When Jess first discovered British brand Decree, she immediately knew she had to have it at Shen. The doctor-developed line is all about streamlining your beauty routine with concentrated products full of only the best, most tried-and-true active ingredients. Between the efficacious formulas and the absolutely divine textures, it was an absolute no-brainer for us to bring it to the U.S.
Now, the big day is finally here and Decree is officially available as an exclusive at Shen. In honor of the occasion and to celebrate our newfound love of the line, we sat down with founder Dr. Anita Sturnham for this edition of Behind The Brand to learn how Decree came to be, what products are absolute must-haves (hint: The spray-on facial sunscreen is, and we don't use this term lightly, life-changing), and what fun things she has in store for us in 2021.
Brand name: Decree
Founder: Dr Anita Sturnham
Date founded: September 2019
What was the inspiration for the line?
Decree was inspired by several things, the first of which was my patients. At my initial skin consultations, I ask my patients to bring in their skin-care products and show me what they are using from morning to night. Over the years I have seen the same patterns again and again: Many people are using the wrong products on their skin, effectively feeding it with "junk food." I would say that around 90% of the skin issues that I see in my clinics are self inflicted, with the main culprits being the products that they use. The most common issues include overusing products, mixing and matching brands that weren’t designed to go together, product hopping, over-stimulating the skin and over-exfoliating with multiple fruit acid and double-cleansing products. My first priority is to pare things right back and to start them on a simplified skin-care routine — this is a fundamental step to getting healthy skin. I provide my patients with the knowledge and confidence to choose the right products for their skin, morning and night and help them to get the very best out of their skin and to keep it there.
My second key inspiration behind Decree was my in house skin-care line, Nuriss, which I designed for my patients and launched in 2014. We had 32 products in the line, with products for acne, pigmentation, rosacea, anti-aging, etc. I discovered over the years of looking after people’s skin that — regardless of the age, sex, skin type and skin concern of my patients — I was using the same key active ingredients for everyone. It became clear that there was a massive opportunity to strip things back and to simplify skin care down to a collection of products that contain multitasking activities. In my mind, it was time to break down the typical boundaries in skin care. And so, with all of this inspiration, I created Decree.
What is the Decree philosophy?
Decree is a doctor-led brand that simplifies your skin-care with an elegant, yet efficacious daily and weekly protocol. We use clinically proven active ingredients that are designed to feed, nourish, restore and protect your skin at a cellular level. Decree offers the ultimate daily and weekly skin-care ritual, working in line with the skin’s 24-hour circadian rhythm to ensure your skin gets the nutrients it needs for optimum health.
Decree's skin-care philosophies:
- Every dose matters
- Consistency is everything
- Each pump is prescribed
- Radiant, smooth, plump, firm... always
- Effective skin care, simplified
- Hydration is absolute
What was the first product you developed and why did you create it?
When creating Decree, I wanted to launch a complete skin-care system, so I developed nine products over a three-year period, rather than launch one product at a time. I had my work cut out creating so many products alongside each other, but I do love a challenge. Fortunately, I had clear objectives in my mind, in terms of the type of formulations I wanted to create, the key actives I wanted to include, and I had the benefit of 16 years of experience treating skin conditions, observing the way that the skin responds to different ingredients and understanding which combinations of actives work best when used together. My clinical experience allowed me to fast track the development process.
What is your best selling product and why do you think that is?
Treat Tincture, our night serum, has been a bestseller since we launched. It has been labelled the definitive night serum by those in the industry and I guess the beauty of the product comes from the combination of ingredients used, the texture (it feels like an oil, but it’s rosewater-based and non pore-clogging) and it comes in a dosed dropper, so you get the exact amount of product needed for the face and neck each time you use it. I’ve combined the active ingredients from five of the serums in my previous in-house line and put them into this one product, making it a multitasking product that is suitable for all skin types. I wanted to reduce the number of serums people use on their skin by creating "uber" serums. In this product we have added plant-based stems cells for rejuvenation, a modern form of retinoid that gives you all the benefits of Vitamin A without the downtime, pigment stabilizing alpha arbutin, barrier supportive squalane and hyaluronic acid, all in a rosewater base.
What's your personal favorite?
