A feel good formula

From then to REN. Michelle Brett, CEO of REN talks to us about a pioneering approach to clean skin & planet

REN Clean Skincare was born in 2000 in London when the founder’s pregnant wife began to experience sensitivity from her everyday beauty products. The result was a skincare brand that is attuned to pure ingredients, pure pleasure and peak performance for your skin and the planet. As our spa partners for Glastonbury 2024, we chat to REN CEO Michelle Brett to find out how she stepped into the role and what the future is for sustainable beauty.

How did you get involved in REN?

REN’s longstanding reputation as a pioneer in the field of clean skincare deeply resonated with me, as it reflects both my personal values and professional aspirations. When REN entered the US market back in 2005 I was one of the early adopters and have been a loyal customer ever since.

Their dedication to utilising bioactive, high-performance ingredients through a blend of science and nature has always intrigued me, and when I joined in 2022, I was excited to establish REN as a global leader in clean skincare that delivered real results. Their commitment to harnessing innovative ingredients while maintaining a clean ethos has always focused on efficacy, purity and sustainability.

This focus on sustainability was also hugely appealing, as I was enthusiastic about evolving REN’s ground-breaking initiatives as a responsibility we owe to our planet and future generations. REN’s proactive approach in this area demonstrated the brand’s genuine commitment to making a positive impact on the environment. I saw potential in enhancing and expanding these initiatives, fostering a comprehensive approach to beauty that encompasses both personal well-being and environmental stewardship.

What is clean skincare?

REN pioneered Clean Skincare, creating products (and a market) that challenged traditional, often synthetic ingredients. We work to a comprehensive (and continually changing) ‘NO’ list (since the launch of the brand in 2000), favouring ingredients with proven skin benefits, sourced from nature with minimal environmental impact. 

What trends can we expect over the next year or so?

Clean beauty remains a beacon, with consumers increasingly drawn to products that blend effectiveness with environmental consciousness. Tech-Driven personalisation is increasingly taking centre stage, leveraging innovations like AI analysis and genetic testing to offer tailored skincare solutions. And as wellness converges with skincare, expect to see a surge in products infused with ingredients like adaptogens and CBD, reflecting a holistic approach to beauty and well-being.

What are the challenges in building a sustainable brand?

Sustainability is an integral part of our identity and mission. It influences every stage of our product development, from ingredient sourcing to packaging, shipping, and marketing.

For instance, our latest product, the REN Clean Skincare PHA Exfoliating Facial, exemplifies our commitment to eco innovation. We’ve used Pomegranate Enzymes sustainably sourced and upcycled from fermented fruit pulp to gently breakdown and digest dead skin cell build up to reveal even glowing skin. Even at the end of its lifecycle, our product is designed to be 100% recyclable, with a 65% post reduced plastic tube and carton made from FSC board. 

In 2021, we achieved our goal of becoming a zero waste brand, a milestone we set in 2018 to combat packaging waste, which often ends up in landfills. We’ve consciously formulated skincare using sustainable and upcycled ingredients, responsibly sourced to preserve native ecosystems.

What’s next for REN?

Continuing to innovate is key to serving our community, whether through new product launches, responsible ingredient sourcing and continual sustainable packaging modifications. As a brand that does not compromise, we consistently review & introduce new ways of delivering results while reducing our impact on the planet. 

What have been your favourite career moments?

I’m at my best when surrounded by a team of people who trust me and my leadership. Throughout my career I’ve been lucky enough to cultivate and be a part of a positive, supportive community, no matter which company I work for. In the short time I’ve been with REN, I’ve built this community further, and look forward to continuing to build on this.

What does luxury mean to you?

Luxury, to me, transcends mere opulence or extravagance. It’s about an experience that indulges the senses while embodying values that resonate deeply. At REN luxury isn’t defined solely by high price tags or lavish packaging. Instead, it’s about the meticulous attention to detail, the commitment to sustainability, and the efficacy of our products. Luxury means knowing that every ingredient has been thoughtfully sourced, every formulation meticulously crafted, and every aspect of our brand designed with the utmost care for the planet and its inhabitants.

For me luxury encompasses the intangible elements of experience and emotion. It’s the feeling of using a product that not only delivers exceptional results but also aligns with your values and beliefs. Luxury for me is about elevating everyday moments into something extraordinary. 


What is your daily skin routine?

I keep it regular and simple. Cleansing with REN Skincare Evercalm Gel Cleanser in the morning, Glow and Protect Vitamin C plus SPF. PM I remove makeup and SPF with our lovely Balm Cleanser REN Perfect Canvas Clean Jelly Oil Cleanser, followed by Evercalm Gel Cleanser, Glow Tonic and Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm to feed thirsty skin and replenish skin barrier (like a hug in a jar for your skin). 

Favourite REN product

There’s a few!  One of our best sellers is our Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic.  Delivering seven skincare benefits in one 100% recycled bottle, it packs a punch without triggering sensitivity, exfoliating, brightening and tightening pores in one simple swipe.  Also, our Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm, one sells every 10 minutes!  Rich and nourishing,  moisturizing and repairing overnight, perfect for thirsty skin that’s skin barrier needs strengthen. Such a universally loved balm, you will find it on everyone’s night stand on the REN team. 

Favourite hair product

Living Proof Instant De-Frizzer – it’s the best. 

Top festival beauty tip or product

Pack Living Proof Perfect hair day shampoo, REN Glow Tonic to thoroughly cleanse your pores from dust and invest in decent lightweight SPF. 

Who would you most like to see headline Glastonbury

I would love to see Adele headline because everyone knows the words to her songs and the atmosphere would be incredible plus she would also be a great laugh backstage or Oasis to reform with the original line up for one night only.