Pernilla Ronnberg's background as CEO of a skincare business taught her a great many things. But chief among them - and the factor that proved the biggest impetus to starting her own line - was knowing how many harsh chemicals went into most skincare products.
'I just knew that there were a lot of ingredients that weren't good,' Ronnberg says.
In 2008 the Stockholm-based entrepreneur founded Estelle & Thild, with six organic baby care products, which she created between the birth of her two daughters, Estelle and Mathilde.
The idea came about, she says, when she realised that it was almost impossible to find baby creams and oils that didn't contain the usual repertoire of synthetics, including parabens and sulphates.
A drugstore-variety lotion can have up to 25 chemicals in it - and given the extent to which the body absorbs topical products, R?nnberg was alarmed enough to jump into action.
Since then, Estelle & Thild has expanded to 35 products including those for adults in the body, face, hair and lip categories. But the focus remains on pure and organic ingredients and an absence of synthetics.
'Our whole company is built on these values,' says Ronnberg, whose brand is now sold in some 930 stores in Scandinavia and a growing number in Asia and Europe. 'We think of sustainability, health and the environment.'
Ronnberg concedes that one of the criticisms levelled at a number of natural skincare lines is that they are less effective than the more chemically-driven ones. Still, she says, nature abounds with healing and restorative elements, and it is important to forego the hype when looking for a skincare product and focus more on the essence of the ingredient.
'My belief is that there is nothing that can take away wrinkles or do those fantastic things that are promised,' she says.
When creating Estelle & Thild, Ronnberg conferred with a dermatologist who agreed that the most effective treatment for anti-ageing was high doses of vitamins.
To that end, the products for advanced age already have high concentrations of jojoba oil and rose otto oil that help moisturise the skin on a deep level, allowing the complexion to look healthier and younger.
Much of the company's success can be attributed to its image as an upmarket, sophisticated line housed in elegant packaging.
'We wanted to offer the next generation of skincare,' Ronnberg says. 'We wanted it to have a luxurious feeling. Our customers have a healthy lifestyle, they care about what they consume and they want to be more organic with everything they use.'
Estelle & Thild is sold at Harvey Nichols.