This is like asking a mother to choose a favorite child — you simply can’t! I honestly love the whole range but in terms of the products that make the most difference to my skin, I would say I couldn’t live without the AM serum, Protect Elixir, and the PM serum, Treat Tincture. A well-formulated serum provides the active deeper dermal layers of your skin, with active ingredients that will really make a difference to your skin. Our AM serum is loaded with antioxidants vitamin C,B, & E, ferulic acid, coenzyme Q10, mineral cofactors, copper peptide complex, hyaluronic acid, and chondrus crispus extract in a rose water base. What more could your skin ask for in a day serum!
What makes Decree unique?
Many doctor-led skin-care brands have complicated regimens to follow and come in packaging that isn’t particularly luxurious, textures that don’t absorb easily into the skin, and often smell of their unpleasant raw materials. For this reason, people don’t use the products consistently and we know that consistency is key to seeing the true benefits of a product. Decree is a doctor-led brand that simplifies the skin-care regimen, encouraging compliance by providing a luxurious, sensorial yet highly efficacious routine.
In a world that demands more transparency than ever before, Decree’s messaging is confident and clear, proudly displaying our dosed actives, their percentages and purpose on our secondary packaging. Our aim is to build a relationship based on trust with our consumer. Decree is a range that empowers the consumer to become an expert in their own skin. Decree will allow the consumer to enjoy their simplified yet effective skin-care regimen and to see the skin benefits that following a consistent skin-care routine can bring. The carefully formulated products, with luxurious textures, moorish botanical extract scents, and beautiful, soft touch packaging makes following a structured skin-care regimen a pleasure and not a chore.
Decree is committed to challenging boundaries that surround skin care. For example, the widespread belief that consumers must buy multiple products to target different skin concerns, for different ages and skin types. When, in fact, there are a number of key ingredients that are multi-functional and beneficial for all ages, sex, and skin type. Skin care can be simplified.
What's one surprising thing people might not know about Decree?
At a glance, you perhaps wouldn’t realize that Decree is a doctor-led brand, with clinical-strength formulations, as the products look so beautiful. The formulations are used in all of my clinic facial protocols, too — they really make a difference to your skin. Decree brings that clinical expertise to the high street, in an elegant and efficacious way.
What do you want people to think of when they think of Decree?
I want people to think of Decree as being their "one-stop" skin-care solution, providing their skin with everything it needs from morning to night. For those who are fed up having to decipher the beauty hall for their skin care, Decree offers a refreshingly simple Daily and Weekly protocol, that delivers your best skin and keeps it there. Using your Decree should also feel like a special moment of self care each day. Just taking a few minutes morning and night to apply your Decree not only helps to boost your mood and happiness, but also your skin confidence.
What was one of the biggest challenges you faced when you launched?
I would have to say that the biggest challenge was creating nine unique formulations and launching them at the same time. It was a 24/7 job for me outside of my job working as a doctor and running my clinic. The formulations are complex and some of them required up to ten attempts to get them just right.
How did you know you'd made it as a brand?
As a brand founder, I am always striving to grow the brand and achieve the next milestone, but when I reflect back on key moments, a month after launch an influential independent journalist, with a huge global reach, dedicated a double page spread to our brand, highlighting our Treat Tincture serum as the ‘holy grail’. We sold out across all channels within 48 hours and I was blown away. This is still our bestselling product to this very day.
What is your proudest moment as a founder?
I have so many proud moments but I would say the starting point was seeing three years of hard work come to fruition, when I launched Decree in September 2019 and saw the products on sale in store and online with the major player beauty retailers, lined up next to huge global brands.
What can we expect from the brand in the future? Any exciting news you can share?
We have so many exciting things planned for Decree. Over the past two years we have been working on the creation of five new products that will compliment the core Decree line and we will launch these in 2021/22. We are working towards being a fully vegan doctor-led brand, with seven of our core products being vegan currently and the remaining vegetarian. We aim to be fully vegan by the end of 2021. We also have a strong focus on sustainability and our new products feature fully recyclable, reusable packaging and, of course, our brand is cruelty free. We are about to launch the world's first fully recyclable and biodegradable sheet mask, the Decree Revitalising SOS Mask, and our new vegan Protect Elixir serum.