Ghost Democracy is all about highly-concentrated, exceptionally clean beauty. How do you define “clean beauty?”
A lot of people are throwing around that buzzword and just saying, “We don't have parabens, so we're clean.” But we are raising the bar for what it means to be clean in the beauty industry. Not only does Ghost Democracy not use hormone disruptors, parabens, phthalates and the 1,400 ingredients that are banned in Europe, but we go beyond that. Our exceptional clean is based on four key things: no essential oils, no fragrance, no drying alcohols, and no silicones.
I have acne prone skin, and once I cut out silicones from my skincare routine, my skin cleared up. I had less breakouts because silicones are essentially plasticizers that just give your skin that smooth, silky feeling, but they don’t really do that much for your skin.
Drying alcohols are a trick of the industry to make products feel like they’re absorbing into your skin. But drying alcohols evaporate off your skin and actually take the moisture with it. Essential oils are great for candles and aromatherapy but not great in direct contact with your skin. They're known skin sensitizers. By cutting out fragrance and drying alcohols, I've seen less redness in my own skin. That's what consumers have noticed as well.
So not only are we taking a stance on being non-toxic and using less chemicals, but we're actually going above and beyond and raising the standard of what clean skincare should be.
How did the Ghost Democracy community play a role in the development of your new product, the Cocoon Replenishing Ceramide Rich Cream?
Last year, as I was thinking about what products to add this year, I thought, what better than to ask the Ghost fam on social? We said, “We're about to go back into the labs. We're seeing a lot of trends, but what would your dream product be?” We got a laundry list of suggestions. One of the common responses was a thicker night cream or a heavier moisturizer for dry skin.
When we launched the line in 2019, we started with the lightweight moisturizer because our audience tends to not want something heavy on their face. But as the brand evolves, we want to offer people more selection.
The community asked for this, and I decided the best ingredients for a deeply moisturizing product would be ceramides and lipids. It's all about restoring and replenishing the natural moisture barrier of your skin. So rather than starting off with “hey, I want to launch ceramides” it started from the people asking for something richer, thicker and heavier. Then we found great ingredients would supplement that need.
Break it down for us: What do ceramides do for one’s skin?
The easiest way to think about it is to imagine your skin as a brick wall. Your skin cells are the bricks and ceramides, fatty acids and lipids are the mortar that holds the bricks together. Over time, our body creates fewer natural ceramides, lipids and fatty acids. When this mortar breaks apart, you start to lose moisture. By pumping up the mortar, it holds your skin cells together and strengthens that natural moisture barrier to help you retain moisture. It also helps reduce the appearance of fine lines for plumper, firmer and more hydrated skin. Our formula includes ceramides in a very, very high concentration of 2.2%. We've mixed that with a 17% lipid blend of fatty acids to make it even more nourishing for the skin barrier.
How does this cream differ from the Clean Lightweight Daily Face Moisturizer?
They do two different things. One, the Clean Lightweight Daily Face Moisturizer, is more for microbiome balance. And the other, the Cocoon Replenishing Ceramide Rich Cream, is to replenish your natural skin barrier.
The Cocoon Replenishing Ceramide Rich Cream is more of a cream consistency, and it's going to be even more nourishing, more replenishing and more moisturizing. It’s easy to say that it's “heavier” but it's still not greasy or oily and won't clog your pores. It's still silicone free and non-comedogenic. (I'm always the first to be sure nothing will break you out.) It's for strengthening your skin and firming your skin.
The Clean Lightweight Daily Face Moisturizer is more about balancing and hydrating your skin. The star ingredient there is the 12% probiotics treating the microbiome of your skin. It balances out the equilibrium so dry spots are less dry, oily spots are less oily, and you get more of a clean, refreshed feeling. The Cocoon Replenishing Ceramide Rich Cream doesn't feel smothering, but it does have a thicker consistency. Think an airy, buttery type of feel.
A lot of people were asking us, “When are you going to come out with a night cream?” The Cocoon Replenishing Ceramide Rich Cream is our answer. Since your skin cells regenerate twice as fast while sleeping, it's the perfect time to really nourish your skin with this high concentration of ceramides and lipids. You can wake up and feel the difference of that nourishment. But it all depends on what your needs are. The two definitely compliment each other.
Who would you recommend the Cocoon Cream to?
I would recommend it to people who have drier skin types, people who live in colder, dryer climates and people with mature skin since it helps replenish the ceramides and lipids that are naturally lost as time goes on. But also, it's for anyone who wants to give their skin a little more protection. If you feel like your skin is thinner, it's always good to use something that replenishes those fatty acids, lipids and ceramides. So it's great for all skin types, even oily skin types. Just because it's a richer moisturizer doesn't mean that it's not for oily skin types.
Are there any skincare misconceptions you wish more people knew the truth about?
There is a misconception that the more oily my skin is, the less moisture I have to give it, but it's actually the opposite. I’ve talked to a lot of people who have oily skin and say, “I don't use moisturizer.” But if you don't moisturize your skin, your skin becomes dry and thinks “I need to produce oil to moisturize” and you start producing more oil throughout the day. It's a little counterintuitive but the best thing for oily skin is to have a strong, moisturized barrier so your oil glands aren't going to feel they need to overproduce. So oily skin, and all skin types, have to moisturize. Oily skin types might prefer the lightweight moisturizer because it is so hydrating but also feels like wearing nothing, which people – guys especially – love. You have to give your skin the ideal moisture and it will stop acting up.
What advice do you have for those overwhelmed by the vast amount of information about clean beauty skincare?
There's a lot of clean skincare out there. It’s hard to know who to trust or what their standard of clean is. I would say consumers are more and more educated, they're doing their research; but starting out, I would first identify what you're in the market for and start with one thing. Say you're out of a cleanser and you want to try something that's more clean, maybe sulfate free, paraben free, fragrance free. Start looking up those keywords or go into a store and see what's out there.
I created Ghost Democracy because you walk into these retailers looking for a clean product and they'll try to give you something for $90 or $100. Skin care doesn't cost that much to make, it shouldn't cost that much to buy. What makes Ghost Democracy unique is that we provide a higher quality – by drawing on my background of 12 years at big beauty and formulating for those types of brands – and make it accessible. People want to buy into brands that share the same values that they do, but I feel like so many brands are jumping on that and charging so much. That's why Ghost Democracy exists. We want to be the antithesis of all of that. We're not going to overcomplicate things. What I love about the brand is that it's great for beginners, it's great for people who are super “skin-tellectual” and everyone in between.