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Our Story

Personal care re-imagined

We, Sira and Juan, cre­at­ed Dis­rup­tor Lon­don in Jan­u­ary 2021 af­ter many years of frus­tra­tion with the beau­ty in­dus­try. At that time, we didn't even have any prod­uct to of­fer, we only knew that we want­ed to make per­son­al care that's good for peo­ple and plan­et. We soon learned it wasn't go­ing to be easy, but we're here for the long jour­ney. Since we start­ed and, af­ter more than two years of re­search and de­vel­op­ment, we have re­leased a range of prod­ucts for sham­poo­ing, con­di­tion­ing and shav­ing that re­place many of the un­sus­tain­able of­fer­ings out there. This is us. This is our sto­ry.

industryhas manysecrets

You can learn a lot as an in­sid­er in the beau­ty in­dus­try, both good and bad. Af­ter a while, though, it's hard to cope with the re­lent­less ex­cess that's caused by an ut­ter dis­re­gard for peo­ple and plan­et. From in­gre­di­ents of ob­scure ori­gins to dis­hon­est mes­sag­ing, from pack­ag­ing that pol­lutes our oceans to re­tail ex­pe­ri­ences that put prof­it be­fore peo­ple, we're en­gulfed by very un­sus­tain­able habits. Feel free to click or tap on the cards to dis­cov­er what lies be­hind the prod­ucts that are cur­rent­ly avail­able on the high street.

In Love With Petrochemicals

Ac­cord­ing to UK gov­ern­ment stats, “just one show­er alone is thought to send 100,000 mi­crobeads down the drain and into the ocean, caus­ing se­ri­ous harm to ma­rine life.” Mi­crobeads are tiny mi­croplas­tics de­rived from pe­tro­le­um that have been used for decades in all sorts of prod­ucts, in­clud­ing ex­fo­li­at­ing creams and tooth­pastes. Fol­low­ing the Paris Agree­ment at COP 21, coun­tries are im­ple­ment­ing leg­is­la­tion to ban mi­crobeads, as they can take hun­dreds of years to dis­ap­pear while still be­ing in­gest­ed by an­i­mals. This prob­lem is so se­ri­ous that a re­cent study by Chi­nese re­searchers found mi­croplas­tics in the pla­cen­ta of preg­nant women.

Yet, this is only the tip of the ice­berg. Leg­is­la­tion has not caught up with all the ar­eas where petro­chem­i­cals are used in the cos­met­ics in­dus­try. Any­thing that comes from fos­sil fuel will have a neg­a­tive im­pact in the en­vi­ron­ment. Per­son­al care prod­ucts have, for too long, used petro­chem­i­cals such as:

  • Parabens: used in hair­care prod­ucts, body wash­es, and lo­tions.
  • Ben­zene: used in con­di­tion­ers and styling creams, even though the link with can­cer has been known for some time.
  • Toluene: used in nail pol­ish and hair dyes.

Watered Down

When we buy lega­cy per­son­al care prod­ucts like mois­tur­is­ing creams or hair con­di­tion­ers, we're pur­chas­ing up to 95% of wa­ter. Just think about the waste linked to a sim­ple every­day ac­tion like buy­ing a bot­tle of sham­poo for your hair. Sham­poos are of­ten di­lut­ed at a ra­tio of 8 parts of wa­ter to 2 parts of ac­tive in­gre­di­ents. Now, think about all the waste this wa­ter­ing down of prod­ucts gen­er­ates in terms of pack­ag­ing, as well as the car­bon foot­print as­so­ci­at­ed with the lo­gis­tics and trans­porta­tion of those big con­tain­ers.

Fur­ther­more, the re­liance on wa­ter sim­ply doesn't make sense for sev­er­al rea­sons:

