In 2019, the standards for social consciousness in beauty are higher than ever. As consumers get smarter, brands are expected to offer everything from cruelty-free and vegan formulas to all-encompassing shade ranges and eco-friendly packaging. For Bravo Sierra, a new skin and body brand that launched this week, going above and beyond means catering to a community the beauty industry rarely touches: the U.S. military.
Named for a coded military idiom used to call bullshit (literally, "Bravo" and "Sierra" are the phonetic alphabet words that represent "B" and "S"), Bravo Sierra is the first brand to incubate products targeted to the needs of active-duty military members. At least 1,000 Special Operations Forces members stress-tested each of the eight products to work in both military field conditions and on base camps.
"We want to build products from scratch with [service members'] needs in mind that are going to be identified by them," co-founder Justin Guilbert tells Refinery29. "Our expertise comes in so we can develop the product, the formulas, the critically relevant innovations, and make it accessible."
Guilbert's background makes him a natural fit for this endeavor: His mother worked for the United Service Organizations (USO) and his grandfather founded EURPAC, a major distribution partner of the Department of Defense’s retail operations. He partnered with Benjamin Bernet, who's previously worked with major beauty brands like L'Oréal, Kiehl's, and Glossier, to create a line of skin and body essentials that service the military community, but also offer real results the average civilian consumer is looking for. "If it performs at the standard that [the military] expects and wants, then the civilian consumer should have some satisfaction, too," says Guilbert.
What's more, Bravo Sierra has developed a partnership with the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, so that the products service members helped create will now be sold in base camp exchanges. (Exchanges are retailer megastores that offer brands and products in one convenient place for military service members.) Civilians can purchase the products directly from the brand site, and 5% of all top-line sales go directly to Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) programs that offer service benefits to U.S. military members, veterans, and their families (think: access to entertainment and WiFi on bases).
Here's the thing: These products don't just do good — they also work and, at $5 to $14, cost less than a Sweetgreen salad. Aside from the innovative first-to-market technologies, the products are vegan, cruelty-free, and formulated without questionable ingredients like parabens, phthalates, SLS/SLES, and phenoxyethanol. As an added bonus, all packaging components have a Cradle-to-Cradle silver certification, a new product standard that audits companies on several manufacturing categories, including renewable energy and carbon management.
Ready to check it out? Ahead, Bravo Sierra's newest launches.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.