I’m here with Valérie Grandury the founder of Odacité Skincare, it’s so nice to have you here.
Thank you for coming to chat with me.
We are going to get to know Valérie a little bit better. I’d love to get to know a little bit more about you and your beautiful range of skincare that we are all so fond of. Can you tell me where you’re from and what brought you to Los Angeles?
I was born and raised in Paris—Paris, France. I came to LA with the new millennium and I completely fell in love with California. I just thought, ok, new millennium, new adventure—let’s move the entire family to LA. Et voila!
Would you say you were always very green and very interested in a wellness lifestyle? I know that’s very important to you now.
It’s interesting. So, Americans, they think that the French are natural because we eat well. It’s true, we don’t use very much processed foods and everything. But if you think about it, we are absolutely not green. I was interested in it, but I think the big change is because I got really ill and that’s how I got into looking into how your lifestyle can completely impact your life. In a bad way as well as in a great way.
After becoming well and after throwing yourself into a wellness lifestyle, how did Odacité happen?
It really happened out of this healing journey. Basically I was told that I had five years to live. They found three tumours in my breasts, it was metastatic, my lymph nodes—it only gets better from here.
I really got interested in a different approach of treating cancer, and one of the things that came back from all of the alternative doctors was immunotherapy—basically the idea that you are an amazing machine that was built with its own healing mechanism called the immune system. What happens because of lifestyle choices or aggressive environmental factors, your immune system is compromised and that’s how diseases happen. And so, I went to study in different places and basically I decided to completely detoxify my life. I quit my job, I went to back to school to become a health and wellness coach, started yoga and meditation everyday, adopted a raw vegan diet, and I embarked on this healing journey. This is how I realized the toxicity of personal care products.
What was interesting was that I knew that my diet and lifestyle had to change, but when I was told that I had to change my skincare, my make up, you know, I was like, ‘What? There are toxins in those things?!’ You know in France, we love skincare, so it was like ‘Ok, I have to change that, too.’ So basically, that’s how Odacite was born because I couldn't really find—and we’re talking about 13 years ago, and today things have changed. But when I went to Wholefoods, everything I found on the shelf was like, first it looked awful and it smelled like Patchouli. It felt like you dipped your head in oil, and every one of my French genes became allergic to it, and i was like ‘Ok’. I wasn’t really, really compromising about toxins, but I was also not wanting to compromise the results. I wanted a French approach to skincare—it’s luxurious, it's that moment, it’s that pleasure, it’s that very complete moment for you, it’s that femininity, that self care, self love. So I wanted this without the toxins. Because I couldn’t find it, well I thought it can’t be that difficult to make, and it literally started.
Before I was ill, I had a production company. I was producing commercials all over the world, and I had this army of location scouts. I called and hired them to go and find me the best natural ingredient from their country. And that’s how it started.
It started for me and for my health and wellness clients, and then through word of mouth it grew to a lot of private clients. Then I had an article in French Vogue and people started calling me from all over the world, and started traveling and got to the point where it just wanted to become a company. It was really interesting because I didn't really start with wanting it to be a skincare company. It kind of grew on me.
It’s that journey of bringing life back into my body, and it was also a journey of bringing life back into my skin through creating custom skin care for my clients. Et voila! The rest is history!
"I wanted a French approach to skincare—it’s luxurious, it's that moment, it’s that pleasure, it’s that very complete moment for you, it’s that femininity, that self care, self love."
I love that story. I love the idea of you receiving these packages from all over the world full of these exquisite ingredients and really using that as a source to make your line that is so unique and special.
Ingredients are really so fascinating. I love to cook and in a way, it’s very similar. It has the same—I don’t know how to say in English—that understanding that rosehip seed oil has all of this vitamin C in it, and how it can completely boost the collagen into your skin. And, you know, tamanu oil—our tamanu oil comes from the Madagascar island, and it’s completely nourishing to those small capillaries. All of a sudden you’ve been immersed into beautiful ingredients. And you begin to wonder why do we even put anything else on our skin? It doesn’t make any sense!
I know!! Right? [Laughing]
Speaking of skincare and food, some people, when they first begin to get into Odacité, they see this range of serum concentrates, and they may feel a little, tiny bit overwhelmed because they’re not really sure. I love the way you explain it. So if people are just getting into Odacité, and they’re wondering about the serum concentrates, could you tell us about the thought process?
