Washington, DC-based Persica Skincare seamlessly integrates ancient history, ethics, and modern science. “In 2018, I delved into ancient Persian and Silk Road medicinal and therapeutic practices,” says Persica Skincare founder Elika Eftekhari. “I discovered much of that ancient wisdom was now supported by modern science. I became eager to restore those traditions, and give credit to the original scholars, such as Avicenna, who wrote a treatise on the medicinal uses of saffron,” explains Eftekhari.
In the process, Persica Skincare is disrupting the marketing-driven synthetic skincare model. “Skincare advertising relies heavily on greenwashing,” Eftekhari explains. “We rely on NIH-published scientific research, and diligently study every ingredient we use. You don’t need to convince consumers to purchase hundreds of products,” says Eftekhari. Instead, “it is possible to source a limited ingredient list to create multidimensional products that can rejuvenate skin, restore radiance, nurture the microbiome, stimulate cell renewal, facilitate wound healing, and offset UV-damage, to name a few,” says Eftekhari.
Persica Skincare follows the emerging science on how synthetics toxify our environments, and disrupt our immune systems, endocrine function, and genetics. The company is 100% plant-based, vegan, and cruelty-free. It does not use petroleum derivatives, synthetics, artificial fragrance, or suspected endocrine disruptors. “I remember when a beauty company cosmetic chemist revealed that her R&D team took a backseat to marketing during meetings,” recalls Eftekhari. “That was when I realized there was something very wrong with the skincare industry.”
When developing the retail website, Eftekhari received her second big shock about traditional skincare. “I remember when my web developer said he could remove bad reviews if I wanted. I was shocked, but it made sense. There’s no requirement to show all reviews. I finally knew why so many companies had only top-rated products. Everything deepened my resolve to create a brand with unwavering ethics,” says Eftekhari.
Respect for nature is central to Persica Skincare, and “we go well beyond cruelty-free labels,” says Eftekhari. The company champions Biophilic Skincare™, the principle that skin thrives in closeness to nature. Persica Skincare bans using palm oil, propolis, or beeswax. Eftekhari rejected using the popular immortelle flower, because one moth species relies on it for food. “We have the most stringent standards of ‘clean’ and ‘green’ beauty I’ve seen,” says Eftekhari. Persica Skincare also does not pay for certifications. “I don’t think certifications go far enough, and purchasing them frees companies from having to answer deeper questions about ethics. I created Persica Skincare’s Ingredient Pledge™ instead,” Eftekhari explains. The company encourages consumers to expect more transparency from skincare companies.
Prior to founding Persica Skincare, Eftekhari worked as an international trade lawyer for over a decade. Her background helps ensure an eco-conscious supply chain. “We don’t use avocado oil made from Mexican avocados, because of human rights and drug trafficking concerns,” explains Eftekhari. “Our shea butter comes from cooperatives where women are responsible for the entire production chain, from harvesting the nut to the final shea butter,” she adds.