Josh Rosebrook is one of the most beloved people in the green beauty industry. He is so popular that there was even a Josh Rosebrook Appreciation Weekend recently on Instagram! His most recent launches sold out within a day or two, and they constantly sell out every time he restocks! Josh very rarely takes part in interviews, and I was so honoured that he gladly accepted my request. Without further ado, let’s get straight into the interview.
1) Hi Josh, can you please tell us more about you and your brand? You were a renowned hairdresser before you started your line. How did you develop an interest in skincare, and what inspired you to start a green beauty brand?
I was always interested in skin care. I started treating my face with masks and moisturizers when I was in high school. In retrospect, it was a ritual I was performing that was helping me love myself at a time when I didn’t have very much self esteem. Going to cosmetology school increased my interest in all aspects of beauty. As I began eating more whole foods, I discovered organic skin care, studied herbs and raw plant ingredients and the effects they have on the skin and scalp. Once I understood their immense benefit, I was hooked. Natural ingredients made perfect sense to me. I started making my own skin care formulations and the results were incredible. As a hair stylist, I loved guiding my clients to the products and ingredients that worked best for their skin and hair and it was extremely fulfilling. So many people were seeking advice, so I naturally found a place for myself, gave them the product I created, and it grew from there.
2) Like Tata Harper and May Lindstrom, you have an eponymous brand. Did you always plan on naming your line after yourself, or did it just happen by accident? Do you ever find the experience of being a household name surreal?
Well, my brand name is far from a household name. There’s just a point where your name becomes bigger than you, so I don’t relate to it in the same way as I connect to myself. It’s the brand, and then there is me.
There are a few reasons I put my name on my products. First, my intention was to create the most pure, efficacious, organic products available. I believe in the products, their purity and efficacy with my whole being. When you believe in something so much, you put your name on it, you stand by it. There is a lot of hiding in the beauty industry. There are so many brands that have flooded the indie natural market and have no experience or education in the beauty industry. Also, when you put your name on your products, it builds customer trust. The consumer can relate to a person. They see someone behind the brand and it helps them feel comfortable.
3) One of the things that I find unique about your brand is that you don’t use man-made synthetics, even if they are considered safe. You tend to prefer botanical mimics instead. Can you tell us why? What are some of your favorite ingredients to work with?
Since my products are completely natural and organic, it doesn’t make sense to use synthetic actives. Yes, many on the market are proven to be effective, but the market is oversaturated with those products. Synthetic chemical brands and “natural” brands use synthetic actives all the time, it’s not bad, it’s just been done already.
Whole plant synergy works on a both the level of the skin and the subtle energy body. I believe in the power of pure plant extracts and an expert formulation, combined with an effective delivery system to create visible results. What’s fascinating to me is offering something pure and new. Working to incorporate proven actives, but from a natural source is much more interesting to me. With a botanical mimic, the natural vibration of the product isn’t disrupted. Natural ingredients and their constituents create a support-like network to assist the body in healing wherever needed. Synthetics are not intelligent in this way. And when organic ingredients are uninhibited, they have the opportunity to work on a powerful synergistic level, where they’re even more effective and extremely adaptogenic. It’s just a whole different approach to the skin health and beauty. It’s fascinating to me to work with natural sources – finding the ingredient and learning how to harness the actives in the plant so they are bioavailable in the skin. Real plants are powerful as they contain a vast array of nutrients and phytochemical benefit that singular, synthetic actives do not. This benefits the skin and beyond.
My favorites shift and quality is most important. I’m really into CO2 extracts right now – Aloe vera juice, Shea Butter and Hemp seed oil are classic favorites of mine. Right now, I’m continually obsessed with Pachouli, Frankincense, Moroccan Chamomile; and I’m romancing Rosewood , Grapefruit, Sandalwood, Nutmeg, Juniper Berry and Lime.
4) In addition to using the cleanest ingredients, you often come up with unique approaches to skincare (like dry oil cleansing, which I’m too scared to try on my acne-prone skin!). How do you research/develop these ideas?
Dry Oil Cleansing is a technique I created for myself many years ago. I believe excessive water exposure slowly degrades the skin. It wasn’t anything I had researched, it just made sense to me and works incredibly well for my skin. I continue to see the results today.
While working with my hair clients, I was always seeking solutions to their scalp and skin issues. Many people struggling have tried everything from OTC to prescription pharmaceuticals from dermatologists. There is so much efficacy yet to be discovered. Dry Oil Cleansing is a technique that has proven very effective for normal, dry, sensitive, rosacea skins and skin that disrupts easily with water contact. I always give my clients my suggestions based on what works for me or what has worked for other clients. Over the years, I’ve collected a massive amount of data regarding skin, scalp, hair types and conditions and integrated the knowledge into my collection. This is how I create my approach and formulations – by working hands on people’s scalp and hair and consulting clients on their skin. I take in every bit of information about the client and parlay that into the development process.
5) What’s your creative process? Do you have a clear idea in mind before you set out to create a new product?
