A New Approach to Healthy Beauty
At illumai, our approach to creating our products is centered in interconnectedness. We believe all things ‒ especially biological systems, the environment, even the people who use our products – are connected. We reject the 20th-century approach of “better living through chemistry.” Instead, we embrace the “do no harm” mantra of our founders. We know that true beauty is expressed from the inside out – that the vital, sexy, most attractive look is one that reflects one’s underlying health and vigor. Our goal? Healthy Beauty That Is Sustainable.
That’s why all illumai products work with what Mother Nature provided – a healthy biome. The biome is the living ecosystem of scalp, follicles, hair, glands, peptides, proteins, moisturizing oils and related microbiota that live within this ecosystem. Remember the interconnectedness of all things? Well, it’s perfectly demonstrated here. Everything benefits when the biome is healthy. It keeps the moisture balanced perfectly. It protects us from infection, irritation or worse. It prevents symptoms like frizzy hair, flaky scalp, split ends, itchiness, dry hair, irritation or other unattractive or uncomfortable situations.
The key to healthy beauty is to care for the biome that supports it.
We specifically reject the conventional approach to hair care – which is to strip dirt and oils off the hair with detergents, then replace the oils with silicones and other conditioning agents. This causes an array of symptoms, from the simple (like damage, frizziness and dryness) to the more serious (inflammation, infection and disease). In the process, they destroy the natural strength and beauty of the skin and hair itself. Further, we reject the use of parabens, formaldehydes or any other preservative, because they kill the microbiome – an important part of a healthy biome.
All of these chemicals aren’t just bad for us. They’re bad for our environment too. When Dr. Zasloff saw the damage these chemicals cause to the biome – and their repercussions – he challenged himself to find a better method.
The illumai Essential System - A Better Way
The illumai Essential System is the only biome care system for the scalp and hair. We use unique, naturally-derived ingredients that never overstrip, weigh down, irritate or destroy. By respecting the biome, illumai's 7 simple ingredients simply deliver... and do no harm. Here’s how:
Gentler, safer cleansing - we use XO-70® in cleanse shampoo. XO-70 is a patented combination of ingredients derived from natural sources: Lauryl Methylglucamide (made from coconut oil and plant starch) and Decyl Glucoside (made from corn germ oil and plant starch). These two mild surfactants work in tandem to remove dirt, excess oil, sweat and product build-up, but leave your biome intact. That means essential proteins, peptides and lipids remain to keep your hair and scalp protected. Even better, XO-70 has ceramide-like properties – this means that it closely mimics the surface layer of lipids naturally occurring on the scalp and can temporarily fill in “pothole” like damage until the scalp can heal on its own.
What does all this mean for you? Hair and scalp that gets stronger and healthier with every wash.
Further, most other cleansers contain detergents with a negative electrostatic charge – and this leaves a dulling residue, attracts dirt and causes static. Ever heard of ionic hairdryers? Their main purpose is to reverse the negative charge left on your hair from a sulfate-based shampoo. XO-70® is not anionically charged – no negative charge on your hair, no dulling film, extra dirt or flyaways. It also doesn’t lift of up the cuticle on the hair shaft, so your hair stays stronger, shinier and less frizzy – and if you color, the pigment can’t be washed out.
Protein for strength! We use Isoleucine (an amino acid) in the nurture conditioner. Although our bodies can’t produce isoleucine on their own, we need it to help repair and add strength to our biomes. Our patented use of isoleucine adds strength and body to the cortex of the hair, repairing and reinforcing damaged spots. And when treated with isoleucine, our scalps produce antimicrobial peptides – a natural self-defense that fights against bad bacteria and the inflammation, irritation or infection they can cause.
Unlike heavy silicone-based conditioners, nurture leaves your hair light and full of strength and shine.
Soft and silky - we use natural lipids in protect leave-in spray. A patent-pending mix of lipids from vegetable and canola seed sources that activate when shaken. The lipid molecules join forces and seek out your most damaged areas, providing a natural protective shield to your strands. They also detangle, waterproof and lock in moisture naturally – leaving hair silky, shiny and primed for styling.
The illumai Essential System is the only hair care system backed by over 25 years of pioneering research into the dermal biome. We take our impact as a product company seriously and understand we don't live in the world, we live with it. With three simple steps and 7 naturally-derived ingredients, we promise to cleanse, nurture and protect the naturally brilliant balance of your biome, all while doing no harm. Sustainable, healthy beauty no matter what your hair type? Now that’s brilliant.
Sulfates, such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), are chemicals used to create strong detergents. Because they are such efficient cleansers and degreasers, sulfates are commonly used in manufacturing and construction industries to clean heavy machinery.