Nourish London: when vegan skincare meets science

Read Time:   |  17th February 2021

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Nourish London was launched by scientist Dr Pauline Hili to provide people with vegan skincare packed full of health benefits. We caught up with her to find out more...


When and why did you launch Nourish London?

As a scientist having conducted research into the beneficial properties of hundreds of different extracts on the skin, I wanted to share that knowledge in our formulas so people could experience the benefits of healthy skin.

Nourish London was launched in September 2011 out of a real passion to provide high quality, effective, organic and vegan skin care at affordable prices.

What’s your process for developing new products at Nourish London?

My favourite topic. New products always stem from an idea which, in our super creative team and with inspiration from our super interested customers, come frequently.

We have our own ISO registered factory and laboratory, so we are able to quickly turn those ideas into prototypes.

It is a lot of fun in our team testing products in the early stage. We had some very interesting comments recently when we were testing deodorant prototypes!

This process can last many months.

Screening new materials to ensure they meet our strict criteria is a crucial part of the process. Not only is the origin of materials monitored, but also how they are processed.

Once we know we have all the right ingredients, in the right combination, we then begin the much more scientific process of stability testing, consumer testing and compliance. This usually takes anywhere from 6 months upwards.

From here we can move into the product launching phase and progress to a market ready product.


Do you think it’s easier or harder to develop skincare products without using chemicals? 

I have spent most of my career in the clean beauty space working on constantly improving the green credentials of formulas. Maintaining efficacy and stability without some of the chemicals available is a much tougher job.

Early in my career, people would tell me it would be impossible to formulate a product without parabens. At that time parabens were found in 80% of formulas on the market. It is amazing to see how much the market has changed.

There are much more choices for green formulators these days and much more awareness from consumers, which is great.

If someone came to you with no current skincare routine, how would you advise them to get started?

Observe your skin and try to understand how it behaves under different circumstances. The skin is a great barometer.

Cleanse am and pm with a non stripping cleanser, apply moisturiser am and pm, and if the skin has specific conditions add an oil or serum to your routine.

The main thing is to have the confidence to get to know what is best for your skin.   The diagram below shows some specific Nourish London skincare routines.


How do you make sure Nourish London gets noticed in the increasingly growing world of cruelty-free skincare?

Getting the brand noticed is always a challenge, but we have a really loyal customer base who often recommend us.

The fact that our products are made and developed by scientists in our own Battersea factory really adds to our authenticity and our ability to provide the skin care solutions people are looking for.

With the current challenges facing trading, it has been such an advantage to have our own manufacturing facilities, so we could continue to supply our customers.

What things do you need to consider when marketing to the vegan audience that you perhaps wouldn’t if you were operating in the mainstream beauty market?

When marketing to a vegan audience it is really important for us to reassure our customers that we have screened all of our ingredients and products to meet the vegan criteria.

Being certified vegan by an independent company is a great way for us to show our customers that our products are made with ingredients and process that support our shared values. Our customers can feel confident that we have worked closely with The Vegan Trademark to scrutinise our supply chain.

What other advantages do you think having the Vegan Trademark has given you?

The Vegan Trademark has helped us to build a really positive roadmap from sourcing to our finished products, so our customers can feel 100% confident that our products support vegan values.

Opening ourselves to independent auditing demonstrates our commitment. Certification matters because it brings rigour to our business.

Prior to being able to use The Vegan Trademark just recently, we needed to demonstrate that the dyes used to print the cotton bag were from vegan sources. This type of detail might easily be missed without certification.

Tell us about your fair trade partnership and why you felt it was important to develop this.

We partnered with Freeset to create fair trade gift bags handmade from locally sourced organic cotton as part of our starter kits – this is a life changing organisation creating positive employment opportunities for women affected by sex trafficking.

As a small brand, it is important for us to make a positive difference where we can through our trading relationships, not only in our formulas, but with all our collaborations. We are immensely proud to be working with such a remarkable organisation.

What’s next for Nourish London?

Nourish London is always buzzing to push boundaries forward.

We have a great research project with Swansea University looking at alternative sunscreens from algae and a fantastic new product development program for 2021. We want to do more research to contribute to the sustainable, clean beauty world.


Are you interested in aligning your career with your ethics? Find out what it takes to set up a cruelty-free business


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Vegan Food & Living

Vegan Food & Living is a magazine dedicated to celebrating the vegan lifestyle. Every issue is packed with 75 tasty recipes, plus informative features.

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