What is Holifrog? Founder Emily Parr breaks down how to use the buzzy face wash

Emily Parr is changing the skincare game one face wash at a time. 

The Poke Public Relations founder and her business partner, Majeed Hemmat, have teamed up to fill a gap in the beauty industry with a collection of four facial washes, called HoliFrog. Chances are you probably already have your go-to face wash, but does it meet each need of your daily routine? (waking up, post-workout, removing your makeup, etc.) And do you even really know what's in it?

HoliFrog isn't just another here-today-gone-tomorrow skincare fad. The line of cleansers have the clean ingredients and scientific facts to back up its $40 price tag.

So, what exactly is the difference between each one and when should you be using them? AOL caught up with Parr, where she took us through an extensive deep dive of everything you need to know, from the formula to the benefits of each ingredient. Read our full conversation below!

Tell me a little bit about the gap in the market you wanted to fill with HoliFrog?

Beyond it being a personal crusade (I wash my face 3-4 times/day) + my favorite skincare step (it’s real catharsis for me), no one was “hero-ing” the category. We’ve come a long way since “lather, rinse, repeat”. I don’t mean to get too philosophical here; However washing your face isn’t the sort of thing you overthink, but we found that there needed to be much more thought put into this category than what was currently being offered. First of all, washing your face is a skincare regimen non-negotiable. And not doing so properly is like eating a salad without washing the leaves (I will let you imagine those consequences!).

Then of course, we noticed how there is so much innovation coming out of the serum, cream and mask categories but we found that cleansers were supremely overlooked and under-thought. I felt married to all other categories BUT my cleanser routine. After a deep dive, we found that the majority of them are water and surfactants with a few key ingredients sprinkled in for good measure (most cleansers on the market have 30-40% surfactant (cleansing agents) in them; whereas we have 3-8%). This led us to imagine a world where cleansers could deliver a fresh canvas but do so by also flooding the skin with nutrient dense formulas because cleanser counts … big time.

These are 'situational' cleansers. Can you share about which cleanser works best in what situation?

I realized that since our washes are gentle and formulated for all skin types, due to their low percentage of surfactants and high percentage of rich oils & hydrators, I was choosing my cleanser based on my skin’s needs which change throughout the day. Here is my personal wash-routine, which covers multiple situations!

  • I start the morning with Tashmoo (our milky wash) to wake up my skin ... and wash away the drool and sleep sweat, of course! It's super gentle (it’s a nice refresh because you don't need anything heavy duty in the morning) but floods my skin with amino acids and hydration from apricot oil, sunflower seed oil, Vitamin E, water lily and lotus! Doesn’t that sound like a lovely way to face the day?
  • After my workout, I use Shasta (our alpha hydroxy acid wash). This one has 5% AHA acid to de-gunk my skin after an intense workout but is counterbalanced with rich oils like tamanu and rosehip; the surfactant level is super mild (3.4%), so you won’t dry out from AHAs and high levels of surfactant. I think of this one like a serum cleanser, so definitely don’t skip out early: leave it on for a minute to let it sink in and get to work!
  • At the end of the day, I double cleanse religiously by massaging an oil-based balm likeKissimmeeonto dry skin and then emulsify with warm water to whisk off the surface grime. For the encore, follow up with Superior (our gel wash) for a hardcore yet gentle wash to really oust any clingy residue but also flood it with Omega 3,6,9s, Pre + Probiotics. At night, you want a little extra elbow grease because the entire day is on your face (and likely will have made its way into your pores). So double cleansing is a must for your wash cycle! 

What is the biggest misconception about clean or natural products?

Often times when someone hears the terms natural or clean, they assume that the products won’t be effective. It’s important to understand that ingredients derived from nature are great, but so are some man-made ones. That’s why, when formulating the HoliWashes, we considered the scientific data backing up the efficacy and safety of every included ingredient, cherry-picking only the champions that fulfilled our criteria: they need to work (obviously), they need to be safe, and they need to protect and enhance the health of the skin (meaning no lazy fillers allowed). We formulate responsibly, using ingredients in harmony with skin.

HoliFrog is all about being holistic above all. (It’s in the name, after all.) That means using intentional ingredients that are proven and reliable, never risky. They shouldn’t just boost your skin’s health and its natural healing abilities, they should also contribute to your overall well-being. That’s why careful goes a lot further than clean with us. Consider it the halo effect of responsible and thoughtful formulation.

What is the biggest mistake people when shopping for a new cleanser or skincare product?

I want to cringe when people think that if a cleanser is not foaming up then it’s not working. Here’s the reality: the higher the foam, the more surfactant (surfactant is short for surface active agent. Surfactants degrease & emulsify oils and dissolve dirt, allowing them to be washed away.); the more surfactant in a cleanser, the more it’s stripping your skin. Since the majority of cleansers on the market use 30-40% surfactant in their formula, changes are that most of us have gotten used to that “squeaky clean” feeling.

If your face feels tight after you wash, it’s definitely too drying for your skin. That’s the norm and it’s terrifying to me, as someone who washes her face 4x/day (due to my workout schedule!). The punch-line here is: clean smarter, not harder!

What is the one ingredient you would never sacrifice in your skincare regime and why?

Non-fragrant plant oils: Each HoliFrog formula has a unique set of non-fragrant plant oils to help breakdown dirt + debris but also to counterbalance the effects of surfactants. For example: Kissimmee is made up of grape seed, sunflower, mongongo, cranberry seed, marula, avocado, moringa, and jojoba oils; Tashmoo uses apricot and sunflower oils; Superior uses grape seed, broccoli seed, camellia seed, flaxseed and sea buckthorn oils; Shasta uses tamanu and rosehip seed oils.

I can’t use fragrant oils, as they irritate my skin and can be very allergenic for many. Since there are so many non-fragrant luxurious oils that carry ingredients deeper into the skin, loading them into our products was a no-brainer for us! As an oily skin girl, I’ve learned that fighting oil with oil is very effective! The gentler you are to your skin, by flooding it with the non-fragrant plant oils, the more balanced it will be. Don’t deprive your skin of it’s fatty nutrition!

What does being holistic mean to you?!

Holistic means that everything is functions synergistically; each individual part is comprised of a working whole. I’ve always lived my life holistically. Everything is intimately interconnected. Every decision I make, down to the time I go to bed at night (I go to bed between 10-11pm every night because it affects my efficiency the next day), is predicated by holism. When it came time for us to formulate HoliFrog, I told our chemist on the first call: “I want every ingredient to be a KEY ingredient.” Everything in our formulas has a positive function because one less than superior ingredient can have a negative effect on someone’s skin and ultimately wipe out the entire formula’s benefits.

My skin is super moody and will react to almost anything that shouldn’t be idling on the ingredient deck. We focused heavily on “acing the base”. Because anyone can throw in incredible or highly active ingredients at less than one percent. But it’s the base of the formula that actually is the highest percent, quantitatively.

There is a lot that falls in between a brand’s Key Ingredients and their “No List”. It’s that gray area that can actually throw the entire formula off for someone’s skin. The good, the bad and the in between all work together synergistically.

Can you tease what's next for HoliFrog?

We have 3 more washes to add to our “wash wardrobe” in 2020 before we progressive into new skincare territory! I’m already rotating washes #5 + #6 into my repertoire!

HoliFrog is available to shop now at Bloomingales, Net-A-Porter,Dermstore

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