Our na­tion’s beauty mavens

Th­ese home­grown beauty brands are do­ing us proud with their world-class skin­care. Justina Tan in­ter­views three play­ers who help time-starved con­sumers put their best faces for­ward be­fore any event.

Epicure - - CONTENTS -

What mo­ti­vated you to start Skin Inc?

Be­ing a busy, work­ing mother of two, the last thing on my mind was to go through 11 skin­care steps ev­ery day and night. I also have very sen­si­tive and eczemapron­e skin. I tried many prod­ucts from var­i­ous brands and while some worked, I could not fig­ure out which in­gre­di­ents were good for my skin. I re­alised that there was a gap in the mar­ket, which in­spired me to change and rev­o­lu­tionise the con­cept of skin­care. Rather than stereo­typ­ing skin, I wanted to em­power the dif­fer­ences.

Skin Inc has been around for 10 years. How do you stay rel­e­vant?

Beauty and tech­nol­ogy con­verge at Skin Inc, which is re­flected in our ‘Skin Iden­tity Check’ (an on­line ques­tion­naire on the brand’s web­site). It al­lows any­one

to per­form their own skin di­ag­no­sis with­out be­ing phys­i­cally in the store or with a beauty ad­vi­sor. Since day one, we’ve been very ac­tive on dig­i­tal and so­cial me­dia, which en­ables us to no­tice trends be­fore they be­come main­stream. We al­ways lis­ten to what our cus­tomers say about us, and we make it a point to take all their feed­back into con­sid­er­a­tion – par­tic­u­larly when we are de­vel­op­ing a new prod­uct.

“Our Pure Re­vival Peel was de­vel­oped to meet the needs of ex­fo­li­at­ing my frag­ile skin. It’s gen­tle enough for use on sen­si­tive What is your beauty ethos? skin, but tough on dead skin cells.”

Skin­care shouldn’t be rocket sci­ence. Ac­knowl­edge that your skin is as unique as your­self. Em­brace it – cus­tomise, don’t com­pro­mise.

What are your plans for the brand?

We have been grow­ing since the very be­gin­ning, and to­day we can proudly say that we are an in­ter­na­tional com­pany with a strong global foot­print. Last month, we broke into the China mar­ket and are now avail­able in 130 Sephora stores across China.

Can you share what the road to cre­at­ing the DRGL brand was like?

I’m not trained in skin­care de­vel­op­ment, so I had to learn every­thing from scratch – from vis­it­ing fac­to­ries to un­der­stand­ing the pro­cess. I trav­elled over­seas to learn from ex­perts in the field or trade. This in­cluded learn­ing how the pack­ag­ing premises and pro­cesses that pro­duce the skin­care prod­ucts can af­fect the in­tegrity of the prod­uct over time. DRGL’S prod­ucts are made in Sin­ga­pore, Ja­pan, Korea, U.S.A., and Aus­tralia., de­pend­ing on which coun­try has the best man­u­fac­tur­ers for a par­tic­u­lar prod­uct.

What chal­lenges did you face?

It took pure grit to learn the ropes on top of a full­time job at my prac­tice. What it meant was work­ing late into the night af­ter of­fice hours, do­ing red-eye flights to meet and cherry-pick man­u­fac­tur­ers. It also meant time away from my fam­ily, and be­ing an ab­sen­tee mother and wife.

How has your pro­fes­sion im­pacted the de­vel­op­ment of DRGL?

We use only pre­mium in­gre­di­ents that are brought to­gether from the knowl­edge I have gar­nered over the last two decades in my field of prac­tice. To cu­rate skin­care prod­ucts to meet our cus­tomers’ needs, we study and un­der­stand what they want and re­quire through our ser­vice arm – th­ese cus­tomers form an im­por­tant real-time fo­cus group for the brand.

What is your beauty maxim?

Keep it sim­ple. If you can achieve re­sults in five to six sim­ple steps, there is no need for a ‘skin­care de­tour’ with 23 steps (that is the high­est I have seen). It is not only costly and wastes time, but also sub­jects the skin to ex­cess chem­i­cals and ex­poses it to sen­si­ti­sa­tion.

