Ulé is the new natural beauty brand taking on high-tech skincare
If 'natural skincare' had a tinder profile it would scream Cassanova. With its glossy labels and hefty promises to give you your best skin ever – not to mention the pull factor of doing its bit for the planet – it all but sidles up to you at the bar and slides its room key into your pocket with a wink.
It's why British consumers have succumbed to the messaging as hard as kids buy into Father Christmas. The global market value for natural cosmetics and personal care is expected to increase from almost 35 billion dollars in 2021 to roughly 59 billion dollars expected for the year 2031.
Yet despite its burgeoning popularity, one question remains. Are natural skincare products as good as their active laced, high-tech counterparts? Unsurprisingly, the answer isn't straightforward (more on that later) but one brand that's bridging the gap between the 'natural' and 'high-tech synthetic' skincare camps is French brand Ulé . Here's everything you need to know about its brilliance.
What is Ule skincare?
In the skincare world natural beauty products are often pitted against synthetic man-made formulas that contain retinol, vitamin BHA and AHAs. These ingredients are often backed by impressive studies and therefore hailed by derms as scientifically astute and more results driven.
The problem that the natural camp have is that studies carried out on the efficacy of natural ingredients have been limited due to funding, and despite a number of brands releasing impressive natural product lines (think Tata Harper, Ren and Wildsmith) consumers are increasingly demanding proof that botanical and plant based ingredients actually do what they say on the tin, which is why natural brands are scrabbling to put their money where there mouth is.
One such company is Ulé, a natural skincare brand that has the backing of industry leader Shiseido, meaning they have the resources and time to put their chosen botanicals through their paces. Ule's signature blend of botancials consists of three high-performing plants (centella, tulsi and coleus), which restore and support three essential skin functions for maximum resilience.
To non-sciency folk, this means beefing up skin's defences so that it's able to fight off internal aggressors (stress) and external aggressors (the usual suspects; pollution, UV rays etc), so that skin looks healthy, plump and luminous.The lab results are not to be sniffed at, showing that this complex alone, helps to achieve a 28 percent increase in cellular renewal, a 35 percent increase in cellular protection and 31 percent protection against oxidative stress.
But there's more, what also sets Ulé apart from other natural brands is that their botanicals are grown on an urban vertical farm just outside of Paris. So, instead of importing dried plant substances (which essentially decreases their effectiveness) Ulé botancials are grown in uber controlled conditions and then harvested by hand when they reach their optimal potency.
What is vertical farming?
For those not au fait with the term, vertical farming (where ingredients are grown indoors on vertical pillars under LED lights powered by renewables) has been touted as a sustainable way to transform agriculture and food farming. It's biggest boon is that it's not dependent on the weather - meaning you can achieve a consistent year-round crop production without worrying about the impact of that Mother Nature.
It also uses 95 percent less water than traditional methods and negates the need for pesticides, making the ingredients 'cleaner', and because the conditions are highly controlled (parameters that consist of temperature, relative humidity, CO2 concentration, luminous intensity, photoperiod, growing phase duration), the plants are grown in optimal conditions meaning than when it comes to their extraction process, you get more of the skin transforming botanicals in your serums, creams and cleansers.
Ulé founder Lindsay Azpitarte, explains further 'vertical farming ensures our supply chain is as short as possible and allows for full traceability of the plants. It is a technological breakthrough in terms of eco-responsibility, efficiency and safety. We've even got QR codes printed on the packaging so that consumers can trace the exact batch that's in their bottle.'
Ulé’s debut range includes 10 skincare products and supplements, which slot into four categories but all aim to aim to strengthen and protect the skin’s barrier, brighten, hydrate and nourish. There are Biome Essentials, Active Serums, Fortifying Creams, and Nutri-Beauty.
Ulé skincare: A honest review
I've been trying the range since November and am certainly smitten with a few of the products. Je Suis Chill, packed with CBD as well as their signature three plant complex, has become something of hero in the fight against winter-weary complexions. It excels at quenching my skin's thirst and keeping lid on dullness and pronounced fine lines yet doesn't feel greasy and heavy.
Then there's Le Beau Reset, which now takes pride of place in my skincare arsenal, after years of swearing off toners for being stripping. It rebalances an oily t-zone but also gives my skin an added layer of protection on the days where I have deal with the onslaught on pollution in central London. I no longer get to Friday and look as dull as dishwater.
It's worth adding that the Ulé line up also feels incredibly timely in that it's offering a credible choice of products for those who are looking to dial up the radiance but don't want to always drench their skin in acids or retinol; a choice which is becoming all the more important in post pandemic world where many became gung-ho with chemical exfoliators and thus had to deal with misbehaving, angry complexions.
I'm also a big fan of the brand's overall messaging that focuses on being the best version of yourself, rather than erasing every last line and wrinkle. Societal pressures and unrealistic beauty standards have undoubtedly meant that some women feel they've no choice but to succumb to expensive needle work and 'tweakments'. Yet Ulé’s focus on skin resilience, protection and strength is a nice reminder that overall skin health is a worthwhile goal. Skin can indeed look glowy and bouncy alongside laughter lines, which invariably give our faces charm and sparkle. Ultimately though, Ulé’s biggest pull is that it's living proof that eco-friendly natural skincare can outperform it's synthetic counterparts, and that's its real beauty.
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