FREE DELIVERY on orders over £15

Our Story

Personal care re-imagined
Sira and Juan, founders of Disruptor London, working at the lab

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.

Unrecognizable woman covered with plastic bag as a metaphor for all the plastics cosmetics contain in 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.
Oil plant burning fossil fuel
Shadow of three bottles of cosmetics that contain a large amount of water

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.
Water around bottle
Plstic waste floating on ocean

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.

Plastic containers on a beach
Woman holding many bottles of plastic as a metaphor for overconsumption in the beauty industry


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?

Waste landfill with machinery
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”.

Ingredients and boxes of shampoo bars
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.

Stack of shampoo bars with organic cloth
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.

Shop display of vegan, organic shampoo bars and cases in a shop

Meet the Founders

Sira, co-founder of Disruptor London


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.

Juan, co-founder of Disruptor London


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.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Join our planet-positive community as we take you on a journey towards responsible consumption of personal care products. Learn about opportunities to get involved, news and exclusive offers.

No spam promise!! You can unsubscribe any time. We will never sell your data either. Read our Privacy Policy.