‘The way forward’: Beauty start-up Potions aims to use tech to redefine its role as a skin care brand

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Start-up aims to use beauty tech to define its place in an already saturated cosmetics market. ©Potions
Start-up aims to use beauty tech to define its place in an already saturated cosmetics market. ©Potions

Related tags beauty tech Skin care

A Singapore-based beauty start-up specialising in skin care products developed in South Korea is looking to beauty technology to define its place in an already saturated cosmetics market.

Founders Latif Sim and Daryl Ho founded the company in July 2019 to produce effective and affordable products.

Aside from Singapore, the brand is currently available in Brunei, Thailand, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. It is primarily an online business but is looking to expand offline.

“We started as an e-commerce business and right now we are shifting a bit to retail. We are speaking to a big [Singapore] department store and are targeting to be in stores by November or December,”​ said Sim.

A beauty tech company?

Sim told CosmeticsDesign-Asia ​that the company would not solely focus on developing cosmetic products.

“I don’t see why we should follow the operations of other skin care companies by developing products. There are so many products on the market fighting with each other. Businesses must create value for people, if not what will differentiate you from others?”

Sim, who began his tech career in a blockchain start-up, is aiming to redefine how beauty brands operate by leveraging on technology.

“Those years at the blockchain start-up… that’s when I began to see technology in a very abstract way – it’s like I cracked the Da Vinci code. I began to see how it was applicable in anything and everything, even skin care.”

Sim strongly believes technology “is the way forward​” for the beauty industry.

“We’ve seen quite a bit of developments from the big brands such as using 3D-printing to produce sheet masks. You can’t run away from technology, but we have to look at how to layer it into the business so at the end of the day it can make the journey easier for the consumer.”

However, he said the industry was still at the early stages of its tech development.

“I don’t think tech development in the beauty industry is at the level it should be at. For example, if you look at food security, they are using blockchain technology, which I think is the way to go. With this tech, you can track raw ingredients from inception right through to the final output. This is a very powerful area someone needs to look into.”

Technology to complement products

Sim revealed to us that the company has a roadmap planned which would include product and tech development.

The company cannot share details about its development plans but revealed that it is currently working with Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), a statutory board of the Singapore government, under the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI), to develop a digital skin care platform.

“We are working very closely with IMDA to build a unique technology to engage our consumers a bit better, to educate them and give them knowledge at their fingertips. It will help them understand their skin a bit better and formulate routines at the click of a button,”​ said Sim.

Sim said the firm’s aim was to develop technology to complement the products.

“We will continue to produce more products that will fill up the entire skin care routine. From cleansers to sunscreens, these products will come. But in the meantime, instead of focusing on the product, we want to focus on how we can engage our consumers better.”

He elaborated that brands had to adapt to the “drastic” ​changes in how consumers experience shopping today.

“They don't just buy – they want to buy and feel like they are part of the brand. They want to feel like they have a say in the brand. The perception of power the consumers want to have is also an important aspect to consider.”

In the future, he envisions giving the consumer some power over the development of its products.

“In the future, we want consumers to contribute to the products. We what them to tell us what kind of product they want to see within the range, or how the product looks like. This brand engagement with consumers is a very important component to us – and technology will help us bridge that.”

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