Our Bonne Nuit BioPeptide Night Cream is the product we’ve always wanted to make. But one so ambitious and complex, it almost didn’t happen. Multiple times.
“Ironically, the process of getting this product right caused a few sleepless nights for many of us,” explains Kasia, Pai’s Production Manager. “We could all have done with using Bonne Nuit back then. But now I can relax, knowing that my skin is being treated the best possible way overnight!”
It’s true that we never make things easy for ourselves, so you could say every launch brings a little drama and jeopardy. We like to live on the edge. But with Bonne Nuit, we were pushing so many boundaries that we got a little too close for comfort.
The thing is, our first ever night cream is so much more than your standard oil-rich moisturiser. It’s got a revolutionary formula that protects the skin from damage, hydrates, helps to smooth fine lines – and tackles the very thing that makes us turn to high-performance night creams in the first place. Beauty sleep.
By including melatonin-mimicking ingredients, and shielding the skin from disruptive blue light, it gives both you and your skin a chance to fully rest and rejuvenate. And that’s quite the list of benefits to promise for one formula.
“A luxurious, all-natural night cream was an obvious next step for us,” explains Sarah, Pai’s Founder. “But as a long term urticaria sufferer, I know first-hand that happy, healthy skin needs to be tackled from inside and out and back to front. You can’t only consider topical ingredients.
“Bonne Nuit isn’t just our first night cream. It’s our first ever product that considers the important role of sleep in supporting ageing skin. So it is holistic and multidimensional in its approach.”
What took us so long?
It isn’t since the launch of our British Summer Time SPF that a product has been so long in the works (that one took us seven years to get right). As is the case for every product we create, our Research & Development team looked for the most natural solutions from companies that provide cutting-edge technology and investigative research on plant-based actives.
John, our Head of R&D shares, “We had to do something new and innovative to set ours apart from other night creams, so we identified some key areas to target and had to find the right ingredients to deliver these benefits.
“The main challenge then was to match the high-performing formula with its high-performing natural actives, and create the aesthetics and texture of a luxury night cream – while keeping it all stable.”
And the search was made even harder by our commitment to our organic certifications. “As we only use natural and organic ingredients, we go the extra mile to find the very best compared to what is widely available in the cosmetics industry,” explains John.
“Although this makes it more difficult, it is very satisfying when we do develop a product that meets all of our strict certifications – and is still in our opinion better than ones made by global luxury brands.”
The challenges that kept us awake at night
While our chemists had their work cut out for them, they got there in the end – with a formula that exceeded our expectations of what it could do. But creating something so complex led to even bigger problems down the line.
In short, it was a formula that was so all-encompassing that we became lost in the possibilities of it – and hadn’t yet addressed the practicalities.
“Bonne Nuit has been the most difficult product so far to scale-up from lab to large-scale production." says Kasia. “We started in our smaller vessel, but unfortunately two batches weren’t perfect. As the product contains a high amount of oils, we decided to reduce the batch size to the minimum that can be produced, for more power during homogenization.”
A great idea in theory, but it still didn’t work. And this was all happening at a point where we’d told our retail partners it was coming, we’d set the launch date, and locked in a whole host of activity to announce its arrival. The team was getting nervous.
But in true Pai style, we persevered – and an earlier investment in new technology for our West London factory ultimately saved the day.
“We tried different speeds of mixing, and different cooling processes,” says Kasia. “Then we moved on to our new 500-litre product mixer, as the complexity of the formulation and the manufacturing process would obviously not work in our smaller vessel. Although it wasn’t right straight away, it did give the Ops Director, Head of R&D, Ops Manager, Quality Manager and I a better understanding of the process and the formula itself.”
Then it was time to make some tweaks and work with what we had. “The R&D team did some more work on the formula, considering what could be done using our equipment. And that’s when we got our first successful large-scale batch. And I guess the rest is history!”
The many trials and tribulations of the scaling up process meant that the supply chain team had to work extra hard to keep those raw materials coming, too – and for this formula, we’d been pickier than ever.
“As a skincare brand, we need to continually evolve with the technology and ingredient advances out there – delivering the best that natural science can offer,” says Sarah.
“Bonne Nuit’s formula is helping us redefine sensitive skincare. We are one of the only brands using all-natural peptides that come from biotechnology – which is the future! And it’s made with zero waste oils too. The most sustainable natural ingredients, that uphold all of the tenets of green chemistry and with almost zero carbon footprint.”
It comes back to our commitment to making sensitive skincare without compromise. And it's safe to say none were made in the creation of Bonne Nuit.
And finally, the easy part – choosing a name
While the journey to making it wasn’t quite as ‘good’ or smooth as we’d hoped, the end result was. And despite doubts over whether the launch day would ever arrive, the name was dreamt up long before production had even started – as Ed, Pai’s Co-Founder explains.
“At the time of coming up with the name we were in lockdown, raising money for the business, dealing with Brexit and homeschooling. Neither Sarah nor I were sleeping well for the first time ever. It was the realisation that we were running on empty, we had to make some time for ourselves, had to separate work from home life, and had to find moments where we could relax and de-stress – difficult when you live with your business partner!
“What we really needed was a good night’s sleep. Or as my parents used to say – Bonne Nuit. It was the perfect name.
“Pai means ‘good’, so this was also our way of saying we wanted a ‘Pai night’ - not a one-dimensional anti-ageing cream, but a product that worked for us and our customers. One that helps with skin, helps with sensitivity, helps with sleep, helps with mood, helps with life.”
Ready to experience next-level beauty sleep for yourself? Discover Bonne Nuit BioPeptide Renewal Night Cream here