Zero Time, Zero Waste

All Images: Bolt Beauty

Life is fast paced. Sometimes we just don’t have the time to be as sustainable as we would like. So when a beauty brand comes along that does all the thinking for us, we couldn’t be more on board. Meet Bolt Beauty, the skincare for busy people.

Many of us live fast paced lives (pre lock down that is.) Running from home, to the gym, to work, to lunch, then to a date, then home again – we do a lot in a day. And every occasion calls for skincare and makeup products. Have you ever had to pack for a work trip or a romantic getaway, or simply a visit to the gym and nearly broken your makeup bag trying to get all of your products in? We are very guilty of over packing, but it’s totally unnecessary now that we have discovered Bolt Beauty. Founded by Lisa Sexton in May 2020, Bolt Beauty is a breath of fresh air in the world of skincare. Lisa left her full time job to pursue her dream of creating an eco friendly but high performing skincare range last year. And she came up with a game changer. Waste free capsules hold potent but gentle formulas and all are housed in a handy reusable stacker. However theres more to the story. We spoke to Lisa to find out what goes into Bolt Beauty and what comes out.

A New Way To Travel With Skincare

Beauty products are not always designed to be easily transported. Especially the so called ‘sustainable’ ones. Glass bottles are heavy and take up space, lids come undone, spillages are frequent. Lisa, like many women, was not immune to these problems. ‘My boyfriend and I had planned a 3 week trip to celebrate my 30th birthday,’ she remembers. ‘The day before we were due to travel, we were packing and he turned to me and said “Oh, you’re only bringing hand luggage”.’ Talk about a bombshell! As a skincare obsessive she was totally unprepared and ended up buying products in various airports. ‘Good luck getting your normal skincare in Luang Prabang,’ she joked.

However the issue sparked an idea, to find a more practical way to travel with her skincare. So when she returned home she became obsessed with finding a solution. ‘My only options seemed to be; decanting (wasteful, messy, unhygienic, and time-consuming), or plastic minis (expensive, and environmentally unfriendly due to their short lifespan).’ Neither were good enough for Lisa, who has a background in beauty before she began a career in Law. Deciding that she must not be the only one to face this conundrum she set about researching a totally new way to package a simple skincare routine. However it had to be one that didn’t harm or indeed have any impact on the environment. Being carbon neutral is a huge task but Bolt Beauty is proud to be.

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What Makes Bolt Beauty It Different?

The range comprises of four products, all housed in handy little pre portioned capsules. Each capsule contains the perfect amount of product, all ready to go. Simply pinch off the top and use your product. Your capsules arrive in Home Jars and you then decant the capsules you need into your stacker. Don’t worry they are colour coded so you know exactly whats what. And thats it, simple. From a makeup bag stuffed full of bottles, jars and boxes, you instead have a small stacker with a four step skincare routine at your finger tips. 

However, we can’t stop there without mentioning the zero waste aspect of the brand. The capsules themselves, once emptied, are easily dissolved in water, while the packaging is designed to be refillable and reusable. When you run out, you simply order a refill bag to fill your Home Jar again. The bags themselves are compostable of course

What are the Capsules made of? 

The capsules are made from carrageenan which is made from a red and purple seaweed. Seaweed itself is a bit of a tiny miracle. Not only is it natural and vegan friendly, it’s also the world’s most sustainable crop. It grows fast, needing no fresh water, land or fertiliser. It’s also an amazing carbon sink. Through photosynthesis, it sucks up CO2 and at the same time reduces the acidification of the ocean (which is caused by carbon dioxide dissolving in the ocean). Bolt use cosmetic grade dyes to create the eye catching colours, which are then biodegradable. Simply dissolve the capsule in hot water, then pour it on your garden (or window box). Seaweed is a well known effective fertiliser so you’ll do your plants some good too.

If the capsules are so easy to degrade back to the earth, whats to stop them doing the same thing in your makeup bag? The capsules underwent rigorous testing, trust us theres a lot of science behind this. But put simply Lisa told us that, ‘your make-up bag won’t have the right conditions for the capsules to start to biodegrade.’ Phew! ‘The capsules are fairly robust – they are designed to be a practical way to carry around your skincare,’ she continued. ‘The best thing to do is to dissolve the capsules in boiling water and you can also put used capsules in your compost bin – the conditions here are perfect for biodegradation.’
But enough about the packaging, whats in the capsules? Because let’s face it, theres no point in trying this hard to create an eco conscious product, when the formulas themselves are no good. Bolt Beauty prides itself on transparency. As Lisa puts it, ‘I really believe in being as honest and transparent as we can be when it comes to our ingredients, packaging and processes.’ She believes that it’s important for customers to know what they are putting on their skin and to make an empowered decision through that understanding. Each product is accompanied by a thorough list of ingredients, plus a further breakdown of what is behind some of the more odd sounding ingredient names you may not have come across.
Whats more important is that the products really do work. Filthy Clean is a gentle everyday cleanser that leaves your skin feeling clean and comfortable. Not weirdly squeaky and tight! Used with a cloth it effectively removes eye makeup too. Glow Dont Shine is a mattifying serum that combats shine and blemishes. The Vitamin A Game is another serum that contains a retinol. It’s a magic little capsule that helps to make your skin brighter and firmer. And finally Mad About Moisture is a hydrating moisturiser containing hyaluronic acid. It leaves your skin feeling very soft and not a hint of grease or gooiness. Lisa believes that these four products are all we really need to cleanse our face of dirt, sweat and makeup, but also to combat the most common skin issues. The result is clean skin, ready for whatever you throw at it next. 

No Plastic Packaging Waste

As we mentioned earlier, Bolt is also a zero waste brand. Aside from the biodegradable capsules, how do they achieve this? Lisa was adamant that every aspect should be either biodegradable or recyclable. That’s why your capsules arrive in a Home Jar, made of PET, then live life in your plastic stacker. Hold on, plastic did you say? I thought Bolt Beauty was a zero waste? ‘We carried out a carbon impact assessment when deciding between glass or plastic for the Home Jars,’ Lisa explained. ‘Glass is extremely energy intensive to create, it’s also heavier than plastic, and therefore shipping – both throughout the supply chain and to our customers – causes a higher carbon footprint.’ For Lisa, it wasn’t just about reducing the amount of packaging waste. The endeavour would be pointless if her carbon footprint wasn’t as low as it could be. ‘When you take into account the carbon impact of glass, it made more sense to use plastic so we could reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible.’

The Home Jars are recyclable and the same goes for the stackers. They are designed to be easy to use, but long lasting. As well as lightweight to carry and small in size, which is the entire point of the brand. Each one fits 10 capsules so you easily have enough for a whole weekend of skincare. If your stacker breaks then it is easily recycled and Bolt will send you a new one. Lisa is aware that many customers want to see ‘no plastic here’. However she maintains that it’s important to ‘take into account the whole product lifespan.’ And the product is designed to be used for life, not just 3 months like other brands.

So Whats Next?

Not content with creating a zero waste skincare line, Lisa is keen to add to it as soon as possible so of course there are more products in development at the moment. However, she is also keen to point out that her main concern is making the products the very best they can be and keeping her customers happy. In creating a product for life, she understands the importance of being there when things go wrong and innovating exciting solutions to keep the brand as sustainable as possible. Trust us, once you twist that tiny capsule, you’ll never go back

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Disclaimer: This post was paid for by the brand featured. We only partner with and accept payment from brands that are inline with our Manifesto. We always test any products we recommend through paid advertising ourselves first to make sure it is the best fit for our audience. The content was written by The Vendeur and contains our honest opinion.