A couple of months ago I rediscovered Pai Skincare (having tried and loved them several years ago when they first appeared on the shelves at the organic food store formerly known as Fresh n’ Wild). A re-kindled love affair kick-started by the fabulous Rosehip Oil which really does radiant wonders for the skin…
Having got more heavily into the certified organic, super pure range over the last few weeks, I am quite addicted and was delighted at the opportunity to go and visit the Pai factory in west London where all the products are made. How amazing, right? As well as shooting some key members of factory staff for the #whomadeyourskincare project – showing you just who makes all the fabulous products at Pai HQ – I got the chance to find out bit more about the brand at lunch with founder Sarah Brown as well as indulge my slightly weird passion for shooting heavy industrial machinery. Here’s all you need to know…
How it began
In her mid-twenties founder Sarah developed skin condition urticaria. Struggling to find products that her hyper-sensitive skin wouldn’t react to, she ended up developing her own. In 2004, Sarah quit her job as Head of PR for a multinational wine company to retrain in cosmetics and natural skincare. In 2007 she launched Pai for people with allergy-prone and difficult skin; as well as urticaria, Pai is suitable for eczema and psoriasis.
The first products were formulated in 2005 in a west London converted garage by Sarah with a hand whisk! Head of Research & Development Jeanne-Marie (pictured below) was one of the first employees – she wanted the challenge of organic formulation – and the initial team of 10 has now grown to 30, with eight of those working in the production facility.
Natalie Portman is a long-term fan! She loves the Chamomile & Rosehip Instant Calm Day Cream in particular and the Pomegranate & Pumpkin Seed Stretch Mark System was originally formulated for her. Actress Lea Seydoux and Game of Throne’s Natalie Dorman also use the Day Cream and David Gandy loves the Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil and singer Labrinth uses the body cream – fantastic for dry skin that needs a little extra like mine!
Notebook & chalkboard
That’s production assistant Patricia’s notebook you see in the pictures below. From Spain, Patricia previously worked in an arts-based role but found the resins associated with her job were making her skin very sensitive. Now she has a couple of artistic outlets at Pai, including the staffroom inspiration chalkboard and designing illustrations for the company handbook!
The Rosehip Oil is a huge favourite and usually the first thing people try (including me!); it suits every skin type and makes a real difference to radiance and clarity. The Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser and Chamomile & Rosehip Instant Calm Day Cream which I’m also using, are top sellers.
ps. Do check out the gorgeous new kids range Petit Pai – Gus and I love it!