Lorraine Dallmeier is the CEO of Formula Botanica, the online eco-cosmetic business and formulation school, which has trained over 14,000 beauty formulators and entrepreneurs in more than 175 countries. She was voted the most influential person on natural beauty in 2020.
How did you get into the natural and organic sector?
I graduated as a biologist and I have always liked plants. I started working in the organic sector in 2010, when I designed an iPhone application that taught users to make their own beauty products at home in a very simple way using fruits and vegetables. The app was downloaded in more than 70 countries around the world. At that moment, I knew there was no going back and I started to learn to formulate before finally assuming the position of CEO of Formula Botanica.
How was Formula Botanica created?
Formula Botanica was originally created to be a one-woman side business, which is also the stage it was in when I bought and took over the school in 2014. Until then it had really been a small hobby business, so I immediately began to dismantle everything that was in the school and to build it again. It is now a highly respected global educational institution, with more than 14,000 students in 179 countries.
What kind of person is attracted to Formula Botanical courses?
We attract people from all over the world who want to be trained in the skills of green and organic formulation. Our students not only want to learn how to formulate and start their own indie beauty brand, they also want to change the world through botanical and sustainable formulation.
We attract people from all over the world who want to be trained in the skills of green and organic formulation
Over the years you’ve had fantastic success stories. Which do you highlight the more?
We have thousands of success stories from Formula Botanica graduates and we work very hard to capture as many of their stories as possible. Many of those stories stand out, from graduates who have raised more than $8.5 million in investment funding, to graduates who have won prestigious awards for their formulations and brands. Some of our brand-launching graduates aspire to take over the world and others are purposely keeping small. What I like most about our graduates are the stories they tell me about how their formulas change the lives of their clients.
What impact has Formula Botanica had on the organic cosmetics sector?
I think we have proven without a doubt that you don’t have to be a chemist to formulate your own organic skin and hair care. The myth of the chemist continues to persist, no doubt supported by many of the big beauty brands that have a century of pseudoscientific advertising in white lab coats behind them, but I think we are slowly democratizing the formulation and making it accessible to everyone.
I think we have proven without a doubt that you don’t have to be a chemist to formulate your own organic skin and hair care
Which are the green and organic beauty trends right now, and which ones will last the longest?
Trends come and go and I dont usually get excited about any of them as I prefer to focus on the big changes in the beauty industry. Ingredients come and go, but a seismic shift like circular beauty will completely change the face of the industry, for example.
Do you think beauty entrepreneurs are bringing positive change to the overall cosmetic industry?
I think the independent beauty industry has challenged the mainstream beauty industry in a way that has taken all the big players by surprise. Whereas 10 years ago natural beauty was something that was not taken seriously, now the big brands have to rethink the way they formulate and advertise their formulas.
I think the independent beauty industry has challenged the mainstream beauty industry
In your opinion, what are the biggest opportunities and challenges for the organic beauty industry?
The biggest opportunity, as well as the biggest challenge, will be to embrace circularity and rethink the way formulas are packaged, delivered and consumed. With more than 120,000 million units of cosmetic packaging being manufactured each year, something urgently needs to change; our industry can lead that conversation.
Do you currently have Spanish students in your community?
We have many students in Spain and in fact some of them have created independent beauty brands like Lamia Biocosmética. We are hearing the same message from Spain as from countries around the world: buyers are looking for natural, gentle and sustainable cosmetics.
Author: Jim Manson, Journalist
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Bio Eco Actual, Independent European Organic Press
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