand. What I mean is that we as a brand have decided to be transparent and consistent in its messaging and branding initiatives. Our brand has business values we remain true to, and the most essential of them is honesty.
I understand you have a strong reason for creating your products with as many plant-based ingredients as possible. Please let us know why this is so?
The reason we’re doing this comes from a very deep personal place for us.
“5 years ago, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. It was such a hard time to have that kind of health challenge and to overcome it. I was in my late fifties and really wanted to be healthy to enjoy my beautiful family and to raise my future grandchildren, and I really took a deep dive into all the different ways I could support wellness in my life. I wanted to support my health not just for my sake, but for my children too.”
To me, clean living means having access to nature in as many aspects of your life as possible, whether it's what we eat, how we spend our time, and the products that we put on our bodies. I never even thought about our daily personal care products until I found one university research paper which showed that the chemicals in women's personal care products were absorbing through their skin into their bloodstream because they were finding it in the umbilical (baby) cord. And it was showing all of the endocrine disrupting chemicals that were in common personal care and beauty products. I was appalled. I began reading the ingredient labels of every cosmetic product in my bathroom. There were all these endocrine disrupting chemicals in my products, and I thought, “There’s got to be a better way. I’m sure we can get just as good results without these ingredients.”
And that’s what got me on this path. After the surgeries and therapies, I went to Bali and Thailand and dove deep into a body and spiritual detox with Ayurveda and the ancient practice of meditation, yoga and essential oils. That to me was the time to discover that Mother Nature really is the master healer.
“From today's perspective it's interesting, because sometimes the most challenging circumstances can open very unexpected doors, as we all learn in life. For me, my thyroid cancer opened the door of awareness to the fact that our personal care products were being made with ingredients which aren’t always the best for us.”
I cleaned up my bathroom from all the Big Beauty brands and I made my first face cream from coconut oil, black seed oil and ylang-ylang oil. I thought “Wow, OK, this is an area of wellness I should look at for myself.” So, I transformed my frustration into a passion for creating a skincare line that’s good for both the people and the planet. And most importantly, to spread awareness and help women use certified organic beauty products. For me, this deep life changing health crisis was really the ultimate motivator and with the help and support of my son, we built Purfect.
What do you think makes Purfect stand out in the current organic beauty space?
We know that in this busy world there are thousands of small skincare companies in the beauty industry. Furthermore, it can be confusing for people to find organic, luxurious yet affordable skincare. That’s where we come in - following a holistic approach we have the ability to offer all of these things under one brand to our customers.
“Because clean beauty means a clean conscience, we create products that are ethical, sustainable, science- and plant-based.”
We believe that if you can’t ingest it, don’t put it on your skin! Considering that skin is the largest human organ and anything we put on it may be absorbed into our bloodstream, we wanted to make products to “feed” the skin with the purest, most organic natural ingredients.
What does a typical production cycle look like and how do you choose your ingredients?
We’ve set many stringent criteria in creating our products and believe that in order to merge nature and science effectively, we needed to work with a great formulator. We found a great beauty technologist with a strong holistic approach plus over 30 years of experience, who formulates and tests our products before any production cycle.
Our production labs are in Europe and the production cycle is under strict European standards - from formulation and testing through to sourcing and packaging, right down to the final product. We go through countless formulations and tests to get to the very best. Our organic active ingredients are COSMOS certified organic. Our White Truffle Creams are dermatologically tested in one of the best labs in Germany.
We also produce in small batches in a controlled lab environment and use organic ingredients sourced from Europe, North Africa and Canada.
“We combine raw and unprocessed organic oils and herbal extracts, which effectively help to keep the skin healthy and rejuvenated. We do not use water to avoid the destruction of their beneficial properties.”
We are out to prove that you don’t need to sacrifice your time and money to find high quality clean skincare products. Purfect offers all this!
I truly believe everyone could make a change towards a purer, safer and more honest way of living.
What has been the toughest challenge you faced since launching?
March 2020 was a tough month to launch a startup, as COVID-19 turned our meticulously laid out plans upside down. There was so much we couldn't control last year, but we kept showing up, putting in the work and trying to get better, and that’s what we’re continuing to do.
What can we look forward to from Purfect in the near future?
We're launching a new product this month. We’re happy to introduce to your audience our White Truffle Hydrating Face Cream With Blue Light Protection which is a light and hydrating emulsion that helps protect skin from the blue light emitted by electronic devices that are part of our daily lives – phones, laptops, tablets, computer’s screens, etc…