It’s Tough to be Gentle: The Rise of ELSI Beauty
Elsa Jungman has a Ph.D. in Skin Pharmacology and began her career working in R&D for L’Oréal in Paris. ELSI is redefining skincare by being gentle and clean, limiting the number of ingredients and empowering the skin’s ecosystem.
AN EYE-OPENING EXPERIENCE
At 18, I suffered from toxic shock syndrome that sent me to intensive care. It made me lose skin layers all over my body, and my skin became extremely sensitive. All the products I tried were too irritating. The frustrating journey to find a product that worked motivated me to become a scientist and expert in skin health. I wanted to be able to provide solutions or options to people who’ve experienced the same struggles as me. Throughout my experience, it’s been my mission to empower women to build a strong future for themselves.
A SCIENTIFIC LANDSCAPE
My journey in science began in Paris where I got my bachelor’s degree in Biology. After that I got my doctorate from the University of Paris-Sud where I studied skin absorption and researched skin aggressors. I became really interested in dermatological research and was able to make this my area of focus years later through my job at L’Oreal. In 2015, I left L’Oréal and moved to San Francisco where I worked for a few science-backed, consumer startups, AQUIS being one of them, where I led the innovation for a green chemistry project focused on repairing hair (exciting news about that coming soon).
THE BIRTH OF ELSI
Today more than 50% of the US population identifies with sensitive skin and this number is growing. One of the reasons is that we use too many products—too many irritating products. One of the companies I worked for was AOBiome where I learned about the skin microbiome and the importance of all microorganisms we have in our skin like bacteria, funghi and viruses that keep us healthy. This was life-changing in terms of research, because I always worked on the different skin layers but I never thought about the bacteria living on top of your skin being so key to healthy skin. With the knowledge that maintaining a healthy skin ecosystem was critical to avoid irritation, I completely shifted my search for products to those that fully respected and promoted this. ELSI was born to create intentionally formulated skincare that’s gentle on your skin but holds up to the toughest standards. As a companion to unlocking your healthiest skin, we are working on an individualized experience that puts your skin ecosystem and well-being at the forefront of everything we do—for optimal skin health.
LET'S START OVER MOISTURIZING SERUM
For people with sensitive skin, smart, simple formulations with few necessary ingredients is key. At ELSI we’re firm believers that less is more and we want our community to understand exactly which ingredients are in our products. Through the Smart System we’ve developed, we prioritize how our clean, soothing and microbiome-kind ingredients interact with one another and with your skin as a whole system.
It’s a three-step approach to formulation design that treats your skin with the compassion it deserves by being super gentle and clean, and kind to the microbiome. Rather than focusing on a hero ingredient, we prioritize how ingredients interact with each other and with your skin as a whole system, always using 10 ingredients or less.
In our first product, Let’s Start Over, we offer a super-moisturizing serum with only three ingredients. We tested it clinically to make sure it’s non-irritating and in-vitro to show that it’s gentle to the skin microbiome. My selection process included choosing ingredients with a track record of being sustainable, clean & non-irritating.
MY SKINCARE TIPS
I believe in the “less is more” approach. I never over wash and use only super gentle cleansing oil to remove makeup but I never double cleanse or put soap on my face. I only scrub my T-zone once a week. Every morning I use the super-moisturizing serum to hydrate before putting on sunscreen and light makeup. That’s it—no toner or harsh serum. At night I don’t put anything on my face unless it’s feeling dry and then it’s just a few drops of the moisturizing serum. Otherwise I let my skin breathe and rest.
GOALS AND THE FUTURE
My goal is to build the future of clinical clean skincare by putting health & well-being at the forefront of any initiatives. I believe in making skin healthier with better products & by empowering the consumer in their skincare choices. I’m also incorporating a first-of-its-kind approach to skin health through The ELSI Method. Radiant skin comes from more than just products—it's about how you care for your body and mind overall. This is why we created the ELSI Method that combines facial yoga techniques with yoga postures, meditation and massage exercises using ELSI’s gentle skincare. More to come soon!
To find out more about Elsa Jungman and Elsi Beauty visit their web site. Follow Elsi Beauty on Instagram @myelsibeauty.
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