California beauty brand is making forays into skincare with upcycled ingredients


ILIA Beauty goes further in skincare with an eye cream made from upcycled and plant-based ingredients. Sasha Plavsic, founder of ILIA, has always prioritized skincare in the cosmetics she formulates, arguing that it is the foundation of a healthy, minimal look. Skincare and makeup are seen as one, she says.

The Bright Start activated eye cream, debuting today, is a lightweight formula made with sea fennel extract, a plant-based retinol alternative, coupled with avocado extract, caffeine, peptides, and light-reflecting pearl. And unlike other retinols that shouldn’t be applied before stepping out in the sun, this eye cream is safe to use during the day.

“I noticed that so many eye creams didn’t sink into my skin. They just sort of sat there,” says Plavsic. “Or if they soaked into my skin, they didn’t work well with my concealer. So I made Bright Start Activated Eye Cream to a few things to do: absorb nicely into the skin, brighten, blend well with concealer and improve fine lines and wrinkles over time.The packaging with the cooling ceramic applicator helps to create a ritual and moment for yourself , something we need to prioritize more for ourselves.”

As a brand that’s always thinking about sustainability, the eye cream has a simple addition that reduces waste, she adds. “ILIA’s Upcycled Avocado Extract is a zero-waste by-product of the avocado oil industry. After avocados are pressed for their oil, our nutrient-rich active is extracted from the remaining skin, pulp and pit, ensuring that all parts of the fruit are used.”

In addition, the sea fennel extract is sustainably harvested on the coast of France. In fact, Plavsic and her team started formulating this cream about two years ago, but it took time to get the packaging, sourcing, and feel right.

ILIA is an advocate of recycling and reducing plastic waste. In fact, most of ILIA’s products come in minimal packaging, which is paper-based and can be easily recycled. The tubes and bottles themselves, says Plavsic, will be specifically recycled through their collaboration with PACT collective.

“Bright Start packaging can be recycled in three easy steps: cut open the tube and rinse out the remaining product, twist off the ceramic tip and recycle all parts through PACT Collective on,” she says. “Most consumers don’t know the intricacies of recycling, and everyone plays a small role that builds into a larger movement. ILIA is the largest contributor to PACT and has provided 30% of all materials collected by PACT.”

ILIA, which started out of Sasha’s childhood home, literally in her garage, has transformed over the past decade into a $100 million brand and the goal remains the same, she notes: to challenge the conventions of clean beauty, with innovation created to challenge skin , with highly researched combinations of high-quality ingredients and feel-good formulas.

Could this mean more skin care products in the future? Yes. Aside from makeup, Plavsic is passionate about healthy skin and employs a ‘less is more’ philosophy in her own makeup look. So more skincare products are a natural extension of the brand.

Plus, the eye cream does more than just help brighten the area. It’s also designed to provide a moment of calm, she notes: “The cooling ceramic tip, which doubles as a massage tool, makes Bright Start Activated Eye Cream especially potent as part of your AM routine for a moment of calmness at the start of your day before the chaos of life kicks in. It forces me to take a moment to slow down before racing out to get the girls ready for school.

Something that came out of necessity for Plavsic, this could be a game changer for the beauty industry: consciously crafted, designed to be recycled and provide a cleaner approach to skincare.


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