Yes, this is really what I think makes Odacité stand apart from the rest of the skincare industry. After three years working with private clients what I really tried to understand was that no matter how wonderful your products are, it seems like they don’t work every day. I was wondering why this was happening. And in fact there is now really good research that 80% of your skin concerns are actually due to environmental factors that you don’t really have control over: weather, pollution, your stress levels, stress levels of your loved ones, what you eat, what you drink, your hormones. All of this is affecting your skin so dramatically that you can wake up with dehydrated skin, and the next morning because you’re stressed you completely lack radiance. So I designed this series of serums so that you could customize your skincare routine in a very powerful and effective way, but also very simple.
So if you don’t want to change everything, but today you are going through a lack of hydration, you add just a couple of drops of hydration. If it’s, you know, sun damage, it’s summer, and you feel like you’re having some hyperpigmentation, you bring in the serum concentrate for hyperpigmentation. It’s super simple because it tells you on the bottle what it is for. You know most people have a couple of skin concerns that alternate, so you can have your little tools at home that allow you to either use it pure for a more intensive treatment, or mix it into your crème, your moisturizer, to give it a boost into the direction that your skin really needs.
And you said something that I really liked, how we don’t eat the same food every day— you say it better—what is it that you say?
The skin needs to be fed topically, and the thing is that if you give your skin the same product every day, it no longer needs it. Just the way you don’t eat the same food every day.
But even if we ate, like, the best food every day, like kale, you would still likely need other nutrients. So in order to have all of these nutrients, you need to alternate your products. So by customizing it, what is happening is that not only are you customizing it and targeting the specific skin concern, but you also alternate with what you were doing the day before.
Perfect, thank you, I love that so much.
Would you say that Odacité has French and Californian roots?
Yes! I hope so!! I think it’s really the DNA of the company is marrying that French approach of skincare which is all about the research and results and luxury and pleasure, with my newly adopted green California lifestyle.
And I know that you live in Topanga, if someone has never been to Topanga Canyon in California...
Ohh you need to go [turning to camera] [Laughing]
How would you describe it and how does it affect your creative process, I know it’s integral to the DNA of your brand?
For those that don’t know Topanga Canyon, it’s kind of the bohemian chic part of Los Angeles, right? It’s where all of the hippie movement started so you still have the kind of ‘flower power’, you know, intention in Topanga. Two thirds of Topanga is state park with incredible wilderness, and you’re 10 minutes from the ocean. And then within 20 minutes you can be almost everywhere. So you have the best of two worlds. You have the city that’s there, and then you have this incredible little pocket. It looks very much like the south of france. It’s the same climate, it’s the same vegetation
Yes, exactly. And for me, I started my healing journey in Topanga. And that’s what Topanga is for me. It’s about having that complete connection with nature.
And lastly, why is green beauty so important?
I almost want to say that it's almost indispensable. There are so many reasons. The first reason, you know, I was speaking with my mum and she was saying that in her generation almost no one had breast cancer, and in my generation it’s almost like an epidemic. Like I don’t know, one out of three of my friends has breast cancer. And now I hear super young women have breast cancer, and any kind of feminine cancers, and we now know that one of the main problems is that personal care products are hormone disruptors.
And hormone disruptors, they imbalance. It’s a whole thing—the imbalance of hormones is what triggers breast cancer. You know, I think that there's a health problem. It really has become a health problem now, and things are changing. And at a higher level we need to take care of our planet. Whatever you put on your body finally ends up in the water and in your environment. And the last one, if you really want to have beautiful skin, it’s just as simple as this, you know that if you want to be healthy you’re not going to eat processed food. Well it’s the same thing for your skin. If you want healthy skin you cannot put processed products on it either. You really need to go natural. So I think that there are a lot of good reasons: your health, the environment, and being beautiful and glowing for the rest of your life.
Let me be selfish! You look better!! [Laughing]
That’s what’s so great about green beauty, there’s really a nice offering of products that are really both effective and natural. You can go and do something for the environment and for your health at the same time, with the complete intention of being beautiful.
Exactly! Whatever your priorities are, you can hit everything!
Valérie, thank you for taking the time to speak with me!
My pleasure, of course. Merci!