Interview with Zaffrin O’Sullivan, Founder at Gender Neutral Skincare Brand: Five Dot Botanics

Zaffrin O'Sullivan founder at five dot cosmetics

Five Dot Botanics is a minimalist gender neutral skincare brand which I set up as a challenge to the beauty industry. To offer products with minimal ingredients that you really understand, skincare has a transparency problem. Five Dot Botanics only uses high concentrations of plant-based ingredients and we are massively inclusive of whoever you are, whatever race, gender, background.

I also think that the beauty industry can be pretty wasteful so the 5 ingredient philosophy is really about mindful consumption, slow beauty and efficient use of the planet’s resources.

I came up with the idea for Five Dot Botanics after becoming a Beekeeper and stopping to appreciate the benefits of plants and experimenting with making skincare using honey and beeswax. I’m a digital media lawyer by background so being an outsider to the beauty industry really helped to create something with a distinctive point of view and place but we partnered with an incredible cosmetic formulator when it came to creating our range.
Five Dot Botanics is changing the game for inclusivity

What advice would you give to other aspiring female entrepreneurs?

I started Dive Dot Botanics as a side hustle and I think my advice is you don’t need tons of cash, contacts or equipment to start however you do need grit, determination and discipline. Not everyone has it.

You also need courage, it means stopping the voices in your head that say “I can’t do this”. My advice always is, don’t worry what your friends will think, the anxiety of “what will they think of me” has killed many dreams!

We can also get caught up on needing business or projects to go perfectly. My advice is let go of being perfect

Meeting different people is key as it helps open your eyes to new ways of doing things. It is also a great way to test your ideas and get new perspectives. Maybe you always had the same group of friends, or you don’t know people that are different to you, so important to broaden your network


What can we hope to see from Five Dot Botanics in the future?

Five Dot Botanics launched primarily DTC and we have a lot of trade interest as our brand has grown and also as a result of being selected by Sephora for their Sephora Beauty Accelerator. We were the only British brand selected in 2020 to take part. In future you will see us in more stores and we will be rolling out internationally. The Five Dot Botanics community is super important for us and has helped is create something different in skincare.

We hope to become the leading gender-neutral minimalist skincare brand in the world.