In the highly trend-driven skin care market, Shaily Mehrotra is not interested in following hashtags.
The founder and CEO of Fixderma from India told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that being dictated by buzzwords was a futile endeavour.
“If you talk to the salespeople, they always want to run on what’s selling already. They say ride the wave, but I don’t believe in riding the wave. Everyone else is on the wave and that wave is going to come down – so what’s the point?”
Instead, the company’s product development process, which is headed largely by Mehrotra, focuses on solving problems that are not commonly discussed.
“I just keep my eyes and ears open all the time,” Mehrotra said.
One such problem the company has addressed is acanthosis nigricans, a skin condition that causes a dark discolouration in body folds and creases. It typically affects areas like the neck, armpits, and elbows.
“It’s an underlying condition of polycystic ovarian disease, obesity, or maybe even genetics,” explained Mehrotra.
In 2022, Fixderma introduced Nigrifix, a cream to tackle acanthosis nigricans. The launch was accompanied by a humorous commercial featuring veteran actor Boman Irani as its product ambassador.
According to Mehrotra, the launch of Nigrifix has been tremendously successful. The company has observed double-digit growth month after month.
Today, 60% of Fixderma’s total sales are dominated by Nigrifix. "That's because there's nothing like it out there," said Mehrotra.
It has topped Fixderma’s wide-ranging portfolio, which includes vitamin C serums, acne treatments, and sunscreens – suggesting that acanthosis nigricans might be a problem faced by more people than previously thought.
Fixderma is currently in the process of obtaining a patent for Nigrifix.
A foot ahead
One of Fixderma’s latest products and one that is rising to the top of the charts fast is Foobetik, a foot cream that has been formulated especially for people who suffer from diabetes.
Mehrotra explained that diabetes affects the skin by causing dryness, and one major problem area is the foot, where diabetics suffer from dry skin and cracked heels.
However, Foobetik does not just moisturise the skin, but also maintains the temperature, as diabetics tend to have warmer feet. Furthermore, it also helps to soothe an uncomfortable tingling sensation associated with diabetes.
While the cream was developed for diabetics, the company discovered that many people have experienced the same uncomfortable tingling sensation even though they are not diabetic.
“Sometimes you experience it when you’re very tired and it makes it hard for you to fall asleep. So initially it was made for diabetics, but we found that many people very happy with Foobetik,” said Mehrotra.
The launch of Foobetik was also accompanied by a similar light-hearted commercial fronted by actor Rushad Rana.
Mehrotra highlighted that such advertising campaigns were extremely crucial to the success of the products.
“It takes time to make people aware because sometimes they might not be aware of the problem even if they experience it.”