Discover Pelegrims:

We’re obsessed with this brand. Absolutely obsessed. (And you are too, judging by the feedback we’ve had about their Vintage Facial Oil in our be_well box.)

Founded in 2021 by a powerhouse pair, Alex Verier (previously Director at Haeckels), and former tech executive and sommelier-trained Jérôme Moisan, Pelegrims specialises in “...low intervention, active skincare that works in harmony with the skin, supporting it to heal and rejuvenate itself.”

Fascinatingly, all products are made from by-product extracts from the wine-making process (think grape skins, seeds, and vines). Luxurious, beautifully, naturally fragrant, and effective: this really is vinotherapy grown up.

We sat down for a vineyard picnic (really) with the endlessly inspiring Jérôme to talk about the brand, the future, and, of course, wine...

TBS: What sparked the idea to use wine byproducts in your products, and how did you go about making it a reality?

JM: Caudalie invented the Vineyard to Skin category in Bordeaux 30 years ago, using the polyphenols’ superpowers for the skin. We wanted an English take on the category and partnered with the wonderful people at Westwell Wines, a beautiful vineyard on the North Downs.

TBS: How does being part of the English wine country influence your brand and products?

JM: Our products are all Single Vineyard (we can vouch for provenance, down to a single vineyard plot) and Single Vintage (each item is individually numbered and carries the harvest date on our packaging). As such, our products are “never before; never again” creations, which is fun.

TBS: What do "low intervention" principles really mean for your products?

JM: We wanted a like-minded partner to source our raw ingredients; Westwell is inspired by organic and regenerative farming practices that respect the environment. As with wine, quality should come primarily from the vineyard rather than be “manufactured” in the winery. We follow similar low intervention principles in the lab, where the raw material generates the quality in our formulation; we try to stay out of the way as much as we can.

TBS: You’re still a young brand, yet you’ve built a loyal community already…

JM: Yes. Close to 50% of orders on our website are repeat purchases (way above industry standard), so the products themselves are doing the talking at least!

TBS: Discovery is a fundamental theme for us at The Beauty Standard. How do you see your customers exploring and transforming their skincare routines with Pelegrims?

JM: Routines are very personal, and people will incorporate newness at their leisure. We like to give the option to order travel-size miniatures so customers can test a product if they don’t know Pelegrims, then upgrade to a full-size version if they love it.

TBS: Which product do you think captures the essence of Pelegrims as a gift?

JM: The intention of the gift is a beautiful enough gesture in and of itself.

TBS: Has any book, podcast, film, or person influenced your approach to business or life?

JM: We find it best to borrow little bits from many people rather than trying to clone one specific idea.

TBS: Can you describe a defining moment when you realized Pelegrims was set to make an impact in the beauty industry?

JM: Shiseido was founded in 1872; Santa Maria Novella was founded in 1221. We’ll answer your question in one hundred years at the earliest.

TBS: Everyone needs a break. What does an ideal day off from Pelegrims look like for you?

JM: The best ideas rarely come when sitting in front of a laptop, so there’s no guilt in not having conventional working patterns, and we take breaks whenever.

TBS: How do you acknowledge and celebrate milestones?

JM: We are more motivated by (aiming for) mastery of our craft than any quantitative metrics, so we’re more likely to celebrate a scent than a transaction.

TBS: The future of beauty is always evolving. How do you stay ahead of the competition?

JM: We don’t worry too much about industry trends - if we try and chase them, we wouldn’t be authentic. Being independent gives us the creative freedom to do things that don’t necessarily make sense commercially.

TBS: Who has played a pivotal role in your journey with Pelegrims, offering inspiration or support?

JM: I think Alex and I have complementary skills, experience, and personalities, so we support each other well. In terms of inspiration, it comes from all walks of life and eras: Benjamin Franklin as a multi-disciplinarian, Leonard Koren’s take on Wabi-Sabi and closer to our sector, Julian Bedel for the strong identity of Fueguia 1833, and Parfums de Marcy for their incredible perfume bottles over a hundred years ago…

TBS: What is one of the most touching or unexpected pieces of feedback you've received from a customer?

JM: From a creative perspective, it’s great when people are touched by the particular scent of a formulation. From a functional point of view, we’ve had amazing feedback from people with difficult skin conditions for whom some of our products have been transformative.

TBS: During tough times, what keeps you driven and focused on your vision?

JM: Usually a glass of wine.

TBS: What’s next for Pelegrims?

JM: We don’t have a structured approach to the future - we’re quite nomadic with our thoughts on where to take Pelegrims. But having our first retail store is likely soon.

TBS: If you could travel back in time, what piece of advice would you give to your younger self?

JM: I’m pretty sure my younger self wouldn’t pay attention, but it’s ok, we learn from our mistakes.

TBS: What attracted you to The Beauty Standard?

JM: As with every connection, the founders make it worthwhile; we admire your passion for curating quality in a sea of noise.

TBS: Finally, what's a memorable gift you've received that holds a special place in your heart, and why?

JM: It’s usually a bottle of wine because I’ll remember it for the shared memories.

Pelegrims 2020 Vintage Facial Oil can be found in our be_well box.