Introducing the new chapter of Zelens

Today, over 15 years after we first launched, a brand new Zelens is being revealed to the world.

As a scientific brand that has always expertly combined the best of nature with the best of biotechnology, Zelens is staying true to its roots and reputation for innovation with a brand new look and new and improved formulas.

Every single product in the Zelens skincare line-up has been reformulated so that it is even more effective, while the addition of some new and exciting products mean that more skin concerns can be catered for.

Dr Marko Lens is known as a brand founder who regularly updates his formulas based on the latest scientific findings and advances in botanical ingredients, and has taken this passion for innovation further by improving every existing product. Here, he tells us about this much anticipated launch...  

    1. It has been over 15 years since you first launched Zelens. Why are you rebranding now?

      DR LENS: When the science evolves, so do we. The main reason is that there are so many new ingredients, and so many new findings about skin; I felt that I needed to update my formulas and put that extra knowledge directly into the jars. I really wanted to bring the most current science into the formulas.

      I also wanted to make Zelens more eco-conscious by partnering with companies who supply the right ingredients, ensuring everything continues to abide by non-animal testing rules, and making sure the suppliers we use are as sustainable as possible.

      And finally, I wanted to address the look. Since we are making so many changes to the formulas and the supply chain, I wanted to give all of that a new feel. I had an opportunity to work with a fantastic designer, Moses Voigt, on this completely new look. The green logo is gone. We were the first brand to use green but now it’s everywhere and, as some of our new formulas have a natural colouring to them, the green just wouldn’t work anymore. We were also very conscious about continuing to use recyclable glass and thinking about the kind of paper we were using for our cartons, which are now recyclable. It’s about so much more than the logo. 

        2. Has the Zelens philosophy changed? 

          DR LENS: Our philosophy remains the same today as it has always been. We are a hybrid brand which means we combine the high-tech ingredients with botanicals. Our formulas always contain multiple ingredients that work together in synergy. I don’t believe you can really effectively target skin concerns with one ‘hero’ ingredient. You need different ingredients, using different mechanisms of action, to achieve the desired activity. For example, our Melatonin B12 (previously Z Melatonin) has been reformulated with the addition of B12 because the latest research shows that it increases the activity of melatonin. 

          I also strongly believe that products should be multifunctional. For example, if a product’s main purpose is brightening, and reducing unwanted pigmentation or hyper-pigmented spots, it still needs to be moisturising, and perhaps you want it to help minimise pores or have some effect on acne too. It’s OK for a product to have a main function, but it needs to have this multifunctional aspect too. The messaging in the industry is often that you need lots of different products for different functions, and you have to layer serum upon serum. But, who has the time to do such a complicated routine every morning? Our products are multi-functional, and our Powers help boost specific benefits even further.


            3. Has the way you use botanicals changed over the last 15 years? 

              DR LENS: “We used to simply take an extract of a plant or fruit and put it into a cream. Now, we’re even more conscious of how you take that extract, how it’s dissolved and what solvents are used. We have to bear all of this in mind because, for example, some solvents may impact the activity of an extract. We use these extracts in one of two ways. We either encapsulate them, into liposomes, little structures that help the delivery of the active ingredients to the skin. The second way is with fermentation. With fermentation we are able to increase the efficacy of active molecules from our extracts.


                4. Can you tell us about the Zelens Garden?

                  DR LENS: I am so proud of Zelens Garden because I hear from our customers all the time that they are impressed by it. It’s a place for us to show beautiful images of the botanicals we work with and educate our customers about why we have used these plants. We want them to know about the active molecules we’re using, and what they can actually do for their skin. Now, with the rebrand, we will be talking even more about them.


                    5. What was the thinking behind the new packaging and the new logo? 

                      DR LENS: “Changing the packaging was a hard decision to make because there was nothing wrong with the existing packaging. However, it was the right thing to do because some of the newly formulated products have a natural colour to them, such as pink or green, and I don’t think that would look very chic with our existing green. It goes against all the Italian parameters of elegance! So, bearing in mind some of the products have their own natural colouring, it made sense to create a logo that was simple, black and white. And the cartons are matte now, the uncoated paper feels beautiful to the touch but it’s importantly also fully recyclable.


                        6. Have you reformulated everything? 
                          DR LENS: We have completely reformulated every single product and we have introduced completely new formulas, too. We’ve been working on this for two years, so it was a big project – particularly during a year of lockdowns.
                          We have a series of concentrated treatments that we call our Powers Vitamin Alphabet. We already had vitamins A, C and D and I decided to add in B and E. Powers A, C and D have been reformulated, while B and E are completely new. Power B contains different B vitamins that have an invigorating, renewal effect on the skin, while Power E is moisturising with antioxidant action.
                          Power A has had an upgrade. I increased the amount of retinol so the amount of pure retinol is now 1%, which makes it a super powerful formula but still suitable for reactive skin because it’s in an ester formula.

                          Power C still has 20% of stable vitamin C, but it was previously in an ester formula and now it’s a beautiful emulsion. In Power D, we increased the amount of vitamin D, making it more potent. In all of the Powers, we’ve stopped using geranium essential oil so there are no allergens and no fragrance apart from the natural scent of the ingredients themselves. 

                          I’m very proud of our Tea Shot serum. It’s a mixture of different teas including green tea, red tea, white tea, black tea (also as Kombucha, fermented black tea), and matcha. It’s a powerful antioxidant serum that helps to fight urban pollution and the effects of blue light. We just did some clinical studies and experiments on the serum and found it to have strong antioxidant protection. It also has a beautiful green colour which comes from the matcha.”
                          We made many changes to Melatonin B12. It was previously a repairing serum, but we have now given it an interesting lamellar structure that mimics the skin, and we have also added vitamin B12. The previous formula had a white colour whereas the new one is pastel pink, because that’s the natural colour of B12.

                          Our exfoliating pads (PHA+) also underwent a significant change. We previously used alcohol and only used acids. The new formula is alcohol-free and also contains enzymes from fruits such as papaya, pumpkin, mango and banana.


                            7. What can you tell us about the mists? 
                              DR LENS: Previously we had Z Balance, which is now called Microbiota P3. The previous formula was a prebiotic and probiotic mist, now we have also added some bacteria for a post-biotic effect. So it is now a prebiotic, probiotic and post-biotic facial mist, hence ‘P3’ in the name.
                              In terms of Provitamin D3, we are still using encapsulated vitamin D, but we have also added some other ingredients to boost its activity.


                                8. How do customers know what to use and when? 

                                  DR LENS: You don’t have to use everything. Instead, play with them and mix and match depending on what your skin needs. You should think about protecting your skin in the morning and renewing at night. The Routine Finder on our website can recommend products suited to your key concerns.


                                  Q: Lastly, you are renowned for your work regarding skin cancer. Should we expect an SPF from you?

                                  ML: Yes. As soon as we have completed the clinical trials, we’ll launch. It’s going to be a beautiful formula.


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