The Scoop: Many modern daters want to use all-natural beauty products that don’t use harsh chemicals or synthetic ingredients. Circular beauty products serve those consumers by taking natural materials traditionally seen as waste — like used coffee grounds — and transforming them into something new. UpCircle Beauty fills a niche in the industry with its unique line of skincare products that turn previously discarded materials into rejuvenating face scrubs, soaps, and masks. Among the company’s innovative beauty products is skincare that incorporates coffee grounds, chai spices, argan shells, and olive stones.
When a woman in her late 20s was surprised by a sudden acne outbreak, she tried using over-the-counter products to no avail. She’d gone through her teens and early 20s with no skincare problems and was mystified as to how to deal with her facial skin problems.
She finally went to see a dermatologist who prescribed pills. While the medication improved her skin, she didn’t like the mood swings she experienced.
“She paid tons of money for pills that worked, but they affected her mood. Then, she found our products, and they transformed her skin without altering her body chemistry,” said Anna Brightman, the Co-Founder of UpCircle Beauty.
Anna founded the company with her brother William, and the name UpCircle comes from the concept of upcycling, or taking a product that would otherwise be discarded and making it into something valuable. The circular beauty industry transforms leftover natural ingredients into new products.
UpCircle repurposes coffee grounds, apricot stones, olive pits, and chai spices into skincare and beauty products.
Its products aren’t just novelty goods. They treat specific skin ailments and are specially formulated to be vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free.
One customer named Kate uses UpCircle products to even out her skin tone.
“I really love the product, and I love its ethos even more! It’s evening out my skin tone and it’s beautifully moisturizing, my skin feels so soft now I’m using the serum,” she wrote
UpCircle continues to innovate its product line by finding new ingredients to help improve the skincare routines of its growing customer base.
Products Make Great Gifts for Yourself or Your Partner
Healthy skin can improve people’s outlook on dating or relationships because it can make them feel better about themselves and their prospects.
Anna said that more people have tried UpCircle products with social distancing measures in place, and many even give them as gifts to loved ones who they can’t see in person. A personalized gift of beauty products can make someone feel like you’re thinking about them.
“We’ve seen a massive increase in gifting to loved ones who are out of reach, and we’ve also seen a huge uptick in gift notes by people who want to add a personal touch,” Anna said.
UpCircle products make those receiving a gift feel better about themselves, too. Those in long-term relationships can help their partner address persistent skin concerns.
Anna recommends two products, in particular, that treat problem skin. The first is the Coffee Serum, which was one of the first products the company developed — and that remains its most popular.
“It has caffeine, which is amazing for undereye circles, and it brightens the complexion. Even if you’re hungover or haven’t had enough sleep, it’s perfect for refreshing your skin,” she said.
The Coffee Serum is affordable, as well, and can also be used on the hair or beard.
Another popular product is the Cleansing Face Balm, which is made from repurposed apricot stones. The balm removes makeup, along with other impurities.
“It melts into a liquid on your skin. You can also use it as part of your wakeup or pre-bed routine. It comes in completely plastic-free packaging,” Anna said.
Innovating in the Circular Beauty Industry
Before they started UpCircle, Anna and William worked in the corporate world. While they appreciated the security of their positions, they said they wanted to find more meaningful careers.
“We weren’t passionate about what we were doing. We wanted to have control over as much as we could and feel good about the impact we were having,” Anna said.
With that goal in mind, the siblings stumbled upon their idea for a company serendipitously. When William was on a visit to his regular London coffee shop one morning, he asked about where the café discarded its coffee grounds.
The barista told him the café produced so many coffee grounds that they had to pay to have them deposited in a local landfill.
William decided to find a suitable purpose for those coffee grounds. He’d identified the problem, but he didn’t know the solution.
He took the dilemma to his sister, who had always been interested in skincare. Anna decided to transform these unusable coffee grounds into exfoliating scrubs.
“They were extremely popular, and we never looked back,” Anna said.
The siblings have expanded their line of skincare products over the four years since they founded the company. Each one incorporates an ingredient that would otherwise have been discarded. The line is also 99% plastic-free.
When UpCircle started, Anna and William thought their primary clientele would be people who cared about eco-friendly skincare. While that is certainly one of UpCircle’s core demographics, it isn’t the only one interested in the line.
“We also attract a crowd that likes visually appealing packaging, and those who want ingredients that are high-performing. We’ve tackled those three things at once,” Anna said.
That mission has expanded UpCircle’s clientele, and while it’s primarily women who are interested in the company’s skincare solutions, men are increasingly buying products for themselves or their partners.
UpCircle: Healthy Skin Can Improve Your Outlook on Life
UpCircle has clients covered whether they’re looking for a gift for a partner or something to improve their dating poise.
“Gaining confidence to go on a date can’t be underestimated for anyone. Having good skin can be transformational in a person’s overall concept of themselves,” Anna said.
If someone knows what skin issues their partner has, they can buy products that zero in on those concerns.
For instance, if your partner complains about dry skin, you can build a bundle of recommended products — and even get a discount based on the number you buy.
Bundling also simplifies the purchasing process, Anna said.
“You just pick a bundle, and you already have the products that work best for your date’s issue,” she said.
UpCircle plans to continue what has made it successful with its devoted fan base.
The company plans to roll out six new product offerings in late 2020. After that, the brother and sister team want to expand to a new field: hair care. This year, the company added more team members, something it expects to do again in 2021.
Even Anna said she is impressed by how useful the products have been for customers. The UpCircle team has started collecting before-and-after photos so prospective clients can see the difference.
“We work insanely hard, but knowing that our products help people feel good makes every bit of it worth it. We can feel good about our company at the end of the day,” she said.