Five Minutes with Nécessaire's Randi Christiansen

Words by
Randi Christiansen

27th March 2023

SPHERE meets Danish entrepreneur Randi Christiansen, co-founder of Nécessaire, an LA-based personal care brand that wants us to treat our body with as much care as we treat our face. In doing so Nécessaire omits the superfluous, creating elevated daily essentials while working to minimise its impact on the planet, and it just might become the new Aesop. 

Randi Christiansen
Randi Christiansen co-founder of Néccessaire

My personal style signature is… simple. I am a Scandinavian girl. My motto has always been: Buy less, buy better. I prefer a few quality items over quantity.

The idea for Nécessaire came to me when… My co-founder Nick [Axelrod] and I met in Los Angeles. We were both seeking skincare for the body, and agreed that a shared genderless approach would be best. We wanted to make body care the first thought, not the afterthought. Our aim was to create real skincare with ingredients at concentrations that deliver true efficacy and addresses the unique concern we have on the body.

My dream was to create the Patagonia of beauty. A responsible brand that’s doing the work, but is not uber loud about it… Our purpose — the idea of pioneering a new category as well as using our business to make an environmental impact at every turn — is what drives us. We believe the only sustainable product is the one that is not made... the second best is the product that is necessary, used in full and responsibly made.  This is a key anchor point for us and why we are called Nécessaire.

Néccessaire refill bottles
Néccessaire refill bottles

As a brand, we have been Climate Neutral Certified since 2019, our first full year in business, to offset 100% of all carbon emissions for the sourcing, manufacturing and shipping of all products… Also since 2019 environmental giving has been core. We are a proud member of 1% For The Planet and allocate 1% of every sale to environmental non-profits fighting to defend our air, land, water and wildlife worldwide. As of this year, Nécessaire is a Certified B Corp - joining a movement of businesses adhering to and assessed by key environmental, social and governance practices. Our first (2022) B Impact Assessment Score reached 98.4, which is significant. We are proud of our work to date. But we recognize we have far to go.

We didn’t anticipate the success we have achieved so far, but I think on reflection, it tapped into what people were looking for, and what was relevant to them which is… a quality product. It took a moment for us to break into the marketplace and we are still young. Every time a person comes back to us for a second purchase - I pinch myself because to me that means this product matters. The product made it. I look for that metric of repeat and review. I am looking to see if people care about what we put out there.  

One of the key ways people can search for products is by “body concern” – such as “odour control”, “ageing” or “hyperpigmentation” this is important because… we have a lot of real skin issues on the body that deserve to be treated with clinically-proven skincare ingredients. Ingredients like Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid, Peptides, Ceramides, AHA, BHA and others can help address key concerns. We made a choice to use facial-grade ingredients at proven concentrations to address body skin concerns and to achieve better skin neck down.

The Neck Serum by Néccessaire
The Neck Serum by Néccessaire

The same principle applies to new products. We won’t be adding to our ranges, but improving them, creating new versions when and only when we can improve on the first… To us, efficacy is king in all we do. 

This month we have introduced a brand new category for Nécessaire – haircare. It’s a decision we haven’t taken lightly. The range includes… three scalp-focused products — The Shampoo, The Conditioner and The Scalp Serum — designed for thicker, fuller, healthier hair.

The key products I recommend everyone start off with from Nécessaire are The Body Wash. It makes the moment in the shower better. It includes three luxe oils — Marula, Cacay and Meadowfoam Oil — that provide a functional benefit and a rich honey-like texture. We swapped harsh sulfates for gentle plant-based surfactants that clean effectively without stripping skin or giving you that dry itchy feeling when you get out of the shower. The Body Lotion is like a wrap of comfort with Niacinamide and Luxe Oils to support the skin's protective barrier. I go into the day or night feeling better when I use it.

The Shampoo by Néccessaire
The Shampoo by Néccessaire

When I’m not working, you’ll find me… in the mountains, with my husband, my daughters and my two bullmastiffs - Oak and Ash. We have an old land cruiser parked out in the back. We like deep hikes, early nights and family dinners. The simple moments.

My most treasured possession is…my family.

My favourite place in the world is.. (where, what is it like, and why) Telluride, in Colorado

The highlight of my career so far has to be… Nécessaire

The podcast/music/book I last downloaded/readThe New York Times daily.

My guiltiest pleasure is… Champagne.

The one thing I have always wanted to do is... Work in nature and biodiversity

The next question on my mind is… How to achieve deeper balance in the everyday.  Life is running fast now.  I would like to slow it down and find more time to spend in nature.