PCHI 2019

Asian expansion eyed by US maker of reusable gel masks

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Asian expansion eyed by US maker of reusable gel masks
US-based cosmetics firm Alps Beauty is searching for partners to bring a reusable and customisable gel mask to Asia, and reported a high level of interest at last week’s PCHi show in Guangzhou

The company believes there is a demand for its reusable gel masks in Asia, where sheet masks continue to be very popular among consumers.

Reusable and customisable

The reusable masks come in three different versions: an antioxidant mask, a cold mask and a hot mask which have all been registered with China Food and Drug Authority (CFDA).

The antioxidant mask was designed to be an everyday mask, while the cold mask was designed to reduce inflammation while providing antioxidants to help regenerate the skin. The warm mask, which can be heated with hot water, was designed to improve blood circulation.

They can work alone or in unison with other skin care products such as serums or creams by working as an occlusive.

“This product is semi-finished and if we have customers that are interested in cooperating with us, we can work on the formulation so that beside antioxidants it can be anything they want delivered into the skin,”​ said Fabio Vendraminetto, executive director of Alps in Europe.

Additionally, Alps Beauty also produces a product called a retainer, which seeks to ensure its reusable masks can fit perfectly on individual faces.

“It is impossible to make a mask that can be customised to all the shapes so this is an easy solution. Just one minute in hot water and shape it around your face. Once it cools, you have the perfect shape. Just need to do it once,” said ​Vendraminetto.

This way, users can have a facial cast that perfectly matches the contours of their face while enhancing the efficacy of the treatments.

The company has already begun work on a new version of its masks, which is a hybrid of the antioxidant mask and the retainer.

“With the antioxidant mask incorporated with the retainer, you just need to do customisation once and you can reapply as much as you need,” Vendraminetto explained.

This evolution shows the possibilities of the company’s reusable masks, he added.

“We are doing things in accordance with the demands of the market. As long this keeps making sense to us, we will keep doing it without waiting for somebody to tell us what to do.”

Proven in the medical field

Alps started as a manufacturer of prosthetic linings and has several branches all over the world, including China.

Their advanced gel linings play an important role in the comfort and health of amputees. The company patented its linings in 1996 and moved into the cosmetics space two years ago.

“We are an R&D company. Besides manufacturing, we have people who keep thinking of new applications for our gels and paddings. We had evaluators that foresaw the use of the products in skin care and that is why we started developing it,”​ said Vendraminetto.

The move into skin care has not been an easy journey for the company.

“It’s a tough market and we are new in this industry. We are searching for partners in order to launch this product effectively,” ​he said.

While Alps’ masks are not available in the mass market yet, Alps is certain of the products' future within the skin care market.

“It will be a mass product because it’s versatile. Depending on the partner we work with, it has applications in cosmetics and dermatological. We see a big range of possible target markets we can aim at,” ​said Vendraminetto.

He added that the products had been very well-received at PCHi 2019. “There are people stopping by in the hundreds every day, we collected 300 contacts on the first day. There is big interest in our masks.”

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