The Melbourne-based brand was founded by CEO Kate Foster who suffers from fibromyalgia, an illness that inflicts chronic pain throughout the whole body and can affect a person’s sleep and memory.
The illness left Foster bedridden for six months, forcing her to leave her career in finance.
Furthermore, Foster told CosmeticsDesign-Asia it was no longer safe for her to eat certain foods or use certain personal care products.
“It's a mysterious condition and even doctors don’t really understand it at the moment. I found that I would react to certain preservatives in food and skin care. Fragrance was a huge thing as well. I would often break out into rashes and it was just very difficult to use anything. I couldn't stand the smell because my senses were heightened [by fibromyalgia] which makes you sensitive to light, smells and noise.”
During this time, Foster developed an interest in natural skin care products. “I discovered there wasn't a lot of effective natural skin care options available on the market and a lot of people were looking for these natural alternatives.”
She continued: “Leveraging my passion for skin care, my finance background and my personal drive to help others, I decided to seek out a qualified cosmetic chemist to partner with and formulate a unique natural skin care line.”
Life of Skin was scheduled to launch in July this year, but it was delayed until mid-September due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We were hesitating early on in the year if we should proceed or not, just with the uncertainty. But at that point we had nothing to lose,” said Foster.
Despite the pandemic, the company successfully launched the brand, and exceeded its first monthly target by 64% by the end of September.
“There's a huge interest in the brand. I think we just tapped into the right area, the right market, the right people at the right time,” said Foster.
The company launched with a basic range of products and plans to continue launching products over the next 12 months to keep the brand at the top of mind.
“We will be slowly releasing more products to our consumers over the next 12 months and allow our consumers to familiarise themselves with Life of Skin’s products and what we are all about. We will also be utilising this initial year to learn more about what our consumers would like from us.”
As the brand is based in Melbourne, Victoria, the company will not be looking to move offline any time soon and continue to focus online, which has been accelerating due to COVID-19.
Foster said once things settle down for the brand, it would pursue an expansion in four key markets: Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore.
The healthy alternative?
Foster said that the brand focused on ‘healthy’ beauty, which is becoming a trend in the market.
“The healthy alternative to anything is definitely becoming more important to consumers as we are becoming more educated products and ingredients. For centuries, people have always been searching for that healthier alternative in food and lifestyle and over the last decade this mentality is evolving.”
Additionally, Foster wanted to combine the healthy beauty trend with sustainability. “We want to give consumers that comfort that we are not generating unnecessary waste with packaging that is kind to the earth. Providing them with the option to reuse their bottles if they wish to.”
The company also lowers its carbon footprint by sourcing locally. “The chemist we worked with was very conscious about what she put in her formulations and sources everything from local farmers,” said Foster.
She added that locally sourcing ingredients was becoming more important due the implications of COVID-19.
“Local sourcing is a huge trend, especially with COVID-19 hitting. Australia was having a lot of trouble getting imported products. So, for a while, we had quite a number of resources that were unreachable.”
By sourcing locally, the brand also gets to showcase more native Australian ingredients. said Foster.
“We have a lot of great ingredients in Australia that probably haven’t been discovered by the rest of the world. For example, we use the Davidson Plum in a couple of products. It’s high in antioxidants and great for hydration and anti-ageing.”
She noted that as many of these ingredients were sourced from fruits, it would resonate well with Asian consumers in Hong Kong and Singapore as there was a culture of linking food with health.