Olio e Osso: Clean skincare for strength and energy

We’ve been seeing the beautiful Olio e Osso balms everywhere - vibrant colored balms in clear oval tubes. So, we were thrilled to have the chance to interview founder Paola Lamorticella, who is the co-creator of the brand. All of the products in the Olio e Osso line are based on olive oil, a homage to Paola’s heritage and love for all-natural ingredients. Below, we asked her about how she launched her company, the values she stands for, her advice for Her Campus readers, and of course, her recommendations for beauty products. 

Paola, when did you first start creating skincare?  

I started making the balms for my son Romeo when he was a baby. He was getting itchy dry patches on his skin. The doctors gave me prescriptions for salves and ointments that contained petroleum products and steroids that would only create more problems. I knew I could come up with a balm that could soothe his skin and be petroleum-free at the same time. And I knew that the olive oil I grew up with would be the nutrient-dense foundation I needed to start building the balm with.

What does the name Olio e Osso mean?

Olio E Osso means “Oil and Bone.” Two foundations we need for strength and energy.

How did you meet your business partner May Albano, and how did you decide to become cofounders?

I am a maker, formulator and designer. Business is not my strength... the very talented Joanna Bean Martin of After All studios who designed our packaging and logo recognized that in order for Olio to be successful I would need a business partner. She introduced me to my cofounder May early on. 

Why is it important to use nourishing ingredients at Olio e Osso?

I look at every product we make holistically. What does it need to do and why. Then I set about formulating with only the most necessary ingredients to reach our goal. When you work this way, you must only use nutrient-dense, nourishing ingredients. There are no filler ingredients to hide behind. I believe that if you start with the best whole ingredients you don’t need to add extras. I don’t follow trends, I use what works.

Can you introduce us to some of the products in your line? What would you recommend to our readers who may be new to Olio e Osso? 

I seriously love all our products. But to list a few: our balms would be the first thing I would recommend. They are simple, amazing, and there are 12 colors and 2 clear to choose from. Our finishing oil is packed full of phytonutrients, vitamins A,C,D and E. It naturally fights free radicals while helping to support skin renewal and regeneration. It’s plumping, soothing and great even for sensitive skin. Our oil cleanse is simple and effective. It will easily and naturally remove even the most stubborn waterproof makeup and leave skin dewy instead of stripped. Our nourishing hand cream has a deeply calming smell of Neroli and Bergamot. It also doubles as a lightweight pomade. All of our products are multi-use: balms can be used on lips, cheeks eyebrows, fly away hairs, cuticles and dry patches. And all are nutrient dense.

Why is it important for Olio e Osso to be a diverse company?

I am only as good as my community and that’s how I see Olio. We are a company founded by women with diverse backgrounds and cultures. We must support and celebrate who we are, where we are from, and how we want the community to develop for our families and our friends. We are only as good as what we leave behind.

As a female founder, what advice do you have for younger college women interested in starting their own businesses?

Listen to your gut. Seek out people who you believe in to guide you. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to fail. Remember that you are only stuck if you can’t adapt... You will be “mansplained” and talked down to at some point. SHAKE IT OFF and move forward. It’s just a blip if you keep moving.

What's next for Olio e Osso?

We have a few new products coming soon that we are super excited about. One of them is a smooth lipstick that will feel soothing but will also be perfectly pigmented. Another is a lip sheen that will leave your lips satiny instead of dry. Look for them by the holidays!

At HerCampus we tested the famous balms and the face oil. The balms come in a dozen beautiful shades, from French Melon to Crimson to Currant (French Melon was our favorite). They come in the clear, fashionable tubes and are the most uniquely shaped balms that we have ever used. The oval shape makes it easy to apply on both lips and cheeks. The colors are very subtle - a single layer results only in a very thin, almost unnoticeable tint while multiple layers will give a more pronounced color. These are so great to keep in a wristlet or bookbag and make for thoughtful small gifts for friends and family. 

The finishing oil is a unique product, made from a blend of natural oils including marula oil, primrose oil and avocado oil. It comes in a luxurious glass bottle with dropper and is to be used to hydrate skin after cleaning - and a few drops goes a long way! This is great for all skin types, and after testing this oil I learned that my skin actually responds better to this oil than to my normal cream moisturizer. The oil is also incredibly nourishing for skin, as it is high in antioxidants, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Omega 6, to name a few. As my skin is both sensitive and dry, I know that this is one product I will be using frequently especially in the winter months!