Ask The Expert: Do Minimal Ingredients In Skincare Make A Difference?

Dr Roebuck's co-founder, Zoe Roebuck, shares with us why she strongly believes in using fewer ingredients.

Zoe Roebuck, co-founder of Dr Roebuck’s

Australian skincare brand Dr Roebuck’s is finally here in Sephora Malaysia! In a chat with co-founder Zoe Roebuck, she shared with us about their brand and the minimal-ingredient skincare philosophy.

We’re getting more brands here that are about clean beauty and being environmentally friendly. Dr Roebuck’s is exactly that but takes it a step further: using minimal ingredients. And when we say minimal, we really mean it!

The maximum amount of ingredients in a Dr Roebuck’s product is only 15, with most having less than that. The products also combine active, natural ingredients with hyaluronic acids to deliver healthier skin and maximum results.

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HW: How do you deliver on the promise of “minimal ingredients, maximum results”?

Zoe: Our new one coming is called Ningaloo, an indigenous word meaning ‘deep, blue water’. It has six ingredients that are very active. So, there’s a very high concentration of copper peptides, and it’s 99 percent pure. Our No Worries is 13 ingredients, seven of which are active. Your Life Saver has got four actives in it, and only nine total ingredients. All of our products are more than 50 percent actives; with our serums at over 90 percent, and our masks at over 70 percent. So, the percentage of the ingredients that are beneficial to the skin are all really high, but we try to keep all of our products to under 15 ingredients.

HW: What is the star ingredient in all of your products?

Zoe: There’s two that we use a lot of and one of it is kakadu plum extract. It’s a hundred times more powerful vitamin C than any other plant on the planet. We also use a lot of hyaluronic acid, but we make our hyaluronic acid to order. Hyaluronic acid comes from my dad being a surgeon. He uses 0.2 but that’s injected into the joints. It’s great for joint repair, but not good for the skin. Then, you get to 0.8 to 1.2 molecular size, which is perfect for the skin, because it goes through the barrier but doesn’t sit on top. So we make our hyaluronic acid to order, specify them according to size, and use that across the range. So our hyaluronic acid and our kakadu plum extract, I would say, are our two key ingredients. And then of course, the organic pressed macadamia oil from Australia is one as well.

HW: What if one has sensitive skin? Would it react to these active ingredients?

Zoe: Majority of the time, sensitive skin is a reaction to something that’s in the cream, or to the ingredient. (You won’t have a reaction) unless you’re allergic to vitamin C, or lavender, or hyaluronic acid, which some people are. I’ve got sensitive skin, it was kind of where the brand came from. We wanted an active range that was also beneficial for sensitive skin. So, the original product was for eczema.

HW: How do your products work in Malaysian weather?

Zoe: The two biggest impacts on your skin are UV rays and pollution, and all of our products are made with that in mind. They’re packed with antioxidants, and things that eat up and reverse free radicals. Thus, with the Malayan environment, it’s important to eat up free radicals, get rid of any pollution, and protect your skin from pollution. Our range is made for that. Also, you guys spend a lot of time in the humidity, in the sun, and in air-conditioning. It puts massive stress on your skin. Even if it’s humid or you have combination or oily skin, it’s still dehydrating.

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