REN Skincare founder returns to beauty with new microbiome-based skin care brand Cultured

By Austyn King | Published: 29-Jul-2021

Rob Calcraft started the consumer favourite and 'clean' beauty pioneer two decades ago alongside co-founder Antony Buck

The founder of 'clean' beauty pioneer REN Clean Skincare has returned to the beauty industry after two decades to shake up the skin care landscape with a new microbiome-based skin care brand.

Rob Calcraft founded REN Clean Skincare alongside Antony Buck in 2000 and the brand has gone on to enjoy huge success as one of the trailblazing 'clean' beauty brands, winning over consumers worldwide with its natural formulas and hero products such as its Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic.

Calcraft later stepped down from the brand, which was acquired by consumer goods giant Unilever in 2015, commenting: “It was all getting a bit Groundhog Day with ‘clean’ and the use of the same old ingredients.”

Now, however, he has set his sights on the skin microbiome with new brand Cultured, which Calcraft revealed he was inspired to start after reading Ed Yong's I Contain Multitudes, which explores the body's relationship with microbes and bacteria, a topic that has become an increasing area of interest for beauty brands in recent years.

“The gut biome led to the skin microbiome. I just thought this is so new, so exciting and so scientifically sound that I should get back on the skin care horse, so to speak.”

The result is Cultured, a 'biomecare' brand powered by microbiome science that is launching with a line of products said to activate the skin's ability to protect, repair and renew itself to promote stronger, healthier skin that is less prone to dryness, sensitivity and breakouts.

With active ingredients including prebiotics, postbiotics, ferments, counter-preservatives and micro-algae extracts, the formulas are also said to activate cells deeper within the skin to boost the production of key proteins and enzymes such as collagen, elastin and anti-microbial peptides to enhance overall skin quality and performance.

Making its debut with a Biome One trio of products (from £32), it includes a Cleansing Balm, which features a complex of active ingredients to rebalance and strengthen skin while removing dirt, make-up and pollution; Biome One Serum, a multi-active serum said to support the microbiome, strengthen the skin barrier and provide moisture to leave skin looking smoother, brighter and rejuvenated; and a Biome One Mask, an exfoliating jelly containing a tri-acid complex of succinic, lactic and malic acid that gently lifts away dead skin cells, reboots healthy skin function and reduces the appearance of pore size and imperfections.

The products will be available via the brand's website and from 5 August.

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