Finding a skincare routine that works for you can be confusing and a bit tedious at times, especially when it comes to complex formulas that tackle individual skin concerns rather than focusing on treatment as a whole. With Urban Jungle, the rising label that aims to empower self-confidence through simple and effective regimens, skincare is straightforward and inclusive.
Since launching Urban Jungle, the label’s Melt Me Softly cleansing balm and Hemp Day clay mask have quickly become popular among the beauty community. The former keeps your skin moisturized while giving the pores a deep cleanse while the clay mask locks in moisture while strengthening the skin’s barrier. Elsewhere, the Glow With The Flow gel serum and Dust It Off exfoliating powder serve as great additions to the brand’s growing range. With the help of its loyal following—as well as vegan and cruelty-free formulas—Urban Jungle is one of Australia’s most exciting emerging labels.
We had the pleasure of chatting with Urban Jungle founder Paul Tsalikis in regards to laying the foundation of the beauty label, inclusivity efforts within the industry, and much more. Read on for our conversation.
Can you tell us how the idea for Urban Jungle was born?
I’d love to! Urban Jungle was born from a need to see more representation in the beauty industry, especially skincare! As a proud gay man from an immigrant family, I thought it was time to shake things up and create a brand aimed at embracing inclusivity, welcoming all, and helping people fearlessly tackle life with swagger and confidence.
I also wanted to create a community that helped humans to bravely navigate their way through information overload, confusion, and overwhelm. I guess you could say the crux of the brand is saying bye to bullshit in a simple, effective, and affordable way.
What does the typical day-to-day in the office look like for you and how are most ideas bred within those environments?
The best way to describe our office is divine chaos! We wouldn’t have it any other way.
My day is divided between working with New Product Development on Urban Jungle’s next innovation, riffing ideas with our Creative Studio, briefings with our Social crew on what’s trending across Instagram and TikTok, and sitting with our Brand & Marketing team to plan how we’re going to keep helping humans be proud of their individuality and hero their imperfectly perfect flaws.
As a team, we’re unafraid of failure which creates a breeding ground for creativity. Each person within the team personifies the brand and I couldn’t be prouder of the impact each of them are making on the beauty industry.
“There is nothing more gratifying to me as a business owner than seeing our brand in the hands of the most diverse, unique, and beautiful people out there that represent each one of us.”
Urban Jungle prides itself on using vegan, cruelty-free ingredients. Why is it important for you to make this one of the foundations of the brand?
We speak up on what’s most important to our audience and the environment is one of the impacts that matters the most! Being ethical and environmentally conscious shouldn’t be a point of pride; it should be ingrained in the DNA of the beauty industry. Urban Jungle’s packaging and formulations are considered cruelty-free and always will be.
What has been the biggest challenge navigating the industry so far? The biggest reward?
The biggest challenge has been navigating the information overload and gross misinformation of the beauty industry. This spans ingredients and their benefits and also the misguided notion that people need to spend big in order to see results—it simply isn’t true!
The biggest reward has been launching Urban Jungle, a brand dedicated to showing that simple products—that don’t break the bank—work, and work well! There is nothing more gratifying to me as a business owner than seeing our brand in the hands of the most diverse, unique, and beautiful people out there that represent each one of us. Being shown DMs and reviews from our community sharing how Urban Jungle has helped them to shut down self-doubt and embrace who they are is the brand living its purpose.
Beauty, especially when it comes in the form of skincare, is especially important to Gen Z—what advice would you give those trying to discover themselves through self-care?
My first piece of advice would be to celebrate your differences and look for beauty brands that highlight your perceived imperfections – they’re what make you, you!
My second piece of advice would be to keep it simple. The proliferation of social-led beauty brands will often have you thinking you need to spot treat every single skin concern with a unique product or “fix” your quirks. Beauty should be a fun space where everyone feels represented, safe, and heard – mute any brand that makes you feel less than.
With that being said, how do you think the beauty industry can improve its diversity and inclusivity efforts?
The beauty industry collectively needs more representation, it’s what we internally call “skinclusion”. Existing, the job is 1% done.
Everyone has a right to feel seen. From products made to suit their needs, to seeing themselves represented in campaigns – there is no room for error and there never should have been. The industry has a responsibility to listen and speak up on what matters. Beauty brands undertaking performative activism or being reactive to real-world issues need to continue to be called out. Staying silent is a stance.
Urban Jungle navigates in a gender-neutral direction and is hell-bent on encouraging freedom of expression and fierce individuality. We’re 100% committed to championing inclusivity and diversity through our people, products, campaigns, and community. We show up for everyone and are proud of it.
After sweeping everyone off our feet with the Melt Me Softly Cleansing Balm and Glow With The Flow Gel Serum amongst others, what can we expect from Urban Jungle in the future?
We’re just getting started on shaking up the beauty industry! Our next innovation will help humans to embrace their spots and stripes – that’s all I can say without getting in trouble from our New Product Development team! We can reveal more soon – I promise.
What I can say is that Urban Jungle will continue to empower self-confidence, hero perceived flaws, embrace inclusivity, encourage individuality and speak up on what’s important. We have big plans to shut down self-doubt all around the world!
Elsewhere in beauty, check out our favorite beauty brands of February 2022.