This historic hotel and spa is a beacon of wellness and was the first large luxury spa in Toronto
Odacité was born out of my journey back to health after battling breast cancer, when I made a promise to myself: I would never expose my body to harmful toxins and chemicals, starting with the products I was applying to my skin. Driven by my personal healing, I wanted to show the world that you don’t need to sacrifice performance for purity. My biggest challenge was to convince people that natural products not only work amazingly well when properly formulated, they also work better and faster than their non-natural counterparts.
When I launched Odacité in 2009, we were pioneers in the “clean beauty” movement. Today, the clean beauty movement is thriving as consumers become aware of toxic ingredients in skincare, and nothing could make me more happy! My dream is that one day clean beauty will be the norm, not the exception.
Longevity, youth and glowing skin – while respecting health – is at the heart of each ingredient we choose. I’m a firm believer that effective skincare is born out of complete purity of the formula: plant knowledge, fused with traditional medicine, vibrational energy, backed by modern science and supported by the most serious clinical and pharmacological studies – this is the future of beauty. Our company is very mission driven, always aiming to educate on the benefits of natural products and the extraordinary efficacy of botanicals.
Born and raised in Paris, now living in Los Angeles, my French roots are still very present. As any French woman, I take skincare very seriously! We love bare skin and use little makeup, so skin truly needs to be vibrant and healthy. French skincare is all about concentration of actives and results, but I wanted that without an ounce of toxins. Not finding it, I decided to create a skincare line to bridge the best of two worlds: French skincare and the “green” California revolution, and so Odacité was born.
Formula for Success
There is so much research that goes into each formulation. I don’t think it is enough to be just natural if you want to create a real difference in the way skin feels and looks, so beyond the tight selection of natural ingredients, we also use clinical-grade ingredients like hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C, CoQ10, DMAE, MSM, probiotics, enzymes and AHA (fruit acid), always in a base of fresh, organic all-natural ingredients. Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine, as well as vibrational energy, are also very present in our formulas.
A big part of the miracle starts in nature, so my responsibility is to find farmers, growers and pickers that love and respect ingredients as much as I do. We source completely pure, raw botanicals in their pristine unadulterated state, and back it up with science to pick the most potent ones. To do that, we source at least 10 samples of each ingredient, study their nutrients profile in our lab and select the most active. The efficacy of each product starts in this selection process.
Our Moringa oil comes from the footsteps of the Himalayan mountains; it has 46 antioxidants and over 74 percent oleic acid. Oleic acid is a godsend for dry skin – not only does it replenish moisture without clogging pores, it also helps the moisture from evaporating. No wonder Cleopatra used it to protect her skin from the harsh Egyptian desert environment. Its high antioxidant value makes it a great ally to care for aging skin. You will find Moringa in our Very Dry Skin Serum Concentrate Mo+P.
Our organic black cumin seed oil is sourced from Israel; at 65 per cent, it has one of the highest linoleic (Omega-6) essential fatty acid content. Research shows that acne-prone skins suffer from abnormally low levels of linoleic fatty acid. Replenishing pimple/acne-prone skin with linoleic acid is a fabulous way to ensure clear-looking skin. Plus, its high content of vitamin E helps prevent the appearance of after-pimple scarring. Black cumin is a primary ingredient in our best-selling Pimple Serum Bl+C.
Our Aventurine Lip Serum is supercharged with vitamin C and CoQ10 to address the specific needs of the lip area and its susceptibility to deep vertical lines. For our newly launched Blue Aura Cleansing Water, we harvested the purifying powers of the three most revered Ayurvedic herbs: neem, holy basil and turmeric. For our Crystal Contour Gua Sha, we adapted an ancient traditional Chinese technique, by carving a tool specifically for the face. We chose three different crystals, each with different vibrational energy: unconditional love for rose quartz, harmony for blue sodalite and good luck for green aventurine.
Once the formulas are created, they go through months of scientific testing. A safety assessment is done by a PhD in biology to make sure each formula is completely safe. Products are dermatology tested through a clinical study to establish that the formula can be considered as “non sensitizing,” with low risk of allergenic reactions and/or skin irritation.
Building the Business
Promoting Odacité is very multifaceted. Personally, I travel a lot to give master classes and train beauty professionals all over the world. We work with the most amazing retail partners, who are our voice on the ground: Detox Market in the U.S. and Canada, SpaceNK and Cult Beauty in England, Bon Marché and Galeries Lafayette in Paris, Harvey Nichols and Lane Crawford in Hong Kong, Nordstrom in Hawaii, Blue Mercury throughout America, and so many more. They are like our extended family. Once a year, I also do a press tour in New York to introduce all our new products. We have been blessed with amazing editorials and press features – I am so grateful to all the journalists that have supported and understood our mission since the beginning. Social media is the most amazing channel for sharing our mission. We work with many micro- and mid-tier influencers; to make sure it is authentic, we never use paid influencers. We send them products to try, because their feedback is the best way to get tried-and-true reviews. We also promote content on social media when newsworthy. But all in all, if I had to pinpoint the reason for success, I would say that authenticity and originality are the DNA of success. I love that sentence by Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself, everybody else is taken.” Success is about finding your own voice – forget what exists already, never copy. Be a changemaker.
On Doing It Alone
We decided to remain self-funded – I love our freedom! – and we are a very fast-growing company. This is also a recipe for challenges. Here’s a story that illustrates it well:
As a self-funded company, when we launched we had to be mindful of where we put our money. Rent was where I felt we could save money, so I turned part of my house into an office space and garage into our warehouse. When we got to the point of receiving much bigger deliveries, I had completely forgotten a small detail: My house is in a very narrow canyon and sits on top of a hill, which is accessed by an even more narrow and steep street. The driver took his big-rig up the hill and got stuck halfway – he couldn’t go forward or backward without a chance of flipping the truck. The police and fire department tried to help to no avail – that truck was not going anywhere! Finally, the delivering company sent their “best driver” and slowly backed the truck down the street, kindly letting us know we would have to go pick up our boxes at their warehouse in the future. It was time to move.
When you have your own company, you have to face obstacles all the time – some big, some small – but I always see those challenges as a way to improve what we are doing. It’s an opportunity for change, growth, improvement, creativity and reinvention. Challenges are here to make us better, whether as a company or as a person.