It happens in several different ways but ultimately everything starts with a very clear intention on what it is that I want, then, I am shown and guided the details. The different parts of the product reveal themselves to me. I follow my inspiration and trust the process. I can be very drawn to a particular ingredient and then the inspiration for what it wants to be grows. I ask myself a lot of questions, and listen, and really contemplate what is best, what will work, what is needed and how it will be totally efficacious.
I have a notebook of products I am designing. When I’m inspired I work on the formulation. I only work on products when I’m inspired. I don’t think creativity works well when you force, try or over-effort. When that is the case, I believe you are blocking true creativity and you are a slave to the mind and those thoughts are just other people’s ideas, not your own.
6) You’re one of the most beloved people in the world of green skincare. Your clients and followers adore you, and you’ve achieved something of a superstar status within the green beauty community. Your most recent launches sold out within a day or so (and is still sold out on your website). How does it feel to be one of the leading voices in this community?
You are so nice to say that. It doesn’t really register that way with me. It’s really nice to be heard, to have a voice. I really work to only use my voice to help others. It’s a mindful practice. Helping people feel better about themselves or their skin, helping them understand their skin, hair and holistic wellness or helping people just to feel heard and appreciated is all that really matters and what feels best. I just try to be a vessel for information, awareness and knowledge to pass through me and onto others. It’s not about me. All of the information that I’ve learned and the wisdom that I practice really isn’t mine, it’s just what I’ve applied and learned from my experience. Basically, nobody is really a big deal and none of the greatness is really ours, it’s so much bigger than us.
7) If you had to suggest three products from your line to someone who is new to your brand/green skincare, what would they be?
Active Enzyme Exfoliator
Vital Balm Cream
8) One of the things I love about you is that you’re always happy to use your influence to support other brands, even when they are your direct competition (I discovered the Meow Meow Tweet deodorant after you recommended it, and it has become by go-to deodorant). What are some of your favourite products from other brands?
So glad you discovered Meow Meow Tweet deodorant!! Thank you, so kind of you. Being too competitive takes away the fun.
The typical business mindset of being threatened by your competition is so tired. There is room for everyone to make money. If you’re in the natural beauty business with passion, for the right reasons, I only have respect for you. There are many brands out there that are not supportive and say negative things about other brands but they’re clearly threatened and not really living in abundance.
I love sharing about products I think are exceptional. Plus, I’m a consumer as well and I sometimes like to talk about other peoples products and not my own. Also, I love the founders of these brands – I have immense respect for these people.
Meow Meow is an exceptional line. Super high quality and simple formulas that are accessible for any budget.
Kari Gran, the Lip Whip, is the most incredible formulation for a lip product I have ever tried. Kari is an incredible human with such a beautiful, smart collection.
Skin Owl is an awesome line. Annie is a pro make up artist and an amazing formulator and person.
Osmia Organics is such a quality collection. Sarah is an exceptional person.
Labella Figura Beauty is created from passion and excellence as well. Victoria pioneered the clean beauty community and her products are inspiring.
May Lindstrom has beautiful products and philosophy.
Zoe Organics is an awesome brand for family and babies.
Mahalo has beautiful products and she is a wonderful person.
Demamiel is exceptional and inspiring.
Hope Gillerman’s essential oils blends are the highest quality on the market. Her book is incredible and educational.
Laurel is an wonderful line and an amazing person.
Captain Blankenship is awesome. Love her products and brand.
Lilfox has some really creative products that sound amazing.
My dogs, nature, hiking, time with friends and family. Cooking, good wine and good dining. Humor. I’m fascinated by human character, personality traits and belief systems. I love yoga very, very much. I love meditating. Nothing makes me feel more focused, in-tune, happy and at peace than meditating. I love reading. I read about consciousness and spirituality. I love essential oils, perfuming, and I absolutely love gardening.
10) What are your top skin/hair care tips for my readers?
You don’t need to apply 20 products a day. It’s unnecessary, expensive and frankly, it’s usually based in fear. We are all going to age. We can slow the process, look good and live well with good choices and healthy practices.
Don’t race to new products because you think they will perfect your skin.
I don’t think people wash their hair enough. Many peoples hair and scalp is continually filthy. People are so conditioned that “washing your hair often is bad” – yes, it’s bad when you wash your hair often and use harsh, highly synthetic, artificially scented shampoos that are not good for your scalp, but washing your hair more often when using a clean, gentle shampoo without artificial fragrance and silicones, is excellent. Using hair care with pure oils and herbs will effectively remove dirt, pollution, grime and product and contribute to a healthy scalp – which equals healthier hair.
Cut the dead split ends off already. They are destroying your healthy hair and they look terrible.
Work with your skin, it’s much smarter than you. Stop trying to wrestle your skin to ground and make it do something. It knows how to heal and be radiant, get out of the way – support and nurture it with pure, natural ingredients.
© 2017 JustAskArjun. All pictures courtesy of Josh Rosebrook.