What inspired the name Oio Lab?
I dreamed about a planet-friendly skincare brand made from natural ingredients, yet supercharged with green science to deliver effective results in an integral way. To begin, I mixed oils for my friends – and I named them Ollio. I really liked the name, but it referred solely to the oils and I found it too limiting - especially when I started to work with talented chemists and scientists from independent laboratories and Medical Universities in Poland. It also became obvious that we will not only be producing oils, but also gels, creams, balms and all different forms of products - depending on the results we want to deliver. This is how Oio Lab was born. The name is short and reflects our innovation and growth-driven mission.
Tell us the backstory behind Oio Lab and how it all came to be!
For the last 15 years I gained experience in many different industries. I studied and worked as a lawyer in London and Poland, simultaneously distributing french pharmacy skincare products. But I always had a passion for science behind health & beauty. Some would even call me a self-confessed science nerd (laughs). Oio Lab started mostly because I wanted to investigate the ingredients and formulas that I found intriguing and enabled me to authentically express my values. Today, Oio Lab products are created in our in-house laboratory led by a team of certified chemists in cooperation with departments of leading life science and medical universities.
“Oio Lab started mostly because I wanted to investigate the ingredients and formulas that I found intriguing and enabled me to authentically express my values.”
In what ways does Oio Lab incorporate nature, tradition, and science?
Each Oio Lab product is created in our own lab, in small batches and results from extensive research and development — using high-tech solutions, yet drawing from ancestral wisdom.
We connect natural plant extracts with active ingredients, planet-friendly practices and latest technology. Ideally every ingredient we’re working with goes through a 4 step verification process. It is certified natural or organic, has a long history of usage - either medical or is a part of ancestral heritage and is extracted in a high-tech and environmentally-friendly way.
To illustrate, our organic turmeric root extract is both a vital herb in Ayurvedic medicine and a highly esteemed medicinal substance in modern science. It is obtained by supercritical fluid extraction with natural carbon dioxide — a 100% ecological method that allows to obtain plant extracts of very high purity — while maintaining full potency of valuable turmeric root active substances. Another example is biotechnologically produced moss extract which is obtained in a reproducible and sustainable way by tissue culture. Mosses are among the first land plants on Earth and are characterised by extremely high resilience to climate change. We find it fascinating.
We also do not use synthetic additives and preservatives. It took over three years for scientists from Oio Lab to develop a unique methodology of preserving our formulas - based exclusively on substances of plant origin.
“We connect natural plant extracts with active ingredients, planet-friendly practices and latest technology.”
What is your go-to Oio Lab product?
It’s always such a difficult question (laughs). I select my favourite skincare products looking at my skincare staples that I keep reaching for even if I skip them for some time. Definitely a stable form of vitamin C in our oil THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT and complex of hyaluronic acids in hydrating serum AQUASPHERE are the ingredients my skin loves and I tend to come back to them even when I stop using them for a few days. I also think it is really important to observe your skin and learn to respond to its needs. Sometimes I feel my skin is fine with a gel-serum followed by a moisturiser, and sometimes I feel an additional oil-layer on top is necessary. During the day, I add a pop of nourishing, sun-kissed colour to my face with our new Eye and Cheek Colour Balm - it makes me look instantly refreshed and well-rested.
The packaging is stunning! Can you tell us more about it?
Every Oio Lab product tells a different story. Our calming emulsion THE FOREST RETREAT is inspired by the forest, the concept of forest bathing and also every product sold helps to plant 1 square meter of biodiverse forest. We are also huge fans of abstract art. To connect all the elements together we’re working with art and graphic designers from Poland, but based in Copenhagen - Hugmun Studio. The formulas themselves are stored in violet glass that helps to protect valuable botanical extracts from light and naturally preserve our products.
What are Oio Lab products’ hero ingredients?
We’re only using ingredients that meet our high, subjective standards. We love sustainably sourced ferment extract biotechnologically obtained from radiation-resistant microorganisms in our E-SERUM that helps to shield the skin from the negative impact of electromagnetic smog and pollution. Our organic rock samphire extract in Supercharged Glow Serum is cultivated and harvested by hand on the Atlantic Coast and known since antiquity for its abundance in vitamins and mineral salts. We also reach for natural, ultra-stable vitamin C derivatives of superior skin penetration qualities, clinically tested to help to stimulate collagen synthesis, brighten and unify skin tone. At the moment, we are very much into mushrooms, adaptogens and ingredients that help to counteract the effects of stress hormones on the skin and boost mitochondria activities. I must admit we are constantly researching and my nose is stuck into books a lot (laughs). We are also vigorously following and researching the impact of blue light on our skin and health and experiment in the lab with various ferments. Those are the most fascinating ingredients we formulate with right now.
