Modern demands of cosmetic brands and companies are a long list. Old-fashioned qualities like formulations being free of sulfates and parabens, and newer ones like environmental ethics, and more advanced application of active ingredients means consumers know what they want and they're asking for it. Nécessaire is that rare brand to nail it all, and it’s an exciting entry into the relatively slow segment of body care.

Crucial to this intelligent approach are the two founders: Nick Axelrod and Randi Christiansen. The former a veteran of fashion and beauty publishing, having worked at WWD and Elle and co-founded touchstone beauty site Into The Gloss, and the latter with a career at the Estee Lauder group for 15 years spent developing brands like La Mer and the company’s namesake flagship.

Portrait of Nick Axelrod and Randi Christiansen, the founders of bodycare brand Nécessaire.
Nick Axelrod and Randi Christiansen, the founders of Nécessaire, combine shrewd experience of the beauty industry and a sense of what the people want.

Combined, it’s no surprise that the pair have come up with products clean, advanced and effective. On the environmental front, it uses 100% recyclable materials on its boxes. The brand cites a search for body care that yielded unsatisfactory results. And it’s true, the industry has long treated the segment as an afterthought. Very few cosmetics brands, bar perhaps Clarins, truly dedicate R&D for products below the neck. Per the founders’ philosophy, Nécessaire extends the (pardon) necessity of self-care to the body.

The full range of Nécessaire's current product lineup: body wash, body lotion, and sex gel.
There are currently 3 products: a body wash, lotion, and personal lubricant.

Nécessaire has launched with a very tight selection of products: just a body wash, lotion, and a personal lubricant. The last is a pleasant surprise, and the elegant spare packaging makes it a proud product to be displayed, not shelved. And everything is pH-optimized so the products work. The Body Wash wash uses a robust multivitamin complex (A, B3, C, E, Omegas 6 and 9, and antioxidants), luxurious marula, cacay, and meadowfoam oils, and reparative niacinamide. It’s a gentle low-foaming cleanse that comes scented with a choice of sandalwood, eucalyptus, or nothing at all.

The Body Lotion is similarly formulated, with the addition of skin-signalling peptides that improve complexion, firmness and smoothness. It’s non-greasy, fast absorbing, and akin to a treat for the skin with the crucial caveat that it doesn’t feel occlusive. In an ideal world, you’d have the patience to moisturise your body daily post-shower if the products didn't take so long to absorb. This solves that problem.

The Sex Gel by Nécessaire is a personal lubricant formulated with hyaluronic acid and organic aloe vera.
An elegant bottle of lube, if ever there were one to keep on your nightstand.

And finally, the Sex Gel. It’s a smart move, giving this much consideration to lubrication and a tasteful embrace of sex positivity without puritan panic. Skin is skin, after all. And all skin can do with the hydrating and conditioning benefits of hyaluronic acid and organic aloe vera. It’s got all genders in mind, and plays well with natural rubber latex, polyurethane and polyisoprene condoms. It’s not often you get skincare with your sex.