Company Spotlight: 10 Degrees Cooler
This month, we interview Andreea Farcas and Cameron Murphy, the two founders of 10 Degrees Cooler, a Los Angeles, California-based skin care company that creates beautiful skincare products around the amazing healing properties of oils. Find out how they came up with the name of their brand and why one of their products provokes such mixed opinions.
What was the inspiration behind the creation of 10 Degrees Cooler?
(Andreea) I was studying in Geneva in the winter and found myself moving between the extremes of a cold and windy city and a heated apartment. My skin was taking a beating, but when I went to the high-end department stores, I couldn't find any products that met my standards of effective, clean, cruelty-free skincare that also looked and felt luxurious. I've always been a solutions-oriented thinker, so using my years of experience in medicine, and a few tricks I learned from my biochemist mother, I made my own.
What is 10 Degrees Cooler's mission?
Our mission is to marry science, nature, and a stylish, minimalist aesthetic to broaden the field of clean skincare to include those looking for luxurious, clean products that actually work.
Is there a story behind the name of your company?
There is! Even today our products are almost entirely handmade, so we loved the idea of the apothecaries of old. Our original name was Apothecary 90291 (the postal code of Venice, CA) and our tagline was “10 Degrees Cooler”. This was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that at any given time Venice is at least 10 degrees cooler than anywhere else in L.A., but also a reference to our opinion that it's the coolest neighborhood, well… anywhere. We swiftly realized that many people struggled to say, let alone spell, “apothecary” so we made 10DegreesCooler our social handles and web address. When everyone started calling us that we took the Taoist approach of ‘effortless flow' and went with it.
What efforts do you take to be a sustainable company?
We take a multi-modal approach and, as we grow, we are always looking for new ways to reduce our impact. We vet all our ingredients suppliers to ensure they are truly organic, farming their plants and harvesting their bee products as sustainably as possible. We source as many of our components as possible from manufacturers in the LA area to reduce fuel consumption in our production. We use limitlessly recyclable glass in our containers. Our next big goal is to remove as much plastic as possible from our packaging. The economics of this can be frustratingly difficult for a tiny startup in this sector, but we will get there. The wheels are already in motion.
What is your favorite product and why?
We will not make, sell, or use anything we don't love. Sadly, after years of development we've even had to shelve a new product because we just couldn't seem to get it exactly right. So, in a way, they are all our favorites. But I suppose if I had to choose, I would give the award to the 01 Luminous Face Oil. She's the one who started it all. We still have the hand-drawn cardboard box we made of that product when all of this was just a dream.
What is your most popular product?
The 03 Midnight In Corsica Face Oil is simultaneously our most popular and most controversial product. It has a scent that is not like anything else on the market. Some people love it immediately, others find it off-putting. But what is really exciting is when we convince the naysayers (and this happens all the time) to just stick with it. It is an unbelievably effective product and we remind people it is not a perfume it is a treatment. Give it a try, you'll get used to the scent, and you will love the results. New people turn into true-believers every day!
What has been the most rewarding part of creating this brand?
In a nutshell, we love to bring relief to people who were previously frustrated by what was available to them and then found solutions in the 10 Degrees Cooler line. We get contacted regularly by clients whose lives have changed for the better using our products. We get remarkable before and after reports from people with issues like cystic acne and eczema whose conditions have cleared up using our oils and masks, and we also get ‘thank yous' from people who simply can't handle mainstream products but still wanted to make themselves feel special using clean products that look and feel luxurious.
Why is being Leaping Bunny certified important to 10 Degrees Cooler?
It's simple, really. Leaping Bunny is the gold-standard in cruelty-free certification. Finding clean, effective and cruelty-free suppliers is very challenging. It takes a lot of work and a willingness to say no to things that could improve the bottom line but then make it harder to sleep at night. Leaping Bunny's vetting process is second-to-none and we want the world to know we made the grade. We did a little happy dance when our certificate arrived in the office!
What is something unique about 10 Degrees Cooler that others may not know?
Our company was started out of our kitchen and was (and remains) entirely self-financed. We still oversee every aspect of production and handle all of our own fulfillment. Every client gets a personalized, handwritten thank you note from us every time.