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How did your diagnosis of breast cancer inspire you to found Odacité?
Ten years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer and told that my chances of survival at 5 years were very low. Once I passed the panic, I realized that cancer was an opportunity for me to change everything, to dare like I never did before. I quit my job in the film business, went back to school to become a health and wellness coach, adopted a raw vegan diet, started yoga and mediation daily and became passionate about removing toxins from my life. The good news is, against all the odds, I’m still here 10 year later and cancer-free. It is through this healing journey that I realized the potential toxicity of personal care products. Finding natural skincare was super difficult for me. We French take skincare very seriously; it is all about research, luxury, perfect penetration and results. I wanted my French skincare without an ounce of toxins; not finding it, I decided to create it.
What were the challenges you faced in creating the preservative-free Fresh Collection products?
"When you create formulas that are truly free of preservative, the efficacy is all about the freshness of the formulation."- Valerie Grandury [section share_]
When you create formulas that are truly free of preservative, the efficacy is all about the freshness of the formulation. So, our products are made fresh for SHERBER+RAD. We start with a base of fresh organic aloe vera juice, with more than 200 biologically active agents. Aloe vera is one of the most sought after ingredients if you are serious about optimum skin health. Aloe vera is used in hospitals to heal burned skin and backed by a vast amount of pharmacological studies. Aloe vera has been proven to support the health, texture, and integrity of the skin. To the aloe vera we add freshly harvested plant oils, potent cosmeceuticals, and botanical extracts to create fresh formulations that will instantly improve the way you skin feels and looks.
Your products are popular during and after cancer treatment - did you develop any specifically out of your experience as a patient?
Because of the aloe vera base, all the creams are super healing to the skin and the products work wonders on skin that has been affected by either chemo or radiation. My personal experience was realizing how the toxins in personal care products can affect our health and making sure I offer products that will deliver results without an ounce of toxins.
How do you layer your Fresh Collection skincare differently when in L.A. versus in Paris?
In L.A. we are blessed with eternal sunshine and temperature that rarely drop below 59. In Paris you need a lot more hydration. My go-to products in both cities are The Deep Hydration Masque and the Ultra Effective Eye Cream, I just use them differently. My L.A. regimen is daily use of the Deep Hydration Masque every morning while I hike with my dogs (I'm a big fan of multi-tasking). This infuses my skin with the hydration I need for the day, and then I rinse off after the hike. I also apply a rice-size amount of Ultra Effective Eye Cream morning and night. My Paris regimen is to boost my night cream with a pea-sized amount of the Deep Hydration Masque to infuse the skin overnight with the benefits of the hyaluronic acid. I then layer a pea-sized amount of the Ultra Effective Eye Cream on eye and lip area for added hyaluronic acid and a good dose of blue green algae to stimulate cell vitality, renewal, and firming of tissues.
What most inspires you?
Nature and art inspire me. I'm lucky to live in the most beautiful canyon between L.A. and Malibu. When I'm not traveling, I start my day with a morning hike with my dogs to watch the sunrise. There is something absolutely magical about the feeling of a fresh new day and all its possibilities. When I travel, I try to take even one hour to visit a museum or tour art galleries.
What motivated you to create The Honey Mud and The Blue Cocoon?
The Honey Mud and The Blue Cocoon are both incredibly special to me, and were released on the same day one year after the launch of our original four treats to specifically address the needs of clients like myself - with desperate skin that is hypersensitive, temperamental and that typically retaliates against everything.
The Honey Mud lived in my imagination for years before it came to life under my fingertips. I dreamed of a formula that would marry my three favorite things - raw honey, pure plant oils, and gorgeous clays. The day this blend took final form was one of much celebration.
The Blue Cocoon was the formula I dreamed about my whole life and the one I am most proud of and personally attached to. This is essentially the most beautiful facial oil you’ve ever experienced in a unique waterless and waxless balm form. In the jar, it is a solid. Once it touches skin, it turns immediately to a lovely fluid. This is used both as a daily hydrator or as a special treatment for skin that is sensitive, inflamed, damaged, acneic or irritated. It can be used as a spot treatment or for the full face, neck and décolleté. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and soothes skin in the most beautiful way, providing the perfect level of hydration and healing, eliminating redness and irritation. It works wonderfully for all skin types, and is especially effective for those prone to eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and rosacea, as well as skin recovering from trauma or surgery. The Blue Cocoon contains the superhero ingredient blue tansy, which calms and relieves inflammation on a magical level. It's like a meditation and spa vacation for your skin.
What process did you go through to develop these waterless preservative-free formulations?
Sometimes a new trial will begin with an ingredient that has me enamored (which was the case with blue tansy when I discovered it several years ago, and ultimately became the star of The Blue Cocoon). Other times, it’s to address a particular skin concern (acne, eczema, painful inflammation, etc), or to fill a gap that feels apparent in the ritual I present. I have visions, and it might be as simple as seeing the texture or color of a final treat, or catching scent of something that lives in my imagination and going on a wild adventure to make it spring to life.
"It is important to me with every formula that each individual ingredient be vital and beneficial to the skin itself."- May Lindstrom [section share]
It is important to me with every formula that each individual ingredient be vital and beneficial to the skin itself. I never want to add something just to add color, scent, stabilize texture, lengthen shelf life, etc. unless it is actually serving our skin. This is a challenge, but one I take great pride in. By eliminating water or other fillers from my formulas, I not only provide a more potent product, but also eliminate the need for sensitizing and potentially dangerous preservatives. I want every ingredient in each formulation to be worthy of celebration!
What qualities of these products are most exciting to you?
Number one: They work. My formulas are truly effective in a way that is rarely seen. The results are extraordinary.
While I have given an incredible amount of attention to designing a collection that creates a feeling of decadence and celebration, my very core is as basic and grounded as it gets. My formulations are not magic, it’s better than that. The changes you will see in your skin over time will not be an illusion and they will not be temporary.
My goal is always to restore your own natural balance, to bring health to your skin and to illuminate the vibrancy of your beauty in a way that will grow as you do, sustainably and naturally.
What most inspires you?
I delight in the discovery of new scents, colors, textures and the beautifying magic of plants and minerals straight from nature. Working intimately with these pure ingredients is heaven for me and infinitely inspiring. I love to breathe in something new, cup a drop of a flower essence in my palms, inhale and see where my imagination takes me. I like to envision who will fall in love with this new treat - who this man or woman is who will resonate with these elements once I've crafted it into a new blend.
Most importantly – Love is my inspiration. That of my dear husband, my beautiful four year old daughter, the tiny boy blossoming in my womb, our wonderful friends and family and the souls that scatter our planet who I do not know personally. We are all interconnected. Remembering this fuels me, stirs my coals and makes me strive to always be the fullest and most potent version of myself.
What is the best advice you've ever received?
My mother would always tell me as a little girl to never dull my light for anyone. As a woman, it can be easy to feel like we should hold back just a bit – not be “too much” for the world, too strong or beautiful, opinionated or independent. It’s engrained in us to tone down. She showed me that I am at my and authentic best when I allow myself to unapologetically shine bright with every cell of my being, with all my truth and heart.