Wellness, natural beauty and a holistic approach to wellbeing might seem like the norm now, but this wasn’t always the case. Before the huge wave of clean beauty and awareness around product integrity that exists today, one brand was ahead of the curve. For more than twenty years, OSEA has been the pioneer of honest, clean skincare products. A true California brand inspired by the ocean, OSEA prides itself on being the best natural, luxury seaweed-based skin care. Their success and popularity is a testament to the family’s (yes, it’s a family affair!) hard work ethic and commitment to their vision. We chatted to the brilliant founder, Jenefer Palmer, about how she grew her passion into the cult brand it is today.
What was the original inspiration for the brand? JENEFER PALMER: Thirty years ago, I was a skincare neophyte. As in I washed my face with water and used nothing else. Ironically, I ended up as a spa director and needed to research skincare products for facials. When I began to study their ingredients--what I found shocked me!
It was nearly impossible to find skin care for our clients that weren’t loaded with toxic synthetic chemicals. OSEA was born from my desire to create natural, luxury seaweed-based skin care. Products that not only were free of synthetic ingredients but actually delivered powerful age-defying results.
I started thinking about creating a line with really pure, active ingredients and nutrients from the sea. As my grandmother (a holistic healer) taught me, seaweed is a nutrient-dense superfood. Seaweed, the star ingredient in our products, contains powerful bioavailable minerals and nutrients that are readily absorbed to rejuvenate the skin. I was drawn to Malibu by the ocean, clean air, open spaces, and the close connection to nature. The idea to start a marine-based skincare line was literally staring me in the face from my house on the bluffs overlooking Zuma Beach. I still get my best ideas while sitting in my outdoor bathtub looking at the ocean.
Osea was way ahead of the curve in terms of natural beauty - how does it feel to be a pioneer! JP: I feel like I’m finally in style! It’s exciting to see the world catching up! It’s so inspiring to see now in 2018 how the personal care landscape is changing—there are so many more natural options. Natural retail stores including Credo Beauty, Follain and The Detox Market are really leading the way. Even with OSEA’s immense growth over the past 22 years, I’m proud to say that we continue to use only the highest quality and most effective plant-based ingredients.
How have you seen the beauty industry change lately? JP: Natural everything is becoming mainstream. Twenty years ago, I was persuading people why natural is better---now it’s more of a given. I like to say that OSEA was green when it was just a color.
It is also so inspiring to see a change in the industry coming from legislation. California recently passed a bill requiring all cosmetic products sold in California to be cruelty-free (not tested on animals). California is such a big market that I think we’ll see real change across the US. The future of beauty is cruelty-free!
What are some of your favorite healthy spots in LA? JP: OSEA’s Skincare Studio, it’s our new retail space on Abbot Kinney! More than a store, we host different wellness events from yoga to meditation to cultural experiences that help build community. We also have wonderful bespoke facials! Erewhon for grocery shopping and to pick up quick, healthy meals.Venice farmers’ market for fresh, vegan nut cheese. Au Lac for the best vegan dining experience. It’s prepared by Chef Ito who took a vow of silence years ago.
What are you most excited for in the next year, for the brand? I’m heading to Oman this winter in search of traditional, local ingredients for new products. Plus, the beaches are stunning.