Tell me a bit about yourself and your background?
I grew up in London, and I worked for a long time in museum and exhibition design. I suppose it combined my creative side with my nerdy fascination for research and obsessive archiving. I’d done an aromatherapy course while at uni, and at home I catalogued essential oils and plant and herb extracts like a museum archivist would.
All my life I had wanted to relocate to Spain - I spent my childhood summers at my grandmother’s place in Galicia - and finally I left London for Barcelona to dive full time into aromatherapy and essential oils. What had always been a hobby - mixing my own bespoke cosmetics at home using all natural ingredients - turned into launching my own brand. I’m still experimenting and creating, but now I have an amazing team working with me and we are growing in a way that’s really exciting.
What is your favorite product out of the range that you carry and why?
Everything is good, obviously. I would say that wouldn’t I? But our star product is our Balancing Face Oil That’s where it all started, and the formula has barely changed in two decades. It’s just a fantastic powerhouse of goodness. Rose Oil and geranium oils, evening primrose and argan, Japanese rice bran… all fantastic ingredients that give your skin an intense boost. More than 10 essential oils and plant and herb extracts packed into one little bottle.
It’s the product that goes everywhere with me. It’s suitable for everyone, and it has an instant impact. It kind of ticks every box for me; super good for your skin’s health, gives you a gorgeous no make-up glow, and smells incredible, making it a relaxing massage therapy with benefits!
Are there any particular designers/brands that inspire you?
I really admire brands like Celine, Le Labo, and Acne Studios – brands that go beyond the realm of what they are selling to create their own universe that criss-crosses art, architecture, contemporary culture, that is happy to go against the grain, and that stands for great craftsmanship, quality and design.
What inspired you to start making skincare products? What was the first product you made?
Well, you might say it began with the aromatherapy course I did at uni, but the process really started when I was mixing my own cosmetics in my kitchen in Kennington, in London. I couldn’t find anything on the market that met my needs. I wanted a face oil that was all natural, and that gave my skin the kind of nutrient kick that left it looking and feeling refreshed.
After much experimentation, I came up with what is now our star product - our natural Balancing Face Oil. I started gifting it to friends and family, and they couldn't get enough. Soon I was trying to keep up with demand, and I realised I could turn this into something more than just a hobby.
Developing my collection of premium essential oils and plant extracts into more products was a natural evolution. And the rest, as they say, is history.
What’s next for you? Do you have any new products in the pipeline?
We are growing in a really organic way. We aren’t in a rush, and we don’t want to compromise in terms of our collaborations with retailers. We are developing new products and testing them, making sure we arrive at products we are happy will compliment our existing range. We’re working with customer feedback, and developing really productive relationships with stored and websites we love. Our next step is expanding our availability and growing our client base.
Maybe it’s the Mediterranean culture… When we cook we use the best ingredients, and we go slowly, savouring the smells and tastes, maybe with a glass or two of wine. We’re cooking with gas, as they say, but enjoying every step.
Tell us something we don’t know about Alex Carro?
I’m lucky enough to live in Barcelona, a Mediterranean city that’s really connected to nature. I spend a lot of time out of the city in our old farmhouse in the mountains, where I have my home lab. Whenever I need some inspiration, whether it’s for our product development or the brand direction in general, a walk in the forest always does the trick.
The smells and textures of plants and wild herbs reminds me of why I started all this in the first place. I was recently in Formentera, a really wild unspoilt island, where purple flowering thyme was growing wild all over the place. That smell set my mind working on fragrances and ideas for our next products…