The realm of women’s skincare is an impressive one — high-tech gadgets, inconceivable amounts of research and shockingly rare ingredients are just some of the ways that brands try to push boundaries in their quest for perfect skin.
The field of paediatric skincare, however, is not nearly as gripping or groundbreaking. That’s what Malaysian entrepreneur Kimberley Ho believed, so much so that she left behind a cushy life as an investment banker in New York to set up her own premium skincare line for babies.
Evereden prides itself on its dream team of “moms in medicine” — women at the highest echelons of the dermatology world — who have helped formulate and shape the brand’s line of lotions, oils and bath products.
These doctors say that their work with the brand is twofold: they say that they’re in it to advance the field of paediatric skincare, and to create skincare products that they wished their children could have.
“There is a lot of marketing noise in the world, and when everyone claims to be ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ it’s hard for consumers to differentiate,” says Dr Joyce Teng, the Head of Pediatric Dermatology at Stanford Medical School and Evereden’s Chief Scientific Officer.
“I’ve spent my life researching children’s skin issues, eczema, and ingredient safety. So we use science and research in our thoughtful approach to ingredients.”
Dr Teng is accompanied by Dr Sarina Elmariah, an Instructor in Dermatology at Harvard Medical School, and Dr Marilyn Liang, an Associate Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School. Together, the three women make up Evereden’s Scientific Advisory Board.
Ho, Evereden founder, says that it was “so important” to have product formulated not just by doctors — but by doctors who were moms themselves.
“Having that experience as a mom gives our doctors an edge to think through our formulas in a way that they couldn’t have if solely approaching it from just a hard, cold professional point of view,” she says.
Ho tells us just how staid the world of children’s skincare was pre-Evereden — and how her brand wants to change the status quo.
What was the moment that made you want to leave behind a life as an investment banker and set up your own skincare line?
When I was in finance, I invested primarily in consumer packaged goods companies that sold skincare and personal care products. I became very familiar with the brands’ manufacturing processes, their formulas, their research and development and quickly realised that, by and large, many family and mom-and-baby skincare brands are still using the same questionable ingredients, working with the same large contract manufacturers who haven’t changed their formulations in decades.
Seeing that this space has hardly innovated — unlike the competitive women’s beauty and skincare space — was truly eye-opening, and I knew that there was an opportunity to create a brand dedicated to exacting the highest safety standards for our products.
My background in finance also taught me to carefully analyse the market, poke holes, and ask manufacturers the hard questions when formulating products at Evereden.
How did you get in touch with the dermatologists from Stanford and Harvard to assemble Evereden’s dream team?
When I set out to create this team, it was through word of mouth and my own research that I discovered these women as leaders in their field.
Our team of “Moms in Medicine” are well-known, highly respected dermatologists, renowned for their vast knowledge in their respective specialties.
Together, we got to work, exploring how we could thoughtfully formulate products based on science-backed research with high-performing, plant-based ingredients.
As moms themselves, these doctors understood how difficult it was to find this on the market and were keen on helping to enact change in a long-outdated and stale industry.
How important was it to you that Evereden be formulated and made not just by scientists — but scientists that were moms themselves?
So important. Having that experience as a mom gives our doctors an edge to think through our formulas in a way that they couldn’t have if solely approaching it from just a hard, cold professional point of view.
Our Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Stanford’s Pediatric Dermatology Department, Dr Joyce Teng, has three children and personal experience with eczema growing up. As a doctor, her main area of expertise and research is in eczema, but as a mother, she has spent countless hours researching ingredients, irritation and allergies herself and the types of products to avoid or keep in her children’s routine.
Our other doctor, Dr Sarina Elmariah, from Harvard Medical School, is a lifelong sufferer of eczema — as are her two young boys — and she always wished she had products that met her standards as a mom and dermatologist when they were growing up.
A mother is someone who stays up all night, sacrificing herself for her family, and doing innumerable hours of research despite being sleep deprived and stressed to no end — but a doctor has the professional and scientific training for solving some of these issues.
One of the main selling points of Evereden is that it’s safe for both children and their mums. Why was that important for you?
It’s rare to find a brand that thinks through the entire journey of becoming a mother — starting from pregnancy — and what’s after. With Evereden, we start with our mom line that’s safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women. And then, when you become a mother, we’re right there with you in that stage of your journey as well, with well-suited postpartum products as you heal and take care of yourself, as well as gentle and safe products for your precious baby.
It’s important that parents feel as if they can trust us to do the research and due diligence on their behalf, so that they can enjoy those memorable moments in their journey of becoming a parent and starting a family, which is stressful enough.
You’ve mentioned that in the past, your friends in Malaysia would ask you to bring organic baby products from the US — but that you couldn’t find any good ones there. Do you think people conflate products made in the West with stringent production standards?
Typically yes, due to the deep skincare manufacturing and R&D know-how here, but surprisingly when it comes to restricted skincare ingredients, the US bans only 12 ingredients from making their way into skincare or personal care products, while the E.U. bans roughly 1,400.
It’s really up to the brands themselves to do their due diligence and research about what is going into the products, because many times, there isn’t overarching, universal legislation around the world that is doing this for all populations.
Again, my experience as an investment banker in the consumer space allowed me to see the loopholes that many brands can take when deciding what to place in their formulas.
With Evereden, we vowed to ban more than 2,000 questionable ingredients from ever making their way into our formulas, holding ourselves to the safest standards in skincare.
We also seek third-party certifications from well-known organizations, such as the Environmental Working Group, National Eczema Association, and Made Safe, to vet our products as truly safe for your family’s skin.
For us, we know that parenting is already hard and stressful enough as it is, so when we created Evereden, we sought to provide parents with one less thing to worry about for their most intimate everyday moments from bath-time to diaper changes.