Our commitment to caring for the world runs deep in our cultural DNA. It is at the core of the way we develop our products and operate our business. It is a central part of our recruitment efforts and training for new employees. It is a foundational aspect of our relationships with our suppliers and the hair and skin care professionals who make up the Aveda network. To Aveda, caring for the world is an expression of our responsibility to protect and rejuvenate both the natural environment and the people whom we touch in conducting our business.
The Products We Make
We remain true to our founder’s vision for products that set Aveda apart in the beauty world through the practical art and science of turning naturally derived ingredients into high performance hair, skin, body care and Pure-Fume™ aroma products. In fiscal years 2015 and 2016, we introduced the following products:
Percent of Formula that is
Smooth Infusion™ Smoothing Masque
Be Curly™ Intensive Detangling Masque
Be Curly™ Co-Wash
Smooth Infusion™ Nourishing Styling Creme
Shampure™ Dry Shampoo
Invati Men™ Nourishing Exfoliating Shampoo
Invati Men™ Scalp Revitalizer
Botanical Kinetics™ Energizing Eye Creme
Botanical Kinetics™ Intense Hydrating Soft Creme
Botanical Kinetics™ Intense Hydrating Rich Creme
Daily Light Guard™ Defense Fluid Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Innovation in Ingredients and Products
Aveda has pioneered the development of high-performance personal care products derived from botanicals and other naturally occurring ingredients. Our roots are deep in the Ayurvedic tradition and we build on that knowledge in conjunction with expertise in pharmacognosy (the study of medicinal substances that come from natural sources such as plants), green chemistry, biology, botany, aromatherapy, biochemistry, physics, chemical engineering and phytotechnologies. We combine technical expertise with a focus on the concerns and needs of our users to develop innovative products with heightened functionality. Two examples of research driven innovations that come from our foundation in Ayurvedic principles, commitment to creating high-performance hair and skin products made with naturally derived ingredients are Invati™ and Daily Light Guard™.
The Invati™ product line is an example of Aveda’s holistic approach to developing new products. In working with Drs. Vinod and Kusum Upadhyay, leading practitioners and scholars in Ayurvedic medicine, Aveda’s experts searched for an approach that could help people maintain the hair they have longer and taps plant-based ingredients. Christine Hall, Executive Director R&D Formulation & Innovation
, and Alison Pawlus, Research Scientist at Aveda, explain the process that they followed in developing the Invati Men™ line launched in fiscal year 2016:
Alison: “My background is as a pharmacist/pharmacognosist (expert in plant-based medicines) and my specialty is finding biologically active molecules in natural products. Here at Aveda, we have a bioassay lab dedicated to hair biology where we are examining plant extracts for biological activity relevant to hair thinning. Hair thinning is very complicated and there are multiple factors that impact hair, so Invati's multi-pronged approach is very important to address the concerns of our diverse guests.”
Christine Hall, Executive Director R&D Formulation & Innovation : “The first products for maintaining hair that we launched were the Invati™ products designed primarily for women, based on recommendations of Ayurvedic herbs that came out of collaborations with Drs. Upadhyay. Men were also using these Invati products and that led us to review the scientific literature on male hair thinning. Alison and myself, began looking at the chemistry of many different botanicals for activity that would address hair thinning and aging concerns that are relevant to men. Working with an independent laboratory to evaluate individual botanical compounds, we found a number of botanical ingredients that had an effect and began looking at blends that might enhance the activity even more.”
Alison: “There is a long history of success in evaluating natural materials to address skin and hair concerns. A key approach that we use is ethnobotany, which is examining how plants have been used traditionally, typically for hundreds if not thousands of years. I looked for plants that people have used over time for things like thinning and hair loss.”
“The quality of the material is also of great importance to achieve the biological activity of interest. For example, Cindy and her botanical research team, have been looking at various extracts of licorice, which as a plant, has a complex chemical profile and each licorice extract is different. By using highly sophisticated analytical techniques, they have been able to find the plant extracts with chemical profiles that are most beneficial for skin and hair. Utilizing that work, we were able to identify high-performance botanical extracts for addressing men's hair thinning. That is what makes our team at Aveda unique in the industry."
Christine Hall, Executive Director R&D Formulation & Innovation : “Alison also did extensive literature reviews to understand the state-of-the-art science of the biology and chemistry of the extracts we were evaluating. Our research focused on how we could potentially best address hair loss and also enhance the fullness/thickness of hair. We then set up a testing protocol with an independent lab and conducted repeated experiments to validate findings and to look at combinations and dosages of potential ingredients that would maximize the benefits to our guests. This effort was so successful in finding naturally derived solutions that we have four pending patent applications. This is a truly breakthrough technology!”
Daily Light Guard™ Defense Fluid Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Awareness of exposure to the damaging effects of the sun and environmental pollutants has grown immensely over the past few decades. What was once an obscure scientific observation, ozone depletion and the associated increase in UV radiation at the Earth’s surface, have become global concerns. Along with the recognition of the need for daily protection from the sun’s harmful rays is a growing understanding that pollution can cause skin damage. “The sun is the premature aging factor that we are exposed to most on a daily basis,” says Helga Hefner, Aveda Manager of Professional Spa Education. “Most people think they may only need to wear a sunscreen on a sunny day, but most UV and environmental damage happen while simply going about your daily routine.”
However, many non-chemical sunscreens leave a white residue that makes them less appealing to use. When our scientists overcame this with new mineral-derived technology, we decided the time had come to offer a new sun care option worthy of the Aveda name.
Aveda introduced Daily Light Guard™ Defense Fluid Broad Spectrum SPF 30 in early 2016 featuring a new mineral-derived sunscreen technology. It defends first by strengthening skin’s barrier to help defend against pollutants, and second with plant-derived anti-oxidants that help neutralize harmful free radicals – damaging molecules that can prematurely age the look of skin – before they even get started.
The research teams at Aveda strive to find the right balance between utilizing the benefits of modern science and harnessing the power of naturally derived ingredients including botanicals to create the best product possible. There were many challenges to create a 100% mineral-derived sunscreen. One of the complexities in developing Daily Light Guard™ was to achieve a formula that could apply evenly without leaving a white ghost-like film on the skin.
The Aveda Research and Development team collaborated with ELC colleagues and outside experts to create a technology using a state-of-the-art coating that allows the zinc oxide and titanium dioxide particles to move seamlessly across the skin, resulting in a silky-smooth, evenly distributed and sheer application. To achieve a luxurious and pleasing product, the formula is 74% naturally derived and includes some synthetic ingredients to facilitate uniform skin coverage and adherence, both of which are required for good sun protection.
In addition to our use of Ayurvedic principles—and consistent with the Aveda Mission—Aveda is committed to using organic certified ingredients whenever possible. Daily Light Guard™ uses certified organic kukui seed oil to help strengthen the skin’s barrier qualities, which helps provide protection against pollutants and environmental irritants, and a plant-based anti-oxidant blend that includes extracts of Ayurvedic ingredients including rice bran, rosemary, certified organic ginger and vitamin E derived from sunflower oil to help neutralize harmful free radicals. Aveda sources certified organic ginger grown in India by our partner Nisarga Biotech. Nisarga, which means “nature” in Sanskrit, grows Ayurvedic herbs using organic and biodynamic agriculture methods. They produce a variety of essential oils using a high pressure, low temperature CO2 extraction method to obtain concentrates without solvents (see the 2013-2014 ECC Report for further discussion of this extraction method).