How Bend Beauty is transforming skincare from the inside out

Allison Murray

Published May 15, 2020
in Case Studies

By Allison Murray

Marc St-Onge is the founder and CEO of a Halifax-based company that’s creating a buzz in the skincare industry. But you won’t find the latest skin cream, serum, or devices on Bend Beauty’s website. This might seem unusual for a skincare company, but it starts to make sense when you understand how St-Onge and his team are working to redefine what we think of as beauty.

The company pairs their concept of beauty with a new approach to skincare that works from the inside out: ingestible supplements, instead of conventional topical treatments.

“Our brand really stands for authentic beauty. When we talk about beauty and skin care, we talk about the need for us to look at things from a very holistic view,” says St-Onge.

To be consciously beautiful is to live a life conscious of all the things that contribute to us feeling beautiful. It’s the types of relationships we invest in, the environments we surround ourselves in. It’s our ability to maintain and nourish a body that makes us feel strong and full of vitality

St. Onge became interested in this idea a little over ten years ago when he was CEO of Ascenta Health, a manufacturer of Omega-3 health supplements that had begun researching skincare and nutraceuticals. When Ascenta was purchased in 2015 and St-Onge exited, he took the IP around skincare with him and started Bend.

“I was very compelled with the findings, the development that we had carried out, and the opportunity to really transform a whole industry. That’s really the genesis of the name Bend Beauty. We’re looking to really transform or ‘bend’ the skin care category,” says St-Onge. “Our science-based approach treats the skin by treating the whole body, delivering results you can see and feel.”

This transformation extends to the company’s environmental impact, with Bend committed to becoming a leader in sustainability.

The company has built their environmental strategy around three main pillars: renewable energy, a responsible supply chain, and charitable giving. As a Bullfrog Power partner, they are offsetting their energy consumption and supporting renewable energy projects in Canada. Bend combines this with the energy-saving measures they’ve introduced to the company.

As part of operating a responsible supply chain, Bend sources marine ingredients from responsible fisheries, such as those certified by MSC and Friends of the Sea.

They’ve also developed an environmental purchasing policy that covers their other suppliers. “We really scrutinize everything that we do internally. For example, whenever we need to use caterers, we have caterers who are pre-approved and meet our environmental purchasing policy guidelines,” says St-Onge. “This policy guides us on everything that we ever need to purchase for Bend.” This approach extends to their packaging as well, where they choose recyclable glass over plastic options.

Bend also donates one percent of gross sales to environmental non-profits through their partnership with 1% for the Planet. “We chose this part of our strategy to empower those at the frontline of environmental defence,” says St-Onge. “The organizations we give to are all vetted to ensure that the type of work that they’re doing, the quality of that work and the impact they’re creating aligns with our impact vision.”

St-Onge—who describes himself as one part business, one part science and two parts tree hugger—is passionate about using business to create positive change around wellness and sustainability.

“Bend is not just transforming the skincare industry, but really leading with the idea that business can be a force for change and a force for transformation, including around the environment,” he says.