OSEA Founder, Jenefer Palmer began her career in the healing arts by studying and becoming practiced in cranial therapy, acupressure and shiatsu. OSEA started out as a more of a kitchen sink than a kitchen table business, as Jenefer began experimenting with skincare formulations in her kitchen sink. She became fluent in the basics of cosmetic chemistry by trial and error, later refining her most successful formulas with the help of cosmetic chemists. However, it was not until a business trip to Buenos Aires that Jenefer would discover the key ingredient upon which her skincare line was to be founded.
Wrecked by jet-lag, Jenefer decided to head over to the spa at the hip boutique hotel where she was staying and ended up soaking in a fresh algae bath. The restorative effects were like a bolt from the blue. She couldn’t believe how good that bath had made her feel, her skin was glowing and she felt utterly rejuvenated. She knew she had to know more about that algae, and became obsessed with tracking it back to its source.
She traced the algae, of the Gigartina species, to the coast of Patagonia, a region so far down the South American continent that they call it “El Fin del Mundo”--the end of the world. There, she was guided along the desolate beaches and pristine coastal waters of Patagonia by a local family who showed her how to harvest the Gigartina which was soon to become the key ingredient of her skincare formulations. Throughout OSEA’s evolution, Jenefer has ensured that the brand stays true to its initial commitment: to provide the highest quality, ecologically-responsible natural skincare to ingredient-conscious consumers. Never forgetting the source, Jenefer and OSEA support ocean preservation, Heal the Bay and works with a local partner in Argentina to ensure eco-responsible harvesting of their seaweed.
I was lucky enough to interview Jenefer and dig into her world with OSEA Malibu!
Rochelle: What is the story and history behind OSEA Malibu?
Jenefer: My Grandmother recognized the healing powers of the ocean and imbued me with her beliefs from a very young age. My grandparents went swimming in the ocean every day of the year and they lived in New York---so that frequently meant cutting through ice!
So when I began formulating my natural skincare, I wanted to draw on the healing powers of pure, mineral-rich seaweed as the base of my products.
Rochelle: Your main ingredient is seaweed sourced from Patagonia, can you give us some insight on how you source this ingredient, and what the process is?
Jenefer: When I first traveled to Patagonia in search of Gigartina Algae, I met a local family who has been harvesting seaweed for three generations! They were kind enough to share their knowledge of local seaweed and even taught me how to harvest it sustainably.
Wild Gigartina Algae naturally washes up on the shore and we collect it by hand. In mid-summer, the desolate beaches of Patagonia are knee-high with Gigartina. Undaria Algae, another one of our favorite natural ingredients also comes from these waters.
We have divers who go out and hand-cut our Undaria instead of using large nets that can potentially damage seaweed forests and ocean floors. Once the algae has been harvested we rinse it in fresh water and lay it out to dry in the sun in special drying beds.
Rochelle: Tell us about your conservation efforts with the community in which you source your ingredients…
Jenefer: On a global level, we support eco-initiatives throughout the year and lead fundraising campaigns on World Water Day and World Oceans Day.
Rochelle: Where are your products produced?
Jenefer: I am happy to say that our products are all made in California. One of the biggest perks of being a family-run business is that we have direct control over every step of our manufacturing process. Self-regulation of our supply chain is crucial in my opinion, to upholding the integrity of our products.
Rochelle: You have a strong sense of “family” pride with your story, is this a driving force for your company?
Jenefer: Promoting wellness is a big driving force and a mission that unites my family. We all love life-- and enjoy it to the fullest together through travel, good food and good company. We are committed to promoting the wellness of others through safe, effective natural skincare as well as protecting and supporting the wellness of animals and the planet.
Rochelle: What is your overall mission with OSEA?
Jenefer: To create clean, non-toxic, naturally active skincare that is super effective and safe for people, animals and the environment.
Rochelle: If you could only live with one product of your line, what would it be and why?
Jenefer: For the founder of a skincare line, that question is a little like revealing the name of your favorite child! I love all of the products that we make and share with our customers, but my personal favorites for my skin are Ocean Cleanser, Advanced Protection Cream and Sea Minerals. I use these every day on my face. I alternate between the OSEA cleansers depending on what kind of treatment I feel my skin needs. AndI absolutely love Undaria Algae Oil for the body. It makes my skin so silky smooth.
Rochelle: What is your favorite travel destination and why?
Jenefer: Anywhere close to the Sea. It takes my breath away. Every time.
~Rochelle Langere, CEO & Founder of Pearlesque Box