Delivering Powerful Skincare for Sensitive Skin
The secret’s in the science of nature and the act of listening
It’s a good thing our customers are not shy. They have a lot to say. Which means we have a lot of listening to do.
What we heard over the past couple years is this: Our customers love our truly natural products and our truly impactful business model. What’s not to love about plant-powered, science-based, effective skincare? And yet, they want more.
My name is Laura Arce and I am the R&D lead and scientist behind the unique men’s grooming products at Thrive. I’ve spoken with many men (and women) who happily use our products. They generally live a rugged, adventurous lifestyle, urban or otherwise. But that doesn’t mean their skin is also that way. Adventurous spirits also have sensitive skin and also seek natural and effective Thrive products to care for it.
In my lab.
Our team and I also heard our bearded customers asking for a truly effective natural product to tame their adventurous beards. And while we were at it, how about tend to the skin underneath as well?
These are some specific needs. So we set out to create specific products. We’ve been hard at work here in Costa Rica. Our farmers, planting and harvesting our Juanilama and Fierrillo plants. And then planting and harvesting some more. Myself, researching, experimenting, and researching some more. All of us with our team in San Francisco and advisors around the world, designing and innovating, working to expand the reach and positive impact of the industry’s first regenerative business model while improving on our original line of products.
And now, I’m excited to share that expanded vision with the world. Thrive’s high-performance line of plant-based skincare products — a Shave Oil, Energy Scrub, Face Wash, and Face Balm — will now be complemented by a pair of products for sensitive skin and an all new Grooming Oil.
It’s part of a continued dream come true for me, bringing high performance, truly natural products to the world, and an exciting step in the journey of Thrive Natural Care as we fulfill our mission to leave things better than we found them, from farm to face.
Natural Stress Defense for Men’s Sensitive Skin
Put simply, we believe in making effective products, naturally, through a business model that makes a radical impact (we were the first personal care company to develop products using regenerative farming to source ingredients). It’s an ambitious combination, but I believe our commitment to growing our positive footprint at every level of our company — from farmland, to farming communities, to our employees, and all the way to our customer’s skin — has driven our growth and our success. Alex McIntosh, our CEO, summarizes it well:
“We started Thrive with the vision of creating high-performance, plant-powered products for people who wanted to look good and live healthier. What makes Thrive so unique is that our products are made with one of the most innovative business models on the planet. Our regenerative farm model in Costa Rica not only produces unique plant ingredients for our products, it also restores degraded soil and improves the livelihoods of rural farmers. So every time a customer purchases a Thrive product, they are investing in their own health and supporting the idea that we can all leave things better than we found them. With these three new products and the rapid growth of our business, this vision is becoming reality.”
Our plants thriving in Costa Rica.
The beautiful thing about Alex’s vision is that it is not just his. It’s shared by everyone in the Thrive family. It was also similar to my own vision for personal care products before joining Thrive. With the Thrive family I have held this vision even closer watching it evolve as I moved between experiments in my lab and visits to the farmland and farming communities.
Together, our team makes sure our activities are healthy and restorative from the outset, which is much more impactful than trying to reduce or fix things after the fact. Leaving things better than we found them from Day 1 is in part inspired by the way nature operates, in a continuous cycle of restoration. And that is where our products begin, in nature, with plants that are not just good for your face, but also good for the ecosystem they inhabit.
Tapping Into the Intelligence of Nature
The Sensitive Skin line and Grooming Oil join a family of Thrive productsalready raising the bar for effective skin care. Our original Face Wash, Energy Scrub, Face Balm, and Shave Oil harness our signature botanicals from Costa Rica, which are completely unique to Thrive products and healthier and more effective than synthetic equivalents.
I have always been impressed and curious about how our ancestors used nature to heal themselves. I truly believe ancestral wisdom can be relevant to us today as I continue to discover how science affirms the botanical properties at work in these potent plants.
At Thrive, through an innovative partnership with our farmers in Costa Rica, we are bringing the skin healing and protection benefits of traditional plants, like Fierrillo and Juanilama, to the modern world.
Fierrillo (seen as F.chica on our label) has been used for generations in folk medicine for wound healing. Studies suggest that its antioxidant properties and its positive effect on collagen synthesis contribute to the skin healing power of this plant. Independent studies have also shown it to have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and skin healing properties that help promote healthier skin after shaving, exercise, outdoor adventures, stress, or to combat the effects of pollution.
Farmer Don Juan tending to a robust Fierrillo plant.
Juanilama (seen as lippia alba on our label) has also been traditionally used in Central and South America for diverse medicinal purposes. It has been found to have powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties.