  • Wa­ter is a cesspool for bac­te­ria and mould. The only way to avoid the growth of harm­ful mi­croor­gan­isms is by us­ing preser­v­a­tives. In fact, cos­met­ics man­u­fac­tur­ers are re­quired by law to in­clude preser­v­a­tives in wa­ter-based prod­ucts. The prob­lem is that most of the preser­v­a­tives used to­day are de­rived from petro­chem­i­cals like parabens and formalde­hyde-re­leas­ing com­po­nents.
  • Ac­cord­ing to the Unit­ed Na­tions, “wa­ter scarci­ty will con­tin­ue to in­crease in the fu­ture, with around 52% of the world’s pop­u­la­tion liv­ing in wa­ter-stressed re­gions by 2050”. In the UK, we may like to en­gage in small talk about how much rain we get. It al­most seems that wa­ter will nev­er be a prob­lem. And yet, in 2022, the un­think­able hap­pened when sev­er­al droughts were de­clared across the coun­try. And even ac­cess to wa­ter is not guar­an­teed to be enough. Wa­ter qual­i­ty is be­ing ad­verse­ly af­fect­ed by cli­mate change “as a re­sult of high­er wa­ter tem­per­a­tures, re­duced dis­solved oxy­gen and thus a re­duced self-pu­ri­fy­ing ca­pac­i­ty of fresh­wa­ter bod­ies” (UN, 2020). With cli­mate change get­ting worse, wa­ter is be­com­ing a lux­u­ry. Let's not take it for grant­ed.
  • Wa­ter-based for­mu­las re­quire much larg­er pack­ag­ing and a big­ger trans­port foot­print. No won­der that or­gan­i­sa­tions like Green­peace are call­ing for all con­sumer goods to en­tire­ly ditch or at least re­duce the amount of plas­tic pack­ag­ing on the su­per­mar­ket shelves.

Plastic Waste

We feel amaz­ing when we put our plas­tic in the re­cy­cling bin, think­ing that all is good in the world. Sad­ly, ac­cord­ing to Green­peace, less than 10% of every­day plas­tic gets re­cy­cled in the UK. And the rest? Well, it goes to land­fill, gets in­cin­er­at­ed or is sim­ply sent to coun­tries in the Glob­al South. In 2018, the BBC did a study and ac­count­ed for 611,000 tonnes of plas­tic be­ing sent abroad. This trend is set to con­tin­ue, as new post-Brex­it reg­u­la­tions have in­tro­duced a loop­hole that is al­low­ing the UK to send tons of plas­tic waste to poor­er coun­tries every year.

While we bury the plan­et in moun­tains of plas­tic that will take hun­dreds of years to dis­ap­pear, cos­met­ic brands car­ry on pack­ag­ing their prod­ucts with con­tain­ers made of plas­tic. Some tell us their pack­ag­ing is re­cy­clable. What they don't tell us is what ac­tu­al­ly hap­pens to that pack­ag­ing af­ter we put it in the bin.

There aren't many stud­ies about the im­pact of cos­met­ics pack­ag­ing in the en­vi­ron­ment. But we do know that this isn't a small prob­lem. Even though the lack of trans­paren­cy and ac­count­abil­i­ty is shock­ing, some re­searchers reck­on that we may be look­ing at a fig­ure close to 120 bil­lion units of pack­ag­ing per year for the glob­al cos­met­ics mar­ket.

Even the wildest num­ber may still be too small. When one looks fur­ther down the sup­ply chain, pack­ag­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing is al­ready pol­lut­ing the en­vi­ron­ment even be­fore the plas­tic gets out of their fac­to­ries. They use tiny lit­tle pel­lets, that are then melt­ed in process­es such as in­jec­tion mould­ing. Shock­ing­ly, these pel­lets have been found on 73% of UK beach­es.


It only takes a short trip to the drug store or the shop­ping cen­tre to re­alise the amount of choice con­sumers of per­son­al prod­ucts have nowa­days. In a way this is great be­cause every­body is able to find prod­ucts for skin, scalp and hair con­cerns that didn't ex­ist be­fore.

This amount of choice is rel­a­tive­ly new. The mass mar­ket for con­sumer goods in per­son­al care can be traced back to the mid-1920s in the US, while the trend be­gan in oth­er coun­tries at dif­fer­ent stages dur­ing the rest of the twen­ti­eth-cen­tu­ry. In any case, any­where across the globe one is able to find all sorts of sham­poos, face creams, tones, cleansers, ex­fo­li­at­ing creams, bath bombs, and so on and so forth.

To­day, this mass mar­ket has evolved into a high­ly com­pet­i­tive sec­tor where brands keep launch­ing new prod­ucts for a myr­i­ad of con­cerns. Their goal is sim­ple: buy more and buy of­ten. The im­pact on the plan­et is also ob­vi­ous: more waste, lack of clar­i­ty in what the prod­uct ac­tu­al­ly does, and con­sumers buy­ing prod­ucts they may or may not need.

Ex­tremes are nev­er good. Lack of choice and gener­ic for­mu­las does not ben­e­fit most peo­ple. Over­whelm­ing choice can be con­fus­ing, too. Wouldn't it be bet­ter to have few­er prod­ucts that work hard­er but in a green way?

