The brand is currently in its pre-launch stage and offers seven products, including a facial serum and moisturiser, as well as a deodorant.
The minimalist brand focuses on the skin microbiome preserving skin biodiversity. The formulations contain prebiotics to support the skin microbiota, such as preBIULIN AGA.
The company claims that this ingredient hydrates 50% faster, 20% more intensively and 70% longer compared to hyaluronic acid.
The products also utilise allaintoin for its soothing, moisturising and healing properties as well as Inutec H25P, a highly purified inulin that forms a film on the skin to provide a softening effect.
Like many other anhydrous formats, the products contain a higher concentration of active ingredients, making them more efficient, said the firm.
Based in Hong Kong, MONO’s innovative concept is the brainchild of its founder, Laurie Mias, who was previously working in the hospitality industry when the idea to develop a natural skin care brand sparked.
“While I was working for a wellness resort, we were also developing lifestyle products that were all about finding inner peace and balance. This allowed me to do market research and trend analysis, and I realised that there was a gap for natural skin care that was still efficient and not too hippie-ish,” she said.
She also has experience in the cosmetics industry through her family, which has owned and operated several perfume shops in the South of France for two generations.
Mias said being exposed to the cosmetics industry from childhood showed how much waste it can generate and further cemented her aim to develop a sustainable skin care line.
“I was sick of the overconsumption of single-use plastic. I could not believe that even my most expensive skincare still came in single-use plastic containers wrapped in a box itself wrapped in plastic film,” says Laurie.
“Companies that still use single-plastics and say they plant trees or whatever are just hiding the problem. To me, it’s like being diagnosed with a degenerative disease and instead of doing something about it, the doctor just gives you painkillers.”
Mias conceived the concept of a tablet that would dissolve in room temperature water, allowing consumers to refill products easily without having to repurchase bottles.
“I knew this was possible because I had seen Lush’s bath bombs and I also saw a brand in the US with cleaning products in tablet form – so at least the technology existed.”
Despite this, the development process proved to be challenging as Mias wanted the products to be 100% natural. Furthermore, it was important for the products to have the same sensorial properties as conventional products.
“It was definitely challenging because the products had to be dissolved in room-temperature water, so we had to climate all the oils and find another way to bring that greasy feeling like a lotion or a serum,” said Mias.
MONO will be making its official launch in October this year but is already open for pre-orders through its official website. The products will be available internationally with some exceptions.
Aside from its website, Mias has also signed a deal with a Hong Kong retailer to carry the brand.
Given the heightened interest in sustainability and natural products globally, Mias sees tremendous expansion potential for the company.
Some of the markets she is targeting include Germany and its thriving natural beauty scene, as well as France and the UK.
“If we manage to raise the funds, we will further explore Europe, the US, Canada, China, Australia and then the world.”