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The Power of the Formulation

The Power of the Formulation


Beauty brands love to tell an ingredient story: usually that means one hero ingredient (oftentimes from a far-flung location) being pushed to the forefront as the magical does-it-all wonder. But while individual ingredients can be powerful, more often it’s the synergy between multiple ingredients that proves truly innovative.

Think about music. A violin solo? Lovely. That violin with the sonic backing of a full orchestra? Wow! “It’s been really important for us at SEEN to focus on the way everything comes together rather than just emphasize a single ingredient,” says SEEN Founder Dr. Iris Rubin. “In a meal, you could have the best ingredients, but it’s how the chef prepares them that makes all the difference. A master chef pays attention to the quality of the ingredients, how much of each ingredient gets used, and how the ingredients interact with each other.”

At SEEN, that formulating (or chef’ng!) process has been a painstaking one: after developing a curated list of skin-friendly ingredients, it took over four years to formulate the first three products. What made the task so difficult was the need to deliver both amazing hair and skin results while also meeting the hurdle of being non-comedogenic, i.e. not causing skin breakouts. This last parameter, not causing breakouts, is especially unusual for a hair care brand since comedogenicity testing is often reserved for skin care. “It’s important for us to bring skin science to hair care,” says Rubin. “Comedogenicity testing checks to be sure a product does not clog the pores, and it’s really about the finished formulation. Some ingredients may be OK only at a certain level and the way ingredients combine can impact comedogenicity as well.”

Our approach is so unique that the company was able to obtain patents for their formulas. “Though it’s taken a lot of hard work and trial-and-error to get our formulations right, we’re excited to be creating a whole new category that bridges hair and skin care. In fact, we believe that once people understand that they can have BOTH amazing hair and skin, all hair products will be expected to respect the skin.”

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