Founded by former high school chemistry teacher, Marie Veronique, this line of skincare combines science with nature. Perhaps most surprising is their choice to eschew any use of creams. Instead, the product line is centered around face oils.

Marie and CEO, Hillary Peterson, share their top skincare tips, dish about MVO’s new line, and give Rue a tour of their new shop in Mill Valley, CA. Indulge your skin with a visit to the tranquil shop (stop in on a Saturday to meet Marie!) or find Marie Veronique Organics online.

You recently opened your Mill Valley, CA Store, what inspired the brick and mortar location?
Hillary: It’s so wonderful to have one place that can ground the brand. It makes it feel more real. Now you can come and visit the store and try all the products.

How would you describe the experience of your store?
Hillary: We wanted people to feel that it was a comfortable place for them to have conversations about skincare. That it’s about hearing their story, sharing our philosophy, and finding the right products for people. It’s a seated, conversational environment. It doesn’t feel like your typical store.

How has your background as a chemistry teacher affected the way you approach developing MVO products?
Marie: The idea is that if you look at your standard products from a chemist’s point of view, you look at how much an active ingredient is going to make a difference and how much is filler.

A key part of your line is a face oil. So many women worry about oily skin. I think many hesitate to put an oil based product directly on their face. What do you tell them?
Marie: It’s a misperception. People use a cream and assume it’s the oil in the cream that is making them feel greasy and it’s not. It’s the wax and the water in the cream. The oils, should they be able to get in and penetrate through all that grease, are what is giving the benefit. That is why we promote the use a face oil. A face oil is like a topical supplement because it targets the skin directly.

Talk a little more about your ingredients and how you select them.
Hillary: Organic, fair-trade, local whenever possible. Natural, mostly plant-based, but we do use some pharmaceuticals that have been shown to have real benefits. We are results driven, but what we won’t compromise on is safety. If it’s not safe to put on a child’s skin, it’s not going in any of products. Why do you need to sacrifice safety for beauty? It’s not necessary. Marie’s products are some of the most high result products out there but we don’t use any ingredients that would make us uncomfortable. I don’t think anyone looks to nature the way that Marie does to find innovation.

How did you develop your new product line, Pacific?
Hillary: The ingredients are mainly from the ocean and from the Pacific Rim. The fun thing with this product line is we were able to enlist a scent expert who lives in Mill Valley who is fantastic. What she loved is this is all about using highest quality essential oil. The scents are designed to be complimentary but are not all the same. Our objective was ‘light and lovely.’ We didn’t want anything to be overpowering.

The Night Serum with Retinol and Topical Vitamin-C are also quite unique.
Hillary: Marie developed a Vitamin-C that is a capsule containing a powder since The Vitamin-C in a liquid form, even stabilized, is less potent than in its freshest form. You break open and add a capsule to the Night Serum with Retinol right before you use it. People ask if it’s a lot of trouble, but it only takes ten seconds and really makes a difference.

What are the skincare essentials for any woman?
Marie: The two basics, we call them our desert island duet, are a face oil and sunscreen during the day. As you get older and are looking into repair, that’s when you get into ingredients that studies show really do make a difference. So retinol, Vitamin-A and Vitamin-C. Everything else, take it with a ton of salt.

Shop: 1. Night Serum with Retinol // 2. Cleanser // 3. Mist // 4. Face Oil