In addition to their broader science-based skin benefits, their properties also make them special candidates to target male-specific skincare needs. Scientific studies suggest that male skin heals slower, and given that shaving can produce skin abrasions, irritation, and even small nicks and cuts, the skin on a man’s face has a true need for restorative care. Such care is exactly what our extracts are meant to provide: wound healing, boosting collagen synthesis, and delivering antioxidant, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. These are powerful benefits for all types of skin, regardless of gender, and the perfect fit for male-specific skin needs.
Both Fierrillo and Juanilama are native to Costa Rica and were chosen not just for their restorative skin benefits but also for the restorative qualities they deliver to the soil and ecosystem in which they grow.
For example, Mario, our Director of Sustainable Operations (who I work closely with in Costa Rica), explained to me that the flowers of Fierrillo attract butterflies and other insects, and their leaves and stems are ideal places for wasps and birds to make their nests. Its high production of leaves incorporates more organic matter into the soil and many species of animals also use these leaves as places to nest and feed. Mario also shared that Juanilama is classified as a repellent plant because its oil protects adjacent crops of interest in the area, while its flowers also attract small insects.
Mario at one of our farms in Costa Rica.
The remarkable qualities of these botanicals amplify the health of the soil they inhabit and the biodiversity of the surrounding environment. And they’re also great for your face! They truly embody the restorative vision of our farm-to-face ambitions.
We built our regenerative farming model with one principal philosophy in mind: To leave the world better than we found it. It’s a philosophy we infuse into everything our business touches. I believe it isn’t just the future of skincare, it’s the future of business. It is this philosophy which drew me to Thrive and drives me to continue innovating in the lab, with our farmers, and with the rest of our team. And it is this philosophy which inspired (and challenged) me to develop these three new products we are launching this month.
Natural Stress Defense for Men’s Sensitive Skin
I am proud to introduce Thrive’s Restoring Face Wash and Restoring Face Balm, for Sensitive Skin, which offer a vibrant combination of natural and effective stress defense for skin that is sensitive to harsh products or that is damaged by exposure to an active lifestyle, stress, or urban pollution.
Staying consistent to natural extracts/naturally-derived ingredients, same as those in our innovative initial offering, this new Restoring line for Sensitive Skin is carefully designed to deliver better skin health for those with sensitive skin.
To create the formula I looked for natural and effective ingredients which would bring extra benefits to the Sensitive line and complement our signature botanicals. Working with our partners around the world, we found Tazman. I liked it especially because it is clinically tested and found to be particularly effective for men with sensitive skin. Like Fierrillo and Juanilama, it has also been used for centuries by indigenous peoples to calm different afflictions.
We also found Kimarine, a gentle, clinically tested option to merge with the rest of the ingredients in the formula. The combination ultimately provides powerful, natural strategies for skin protection against damaging effects brought on by exposure to harmful environments (e.g. pollution).
Let’s take a closer look at our powerful formulas.
Skin Protection for an Active Lifestyle
With no fragrance added, our Sensitive Skin line uses a combination of unique plant actives like Tazman Pepper™, a clinically tested natural extract with potent anti-inflammatory agents and anti-allergic and antimicrobial properties. Tazman Pepper is especially effective in bringing relief to the needs of men with sensitive skin, reducing skin inflammation, relieving itching discomfort and helping reduce razor burns. And it’s just one of the many plant-based ingredients we use to address the skin needs of our adventurous consumers.
In addition to targeting sensitive skin needs, Thrive’s Restoring Face Wash and Face Balm for Sensitive Skin deliver anti-pollution protection to our customers. Research suggests that air pollution exposure contributes to inflammation, skin aging, and other skin conditions. Improving the skin barrier, providing antioxidants and reducing inflammation are some of the suggested approaches to protect the skin against air pollution. That is the formula I set out to create, and which we are now excited to deliver to our customers!
Tazman Pepper Berry & Wakame Seaweed
One of the innovative ingredients in the Sensitive Skin line is KIMARINE®. Sourced from the Bassin of Thau (southern France), KIMARINE® (also known as Wakame Seaweed) is essential for strong skin defense in polluted environments. It protects the skin from characteristics of contaminated air such as exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke, heavy metals, etc.
We complement this powerful ingredient with the aforementioned Tazman (boasting antioxidant power 3X greater than blueberries) and Fierrillo. Fierrillo adds extra antioxidant and skin healing benefits to an already powerful formula.
Together, these unique active ingredients combine with the rest of the natural oils and extracts in our formulas to provide comprehensive skin benefits — naturally reinforcing the skin’s defenses against urban pollution and daily stressors.
