Founder Spotlight: An Interview with Suzannah Raff from Cleo+Coco

#Founderspotlight - Cleo+Coco - Suzannah Raff

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#Founderspotlight - Cleo+Coco - Suzannah Raff

This year, Cleo+Coco’s Aluminum Free All Natural Charcoal Deodorant is Top 3 in CertClean’s Clean Beauty Awards!

Cleo+Coco’s Aluminum Free All Natural Charcoal Deodorant is amongst the top performing clean beauty products in the industry! This is no easy feat!

We took the opportunity to interview the brains behind the brand, Suzannah Raff, to learn more about how the journey of Cleo+Coco all started. Cleo+Coco’s next generation of deodorant is natural without compromise. Their mission is to offer you Confidence that your personal care routine is Clean and effective.

Read on to learn more about the incredible story behind Suzannah’s mission, her most loved ingredients, and what makes Cleo+Coco’s products truly award-winning.

What inspired you to start your business?

Years before I developed Cleo+Coco’s award-winning natural deodorants, I was famous among my friends for smelling amazing, mixing and blending perfumes to make my own signature scent. When my father was recovering in the hospital from a serious illness, it was only natural that I found my way to essential oils and their beautiful scents and beneficial properties. I began to use them in my home, health, and wellbeing. Then along came the clean eating movement. Having been taught from a young age to eat healthy and take care of my body, I became an avid student of this clean movement, as well. When I got married and pregnant, I suddenly became very sensitive to and aware of the chemicals that I was putting onto my body. All of my perfumed skin care products and antiperspirants went into the garbage.

I’ll be honest, during this time in my life there was simply no aluminum-free deodorant that I could find to handle my fluctuating hormones, sweat, and odor. Having been known for my great scent over the years, this was not something I was happy about, especially as I was still a newlywed! So, I took out my essential oils and began creating my own deodorant that was natural, free from synthetic fragrance, sensitive enough for pregnant and nursing moms, yet still powerful enough to combat our odor. It took a good year of experimenting with the perfect mix of ingredients to get to the point where we could claim with complete confidence that Cleo+Coco offered all day odor control. Our deodorants work and we have won awards to prove it. Our thousands of happy customers demonstrate that.

Once I created the perfect formula, I had a vision for what deodorant should be. I saw that deodorant should be a product that you love to put on every day. Not just something that we brainlessly tolerate to prevent uncomfortable body odor. I saw that deodorant could feel, look, and smell luxurious.

After all, isn’t a product that we use every day on our sensitive underarms, so close to our delicate breast tissues and glands, critically important? Shouldn’t deodorant be a product that we think long and hard about before applying? Shouldn’t it be made with clean ingredients? And shouldn’t deodorant allow you to feel confident all day long? Confident that you aren’t compromising your wellbeing for effectiveness.

And that’s how Cleo+Coco 2.0, The Next Generation of Deodorant, came about. We had the perfect formula. Now we perfected the creamy application and improved the packaging to offer you the luxury experience you deserve.

Please tell us more about your All Natural Charcoal Deodorant! Why do you think it was so well-loved by Clean Beauty Awards’ judging panel?

We created Cleo+Coco to elevate the natural deodorant experience. We felt that deodorant needed to 1) work. 2) go on creamy clear and not irritate or stain. 3) it should smell uplifting and beautiful without any synthetic fragrance and 4) it should be a luxurious experience. We are the only brand who always used charcoal and magnesium rich clays in our formula because those are the best active ingredients to eliminate odor naturally.

In your journey of creating natural products, what were some roadblocks or issues that you were faced with?

There are a lot of roadblocks to overcome. It was hard to find a manuracturer who could produce the quality and quantity we needed. Today, its hard to fund the growth. The greatest obstacle is greenwashing by larger brands who claim to be natural when they are not. Its so important to read labels and understand that if the first ingreident is water, it is not an active ingredient and you are paying for ‘filler’ and that fragrance is a catch-all for anything synthetic and not natural. Competing with greenwashing from large brands is always difficult but we are proud of how consumers are demanding more authenticity and recognizing these qualities in indie brands like ours.

As a formulator, you must have some special love for some ingredients. What are your favourites?

I love activated charcoal and bentonite clay for their bacteria absorbing properties. They are miracle workers and such a small amount does so much. When my kids are sick I give then a bath with these ingredients and they immediately feel better. I also love essential oils. They are therapeutic and uplifting and antibacterial and give such beautiful aromas without synthetics that can potentially cause harm to your body.

We absolutely love the ethos of your company. Can you tell us more? 

We are cruelty-free, waterless, natural, clean non-toxic and have zero-waste options. We are authentic and transparent. We never use water or filler in our formulations since that introduces a lot of waste and leads to a diluted, less effective product that you need more of to get any results. Our products are very dense and every ingredient is active. We need no synthetic preservatives since there is no water to breed bacteria. We also never use synthetic fragrance but create beautiful soft aromas with only essential oils.

Thank you Suzannah for sharing your powerful story behind Cleo+Coco, and for creating The Next Generation of Deodorant that will propel us towards a healthier, eco-friendly future!

See Cleo+Coco’s website, and follow them on Instagram or Facebook

Learn more about the finalists below!

Cleo+Coco - Charcoal Deodorant

Charcoal Deodorant – Great Expectations, Grapefruit Bergamot

2020 OdourCare 2nd Place

Price: $18

Certifications: Think Dirty 0 rating, cruelty-free

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