Whole Body Beauty: why women founders and indie brands are leading the way in feminine hygiene, intimate skin care, and hormonal beauty

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

image courtesy of OrganiCup
image courtesy of OrganiCup
This week at Indie Beauty Expo in New York City, some 250 independent cosmetics, personal care, and fragrance brands will be exhibiting their products for buyers, press, and consumers. A handful of those brands figure into a swiftly emerging new category: Fem-Hy. In advance of the show, Cosmetics Design checked in with brand leaders and IBE co-founder Jillian Wright to find out more.

“Indie brands are always the innovators,” ​Jillian Wright, co-founder of Indie Beauty Media Group, (the company behind IBE as well as BeautyX Summit and Beauty Independent), tells Cosmetics Design.  “These entrepreneurs,” ​she points out, “aren’t beholden to executives and boardrooms and because of this they are able to bring new products to market quickly and efficiently when they see an unmet need.”

“These were missing before, because no one wanted to talk about it!” ​explains Wright, referring to beauty, self-care, and grooming products for body areas including breasts, vagina, and buttocks.  “Thanks to women like Rihanna, Beyonce, and Chrissy Teigen openly discussing topics like stretch marks and postpartum challenges,” ​notes Wright, “people really started to pay attention to how our society views and often devalues a woman’s body.”

“Indies were there to listen,” ​she says.

Notably, over 75% of the indie beauty and wellness brands exhibiting at IBE NYC this year are owned by women.  Here, brand leaders from Arôms Natur Skincare, OrganiCup, and Knours. share their view on this emerging beauty category.

Skin care for the female body

“First and foremost, we see Arôms Natur as a skincare brand focused on the needs of the female body,” ​say Dora S. Lacey, founder of Arôms Natur Skincare; Denise Davila-Izurieta, co-founder; and Gildren Alejandro, co-founder, in joint remarks shared with Cosmetics Design.

“All the [Arôms Natur] products underscore our belief that the concept of skincare should be expanded to include other parts of the skin typically overlooked.

“Many have asked us if Arôms Natur Skincare’s natural and toxin-free oil blends fit into the feminine wellness or feminine hygiene category. We welcome the label because it allows us to talk about our products in the context of women’s needs and female empowerment.

“And this is a category that is expanding, pushing boundaries and generating a dialogue about topics previously considered taboo. The beauty and body care industries are seeing that these products no longer need to be relegated to a corner of the pharmacy or supermarket. Instead, the category is being elevated with the introduction of luxury products with natural formulations and more sophisticated packaging. These products are now in niche stores and slowly moving into more mainstream lifestyle and beauty retailers. We fit into this rather new and expanding category that combines women’s needs, luxury, clean beauty, and wellness.

Clean intimate care

“We would love to see the OrganiCup included in the clean beauty category,” ​Ida Gjorup, marketing project manager at OrganiCup, tells Cosmetics Design.  Although, you would usually link that to creams and make-up, we think, it would be a natural addition to the category with our focus on toxin free and safe products. Besides that, we think our products fit nicely into the growing clean intimate care category.

“Like many clean beauty brands, being environmentally friendly and using natural and safe ingredients are at the forefront of our business. Our packaging is made of recycled carton and the instructions have been printed directly onto it to eliminate additional waste and the storage bag is made of unbleached, 100% organic cotton. The OrganiCup is made from 100% medical grade silicone, which is FDA approved, it’s registered with The Vegan Society and certified hypoallergenic with AllergyCertified.

“There is a consumer demand for clean and safe beauty products, as we are becoming increasingly aware of what we put on and inside our bodies. This tendency is also reflected in the interest in sustainable period products, and we can see an increase in our sales, and why should period products, which we use in the most sensitive area, contain harmful chemicals when it can be avoided?”

Hormonal beauty

“Knours. is first and foremost a clean beauty brand with a focus on natural ingredients and products that are EWG verified,” ​Jessica Jeong, marketing manager for Knours., tells Cosmetics Design. “However,” ​she says, “we are also a hormonal beauty brand in that our products understand and address a woman's changing skin as hormone levels fluctuate both throughout her cycle and her life.”

Read more insights from these indie brand leaders in our extended Q&A.
Whole Body Beauty: indie brand founders talk about feminine hygiene and intimate skin care



Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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