What was the mo­ti­va­tion be­hind Al­lies of Skin?

I had se­vere acne as a teenager, which is how my pas­sion for skin­care started. I wanted to cre­ate an ef­fort­less, non-toxic line fo­cused on clin­i­cally proven in­gre­di­ents at con­cen­trated per­cent­ages for op­ti­mal ef­fi­cacy.

What chal­lenges did you face in the early days?

As a fast-grow­ing start-up, our chal­lenge in the be­gin­ning and two years af­ter was al­ways cash. This is a cap­i­tal-in­ten­sive in­dus­try, so I boot­strapped this for the first year un­til I couldn’t any­more, and then I took on pri­vate in­vestors. Who is Al­lies of Skin’s tar­get user?

The time-starved in­di­vid­ual. I like to say that we cre­ate prod­ucts for peo­ple who work too hard, sleep too lit­tle and drink too much, so if you fall into any of those three cat­e­gories, Al­lies of Skin is for you.

How have you po­si­tioned and pub­li­cised your brand? We’ve not had any money for mar­ket­ing, so the growth we’ve had has been through or­ganic word-of-mouth. Be­ing stocked in the best lux­ury stores around the world has helped, as we are able to tap into their chan­nels and plat­forms.

Al­lies of Skin is avail­able on­line and in Sephora. Do you in­tend to start a brick and mor­tar here?

That’s def­i­nitely in our plans for the fu­ture, but right now we are fo­cused on grow­ing our ex­ist­ing chan­nel part­ners.

“With my ex­tremely dry, sen­si­tive, eczema-prone skin, I need to first heal the bar­rier layer. I use the Op­ti­mizer Voy­age Tri-light++ to­gether with My Daily Dose Cus­tomblended Serum, which is highly con­cen­trated to tai­lor to my needs.”

DR GE­OR­GIA LEE’S BEAUTY MUST-HAVES “Sun Pro­tec­tion Anti-ag­ing is a multi-tasker that pro­tects me from UV rays, mois­turises and slows down wrin­kles with pep­tides. I ap­ply this over my face, eye­lids, neck and en­tire body, in­clud­ing clothed ar­eas.”

“I use only Cleanser Hair (An­ti­hair­loss) to wash my hair be­cause it helps to slow down age- and stress-re­lated hair loss while en­cour­ag­ing new hair growth.”

“I ap­ply Post Cleanser Step 2 – it con­tains lac­tic acid – over my face, eye­lids, neck and back of my hands to keep skin cell re­newal in check. It re­sults in fewer lines and less pig­ment spots.”

“We have users shar­ing with us how Skin Re­pair has helped their acne or skin wounds heal faster. Th­ese lit­tle notes of en­cour­age­ment are so pre­cious to us.”

“A new and im­proved for­mula of the 1A All-day Mask, the 1A All-day Pol­lu­tion Re­pair Mask is 50 per­cent more con­cen­trated than the orig­i­nal. Con­tain­ing seven bright­en­ers and nine an­tiox­i­dants, it is the world’s first leave-on day mask. It re­pairs past and present dam­age while eras­ing all signs of fa­tigue.” DRGL and Al­lies of Skin are avail­able at Sephora ION Or­chard.


“The Molec­u­lar Saviour Pro­bi­otics Mist is an anti-evap­o­ra­tion skin booster that en­hances the ef­fects of every­thing else used af­ter.”

“The Prom­ise Keeper Blem­ish Fa­cial helps to treat ex­ist­ing break­outs and pre­vents fu­ture ones with a blend of po­tent in­gre­di­ents that in­cludes an­tiox­i­dants, or­ganic rose­hip oil, col­loidal sil­ver and med­i­cal grade Manuka honey.”

“For­mu­lated with gly­colic, lac­tic and sal­i­cylic acids, the Bright Fu­ture Overnight Fa­cial gives the ef­fects of a pro­fes­sional fa­cial overnight; all you have to do is sleep.”

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