Conscious Beauty And Beautiful Minds: Interview w/ Catherine Gore
Catherine Gore has been the President of Biossance, an Amyris brand, since July 2018, though she’s been entrenched in the beauty industry for many years. She’s held significant roles at some of the beauty industry’s most influential companies where she created and nurtured numerous groundbreaking brands. Prior to joining Amyris, she was the Global General Manager for the Kendo portfolio of beauty brands within LVMH, including Marc Jacobs Beauty, Kat von D, Disney, and Ole Henriksen Skincare. Catherine built Marc Jacobs Beauty from concept to development and then launched the brand in over 22 countries. Prior to Kendo, Catherine was the Vice President of Sephora Collection where she was responsible for the brand redesign and product strategy that lifted Sephora Collection to the #1 brand at Sephora. As one of Sephora USA’s first hires and member of EllesVMH (a select group of female executives within LVMH), she helped shape and grow the organization into the beauty leader it is today.
Catherine believes her role at Biossance is a dream opportunity, allowing her to marry her love for the beauty industry with two of her other passions: sustainability and ocean conservation. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications/Business from St. Mary’s College of California.
CONSCIOUS BEAUTY — What meaning do you give this term?
To me, and to the Biossance brand, conscious beauty means maintaining the highest standards for skin and planet, while using science to deliver superior performance and sustainable practices across our businesses. We don’t believe there needs to be a tradeoff between sustainability and product efficacy, and we are proud to offer products that deliver results without negatively impacting the planet. Some examples of how we behave consciously include:
● Thoughtfully formulating each of our products using only the highest quality ingredients. Our formulas go through rigorous clinical testing for safety and efficacy, and all are certified vegan, cruelty-free, and verified by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
● In our business practices, we prioritize sustainability as well as people and planet-first processes, addressing larger issues that impact the earth. We utilize sugarcane waste to create conscious packaging, use recyclable boxes and paper certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC), and offset our shipping by planting trees and funding reforestation projects. This allows us to take a ton of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere for every ton we emit.
Which aspects of sustainability in beauty are especially important to you?
We prioritize sustainability throughout every aspect of our brand, from our formulations and packaging to our supply chain, labs, and offices, but we are extremely passionate about ingredient innovation and ocean conservation. A biotechnology company at heart, our first industry-leading innovation was the creation of sugarcane-derived Squalane. For generations, skincare companies had tried to obtain similar substances by harvesting shark livers or turning to other unreliable natural sources, like olive, but our vegan, sugarcane-derived version is purer, more sustainable, and more reliable, and it saves more than 2 million sharks from being hunted and killed each year. We know our work to protect and defend the world’s oceans is just beginning. Our mission is to empower a community of changemakers, using science to create a healthier future for our planet and each other.
When do you consciously feel beautiful?
When I’m belly laughing!
Did your approach to beauty change within the last 1–2 years?
Yes, I specifically focused on taking more time for my skincare routine to make it an even more meaningful part of my self-care ritual. There’s research that shows a routine can help minimize the impact of an unpredictable environment and for me, I began to love that daily skincare ritual during a time when so much was uncertain in the pandemic.
How would you like to see the image of beauty change within the next 5 years?
I feel extremely positive about the future of the beauty industry, and I believe biotechnology is one of our most powerful tools. If we can continue to innovate and find ways to recreate ingredients — especially endangered ones — sustainably, the impact will be invaluable. It’s my hope that soon, sustainable beauty will be the rule, not the exception. I’m excited to help shape what comes next and look forward to seeing the bar get set higher and higher.
What or who inspires your beauty routine?
My mom — a natural beauty who placed her efforts on her family and on deep connections with others rather than having to look a certain way or obsess over any beauty standards. It was a very healthy perspective for me, so I think of skincare and makeup as fun and enjoyable rather than something I need to fix or prove, which all came from my mom.
What is your best beauty advice to others?
In the words of Fleetwood Mac “Go your own way.” Embrace who you are, truly, and spend time in solitude finding out what makes you happy and what makes you glow, from the inside out. That will never steer you wrong.
Connect with Catherine Gore on LinkedIn.
Follow Biossance on Instagram.
Demee Koch about the MEDIUM interview series on CONSCIOUS BEAUTY:
Hello! I am a serial entrepreneur with more than 2 decades of experience in the health & beauty industry. This interview series is intended to create awareness about the movement of Conscious Beauty.
We are in a beautiful time of Conscious Beauty — you may have heard of this term, but what does Conscious Beauty mean, and why does it matter?
For us, beauty is a way to love — it is about self-care, art, nutrition, exercise, life, self-love. I invite you to become part of a movement that re-defines beauty. Let’s empower beautiful minds.
Thank you for being the change. I’m looking forward to learn from you. Reach out to me via LinkedIn.