Zyu Skincare is a self-proclaimed ‘treatment skin care’ line founded by fourth year medical student Zoen Tay.
The newcomer launched last December, just months before the COVID-19 outbreak hit Singapore.
Tay tells CosmeticsDesign-Asia that launch was a success, and the company managed to break even in its first month.
“Honestly, we weren’t expecting such a good response and weren’t able to keep up with the demand from our customers.”
Things got more challenging in the next following months because of the pandemic, which led to a logistical ‘nightmare’ for the company.
“We were available to international customers and ended up receiving orders from Australia, Hong Kong, and the US. However, because of the border restrictions, we couldn’t get the items to our customers. It was obviously upsetting for them and we ended up losing quite a bit of business,” said the founder and director.
The border restrictions also affected production as the firm was unable to get a hold of its ingredients, which are mainly from Japan and Switzerland.
“Because of this pandemic, I had to be a lot more flexible with my plans. Everything was changing day by day and I had to play by ear,” said Tay.
Made for the times
Tay elaborated that instead of the products she initially planned to launch, the firm launched the Glow-It-Yourself Treatment Kit.
This at-home kit was developed to replace salon facial treatments, which consumer were unable to go for during Singapore’s months-long 'circuit breaker' period.
“The idea occurred at the start of circuit breaker when all the salons were closed and many people couldn't get their facial treatments done. We felt there was an opportunity to create something cool, timely and meet the needs of customers,” said Joshua Tan, head of accounts and logistics, Zyu Skincare.
The production delays due to the circuit breaker held back the launch of the kit, which ended up being unveiled right before the beauty salons were given the green light to reopen.
Despite the timing, there was still consumer demand for the kit.
“At that time because everyone was going back to the salons for their treatment, many people struggled to get appointments for their treatments. This is not something we thought of that the time, and the products still proved to be timely,” said Tan.
The Glow-It-Yourself Treatment Kit is currently in limited production, but Tay said she is considering making it a permanent product.
“I think we will see more DIY solutions in the future. I’m already seeing more products like LED light mask on the market and on social media you see more people trying out more DIY projects like the dalgona coffee craze.”
Weighing the costs
The company plans to launch more products to complete its range of skin care, including sun care, day cream and cleanser.
The next launches by the brand will be entirely made in Singapore due to the restrictions in place.
Previously, Zyu Skincare was manufacturing products domestically but sourcing its ingredients overseas.
To avoid more logistical issues, the company is now exploring the possibility of localising manufacturing more in the future.
“Now I’m looking for alternatives. If the quality of ingredients is as good as what I can get overseas then I will consider going local,” said Tay.
Tan added the decision will also depend on the costs of manufacturing in Singapore.
“The drawback of this is the higher costs. We are based in Singapore and we do want to do as much as we can for Singapore, and we are as things stand. But as a result, our margins are rather high because it is an expensive country. As a result, our price point is not the cheapest, but we believe it’s a fair price point.”