Completing the Men’s Grooming Experience
The third new product we are launching this month demanded a foray into the world of beard care. Because we heard over and over again from our bearded customers, what about me? What about my beard? Thriver’s already enjoy an innovative Shave Oil for a high quality, natural shaving experience. And yet, our fully bearded Thrivers we’re right, they needed a solution that fit their grooming needs. With those customers in mind, we created Thrive Grooming Oil to help complete the skin and beard care routine.
Our Grooming Oil offers a powerful plant-based formula, preservative free and rich in natural emollients. Our proprietary extracts, Juanilama and Fierrillo, provide antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, essential qualities for healthy beard care. The antioxidant qualities of Fierrillo help fight against free radicals which in turn help prevent hair and skin damage. In addition, the natural antibacterial and antifungal properties of both Juanilama and Fierrillo support a beard’s hygiene (for example, helping to reduce the microorganisms in the beard).
In making this formula, we of course wanted to make a great beard care product that conditioned the beard hair and helped to tame it. But when I talked to our customers, I realized that other products tended to ignored the skin underneath and many customers had problems with dry and itchy skin. So, I wanted to develop this product with that full solution in mind.
The formula also includes the clinically-tested coffee seed oil extract, Melscreen® Coffee, which tends to the skin below the beard, and promotes hydration and restoration of this often neglected skin, which can in turn help reduce uncomfortable beard itch.
Sunflower, olive, baobab, and argan oil are strongly present in the Grooming Oil because of their conditioning properties, helpful for softening the skin and taming the beard. Baobab oil is useful for intensive hair care and is also rich in vitamins (A, D, E, and ‘F’) which can be used for treating eczema and psoriasis. Generally dry or damaged skin, such as the skin beneath the beard, benefits from this oil as it is known to re-moisturize, restore, and nourish the epidermis.
Lastly, the subtle and satisfying fragrance of the Grooming Oil completes the beard care experience. Our formula includes a selection of over ten essential oils — including Juniper, geranium, lavender, sandalwood, olibanum (frankincense), and myrrh — designed to engage the olfactory senses in a calming, natural way. The combination creates a woody, earthy, and fresh citrus blend to complement the other natural ingredients actively and effectively caring for the beard and the skin beneath it.
We are constantly inspired by our natural world. When we see a problem, we look to the solutions that nature has already developed for our inspiration. My role is to take what I learn from nature, apply my scientific understanding to the ingredients and your skin, and create a product that delivers a powerful and healthy solution.
It’s innovative, plant-driven personal care backed by science. Because our team and I remain driven by the conviction that powerful skincare comes from powerful plants. And now, we invite those with sensitive skin and unruly beards into this movement to harness plant power and transform the men’s grooming experience.
 Pedroza, J.M., Madjarof, C., Tasca, A.L., Teixeira, A., Ferreira, R.A., Oliveira, I.M., Foglio, M.A., Carvalho, J.E. Evaluation of wound healing properties of Arrabidaea chica Verlot extract. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 118 (2008) 361–366
 Pino, J., Ortega, A., Rosado, A., Rodríguez, M., Baluja, R. Composición y propiedades antibacterianas del aceite esencial de Lippia alba (Mill.) n. e. Brown. Rev Cubana Farm v.30 n.1 Ciudad de la Habana ene.-abr. 1996
 Mesa-Arango, A.C., Betancur-Galvis, L., Montiel, J., Bueno, J.G., Baena, A., Durán, D.C., Martínez, J.R., Stashenko, E.E. Antifungal Activity and Chemical Composition of The Essential Oils of Lippia alba (Miller) N.E. Brown Grown in Different Regions of Colombia. Journal of Essential Oil Research. 2010, Vol 22
 Southern Cross Botanicals. Tazman Pepper [Technical Brochure]. Lucas Meyer Cosmetics.
 Mancebo S.Q. Recognizing the impact of ambient air pollution on skin health. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. 2015, 2326–2332.
 Vierkötter, A., Schikowski, T., Ranft, U., Sugiri, D., Matsui, M., Krämer, U., Krutmann, J. Airborne particle exposure and extrinsic skin aging. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 2010 Dec;130(12):2719–26.
 Drakaki, E., Dessinioti, C., Antoniou, C. Air pollution and the skin. Frontiers in Environmental Science. 15 May 2014.
 Gelyma. KIMARINE [Technical Brochure]. Marseille, France: Gelyma.
 Vermaak, I., Kamatou, G., Komane-Mofokeng, B., Viljoen A.M., Beckett, K. African seed oils of commercial importance — Cosmetic applications. South African Journal of Botany 77 (2011) 920–933