When Lauren Bosworth, better known as “Lo” from MTV’s “Laguna Beach,” was finishing up her art history degree at UCLA, she never could have guessed just how much her own wellness journey would end up changing her career — and life.
It was 2012, and Bosworth had recently moved to New York City from Los Angeles. She had been struggling with depression and anxiety and felt the medication she was being prescribed wasn’t working. So, she decided to try something new.
“It's hard to visit your doctor many times for the same problem and not be able to heal your body,” Bosworth, 33, said. Finally, her physicians diagnosed her with severe vitamin deficiencies, which set her on the path to better health.
“I started using products from smaller brands that were naturally derived, and that’s when I was able to get better… Through that process, I was at the drugstore a lot, and I realized that there was an incredible gap in the market when it comes to women’s personal care”
Bosworth recounted looking at personal care products at drugstores and noticing women’s hygiene products, like tampons, were enhanced with scents that are heavily-laden with chemicals that can cause irritation. She also felt products like lubricants and body washes focused on pink, flowery labels while neglecting ingredients.
"The main issue women face when they're in the personal care aisle at the drugstore is that a lot of what's available is made with cheap chemicals that don't serve women's bodies very well,” said Bosworth. “…Most personal care products were invented decades ago and haven't gotten a make-over since, despite the fact that research on women's health has advanced far beyond legacy brands’ offerings.”
This led Bosworth to launch Love Wellness in 2016. It’s a wellness company that offers vitamins, supplements, and cleansers geared specifically toward women. Popular products include their Good Girl Probiotics that prioritize vaginal pH and urinary tract health, as well as the pH-balancing cleanser, which is made with all-natural ingredients.
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So how in the world does someone with no medical background go about starting a wellness company, you ask? Bosworth did it by first consulting with her personal doctors.
“I started by myself in my living room,” said Bosworth. “I worked with my doctors to nail down formulations and cold-called manufacturers in the tri-state area and we launched with five products. I built the website myself and I was a one-woman team for a long time.”
Now, the company has an actual office and 15 people on-staff, as well as an advisory board that consists of medical doctors and nutritionists — all of whom have helped weigh-in on the brand's Feb. 10 re-launch. “They help us create formulations that cater to women's bodies,” said Bosworth. “From conception to execution, it takes a six to eight months to ensure that the final product is safe and effective.”
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While starting a company is a brave move for anyone, Bosworth was acutely aware that she might have a difficult time being taken seriously. When she first moved to New York City in 2012, she had started a company that put together kits of affordable party decorations. “It turns out it was tricky at the time to get 30 items into a box and ship it at a cost-effective price,” said Bosworth. “It failed spectacularly.”
But she didn’t let previous set backs stop her.
And even as Love Wellness was getting picked up in stores nationwide, including at Ulta Beauty and Amazon, Bosworth described how she initially felt hesitant to use her position to garner publicity for fear that she wouldn’t be taken seriously.
“The message that I got from everybody was to put your head down and go get a real job,” said Bosworth. “And so, I built this company, I hadn’t really spoken about it a lot — because I’d just been under the impression that I just needed to go and work.”
Now that the little company she launched in her living room has expanded, she’s feeling empowered to speak out. “In 2020 I’m trying to find a balance between sharing my story and what I’m doing because so many women’s lives have changed because of the brand,” said Bosworth.