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Barbara Paldus, the scientist behind Codex Beauty Labs

Our mission here at SKINDAYS is simple—to make shopping for skincare uniquely personal and a genuine joy. And to make that possible, we rely on working with the best brands in the industry to offer a curated edit of products that truly work. Whether it’s vegan cleansing balms, science-backed serums or trending tools, we only stock skincare from brands that provide efficacious solutions for your unique skincare journey. But what about the people behind the brands? Introducing Stripped Back: A new series that aims to share the story behind the brands that you love and a chance to hear directly from the founders themselves. So sit back, relax, and let us introduce you to our brands…

Skindays: You didn’t start out in the skincare field, how did you get your start and what drove you into skincare?

Barbara Paldus: I have a now 12-year old son who had a severe allergy to phenoxyethanol in baby products.  This led me to try to ask questions of manufacturers, but I didn’t get very far as a consumer.  I started questioning every claim on my products and wondering – having spent most of my career in biotech developing measurement tools – how the beauty industry quantified things.

This experience led me to start Codex Beauty Labs in 2018.  I wanted to offer high quality skin solutions with full transparency, clinical proof of performance, and sustainability to the forefront to fundamentally change the industry.

SK: What do you believe about beauty now that you didn’t before?

BP: I believe that beauty is more than ever in need of clinically proven products.  The landscape is becoming more and more confusing with so many product launches, that consumers need evidence that the products work and will provide them with tangible benefits.

I also believe that people with skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis need real solutions.  These conditions are rooted in inflammation and a weakened skin barrier so if we can genuinely address these issues, we can provide not only relief but better overall health.  And there is nothing more beautiful than healthy skin.

SK: What do you want your customers to feel when using Codex Beauty Labs?

BP: Our goal is for customers to feel safe using our products and know that we have not only invested in producing novel active ingredients to address their skin concerns, but that we have clinically tested our products so we can firmly stand behind our claims with data.

SK: What do you want your customers to feel when using Codex Beauty Labs?

BP: Our goal is for customers to feel safe using our products and know that we have not only invested in producing novel active ingredients to address their skin concerns, but that we have clinically tested our products so we can firmly stand behind our claims with data.

SK: If you had to take 3 of your products to a desert island, what would they be?

BP: I have drier skin, and I’m at an age where I worry about collagen loss, so I would take:

  1. The Bia Exfoliating Wash to not strip my skin during cleansing, 
  2. The Antü Moisturiser to protect my skin during the day and keep it hydrated, and
  3. The Antü serum to reduce oxidative stress in my skin and help firm and rebuild collagen.

SK: In your opinion, what do you consider the biggest skincare myth?

BP: In my opinion, the biggest skincare myth is that one must follow complex skincare routines and apply strong actives early in life.  For example, the overuse of retinols and chemical peels may become detrimental to the skin’s natural defense system, the microbiome, and may lead to skin conditions such as skin thinning or severe dryness.  If untreated, cracking and infections or reactions similar to maskne can result.

Our philosophy is: less is more, for healthier skin and a cleaner Planet.

SK: Outside of skincare, what are the biggest ways you take care of yourself?

I try to follow a healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables, and I drink at least 2L of water a day.  I try to speed walk at least 5 miles a day, and more if I have time.  Walking in nature is not only physically rewarding but helps one mentally reset.

I also try to spend time with my son, parents and close friends – this helps me emotionally recharge and feel connected to those I love.

SK:When do you feel most beautiful?

BP: When people with skin conditions write about how our products have helped them feel more comfortable in their skin, I feel the true beauty within.  When we donate products to those in need, or when we discover a new active that can help with a skin condition, I feel beautiful.

SK: Bedside beauty essentials?

BP: The first essential is a bottle of water and drinking water before I sleep.  I then dab on a little Antü eye cream to help with those dark circles, especially when I don’t sleep enough.  I also love applying the Antü night cream to lock in moisture overnight.  

Did you know that we lose the most water when we sleep?

SK: Best career advice you have ever received?

BP: Hire people smarter than you and then empower them to succeed.