In the awards autumn series of blog posts, we get to know the brands and people behind the nominee products of the Nordic Natural Beauty Awards 2021. In this first post, we are proud to share the beginning story of the Swedish brand Oquist Cosmetics, as told by the founder of the brand – Olga Ringquist:
‘It all started in mid-2019. Since dad and I are tea lovers we discussed the future of our new business idea over two ceremonial bowls of tea. I just had become a mother and didn’t want to go back to work and continue supporting the unsustainable FMCG industry where I had been working for the past 8 years. And how lucky was I, having a dad that had been running his own business developing natural cosmetics for the past 20 years. He was of course happy to see how we could help each other. His dream was to prove the efficiency and power of natural ingredients, while mine was to find a sustainable way to produce and consume beauty.
We agreed that our formulas had to be waterless. This way we could significantly decrease our carbon footprint while skipping the need for preservatives, known to irritate the skin, disrupt the skin microbiome, and harm ecosystems. Plus, dad had already been developing waterless products since 2004 and wasn’t particularly happy to hear the K-beauty movement was getting all the cred for reinventing this concept in 2019.
“Our formulations should also be more potent and concentrated so that they can be used for several purposes”, dad said and sipped the last drop of tea from his bowl. “You know those shower products for lazy men that are 6-in-1. We could do that too”
I laughed for a while but then thought, why not? That would make our concept even more sustainable. We just had to pack it in a nicer way, I figured and tried to imagine how my own routine could be diminished to ONE step. For a skincare junkie like myself, it felt totally insane but also intriguing at the same time.
“We obviously also need sustainable packaging”, I said and refilled our bowls with a fresh batch of tea. “And it should be beautiful. People should want to keep the product out on display because it’s so beautiful”
We both drank our tea in silence for a while, imagining what this not-of-this-world packaging could look like. Then dad almost choke on his tea and said:
“This!”, he pointed at his bowl while continuing coughing. “Terracotta. It’s. Sustainable.”
I looked at his bowl and then at mine while sliding my finger over the porous material. Obviously, it’s good enough for food and beverages, why isn’t it used for cosmetics?
“It’s basically earth and just returns back to earth if thrown away”, he continued. “The Egyptians stored their skincare in terracotta. We can also store ours in a couple of jars”
“No”, I said and felt that childish smile take over my face. “It shouldn’t be ‘jars’. It should be sculptures. Pieces of art”
Dad looked in the distance and said:
“Waterless and multifunctional cosmetics in a piece of art. I like it”
We both smiled and knew something great had just happened.’
Nominated in the Nordic Natural Beauty Awards 2021:
Oquist Cosmetics – 6-in-1 Anti Aging Serum
Olga Ringquist visited also the Nordic Natural Beauty Podcast, where she shares all about Oquist Cosmetics, so it is an absolute must-listen! You can find and listen to the podcast episode on Spotify, among others.