More Rulebreakers in 2012, Please!

Hi everyone, and Happy New Year! In the spirit of resolutions, I couldn’t imagine a better time than the present to get reacquainted with the old Naturalchemyst here. Things are pretty busy these days—what with b-school and a couple other gigantic time commitments on hand—yet I hope to write more in 2012, and felt inspired to begin doing so with a story on an amazing and forward-thinking company that’s breaking rules with the best of them. Right now you might be thinking of an electric car manufacturer, an airline breaking the space frontier, or maybe those design-driven technology geniuses in Cupertino. I’m thinking of a small skincare company named Dr. Alkaitis.

Last spring (yes, that’s how busy things are) I had the opportunity to meet with the highly energetic, intelligent, and lovely (inside and out) Trish Alkaitis—daughter and right hand woman of the company’s founder. At the meeting, I learned how her Dad, Dr. Alkaitis, is breaking every rule in the beauty business book, and is doing so to call OUR attention to what products could (and should) be.

Broken Rule: The Marketing Mark-Up

Most beauty companies follow a basic formula: 90% packaging; 10% ingredients. They compete with attention-grabbing package design, promotion and marketing, rather than healthy and effective ingredients. Basically, a $5 face lotion may be worth only 50 cents (of ingredients, production, etc.), a $50 product only $5, and so on and so forth. This is great for business, but take a second to think about what the low quality ingredients are doing to our bodies...

Instead of following suit, Dr. Alkaitis spends the big bucks on finding and using the absolute best ingredients possible. The company won’t contribute to the continual demise of our country’s health. In fact, Dr. Alkaitis only uses the healthiest EDIBLE ingredients, which our bodies know how to process, rather than complex chemicals, which our DNA just doesn’t understand.

This minimal focus on packaging is obviously a marketing nightmare, yet I suppose it can’t hurt that the most famous supermodels use their products religiously, and—better yet—aren’t ashamed to tell people about doing so.

Broken Rule: Organic Certification

I’ve already mentioned why we can’t trust seals and certifications on skincare.

Again, Dr. Alkaitis refuses to jump on the bandwagon. Proof that the company’s products are natural, organic and wholesome? Even more than it is in their high quality and (truly) organic ingredients, the proof is in their small lab equipment (basically, blenders and a small filling machine), and their small batches of product.

With mass-produced products, ingredients have to pass through such large machines that they can’t retain any nutrients. Then bring in the cleaning agents used on this large equipment…take a guess at how healthy the chemicals in that stuff is… Dr. Alkaitis uses pure grape alcohol to clean their labs. And—get this—even the alcohol is fermented in-house! Genius.

With this process, they only batch about fifty products at a time, and the products are made to order for retailers the company has researched and confirmed they can support (oh yes, they’ve turned down many a large retailer due to the toxic products lining their shelves). Small batches allow for the use of fresh, high quality, and nutritious ingredients. Pretty good, huh?

Upon meeting one another, Trish and I were both in shock. Me—because of Trish’s honesty. If all companies were this transparent, we’d have A LOT less issues, on a much larger level. Trish—because the majority of bloggers from this space are pregnant mothers, new mothers, illness survivors, beauty industry vets, or some combination thereof. I fall into none of these categories.

It was a great meeting, and if you couldn’t tell, I’m seriously inspired by the Alkaitis company. With everything that is wrong these days with our country's health, economy, you name it--you just know, deep down, that the rule breakers are going to be the ones to make things right. If we want to make things better in 2012, we need more rulebreakers!

So, hopefully you can take the information Trish Alkaitis has provided us to inform your skincare purchases from ANY brand or retailer in the future. Remember: every purchase we make is a vote, and in aggregate our votes can and will demand healthier products for us, and the environment!

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