Talking Sustainable Beauty And Solid Skincare With SBTRCT Founder Ben

SBTRCT Sustainable Skincare Range

Forever fascinated by sustainable beauty, we chatted with SBTRCT founder, Ben, to find out all about his take on sustainable skincare solutions, solid skincare, how he started his skincare company, and what the future holds for SBTRCT and their quest for sustainability.

On a mission to clean up the beauty industry, Ben launched a collection of high-performing, solid skincare. Ranging from vitamin C serums to rejuvenating night balms, SBTRCT's high-performing skincare solutions address common skin complaints, including ageing, redness, dryness and congestion, perfect for using at home or on the go. Let's find out more about this environmentally conscious company from Ben!

Striving For Change

Boggled by the sheer amount of plastic produced by the beauty industry, Ben realised he had to do something to counteract the damage.

"I read that the beauty industry is responsible for over 120 billion units of packaging every year and that very little of this is ever recycled. That is such a mind-boggling number, and counterintuitive that an industry created to cleanse and care is making our planet such a dirty place." Ben said.

Wanting to do more, Ben fell down a rabbit hole of research, learning more about water waste and the over-reliance on palm oil.

Ben explained: "With over 844 million people around the world lacking access to clean safe water, it seemed crazy to me that anything up to 80% of traditional creams and lotions can be water instead of just great skin-loving ingredients. In fact, your skin would probably benefit more from you drinking the amount of water in your products than putting it on your skin topically! Palm oil is also incredibly prevalent in traditional formulations and strongly linked with driving deforestation and climate change and I knew something needed to be done."

With this in mind, Ben tried to figure out the best way to address the challenges of plastic, water and palm oil in the beauty industry. Wanting to omit these from his future skincare creations while delivering exceptional concentrated formulations, he stumbled upon the solid-state product format
SBTRCT was born!

A World Of Sustainability Options

Looking at refillable bottles, plastic pouches and tablets, Ben learned that many of the sustainability solutions still involved plastic, or impacted performance and experience, something that he wasn’t willing to compromise on.

"The truth is solid formulations are the very best means of delivering concentrated, skin-loving ingredients in a zero waste format without compromising on performance." Ben said. 

Teething Issues And Snags

SBTRCT Vitamin C Booster

Setting out to create his solid skincare range, Ben started with the now award-winning Moisturising Facial Balm, which proved to be his biggest challenge to date, and he went through several iterations before perfecting the bar.

Ben said: "I wanted to use proven ingredients such as Squalane, Glycerin and Shea Butter, but moisturisers are tough to get right. Especially solid ones. You need the pay-off to be just right so that when you rub it between your hands you get just the right amount of coverage. You also need it to absorb quickly and leave your skin feeling incredibly supple and hydrated."

SBTRCT Vitamin C Booster

Award Winning Sustainable Skincare

Ben initially created two products for his range: The SBTRCT Gentle Foaming Cleanser and the SBTRCT Moisturising Facial Balm. Sharing their signature geranium, rose and tonka bean essential oil fragrance, these multi-award-winning skincare essentials are today one of SBTRCT’s bestselling products.

"A great cleanser and a great moisturiser are the bookends of anyone’s skincare routine and so I figured if I could create those in a solid state and prove they could deliver on performance, then I could build a successful brand and expand the range from there." Ben said. 

SBTRCT Gentle Foaming Cleanser

Skin-friendly with a skin-friendly pH of 6.0, the light and refreshing Gentle Foaming Cleanser features a coconut base that rinses away without residue to leave your skin soft, moisturised and clean, without feeling stripped or tight.

SBTRCT Moisturising Facial Balm

Enriched with Squalane, glycerine, rosehip oil and shea butter, the Moisturising Facial Balm imparts ‘softness and natural lustre like nothing else, helping to promote skin firmness and elasticity whilst maintaining moisture balance.

SBTRCT Moisturising Facial Balm

Long-lasting, Concentrated Formulas

With many reasons to love SBTRCT, a favourite feature for their customers is just how effective and concentrated their formulas are. When compared with traditional formulations, their products contain so many more skin-loving ingredients that are proven to deliver benefits.

Another benefit of investing in SBTRCT is that their products typically last twice as long as traditional water-based formulations, giving you more bang for your buck while cutting down on transportation costs and packaging. Win-win!

Vitamin C Booster

Delivering powerful antioxidant protection with a blend of rosehip oil, sea buckthorn oil and vitamin C derivatives, this revolutionary solid vitamin C serum, evens skin tone, to leave your skin luminous, hydrated ad glowing.

Rejuvenating Night Balm 

This pioneering, solid retinoid refines texture and reduces the appearance of fine lines. Enriched with a concentration of granactive retinoid at 2% and squalane, this night balm smooths and brightens your skin without irritation. 

SBTRCT Rejuvenating Night Balm

Sustainable Practices At SBTRCT

The core focus of keeping his skincare water, palm oil and plastic-free was one step in achieving sustainability, but there were other steps that Ben wanted to take to reduce SBTRCT’s carbon footprint.

"Supply chain and scope 3 emissions can be a big contributor to a brand’s true environmental footprint. So, we work hard with our partners to minimise this wherever possible, choosing to work with companies who share our vision for the planet and our values." Ben said. "A good example of this is our printers. They went above and beyond to find us a certified domestically compostable board for our cartons. They also have a zero-landfill policy for their waste, use vegetable-based vegan-friendly inks and are proud to be a Carbon Balanced Printer too"

Exciting 2024 Plans

With a multi-award-winning skincare collection, SBTRCT have some exciting plans in the pipeline for 2024, the next on the agenda being to launch a body range, consisting of a Daily Body Cleanse and Moisturising Body Balm.

"There has been so much exciting innovation in the ingredients we use that we find we now have so many options on the table to develop more never-seen-before expert concentrated formulations."

Working on the new collection for 18 months, this new range has an incredible new fragrance, inspired by the Japanese ritual of forest bathing, Shinrin-yoku.

Ben said: "Research shows that forest bathing has a mind-healing effect, with countries such as Japan prescribing it to treat depression and anxiety. This is partly down to the unique scent of the forest which, among its many benefits, has been shown to decrease stress hormones and support the immune system. Studies have even shown that even without a trip to the forest, the fragrance of tree essential oils can have similar psychological effects. We know the mind and skin health are closely connected and it’s this synergy that has inspired the range."

SBTRCT The Discovery Set

Commitment To Continuous Improvement

Dedicated to reducing the impact of the beauty industry on the planet, Ben’s B-Corp company strives to continue their mission for a more sustainable future.

Sitting on the Sustainable Beauty Coalition advisory board, a task force set up by the British Beauty Council, Ben is proud to be tackling the biggest environmental challenges in the industry on a wide scale.

"The work being done is incredibly important and the coalition brings huge synergies that can really drive meaningful change." Ben said. 

A huge thank you to Ben for delving into the history of SBTRCT and sharing the exciting news coming in the future. We love learning about how we can incorporate more sustainable skincare into our everyday rituals.


Fascinated by sustainable skincare? Discover more about World Environment Day: How Sustainable Beauty Brands Are Tackling Plastic Pollution.