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Clean beauty products (devoid of ingredients proven to be harmful to human health) have become more ubiquitous over the past few years, thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow-backed Juice and goop beauty and the direct sales model of Beautycounter, as well as more mass offerings found at Target and the rise of clean beauty chain Credo.
The newest offering, called Peet Rivko, founded by Johanna Peet, is a clean line that is also ideal for sensitive skin (think Cetaphil but plant-based and clean).
Aubrey Plaza, a childhood friend of Peet’s and who is an investor in and brand ambassador for the line, says that she appreciates the gentle quality of the products after taking off makeup from set or the red carpet.
Last week, the actress hosted a launch event for the brand at her Los Angeles home. Guests including Kathryn Hahn, Molly Shannon, Mackenzie Davis, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Lisa Edelstein, Alison Pill and Odeya Rush joined Peet and Plaza for food from Sqirl, drinks by Moondeli and, of course, a look at the offering from Peet Rivko.
There currently are four products ranging in price from $30 for the Gentle Cleanser to $80 for the Body Oil. The Balancing Face Oil is $56, which still comes in well under the $170 price tag for Rodin Olio Lusso oil or the $95 Camellia face oil from Tatcha.
Below, Peet and Plaza share insight into clean beauty for sensitive skin and why they swear by it.
What are a few of the star ingredients used widely in the line and why?
Peet: All of our formulations feature ultra-gentle, plant-based ingredients. The line was created with the most sensitive skin in mind, so we stay away from any ingredients that are potential allergens and irritants — no nut oils, no fragrance, no essential oils, no floral extracts and no harsher actives or acids. Instead, we use clean, gentle natural ingredients that are known for their soothing and calming properties.
One of my favorite ingredients is jojoba oil, which is a lightweight oil that mostly closely resembles the sebum your skin naturally produces. It can also help even skin tone and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. I’m also obsessed with prickly pear oil, which has been used for centuries to prevent skin aging and soothe, hydrate and reduce inflammation. We use it in our Balancing Face Oil, which is one of my favorite products. All of our oils are 100-percent organic, cold-pressed, vegan and cruelty-free.
Is there a hero product you feel is a good introduction to the line, especially for someone who may not be convinced of the efficacy of clean/natural beauty products?
Peet: Our Gentle Cleanser. It’s our best-selling product and was created as a plant-based, non-toxic alternative to your drugstore Cetaphil cleanser. It’s great for men and women — and all skin types. It’s one of those products that is easy to use and you can feel great about the ingredients without compromising on performance. It has a creamy, gel texture that is pH balanced and removes daily grime and simple makeup without stripping the skin.
Do you both have sensitive skin and was there a product you were having the most trouble with finding prior to starting Peet Rivko?
Peet: I have really sensitive skin and that was the impetus for starting the line, but as I started researching and formulating the products, I learned that over 60 percent of Americans self-identify as having sensitive skin or skin sensitivities. Personally, I struggled to find natural/clean beauty products that were gentle enough for my skin — most clean lines out there tend to have fragrance and extremely active ingredients like essential oils, which don’t work for my skin. I needed something that would clean, hydrate and balance my skin tone, but was also super-gentle and fragrance-free. When I couldn’t find it, I created Peet Rivko.
Aubrey was involved from the beginning. We are close friends from childhood (we grew up together in Delaware!), and while she doesn’t have super-sensitive skin, she’s always taken a deep interest in wellness and clean beauty. She’s also an actress and constantly has makeup put on and off, and I knew she appreciated having super-gentle products as the foundation of her skincare routine. Core to our line’s philosophy is that everyone’s skin benefits from gentle products, and even if you use retinol or more traditional anti-aging products, it’s important to balance that with soothing, calming products like ours.
Aubrey, does the makeup from set tend to be irritating, and does a gentle line like Peet Rivko help calm your skin? Is there a favorite product of yours to use to either take off makeup from work or calm skin after?
Plaza: Makeup from set is a constant irritation to my skin. I’m always looking for products that can calm my skin after work. Peet Rivko is perfect because it has zero irritants and fewer ingredients that can complicate things. It’s just really clean and makes my skin happy. I actually love that it has no smell because it’s just another indication of how simple the formula. I have a simple routine to take off makeup after work. Hot water and Peet Rivko. I soak a washcloth in hot water and press it on my face. Then I use the Peet Rivko travel kit — cleanse, moisturize and finish with the balancing oil. Sometimes I use the balancing oil to wipe off the excess mascara or whatever. It’s really all I need. Actresses love this stuff, but it’s great for anyone who needs a consistent reliable chill routine!
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