Stella McCartney's Namesake Skincare Brand is Where Luxury Meets Sustainability

Sophisticated skincare basics.

stella mccartney

Stella by Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney's environmentally-conscious luxury fashion brand has been one of our favorites for some time, and now the mogul has ventured into her next business endeavor: skincare. STELLA by Stella McCartney is the designer's latest namesake brand, centered around luxe products that are good for you and kind to the environment. Moreso, McCartney's new venture is made to mimic a sophisticated basics wardrobe—for your face.

"My aim was to find another way of creating a skincare range—a way that was better for both people and the planet," says McCartney. "When I started this project a few years ago, I hoped to create an alternative luxury skincare range that I couldn't find in the marketplace."

The luxury skincare line consists of three products with formulas made from 99% natural-origin ingredients. Reset cleanser ($60) is a gentle cream formula designed to buff off impurities and makeup; Alter-care Serum ($140) can be used all over the face and protects the skin barrier while brightening, and Restore Cream ($105) seals everything together, improving skin elasticity. 

McCartney describes the skin as having its own ecosystem and says the products in the line are not only designed to work in tandem with each other but also based on her essential routine. "Each of our products has been formulated to work in harmony with this ecosystem, supporting its key functions of regeneration and protection and ensuring skin's sustainability," says McCartney. "I always look for products that are multi-functional and simple."  

Each ingredient underwent a thorough vetting process from Quantis, an environmental sustainability consultancy, to ensure sustainability standards and quality. According to McCartney, it took a long time to get the formula just right because of her high standards for ingredients. "We banned almost 2000 ingredients," she says. 

According to McCartney, all of the ingredients in her skincare lineup are of natural origin, with less than one percent safe synthetic ingredients to preserve product integrity. Each of the products includes ingredients like organic birch sap, marine spring water, and even samphire rock extract, which McCartney highlights as one of her favorites. "The samphire extract has retinol-like properties," she says. "It is rich in unsaturated and saturated fatty acids and phytosterols to visibly smooth fine lines and wrinkles."

McCartney was also intentional about the sensory experience of creating her skincare products, using early memories in Scotland as inspiration for the smell of her products. "Of all my early memories, none have the same unique freshness that my mind conjures up when I think of Scotland," she says.

"The sea air circulating through the pine trees, falling off my horse when riding bareback into the bracken are priceless moments in my memory bank." To capture what McCartney calls "Scotland in a bottle," she worked with perfumer Francis Kurkdjian to create a signature scent with notes of clove leaf, pine, and eucalyptus to bottle into her formulas. 

Giving back with her new beauty venture was also crucial for McCartney, who has pledged to donate one percent of net sales to the NGO Wetlands International, to support the regeneration and restoration of the Scottish peatlands. "I have always been in love with the Scottish peatlands. They preserve biodiversity, improve overall water quality, and prevent flooding but now, so much of it is degraded," says Stella. "I'm proud to partner with Wetlands International to support what they are doing locally to reverse damage."

McCartney's line is also vegan, cruelty-free, completely recyclable, and refillable, all aligned with her philosophy of only using what you need. "It was quite the explorative journey to create these products, and it was three years in the making to ensure our products were as harmonious with your skin and the planet as possible," says McCartney. "I'm proud of these formulas, and each product works hard for your skin, but they don't strip the planet of its resources."

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