At Work with Alastair Dorward

By Rima Suqi / September 7, 2011

Alistair DorwardAlistair Dorward’s “aha moment” came while at the pool, slathering sunscreen on one of his four kids. “I read the ingredient list, got curious, did some research, and what I found out was horrific,” he explained. Some may be surprised that Dorward didn’t know about the chemicals in many traditional sunscreens. After all, the native Scot was the Founding CEO of Method Products and led the green cleaning company from pre-revenue to $100 million in just seven years. Now he aims to do the same for skin-care, with his new company, called OWN.

“I am proud of being a naïve outsider,” he said. “All of us who started Method were naïve outsiders to cleaning, and look what we did. There are disconnects around personal care—whether acne products, anti-aging, or suncare—you are using products that are toxic and nobody knows about it.”

When he researched natural skin-care products, he found that many were anything but natural, and that those that were truly natural often didn’t work. “Many consumers are big believers and buyers of natural or organic food. They recycle and use green cleaning products but when it comes to suncare or anti-aging they don’t feel there is an option that works for them.”

When Dorward says “works” he means it. It wasn’t enough to have natural ingredients, those ingredients had to be tested and proven effective. He hired a scientist with 97 patents to her name to work on formulations for OWN, and in the process of developing the line, the company racked up 16 patents. Dorward and company managed to find what he calls “a design solution to skin care.” It’s all about ingredients that work with the body, activating internal healing mechanisms. We’re apparently born with those mechanisms, the key was figuring out how to access them and get them working to stimulate cell turnover. Without any collateral damage, in terms of skin and also wallet.

Rima Suqi
Rima Suqi

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