Discover what's behind


The se­crets of the beau­ty in­dus­try are too se­ri­ous to car­ry on ig­nor­ing. Dis­rup­tor Lon­don was born as an at­ti­tude and a vi­sion that en­com­pass­es all ar­eas of man­u­fac­tur­ing, re­search and com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion of per­son­al care prod­ucts. And yet, at the core, it's all about peo­ple and plan­et. Those are, and al­ways will be, our main stake­hold­ers.

Our am­bi­tion is so com­pre­hen­sive that we have de­vised five pil­lars as the foun­da­tions for our en­vi­ron­men­tal, so­cial and gov­er­nance (ESG) com­mit­ments:

  1. In­gre­di­ent trans­paren­cy
  2. Re­spon­si­ble con­sump­tion
  3. Wa­ter­less for­mu­las
  4. Re­spon­si­ble man­u­fac­tur­ing
  5. Plas­tic-free pack­ag­ing
Ingredient transparency
PETA Vegan and Cruelty-Free certification logoSolid Association Cosmos Organic Certification
Upcycled Logo

We only use ve­g­an and cru­el­ty-free in­gre­di­ents. If the in­gre­di­ent has a bi­o­log­i­cal ori­gin, we make sure that they are or­gan­ic and cer­ti­fied by Cos­mos or Eco­cert. We also aim to take as lit­tle from plan­et Earth as pos­si­ble. And so, some of our in­gre­di­ents are up­cy­cled from food waste and wood fenc­ing. By the same to­ken, we whole­heart­ed­ly refuse to use any raw ma­te­r­i­al that is de­rived from fos­sil fu­els.

Be­cause the sto­ry of a prod­uct is also dic­tat­ed by what's not in them. You won't find any sul­phates, parabens or mi­croplas­tics in what we do.

We want to cel­e­brate the rich­ness and lav­ish­ness of na­ture by telling all of our cus­tomers about the plant-based and min­er­al in­gre­di­ents we use. When you head to our prod­uct pages, or look at our pack­ag­ing there shouldn't be an inch of a doubt as to what's in­side. We call it our “hon­est list”.

We put the flesh on the bones of phras­es that are of­ten vague and open to in­ter­pre­ta­tion, like “clean beau­ty” or “nat­ur­al cos­met­ics”.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

We're here to em­pow­er cus­tomers to buy less so that there will be more. We're told that we need sep­a­rate prod­ucts for make-up re­moval, shav­ing, scalp, skin, hair, and so on. But who's ben­e­fit­ing from this love af­fair with over­con­sump­tion? It's most cer­tain­ly not peo­ple or the plan­et.

Our for­mu­las are hy­brid con­cen­trates that cater for spe­cif­ic con­cerns. Our prod­uct de­vel­op­ment is guid­ed by a prob­lem-so­lu­tion phi­los­o­phy that pays zero at­ten­tion to gen­der stereo­types and mar­ket­ing gob­bledy­gook. In oth­er words, we don't re­lease prod­uct af­ter prod­uct to feed the ma­chine. We in­stead fo­cus on small­er ranges of prod­ucts that can re­place more than one prod­uct in your bath­room shelf.

In this area, we're very much in­spired by the Unit­ed Na­tions sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment goal #12. As a mak­er of per­son­al care prod­ucts, we take full re­spon­si­bil­i­ty in en­sur­ing re­spon­si­ble con­sump­tion and pro­duc­tion pat­terns. For us, it's not just about the 'what' (i.e.: the prod­uct) but also the 'how'. We want to break away with learned be­hav­iours and rou­tines that are not com­pat­i­ble with so­ci­etal goals that put peo­ple and plan­et first.


We al­ready talked about the big prob­lem of wa­tered-down prod­ucts in cos­met­ics. Our re­sponse to the chal­lenge is to only make wa­ter­less prod­ucts. We think that not only is wa­ter not need­ed to make ef­fi­ca­cious prod­ucts, we can im­prove our of­fer­ing with con­cen­trat­ed for­mu­las.

By re­mov­ing wa­ter from our prod­ucts, we are do­ing away with the re­liance on chem­i­cals and preser­v­a­tives that are re­quired by law in all wa­ter-based prod­ucts. In­stead, we add rich, high­ly-per­for­mant in­gre­di­ents like ker­atin and plant-based pro­teins. It's not just that we can't imag­ine a sus­tain­able fu­ture with­out wa­ter­less cos­met­ics. They pre­sent us with an op­por­tu­ni­ty to do more with less.

