‘Yakult for the skin’: Gallinée founder hopes to capitalise on early Asia entry with Sephora deal

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Microbiome beauty brand Gallinée has made its Asian debut in Singapore and founder Marie Drago hopes to leverage its early entry to quickly expand across Asia. ©Gallinée
Microbiome beauty brand Gallinée has made its Asian debut in Singapore and founder Marie Drago hopes to leverage its early entry to quickly expand across Asia. ©Gallinée
Microbiome beauty brand Gallinée has made its Asian debut in Singapore and founder Marie Drago hopes to leverage its early entry to quickly expand across Asia.

“We seem to be the first brand targeted at the microbiome launching in SEA. It’s the biggest trend in beauty and it makes sense to be here before anyone else,” ​said Drago.

Drago added that Asia was an important market for the company.

“Everything cool that happens, happens in Asia. That's why I want to be able to expand quickly there and there's a lot to learn.”

The brand signed an exclusive with Sephora SEA to stock its products in-store in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. Gallinée will also be available in the Philippines and Hong Kong via Sephora’s e-commerce platform.

Educating consumers about the microbiome

Drago said that she got the impression that most Asians did not know a great deal about microbiome beauty, even though the practice of taking probiotic foods is common in Asia.

“It’s interesting that the Asian market is not big on microbiome skin care yet because it’s the number one market for probiotics in food... No one has ever heard of the microbiome. To them it’s a new concept,” ​she said.

Educating consumers about the microbiome and its relation to the skin is not new to Drago.

“There are loads of ways to take the consumer into the microbiome space gently without being overly technical. When we launched in Europe, no one knew about the microbiome so we designed a colouring book for the microbiome,” ​said Drago

She elaborated that it was easier to educate people on the microbiome by likening the body to a planet with its own ecosystem and that the microbiome is “your own personal rainforest”.

Drago said she adapted her approach for Asia by using a household name to explain how Galinée’s products work.

“I talk about Yakult because I know it’s very popular here. I say it’s like Yakult for the skin. I explain that you use it for inside, now we use it for outside, so it’s very logical link. And already the Asian population use so much fermentation – like for kimchi – it’s just about linking it to skin.”

While it is a start, she added that there is still a lot to educate about the microbiome and why it is important for health and beauty.

Asian potential

Despite this, Drago believes Gallinée’s products will resonate strongly with Asian consumers, such as its Face Vinegar.

“It’s a toner slash essence I would say, and these kinds of products seem to work really well in Asia,” ​she said.

Drago added she sees a lot of potential for Gallinée in Asia because there are many consumers who suffer from skin conditions such as eczema.

Currently, only Gallinée’s skin and body care lines are available in Asia, but there are plans to launch its hair care range soon.

“There’s massive potential and massive interest. I know typically in Singapore people wash their hair every day but it’s not good for your scalp. With our cleansing cream you can wash your hair every day,” ​said Drago.

Right now, Drago plans on focusing on developing the brand in SEA before expanding to other countries such as Japan or China.

“I don’t want to expand too quickly and lose focus. For the moment, SEA with one partner is perfect. People are enquiring about China, there are a lot of requests. But at the moment I would like to make sure that SEA is a success first.”

Aside from expanding its international presence, the company is actively working on expanding its range of products.

“We've got a lot of projects in the works. We have this massive playground and we can reformulate everything. We are going to expand skin care and maybe probably other categories quickly.”

Find out more and register HERE ​ to join us at the Cosmetics Design Summit 2019: Skin Microbiome Innovation, which is sponsored by DSM​ and Givaudan​ (Diamond sponsors); Solabia​, and Sabinsa​ (Platinum sponsors); Mibelle Biochemistry​ and Atlantia​ (Gold sponsors), and Indena​ (supporter).


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