Plain Tiger Spotlight: Yodi

The wisdom of better beauty

By Renee Fortune

A little over a decade ago, industry veteran Hélène Azancot noticed a fundamental shift in the world of beauty. Consumer expectations were changing. People wanted something different, something that was less synthetic and more natural. For Azancot, who had spent 30 years working for major French and American beauty brands, this shift in the consumer mindset was too irresistible not to explore 

She believed inherently that there was something to this movement – this return to nature. And so, driven partially by an insatiable sense of curiosity and partially by an innate need to try her hand at the art of entrepreneurship, Hélène founded Yodi; a conscious beauty brand that aligned with the new direction in which the contemporary beauty industry was being steered by consumer needs in an evolving world. 

As she explains: “Society’s outlook on what constitutes ‘good beauty,’ is changing. Consumers are leaning more and more towards eco-friendly products, healthier alternatives and most importantly, beauty products that are 100% safe. 
These expectations are aligned with our inherent needs and the fact that we are becoming more exposed to harmful air pollution and UV rays. Beauty needs to be gentle but effective, and Yodi is both these things.”

Yodi’s beauty products’ most fascinating feature is that they are completely waterless. In the range you’ll find skin cleansers and shampoos that come in powder form and take on a foamy or milky texture when coming into contact with water. 

For Hélène, creating a range that truly represented sustainable beauty meant finding a solution to one of the most pertinent climate-related issues the world is facing: water-scarcity. With water becoming an ever more rare and valuable resource, the mindset of product manufacturers like Hélène Azancot is that in order to create something that has the smallest carbon footprint, it needs to be created without water. The alternative? Aloe vera juice. And it works wonders.

The sustainability of Yodi was of equal importance to Hélène as were the results that each product achieves, particularly in cases where consumers suffer from dry and itchy scalps, greasy hair, split ends and sensitive or acne-prone skin. These were some of the common skin and body ailments that Yodi set out to alleviate. And so far so good. 

Customers have reported both a visible and tangible improvement in the texture and condition of their skin and scalp, with greatly reduced irritation. Yodi products strip beauty down to its finest and most active, natural ingredients and give the nasties a miss. So you won’t find a trace of any harsh preservatives or chemicals in Yodi products. What you will find are nourishing, hydrating ingredients like organic argan oil, hibiscus flower extract, pure vanilla and sunflower oil. 

Aesthetically, Yodi is pared down and ultra-chic with its focal point between its trademark ‘hero’ colour, deep green. If you’re fortunate enough to visit Yodi’s Parisian boutique, you’ll notice that it’s a brand that ‘breathes.’ There’s really no better way to describe it. Because at its core, Yodi is about presenting an alternative to the modern-day obsession with ‘more,’ and its rigidity around adhering to the conventional. It’s about allowing skin to breathe, soak up the organic radiance and healing power of nature and to live, authentically and transparently. 

When it comes to the name of the brand, Yodi means different things in different contexts, Its name was inspired by the Star Wars character, Yoda – a wise, other-wordly sage who radiates serenity and calm. As a symbol, this resonates with the educational and informative function that Yodi plays in its industry as one of the forerunners in sustainable, natural beauty. It represents Hélène’s eagerness and passion to share what she knows with the world. 

Yodi also means ‘happiness’ in Chinese – a nod to the brand’s cheerful outlook on embracing what’s good for the skin, body and soul. Yodi is also related to the concept of a yogi, or yoga master, which speaks to the brand’s focus on holistic wellbeing. And finally, YODI is an acronym for ‘You Deserve It’ – a creative way of encouraging people to embrace the kind of beauty that is geared towards the greater good, both in terms of the people who use it and for the people who make it.