For us, wa­ter­less is about re­al­is­ing that nat­ur­al re­sources are lim­it­ed. But we also want to give back where we took from. We're mem­bers of 1% for the plan­et, a move­ment of en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists and or­gan­i­sa­tions that com­mit to ded­i­cate at least 1% of their re­sources to solve the many prob­lems af­fect­ing our plan­et.

JIT Manufacturing
Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) Mark Logo

We man­u­fac­ture all of our prod­ucts in a stu­dio in West Lon­don. We have adopt­ed a Just-In-Time (JIT) mod­el, where­by we don't over­pro­duce and op­ti­mise stock hold­ing on de­mand. Not only that, we are very re­ac­tive to con­sumer de­mand, and only make prod­ucts in small batch­es us­ing the data from or­ders of the past few weeks. From raw ma­te­r­i­al to fin­ish prod­uct and de­liv­ery, we aim to re­duce com­plex­i­ty in the process. ESG Mark is an in­de­pen­dent body that cer­ti­fies all our process­es meet strin­gent en­vi­ron­men­tal, so­cial, and gov­er­nance stan­dards.

By op­er­at­ing in this man­ner, we are sig­nif­i­cant­ly re­duc­ing our car­bon foot­print. In large-scale pro­duc­tion, one would of­ten make the prod­uct in one place and ship it to an­oth­er for pack­ag­ing. If that wasn't enough, prod­ucts would then have to be trans­port­ed to nu­mer­ous ware­hous­es and dis­tri­b­u­tion cen­tres un­til they reach their fi­nal des­ti­na­tion in a shop or the cus­tomer's house.

Our lean method­ol­o­gy saves us from all of that go­ing up and down the globe. We are of­ten told that cus­tomers may not be fa­mil­iar or in­ter­est­ed in man­u­fac­tur­ing process­es. To these peo­ple, we say: let cus­tomers de­cide. And for that, we put it all out there for the sake of trans­paren­cy and ac­count­abil­i­ty.

Forest Stewardship Council LogoCleanHub Supporter logo

We are a plas­tic-free brand. Our car­tons, padded en­velopes and ecom­merce mail­ers are made of cer­ti­fied FSC pa­per from re­spon­si­ble sources and 100% com­postable. Our stor­age cas­es are made of plant-based ma­te­ri­als, and our inks are ve­g­an.

His­tor­i­cal­ly, most pack­ag­ing so­lu­tions have in­cluded some kind of plas­tic or are not 100% re­cy­clable. Take the ex­am­ple of the clas­sic drop­per bot­tle used for face oils. Clo­sures and pipettes are made of poly ma­te­ri­als (plas­tic, rub­ber, and glass) that no re­cy­cling plant would dare to touch. Ex­am­ples like this one are what sent us on a long jour­ney to reimag­ine how per­son­al care prod­ucts should be used and con­sumed. We took part in two pro­grams by CRL, the lead­ing busi­ness ac­cel­er­a­tor for man­u­fac­tur­ing in the UK. We have re­searched form fac­tors, bio­ma­te­ri­als, and busi­ness mod­els that will de­ter­mine what prod­ucts we launch and when.

We look for­ward to a plas­tic-free fu­ture where we can take care of our bod­ies with­out the guilt of im­pact­ing fu­ture gen­er­a­tions, but we can do bet­ter still, as there is no fu­ture with­out a past. We have in­her­it­ed an enor­mous prob­lem from decades of get­ting rid of plas­tic con­tain­ers that are now float­ing in the seas across the plan­et. Even though we're a plas­tic-free brand, we're still com­mit­ted to ocean-plas­tic re­trieval via our part­ner­ship with Clean­Hub .

The beau­ty in­dus­try has a lot of catch up to do when it comes to pack­ag­ing. It's about time we do some­thing about it.

Meet the Founders


Sira is a seasoned beauty industry professional with expertise in product development and brand scaling. With over 20 years of experience, he has channeled his passion for problem-solving and entrepreneurship into co-founding Disruptor London. As the co-founder, Sira is dedicated to creating innovative and effective beauty products that challenge industry norms, deliver exceptional results, and promote sustainable practices for people and the planet.


After a rewarding career as a university lecturer in International Business and Languages, I made a 360-degree career turn and became a software engineer nearly ten years ago. During the day, I work on the technology and operational side of Disruptor London. At night, I'm an avid consumer of anything sci-fi related.