Founder of Codex Beauty Labs Dr. Barbara Paldus

  • Publish date: Sunday، 31 October 2021 Last update: Wednesday، 14 September 2022
Founder of Codex Beauty Labs Dr. Barbara Paldus

Written by: Noura Al-Swaiti

Time to meet one of the leaders of clean skin care industry and the founder of Codex Beauty, Dr. Barbara Paldus. Dr. Paldus, who holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University, comes from an unconventional beauty background. She was a scientist, investor, and engineer who spent two decades leading innovation in spectroscopy, telecommunications, and biotechnology, and was awarded 40 U.S. patents, and numerous honors for achievements in science. interviewed the tech entrepreneur to find out more about her journey from science to beauty and how she has leveraged Biotech and Engineering to create her own innovative skincare line.

Dr. Barbara Paldus

1. Tell us tell us a little bit about Codex Beauty Labs and how you started your company?

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 from Silicon Valley. I wanted to offer high quality skincare that brings transparency, clinical proof of performance, and sustainability to the forefront to fundamentally change the industry.

2. What sets Codex Beauty Labs apart from other beauty brands?

  • We bring the best of science to skincare with a focus and dedication to plant biology, ethnobotany, and biotechnology.

We have a patented, edible preservation system based on biotech fermentation that also protects the skin barrier. We follow a scientific process in finding novel plants or ingredients, testing their capabilities, formulating them synergistically for a specific function, and then testing, testing, testing.

  • We are a seriously sustainable skincare brand.

We are deeply concerned about preserving the biodiversity on this Planet. We are killing species of plants, animals, birds, and fish at alarming rates. We are losing the knowledge of our Indigenous peoples equally fast. We need to protect nature, whether that it through fighting climate change to preserving our forests, reducing plastic to save our oceans, and/or producing ingredients in a way that will not harm delicate ecosystems.

  • We are data-driven and transparent believing that the beauty customer should always have access to this data so that they can make the most informed decisions.

We perform extensive and rigorous safety testing like preservative efficacy testing and irritation testing. We use state-of-the-art measurements to perform clinical trials to demonstrate the efficacy and penetration of our products.

3. How did your biotech expertise help shape the growth of Codex Beauty Labs?

Having had the privilege to work in the biotech field for 12 years in Silicon Valley, it allowed me to also interact with researchers and companies working on innovative plant-based biotech ingredients for beauty. I was fascinated and decided to jump in, trial by fire as they say here in the US. I really believe that my background in biotech and data-led experience gives me a big advantage in this industry.

4. What were the top challenges you faced starting your business, and what did you learn from them?

The biggest challenge I faced was finding the right people to help me bring my vision to market and to communicate our message authentically. I have often been told that the consumer doesn’t want too much scientific proof or that it is enough to just say the brand is clean. My belief is that the beauty industry is ready for a new player; one that creates truly efficacious products but also plays by a different set of rules. For me, it isn’t enough to just be clean. I have learned that at the end of the day, I must stay the course and stick to my values and objectives for Codex because it isn’t just another beauty brand, it is so much more.

5. What are the top ingredients used in your products and what are their benefits?

We love hyaluronic acid for hydration and many of our products use it in ample concentration.  Our preservation system utilizes biotech ferments with lactobacillus which also help to support the natural microbiome.  But we love unique plants the most; many come from traditional indigenous medicine, and we transform them into state-of-the-art, potent ingredients.

For example, M3™ is a novel, proprietary blend of three key plants from the Patagonian Forest of Chile (Matico, Maqui and Murtilla) known to soothe irritation and reduce inflammation. M3™ is an antioxidant powerhouse, even more powerful than Vitamin C. We have tested M3™ to understand its impact on skin genetic expression, and its support of enzymes that scavenge free radicals in the skin.  We are talking about serious prevention of aging here!

6. Quarantine has made us rethink our skincare routine and lifestyles. Tell us how your products helped people make better choices?

I think quarantine gave us the opportunity to stop and breathe; and to perhaps recenter our goals to ensure we are living our best and healthiest lives. Our products are meant to help women address their key skincare concerns with a straightforward, innovative, and transparent approach. I think also skincare is experiential and it is important to me that we look at skincare as selfcare. So when you wash your face with our products, really take the time and experience the lather and give yourself a massage while you are cleansing. Or at night before you go to bed, take extra time to put on our amazing Antü night cream and apply with circular motions to relax the facial muscles and rid the stress from the day.

I also think many of us reexamined our overconsumption of products and took on a “less is more” approach to our lives…I certainly did.  That philosophy also extends to Codex Beauty Labs, a very straightforward skincare brand offering the best of sustainable beauty and only what your skin needs

7. What beauty advice would you give to readers, especially those who wish to switch to all-natural beauty products?

Once you switch to clean, sustainable beauty products, you will never go back because your skin will be so happy and respond to plant-based products like ours that also perform. Like how your body responds to health food; your skin will do the same. Good skin nutrition is imperative. I recommend products that support the natural skin microbiome, and ones that hydrate and heal the skin barrier. It is important to nourish the skin with omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. 

8. If we were to buy one product from Codex Beauty Labs, what would it be and why?

I adore the Antü Serum. It’s a serum with a wonderful texture that hydrates and delivers the powerful M3™ antioxidant combination through the skin barrier and into the epidermis. It helps rebuild collagen which makes your skin plump and firm again. It contains Hibiscus which helps relax expression lines (like Nature’s botox) and Cherimoya that supports the skin’s endocannabinoid system thereby calming, and rebalancing skin.  The Milk Thistle Ester has soothing and redness reducing properties – perfect for urban skin and the desert climate.

At night, I love to pair the serum with the Antü night cream. It’s a rich, nourishing cream that hydrates with Hyaluronic Acid, and leaves skin soft and radiant.  Blackjack Flower mimics retinoids to help improve skin elasticity and firmness, while Daisy helps brighten and revitalize skin.  The Cupuaçu Butter is rich in Vitamins A, E and F as well as hydrating Fatty Acids. Did you know that you lose the most water from your body while you sleep?

9. What is in store for the future of Codex Beauty Labs? Any exiting plans you can share with us?

The Middle East market is important for us. We recently partnered with clean beauty e-tailer, Powder, to expand our presence across the U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia.

In terms of the collections, we have so many exciting products in the pipeline, but I can’t say anything yet…stay tuned. We are really looking to push the envelope as the leaders in plant-powered biotech beauty. And we are always in search of novel ingredients that can transform the skin, support a healthy microbiome, and restore a compromised skin barrier.

10. What inspires your most?

My son has made me realize that I want to leave him with a healthy planet abundant in species of plants, animals, insects, and fish who can live in harmony with humans – this is why I strive for uncompromising sustainability and full transparency.

My father taught me to be a scientist and problem-solver, and to never compromise my ethics. I learned from him that there was a time when humility and gratitude were abundant, yet consumption and materialism were minimal.Less was truly more. And we all need to find the way again……