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The Ex-CEO of Lancôme & L'Oréal on Founding Her Own Skincare Company

By Christina Najjar | June 26, 2019 | Lifestyle

Orveda is a highly scientific, efficacious green skin care line created by ex-L’Oreal CEO Sue Nabi, who combines a science background with over 25 years of insider knowledge in the beauty world. The line is available on and is exclusive to Saks New York and Beverly Hills.

Highly concentrated, (15 times more than competitors and formulated around efficacy versus texture), Orveda works with, not against skin (including the skin’s microflora) to deliver immediate and long-term visible results without aggression and activates healthy skin glow. With no retinol or fruit acids, Orveda’s clean, “free-from” formulations (no parabens, phenoxyethanol, artificial colorants, mineral oils) is suitable for sensitive skin. Believing that “Healthy is the New Sexy”, Orveda’s signature mix combines a marine enzyme, natural prebiotic and Kombucha bio-fermented black tea to work comprehensively (across skin barrier, tone, texture and luminosity) to re-activate healthy skin glow. Championing the latest in beauty (prebiotics), science (biotechnology) and sustainable luxury (using less than five percent plastic across the range), Orveda is not only green but also vegan.

This innovative line of “glow activators” are augmented with self-massage pro tools, are genderless in terms of look, Galbanum smell and formulation and include an innovative, bespoke, glow-to-go travel experience, Orveda To Go.


You have quite the impressive background in beauty, what led you to found your own line?
SUE NABI: During my 20 years in this industry, I have had the chance to visit all continents especially Asia and Korea and see the best of skincare technologies. I have also had the chance to meet the best scientists in the fields of skin science and regeneration, together with the best plastic surgeons who reached me the golden numbers of beauty. I understood that there was a large space for a brand like Orveda.

There were on one side aggressive chemical or dermatological skincare that were used by some derms (think aggressive peels, micro needling, acids and retinol) and on the other side organic skincare that was supposed to be safe (sometimes it is not especially when using essential oils) but not really efficient because you could do it yourself in your kitchen…

The whole scientific world has also been talking more and more about the amazing self-healing powers of our body and skin and the possibility to make us healthier via immune system activation.

I thought it was the right moment to create a brand that takes the best from nature, mainly using biotechnological actives, such as prebiotics, Kombucha Fermented Black Tea, marine antioxidants, all with serious data behind in terms of skin efficacy and the state of the art of dermatological actives such as Niacinamide, Adenosine or Hyaluronic acids, all designed to boost the self healing powers of the skin, to help it regenerates and glow from inside, without disturbing the fragile balance of the skin’s ecosystem, including its microbiome ie the healthy bacteria that live on us and that protect us against inflammation. Inflammation is the mother of fast aging.


What is the ethos behind Orveda?
SN: Orveda is all about being "With, Not Against”. Being with the skin, working with it, not against it, with the animals by being the only luxury skincare that is vegan, with the planet by using only glass packaging and less than 5% of plastic across all touch points, with the skin microbiome and overall health by designing clean formulations with no parabens, no phenoxyethanol, no sulfates, no alcohol, no artificial colorants, not irritant molecules. Finally, with Women and Men who want to take care of their health, by avoiding to stress them when we don’t talk about anti-aging, we rather talk about our Science of Glow and by being genderless because efficacy has no gender.

What's been the most rewarding part of building your own brand from the ground up?
SN: The freedom to create the best of the best without any cost constraint is really a discovery and a pleasure. When I was the CEO of Lancôme, we were constantly under the cost pressure and therefore could not create what I consider is the best of the best.

Orveda skincare is up to 15 times more concentrated vs traditional heritage skincare brands, while still being suitable for sensitive skins. Some of our products are even designed to work on skin post-aesthetic procedures like our The Prebiotic Emulsion or our already cult Eye Unveiler 422.

Creating the crème de la Crème, taking the right time to do so and seeing VIP clients such as singer Sam Smith, star stylist Elizabeth Saltzman or Designer Giambattista Valli choosing Orveda skincare as the official skincare to be used on his models pre and post fashion shows, is a great reward.

As I say, we are not dreaming of being the biggest, we are dreaming of becoming the reference line in cutting-edge, efficient and ethical skincare.

What's your favorite product right now?
SN: The Healing Sap is fabulous. I am currently in Mexico and with the hot weather, it is the perfect "do it all” serum. I use every day AM and PM. It allows me to use much less makeup.

We say Orveda is the skincare that rivals makeup. People are always surprised by its almost immediate effect on skin hydration, pores, evenness and glow.

What are you most excited about for summer?
SN: Maybe my first summer vacation in 4 years to Greece (I love the island of Skopelos). Since Orveda's creation and launch, there was too much work to allow any kind of vacation!

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