The “Introducing” is a series of interviews of independent lifestyle and design brands that your probably have not heard of yet. It’s an introduction to the brand story told by its founder. In this article we are introducing a new natural skincare brand Mazillo, founded by Mihaela Donska and her childhood friend Yoana.
Can you tell us the backstory of the brand? How and why it was started?
I founded Mazillo in December 2021 with my childhood best friend Yoana Radeva, inspired by the rich history and folklore of our beautiful homeland, Bulgaria. We’ve spent the past couple of years living between Bulgaria and the large capitals of the world and always missed one thing about modern society – the fact that it has disconnected from its natural origin and folklore.
While science and innovation are steering our communities into the future, we still believe people are not appreciating and benefiting from the true genius of the past. Yoana and I grew up together and we would often watch our grandmothers mix up herbs they picked up from the nearest forest, prepare face and hair masks using eggs, yoghurt, clays and different heavenly smelling oils. And that is also when we first learnt about the great power of ancient local beauty routines.
The skincare recipes passed on to us by previous generations are our biggest inspiration for creating the brand, and that’s also what makes our products truly unique. We wanted to go back to our roots and revive the history and folklore of our beautiful homeland Bulgaria through our skincare formulations, and share this ancient wisdom with the world. And that’s how Mazillo was born – it’s folklore-inspired skincare, led by nature and informed by science.
What is unique about your products?
We are a heritage brand and all aspects of Mazillo are strongly inspired by our Bulgarian roots. The skincare recipes passed on to us by our grandmothers are our biggest inspiration for creating the brand.
We formulate and manufacture everything in-house which enabled us to create truly unique products based on traditional recipes. We’re proud that just under 90% of our formulations contain local ingredients, some of which are exclusive to the region and cannot be found anywhere in the world. To take these beloved botanicals to a new level, we’ve also embraced cutting-edge techniques, including plant stem cells developed by a group of Bulgarian scientists, resulting in potent and very effective formulations.
So what makes our products truly unique? I’d say it’s how we look backwards to move forwards. We keep our feet firmly planted in tradition and respect for our homeland, with our arms wide open to embrace new and exciting developments to create a modern skincare that has truly passed the test of time.
What are some of the ingredients and why did you choose them to use in your products?
With ancient wisdom comes exciting myths and legends. Our folklore-inspired skincare draws on these stories to create an experience that brings you closer to the rich culture of our homeland. And it’s our local ingredients that bring these legends to life.
Just under 90% of our formulations are made with ingredients grown in our country, including the legendary Bulgarian rose and the Orpheus flower.
For example, the tomato seed oil in our Facial Oil is extracted from native tomatoes, a fruit that has been and is still an integral part of Bulgarian life and cuisine. It has a worthy place on our skincare menu, as it prevents premature ageing and revitalises the skin.
The Orpheus flower we use in our Replenishing moisturiser is another ingredient that has well and truly stood the test of time. The plant can only be found on the Rhodope mountains in Bulgaria and is believed to have survived over 20 milion years thanks to its ability to endure long periods without water. As a result, its cells have a proven skin lifting effect and decrease pigmentation.
We have other ingredients which are also exclusive to Bulgaria, for example Mursalski, or Shepard’s tea, which we use in our Regenerate + Protect Essence Toner. The herbaceous plant grows in the Pirin Mountains at an altitude of about 2000 metres above sea level thanks to the rare climate and soil in the region. This ingredient has traditionally been used to fight common colds, flu and allergies, but we love it for its powerful antioxidants and anti-ageing properties.
Just as ancient wisdom was passed on to us, we want to be able to pass on nature’s resources to future generations, too. Using local ingredients keeps tradition at the heart of our products and ensures the process stays local, reducing our carbon footprint and protecting the planet for future generations.
Can you describe the 5-step skincare routine?
Designed with all skin types in mind, our simple yet effective 5-step routine is all you need for a healthy and radiant skin.
The first step is our Gentle Cleansing Oil. Just like the name suggests, its gentle formula washes away the day’s grime. It’s made with 11 plant oils, including sesame oil to detoxify the skin, hemp seed oil to calm inflammation, and apricot kernel oil to reduce redness. It’s fragrance-free and is the best way to prep the skin and create a clean canvas for the rest of the routine.
Follow with our Regenerate+Protect Essence Toner which effectively gets deep into the pores and removes remaining traces of makeup, oil and dirt. It’s packed with ingredients with antibacterial properties, for example, Mursalski (or shepard’s) tea, which is rich in natural antioxidants, nicotinic acid, and Vitamin A, E and C. The best part of this product is that it’s the ultimate multitasker. Enriched with Calendula Stem cells, it refreshes and prepares the skin for the rest of the products, and is both a toner and an essence, so plays the role of a serum too.
An amazing weekly treat (and my favourite!) is our Purify+Nourish Face Mask. Described as ‘magic in a bottle’ and ‘a mask that you can feel working’, this creamy non-drying formula will leave your skin clean and instantly nourished. Enriched with stem cells from the legendary Bulgarian rose, our pampering face mask purifies while maintaining moisture levels for supple and refreshed look and feel.
To perfect the glow, follow with our Replenishing Moisturiser. It is lightweight, yet incredibly hydrating and leaves the skin replenished and radiant. Backed by tradition, powered by stem cells, the Replenishing Moisturiser has a unique dreamy texture and silky soft finish.
Last but not least, our Facial oil is a potent blend of 12 cold-pressed Bulgarian, all packed with vitamins and powerful antioxidants. This lightweight elixir will leaves the skin nourished and protected for an all day healthy-looking glow. It can also be used as a primer to prep the skin for a flawless make-up application.
Your favourite product and why?
My favourite product is the Purify+Nourish Face Mask. It is truly a unique product in a sense that despite it being a mask containing clay (which is usually quite drying), it’s incredibly nourishing. I treat myself to it once or twice a week and use it in the evenings as it helps with acne, brightens the skin and decreases pigmentation, a large concern of mine.
Its rich and nourishing texture, enriched with Bulgarian rose stem cells, also makes for a perfect pamper night. You’ll even be able to feel a slight tingle as the stem cells work their magic. I love it for the instant visible results and how my skin feels – immediately refreshed and revived!
Any plans for this year?
We will be taking part in the ‘Just V Show’ in London at ExCeL on 1-3 July. The Just V Show is one of the largest consumer shows in celebration of plant-based living where visitors are also able to shop their favourite vegan brands.
We’ll be at stand V13 where people would be able try out our products, shop them, or just chat with us.
We’ve also been invited to do an expert talk during the event on a topic we’re extremely passionate about – ‘How to make sure your skincare is sustainable and why is it better for your skin?’. This will take place on July 1st at 13:00pm.
For more information please visit mazillo.com
Read other stories from our “Introducing” series.
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