KPS Essentials cofounders Ron Webb and Natalie Novak-Bauss
From rocket scientist to organic beauty formulator, KPS Essentials Cofounder
Ron Webb explains the trajectory.
You are a rocket scientist, which is certainly unique in the beauty industry. How has that helped you formulate skincare?
Working as a rocket scientist has helped me take a more comprehensive approach to skin care. I spent 27 years developing spacecrafts and launching vehicles, and during that time I was also fortunate enough to collaborate in biological sciences in the areas of plant-drug research and animal wound care nutraceuticals. However, it was my physical science background that opened opportunities in skin care.
I take a practical approach to scientific challenges and try to simplify everything I come across. When I began researching skincare’s active ingredients, I looked at the feasibility of the actives and the plausible bioavailability. I quickly saw a fundamental flaw. All of the actives I researched were far too large to get through the skin, and some of those actives, if you could get them through, wouldn’t or couldn’t do anything to your skin. So I kept this in mind when looking for alternatives to the problem.
Your cofounder, Natalie Novak-Bauss, is an oncology aesthetician. What were your guiding principles when it came to formulating KPS Essentials?
Our first guiding principle was it has to be organic. Natalie is an organic zealot. I have never run into someone more dogmatic about being organic and green. In 1987, Natalie used to sell high-end skincare for Nordstrom in California, and saw firsthand how chemically-laden products literally ate through carpet after some spilled during an earthquake. So for the past 30 years since, she’s been on a quest for organic and green.
Next for us was efficacy. When we first met, I told Natalie I had technology with a unique approach to collagen, volume, hyperpigmentation and hydration, or in a nutshell, anti-aging. Not only was it unique, it was extracted from botanicals and all organic.
Last but not least, safety. Natalie has always had a passion for supporting people with cancer. In her eyes, it is imperative for KPS to have a product that would soothe and not irritate people who were going through chemotherapy, and wouldn’t exacerbate cancer or its symptoms. I’m proud to say we have accomplished it.
Why natural, why organic, why now?
We live in a strange world. Our food is adulterated, mineral- and vitamin-depleted, and our bodies are constantly bombarded with chemicals. A doctor in Chicago had a hard time believing our KPS Essentials Renu Face Cream could affect so many conditions. I asked her to imagine stripping the body of a single nutrient, like Vitamin C, and how many issues that might cause. I said, “So, what would happen if I reintroduced that nutrient?” That’s how our stuff works. It’s a nutrient to the skin. This doctor, after trying our product, now belongs to our customer loyalty program.
What really turned me onto the organics and botanicals, though, was working with traumatic wounds of animals. My mother had an Arabian and Russian horse farm in Payson, UT, and she was working with salves and sprays that allowed the body to heal without scarring. These were not scratches and bumps, this was trauma, and these animals were out of options and were going to be put down.
As a last-ditch effort, vets brought these horses to us. The results were amazing. Every ingredient was extracted from plants. The antiseptic and healing properties of specific plants are awe-inspiring. This is what woke me up to botanicals and organics. Organics have a reputation of being clean yet ineffective, but that’s all going to change. Organics are the future of skincare.