Interview with The Glow founder Anita Scheiba
When and how did you start The Glow?
I started mixing my own skincare about 10 years ago, primarily to get my own skin problems under control. In the end, only one thing really helped: an all-natural, minimalist skincare regime. I started developing my own recipes and in 2014 got a book contract for a natural cosmetics recipe book, called The Glow.
I wanted my readers to have access to the best, sustainable materials for their home-made skincare, so I started a The Glow webshop which offered single ingredients such as organic oils, hydrosols and plant butters in pretty glass bottles and jars. But I kept getting requests from customers asking if they could get my recipes ready-made. So that’s when I started thinking about my own skincare range.
What is the philosophy behind the brand?
The Glow is basically a minimalist skincare capsule wardrobe: you only have five products, but you can mix and match them according to a modular principle. DIY light, in other words. The reason for this idea is that the skin is a living, breathing organ. It doesn’t have the same needs every day. Sometimes it’s on the dry side, sometimes sensitive, sometimes more prone to breakouts. So to treat every need, you would need a shelf with dozens of products, which is the reality for a lot of women. With The Glow, you only need five products. They cover all your needs, they contain the minimum amount of ingredients, but the best and purest ones. It’a a minimalist’s dream come true.
What is special about your products and what distinguishes them from other organic cosmetics?
My aim was to create the purest cosmetics on the market – radically clean was the guiding principle. Every single raw material must be of the highest quality available. This means that all ingredients, without exception, come from certified organic farming or are wildcrafted. Instead of water, we use organic hydrosols that still contain the active ingredients of their parent plants. We replace synthetic active ingredients like retinol or hyaluronic acid with botanical alternatives that work as well or even better, but without irritating the skin.
In addition, our products can be combined with each other and are multi-functional. The Wonderbalm alone replaces ten different other products, so you care for your skin with an extremely reduced number of pure botanical ingredients and only need a small glass jar in the bathroom.
Last but not least, the price point is crucial: the ingredients and the look are luxurious, but the price is fair. Pure, natural skincare should not be a privilege for a few, but affordable to all women.
How do you work when you create new recipes for your books or when you design products?
The basic idea is always: buy less, buy better. No synthetics, no fillers that are only in the product for their consistency, fragrance or colour, every ingredient fulfils a skin-care function in the formula. I think that when it comes to skin care, we often overdo it, according to the motto: more is more. I develop my products the other way round: less is best. An initially long list of possible raw materials is edited down until only the best and most effective ones are chosen.
I also try to think outside the box to avoid ingredients. For example, I deliberately don’t have a classic cream in my range, as these naturally contain a lot of ingredients. A cream consists of a water and an oil phase, which only combine permanently if you add emulsifiers and various other fillers. Instead, I go for layering: the moisture is applied first in the form of a liquid serum, and the oil phase is massaged in on top. This means everyone can determine the ratio of moisture vs oil and give the skin exactly what it needs at the moment. Ready-made creams are basically off-the-shelf cosmetics, but with the different product components of our line, every customer creates her own ‘skin couture’.
What do you like most about your job?
Tracking down new, exciting plant-based raw materials and developing recipes is the absolute highlight. I am always pushing the limits of what is possible because I have imposed so many principles on The Glow: no synthetics, everything comes directly from the plant, raw materials should come from fair trade projects or women’s cooperatives whenever possible. This often poses great challenges in production and sourcing. But when you’re able to overcome them, it really is the best feeling! But I also love being in touch with the customers. I often get emails from women who want to switch to all-natural skincare or have problem skin. Together we then work out a natural skincare routine and the positive feedback makes me very happy.
Story of The Glow – from the beginnings to today
February 2015 The Glow – Naturkosmetik Selbermachen is published by GU Verlag and becomes a bestseller on the German-speaking market shortly after. It gets translated to French, Italian and Portuguese.
April 2015 The Glow TV show airs on the Germany’s SIXX TV channel
May 2015 The Glow webshop launches with 82 raw materials and DIY sets
February 2017 The second book is published: The Glow Code, a recipe book and guide for holistic beauty.
Summer 2018 Starts developing the ready-made skincare line
April 2019 Relaunch of the webshop with the new ready-made skincare, consisting of five products
September 2019 The third book is published: Easy Glow
November 2020 The Glow Box, the fourth and final book of the series, launches