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Skinega started as our consumer journey to seek out simpler, more transparent, clean, luxury vegan skincare.
I had been working in executive consulting and research for nearly twenty years, in the UK, Asia, Eastern Europe, and North America. My partner worked in luxury skincare in Beverly Hills for many years, and we both used to think we had sensitive skin because our skin reacted badly to so many different brands. It turned out only elephant skin is robust enough to withstand some of the chemical potions sold as skincare these days. With 30-99 ingredients per product being normal, with so many of those ingredients having nothing to do with the well-being of the skin, like thickeners, fragrance, texture modifiers and so on, and with active ingredients so vastly diluted by the sheer number of them, I gave up my old work, and my new research project commenced.
We believe the organic and natural trend is fuelled by demand for cleaner, safer skincare. We also believe that “organic,” “natural,” “free from,” and “clean” are labels that, like “vegan,” should conclusively describe every ingredient in a product, but unfortunately they don’t.These terms have wrongly become synonymous with safer, cleaner skincare, as legally, organic and natural doesn’t have to mean entirely organic or natural. In fact, legally, there is no definition of natural in US law as it relates to skincare. A product can read “Made with organic ingredients” and only contain 70% organic ingredients. Vegan enthusiasts would not be happy if their “made with vegan ingredients” sandwich had a 29% chunk of ham in it, and we think it’s also unacceptable in skincare.
Furthermore, “free from” lists and “clean” are labels that only refer to the bad ingredients in skincare? We thought, “How can it be, in an industry that takes our delicate and most exposed organ, the skin, and adds the word ‘care,’ that marketing the exclusion of toxic ingredients, carcinogens, endocrine disruptors and other nasty ingredients, was a valid point of differentiation? Shouldn’t skin ‘care’ means none of these ingredients are ever included, period?”
The word “clean” to us didn’t mean “no bad ingredients,” it meant “no ingredients that do not positively impact the skin,” and all of these discoveries about lax laws and regulations, confusing terms and selective ingredient disclosure, led us to our lightbulb moment. We wanted to make luxury, vegan skincare with fewer ingredients at higher concentrations, that was “clean” by our definition: undiluted by thickeners, fragrance, colors, or controversial chemicals. If an ingredient doesn’t positively contribute to the wellbeing of skin, it won’t be found in our products. Of course it’s much easier to just make the product look, feel and smell pretty, and then add a few active ingredients and only shout and scream about those particular ingredients, but we wanted more, and we believed consumers would also want more.
Excluding fragrance, colors, texture modifiers, and controversial ingredients was the easy part. Thickening a product without diluting it with synthetic thickeners was the challenge. The answer came in the form of our proprietary US protected ingredient called Quad Weight Hyaluronic Acid (QWHA). Hyaluronic Acid is a naturally occurring substance in our bodies that is abundant in our skin and is largely responsible for skin hydration and “plumpness.” We created a proprietary vegan blend of four molecularly weights of HA that gives not only multi-level skin hydration but also is rich enough to control the viscosity of our products, delivering skin nourishment while simultaneously eliminating the need for bulking agents and thickeners. You will not find QWHA anywhere else.
Furthermore, we felt the industry generated ‘need’ for a complex array of products, all for an area of the size of a small dinner plate was simply not necessary. As our world gets more and more complex, and our time becomes more and more scarce, daily routines to beautify and protect skin should be getting simpler, not more complicated. So we worked hard to identify our skin’s six main needs and within a year we will launch four products that can collectively be layered to address these needs, eliminating the “need” for separate day and night products, eye, neck and face products.
We started our consumer journey wanting what everyone else wants. We were not “industry veterans” but that ended up being to our advantage as we had no preconceived notions, but we did know what we wanted as a consumer and we worked hard to create it. Real clean vegan luxury skincare, defined in the simplest way, with fewer ingredients at higher concentration, fewer products, and fewer steps to healthy glowing skin. Our first product, Serumizer, launched on June 22nd, 2017.
Written By Fraser Hill, Founder, and CEO, Skinega Inc.
Fraser is the Founder and CEO of Skinega, Inc. He grew up and was educated in Scotland before going on to forge an 18-year career in executive consulting and research, living and working in London, Hong Kong, Poland, Canada, and in the US, working for companies including J.P. Morgan, as well as starting Consulting firms in Canada in 2008, and London in 2012. With his background in research and technology, Fraser embarked on a consumer driven journey to seek out cleaner, vegan, more effective luxury skincare. He sought a “free from” list that went beyond just harmful ingredients to include ingredients that serve no purpose to skin’s wellbeing like synthetic thickeners, colors, fragrance, and other texture modifiers. His search was unsuccessful, so Skinega was developed over a two-year period, then formally established in 2017.