Can you share a skincare tip with us?
It is important to observe your skin and be devoted to your skincare routine. There are so many ingredients on the market and the amount of data we examine at Oio Lab is really impressive. Thanks to this, I learned to put just a few products on my skin that do their job. Also, being systematic is the key to effectiveness – no matter how sophisticated and personalized your skincare is – without a daily routine you cannot expect to see results. I like to add a few drops of oil to our emulsion depending on what my skin needs at the moment. I am a huge advocate of a two-step skincare routine consisting of a gel-serum and an oil or moisturiser. Right now, I use a Multi-Dimensional Hydrating Facial Serum AQUASPHERE or Supercharged Glow Serum GEL-LOTION FUSION first and follow with the Brightening Facial Oil With Vitamin C THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT at night and calming emulsion THE FOREST RETREAT in the morning.
What sets Oio Lab apart from other clean skincare brands?
I think it is the never stopping curiosity, not being afraid of change and never compromising on quality. We often go against market recommendations - we simply do what we think is the best for the brand – even if it is not in line with official economic indicators. We look very idealistically at Oio Lab. It is a fluid concept that develops and grows with us. We are offering effective products, powered by clinically proven ingredients and natural extracts obtained with innovative, clean science. We do not stop looking for opportunities to challenge and push the brand (and ourselves) a step further when it comes to our core values – effectiveness and taking care of our planet. For example, when launching ALGAEMANIA our new Protective Facial Treatment Oil we paired with Mare foundation and donate a percentage of the sales to help clean the Baltic sea and promote sustainable exploitation of the coastal and marine resources. Transparency also means that we are honest about the process of brand development. Trying new things means we do not always get everything 100% right, but keeping the goals in mind and being open about the journey with its ups and downs is an essential part of Oio Lab.
“We are offering effective products, powered by clinically proven ingredients and natural extracts obtained with innovative, clean science.”
How important is sustainability to Oio Lab?
Sustainability is not a precise concept in the beauty industry. To us it means switching to less nature-draining methods whenever possible, researching and incorporating greener solutions, investing in more eco-friendly packaging and engaging in actions that actively benefit our environment. A good example is our cooperation with the Forest Forever Foundation. Each Calming Facial Emulsion THE FOREST RETREAT plants 1 m2 of biodiverse forest. We do not support the creation of mono forests, which demineralises the soil, our aim is to restore natural and diverse ecosystems as much as possible - through planting biodiverse environments to support as big a variety of organisms as possible. Being sustainable is not only a huge part of the process of developing Oio Lab is also transparency and honesty. We want people to know how exactly our products work, but we also want to communicate where we are now as a company – what challenges we experience and where we aim to grow.
What’s next for Oio Lab?
We will continue the process of evolving into a more sustainable and innovative brand. We want to keep cooperating with scientists from independent laboratories and from Medical and Life Sciences to offer effective skincare products. We’re also investing in more planet-friendly packaging and keep working on a completely new range of products. Stay tuned!
Run us through your morning routine!
I wake up at 6:30 am and ideally I do 10-15 minutes of Kundalini yoga via Alo Moves App. I find it easier to do in the summer time though (laughs). Then I follow my skincare routine and prepare myself to work and my boys to school. I leave home at 7:45 and drop off the kids to school and then I stop by my parents' place to drink coffee with them and discuss my dad’s professional issues. We share a lot of work experiences and advice each other in day to day company business. I start work around 8:30. Skincare wise, right now I use our Supercharged Glow Serum in the morning followed by calming adaptogenic facial emulsion THE FOREST RETREAT. To finish with a pop reviving colour, I use our Eye and Cheek Colour Balm MELTING BLUSH where sun would naturally hit my face.
Besides Oio Lab, what are you passionate about?
I do listen to podcasts and read a lot. I feel my mind is always taking in new information. Right now I am very much into spiritual growth, the kingdom of mushrooms, quantum physics and the newest scientific medical and skincare discoveries. I also love spending time outdoors and whenever I can I walk in the National Park nearby with my dog.