By  on May 18, 2007

LONDON — Natural skin care is about to get a whole lot sexier.

Starting in June, London-based treatment brand Nude plans to offer natural and environmentally friendly products with a healthy dose of luxury.

Created by Bryan Meehan — founder of U.K.-based organic produce retailer Fresh & Wild, which was sold to Whole Foods in 2004 — the line is meant to pack a potent mix of nonchemical ingredients with sumptuous product textures and prestige packaging.

"Why can't natural skin care be as beautiful as nonnatural products in terms of packaging, in terms of perfume, in terms of feel, and have results like cosmeceuticals?" asked Meehan. "Until recently, packaging has been slightly dull and archaic and the products' smells have been predictable."

Meehan hopes to change all that with Nude, which comprises 22 face and body treatments as well as five supplements. Concocted by design firm Pearlfisher, the brand's recyclable flacons and jars are rectangular or square with rounded edges and are in shades of muted pink or gray with a soft-touch finish. To cut down on waste, outer cartons were eschewed in favor of printed sleeves made with biodegradable starch.

"We aren't trying to put ourselves on a pedestal saying we're greener than green," said Anna Ghee, Nude's retail director. "But we used plastic for the bottles, as it's light and portable, and a biodegradable sleeve instead of adding a carton and a leaflet wrapped in cellophane with a big bow on top and a sparkler."

A similar strategy was used when concocting product formulas. While certified organic ingredients were used when available, when they weren't, the firm decided to use natural options, such as peptides from milk. The idea was to focus on efficacy, Ghee said. The products were created sans parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oil or silicones, as well as other ingredients, which have been singled out as being potentially harmful.

"Sometimes you can put things on the skin that can do more harm than good," said Meehan, adding formulations were concocted to include natural prebiotics and probiotics, said to boost the skin's friendly bacteria, which act as barriers to irritants such as pollution.

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