Why did we create OTO's Ritual Skincare Collection?
OTO’s Head of Product Design, Rina Bhansali, reflects on bringing our Ritual Range to market in the midst of a national lockdown
After the incredible response we received from the consumer trials of our Ritual skincare range, it felt appropriate to reflect on the process of conceptualising, formulating, and releasing these products we are so proud to call our own.
From the moment we released our Balance, night-time skincarerange, it was always the intention to complement this with a range of products that our customers could build into their morning skincare routine.
However, this didn’t mean simply repurposing the same products for a different moment, it meant creating an entirely new formula. Our Balance range is designed on the premise of being applied to skin that will be undisturbed and in a clean environment overnight. Meanwhile the ritual range is conceptualised on the basis that it would be applied to skin that would be constantly disturbed. Whether its harsh weather conditions, busy train carriages or UV light; our skin is affected by a mirage of external pollutants on a daily basis and as such, creating these products represented an entirely different logistical challenge.
The two main pillars of the range are the Ritual CBD Serum and Ritual CBD Day Cream, which when used together both fortify and protect your skin whilst actively repairing and nourishing it. When it came to conceiving the products that would make up the Ritual range, the serum was a no-brainer. CBD is effective at managing skin conditions that are caused by stress and anxiety – acne, eczema - conditions that flare up when you are feeling especially stressed and anxious, and the most effective way to absorb CBD transdermally is through an oil; CBD is what we call a ‘lipophilic’ molecule. This means that is dissolves in lipids, such as oils and fats as opposed to water.
A challenge in devising the recipe for the serum was therefore ensuring that we struck the right balance between being oily enough to heal the skin without being overly oily to the point where its use would be impractical and unenjoyable. One of the central motif’s at OTO is keeping user experience at the heart of our design process; these products need to not only be effective but enjoyable in equal measure. Personally, I have really dry skin so I can’t get enough of oil based products, but then there are people like Gemma who tend to stay away from oily products. In the end, we’ve made a product that works across many different skin types.
Pomegranate and Evening Primrose oil, both incredibly rich in antioxidants and polyphenols make up the base whilst Blue Tansy gives the Serum its unique colour and contains Sabiene, a component found to have anti-inflammatory properties. Just one pump gives you enough to apply to your whole face, and crucially also gives you exactly 20mg of CBD. Figuring out the right amount of CBD to consume, and when, has always been an impossible task, but with OTO you can be comfortable in the knowledge that the hard thinking has already been done for you.
Not only is 20mg the perfect level of CBD to consume in this moment, but by combinining it with an array of hand-picked botanicals, rich in terpenes, we are ensuring the CBD is as potent as possible. Blending CBD with terpene-rich botanicals is a method that allows us to mimick what is commonly referred to as the 'entourage' effect - whereby CBD is rendered more active by its synergistic interactions with other molecules. In other words, we have designed the serum to maximise the benefits CBD can bring, both therapeutically by being absorbed into the bloodstream, and dermatologically through its interactions with our skin cells - and they couldn't be easier to access.
After forifiyng your face with the Serum, you're skin will be primed for the highly moisturising day cream, which is comprised of Rose Distilate, Baobab Oil and Rosemary Oil to name just a few of the ingredients. The inclusion of Rose Distilate is a great example of how functionality was at the core of our design process. By distilling rose petals in water, and then using a steam extraction method, you are able to retain its antioxidant properties and lovely fragrance whilst being left with a much lighter, thinner alternative to oil.
Many people have multiple steps to their skincare routine, and the last thing you want is to be leaving the house with your face glistening with product, or unable to apply make-up on top of your moisturiser, hence, creating these to products to be lightweight and easily absorbed was at the front of our minds.
Together, we believe they represent the perfect barrier for our faces; one that both nourishes and protects simultaneously. As the name of the range suggests, these aren’t products to be used sporadically, but built into a morning routine; a morning ritual. And rituals aren’t just founded upon on necessity, but on the pleasure they bring. Whether it lie in the refreshing sensation of applying the day cream, the incredible smell and aesthetic of the serum, or just the feel of their sleek glass bottles, we believe we’ve crafted the ultimate, luxury morning CBD skincare experience... and I can't wait for you to enjoy it, again and again.
To learn more about the delight they brought our trialists, you can read the results of the trial here.