VGDerma : Sustainable and Sensitive Skincare

Rachel Carr
Rachel Carr - Junior Editor
VGDerma Founder, Valentin Garnier
Highlights
  • VGDerma, the world’s first vegetal skincare range, is challenging the status quo with products that are sustainable, hypoallergenic, and completely plastic-free.
  • VGDerma has also created the world’s first line of plant-based products for hospitality businesses, using 100 percent natural ingredients extracted from plants.
  • “To ensure our sustainable commitment, all our products are formulated with strict criteria to protect marine ecosystems, ensuring compatibility with sea wildlife,” says Valentin Garnier, Founder, VGDerma.

Redefining hospitality cosmetics and pioneering vegan skincare, VGDerma has developed a range of products for the eco-travelling industry. We discuss the use of plastic-free packaging and innovative ingredients with Founder, Valentin Garnier.

SUSTAINABLE AND SENSITIVE SKINCARE

Behind every brand, there is a story, and for VGDerma, creators of the world’s first vegetal skincare range, its narrative is entwined with Founder, Valentin Garnier, who was born with dermatological sensitivity requirements.  

“I was fortunate to travel growing up because my family loved to explore different parts of the world. However, due to restrictions related to my skin, I couldn’t use hotel toiletries that were petroleum-derived or chemical-based. These products make up over 90 percent of what is available on the market and are too harsh for my skin,” Garnier introduces. 

Always surprised by the diversity of his hotel experiences, Garnier was simultaneously intrigued by the quality of bathroom amenities available to guests. Indeed, there was extremely limited vegan and sensitive skin substitutes available in the hospitality market.   

“My concerns extended to newborn babies, due to their low tolerance and susceptibility to endocrine disruptors, pregnant women, due to their stretched epidermis layers, and every individual who wants to take care of themselves. Whether travelling for business or leisure, the challenge remains the same; guests have no alternative but to use the toiletries provided, regardless of the hotel’s scale.” 

Garnier soon realised that the physical issue he faced had turned into a business opportunity as his caring, entrepreneurial-minded family prepared him for the adventure ahead. 

THE PATH TO PLASTIC-FREE

In all its endeavours, VGDerma embraces lateral thinking and consistently challenges the skincare industry’s status quo by ensuring its products are sustainable, hypoallergenic, and completely plastic-free. 

“I graduated with a master’s degree in financial engineering and took a specialised Harvard course in entrepreneurship in emerging economies. Prior to that, I earned a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management, where I met a wonderful friend who is now my business partner,” Garnier reflects.  

With backgrounds in hotel manufacturing-derived products and investment banking, his previous roles were the perfect combination to turn a business concept into tangible production.  

“Our journey, punctuated by extensive feasibility investigations and numerous formulation adjustments, led us to assemble a small team of hospitality experts and pharma-engineers to create an elevated alternative. After 18 months of clinical R&D, VGDerma was established.” 

A step ahead of international regulators limiting the use of plastic dispensers for environmental reasons, Garnier and his team firmly believed in the cutting-edge potential that VGDerma could bring to the market. The company’s journey was fast-tracked? after a successful pitch, making it a finalist for the Glion Alumni start-up accelerator programme that recognises the most forward-thinking hospitality project of 2024. 

“This wonderful recognition was completed by the signature of our very first pre-commercialisation contract with Forbes’ 5-star hotel, on Florida’s coast in the US,” he prides. 

To emphasise Garnier’s eco-friendly goal, VGDerma monitors carbon emissions across its integrated supply chain using a tracking system that not only complies with strict standards but also aims to achieve a negative emissions balance by 2027. 

“Anticipating future needs is a driving factor of our business model. We are currently developing an innovative, 100 percent plastic-free product line as an alternative to the ceramic collection. This will be completed with a renewing night balm and ultraviolet (UV)-secure sun protection,” Garnier reveals.  

ESSENTIAL WELL-BEING 

The unique health and environmental benefits that distinguish VGDerma’s skincare line stem from promoting not just products but also a belief system. Therefore, rather than immediately formulating, the company first creates a comprehensive blacklist of ingredients to avoid. 

“As a precaution and to adhere to our sensitive skin standards, we have excluded certain ingredients that may pose immediate or delayed health and environmental risks, such as parabens, silicones, and phenoxyethanol. To ensure our sustainable commitment, all our products are formulated with strict criteria to protect marine ecosystems, ensuring compatibility with sea wildlife,” assures Garnier.  

VGDerma has created the world’s first line of plant-based products for hospitality businesses, using 100 percent natural ingredients extracted from plants. This unique range includes organic flower petals and citrus extracts.  

Each formula is labelled as hypoallergenic and has been carefully developed with as few ingredients as possible to enhance the skin’s natural radiance, protect sensitivity, and promote natural cell regeneration. 

In terms of environmentally and skin-friendly business-to-business (B2B) partners, VGDerma was created with a focus on operational optimisation, aiming to maximise hotel guest satisfaction while minimising waste and loss. 

“Global environmental transition legislations are supporting the first half of our business, helping to raise awareness of skin sensitivity. Other legal aspects and human consciousness are also in our favour, as being 100 percent transparent about our composition is a key success factor and part of the brand’s DNA, alongside inclusivity. For example, our bottles are readable for visually impaired people with a braille note sticker,” Garnier reports.

“To ensure our sustainable commitment, all our products are formulated with strict criteria to protect marine ecosystems, ensuring compatibility with sea wildlife”

Valentin Garnier, Founder, VGDerma

INNOVATIVE INGREDIENTS

As a team of five, VGDerma oversees the administration and the manufacturing process, which are the core elements of the business. By cutting out intermediaries, the company can capture the full value of its creations and invest in state-of-the-art research and equipment to better serve the market. 

“The three individuals who joined us during the brand creation process brought essential specialised skills with a scientific background and 12 years of experience in corporate luxury hotel development,” outlines Garnier.  

In addition to the five main members, VGDerma has an extended team of industry experts and external doctors temporarily working in its laboratory. 

“Developed by our dermatologist, every product combines environmental protocols with centuries-old natural ingredients adapted for sensitive skin, such as Korean ginseng, ylang-ylang, or Undaria pinnatifida (wakame), a millennium-aged Japanese seaweed used in traditional medicine,” he discloses.  

Rich in precious active botanical extracts, organic leaf and flower serums are carefully blended to enhance the skin’s radiance while protecting sensitivity. Mediterranean tangerine extract provides natural antioxidant support and refreshes and rejuvenates collagen elasticity. 

Bringing together Mediterranean aesthetics and Far Eastern well-being traditions, VGDerma offers a tangible solution for a new generation of travellers committed to sustainable experiences. 

“Innovation comes with safety and upgrade options. Unlike many competitors, we designed signature safe-lock bracket holders for our ceramic bottles to prevent users from unlocking them for hygiene purposes,” details Garnier.  

With a hospitable heritage, a bold identity, and products that claim a legacy of well-being, VGDerma may be nascent, but it is spearheading a new approach to skincare and eco-travel as its story continues to evolve.

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By Rachel Carr Junior Editor
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Rachel Carr is an in-house writer for Healthcare Outlook Magazine, where she is responsible for interviewing corporate executives and crafting original features for the magazine, corporate brochures, and the digital platform.