Founder of Codex Labs, Dr Barbara Paldus discusses leading with biotech innovation and creating formulas grounded in science and nature.

What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?

I drink water, take a quick shower, and hop on the phone for my 6am logistics meeting.

What inspired you to launch Codex Labs?

I wanted to create a dermatologist-approved medical skincare line that was plant-based, cruelty-free, microbiome friendly and sustainable which didn’t exist before Codex.

All your formulas are plant-based. Was this the plan from the outset?

Yes — we didn’t want to use petrochemical based ingredients to be fully sustainable (plants are renewable) and we also wanted for our products to be vegan/

Your career transitioned from a scientist to a skincare entrepreneur. How was your experience useful in the world of beauty?

My experience was useful in acquiring plant stemcell ingredients as well as designing clinical trials. We’re not a beauty company, we’re a skin-tech company.

The brand puts sustainability at the forefront. How was this a challenge and how did you overcome it?

Five years ago, there was little packaging based on renewable sugarcane or biomass and getting the Carbon Footprint of ingredients was very difficult.

Tell us about the key products from Codex Labs?

Our best sellers are Bia Skin Superfood and Facial Oil for dry, flaky skin; Antü serum, moisturizer and night cream to recover from photo-ageing, pollution, and inflammation
and Shaant Foaming Cleanser, Toner and Oil control cream for oily, acne-prone skin.

The DermSCORE 1.0 on the website provides a personalised skincare analysis for customers – talk us through this process.

It’s really simple. You take a selfie and about 10-20 seconds the later the software reports back your inflammations (pimples), comedones such as blackheads and whiteheads and pigmentation spots to later track your progress.

What’s the biggest skincare myth according to you?

Overuse of cosmetics will not make your skin healthier and better. Chemical peels and retinols when overused ‘will’ damage your skin. It’s short-term gain for long-term loss.

This is The Skin Issue – talk us through your skincare routine.

I have a minimalist routine. I wash with the Shaant foaming cleanser and then apply the Antu serum. In the morning, I apply the Antu moisturizer and at night theAntu Night Cream. I always remove makeup before going to bed. I add the Bia Facial Oil to protect my skin and microbiome before applying SPF. Most SPFs do a total number on your natural microbiome – don’t forget that Zinc Oxide is a natural anti-bacterial, so if you constantly apply SPF without a barrier layer, you’re killing your microbiome. For removing normal makeup, the Shaant foaming cleanser works well. If I have done a photoshootand have layers of caked mascara, I will use the Bia Cleansing oil to remove this.

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