‘Bastardised to a point’: How responsible beauty brands can meet consumers’ clean label demands
That’s the view of the founder of Australian beauty brand Luk Beautifood, which seeks to cater to the rising demand for natural, efficient and multi-purpose cosmetics by incorporating myriad functional ingredients in its products.
“It’s an exciting time for the beauty industry because women are so educated and taking extra care of their bodies nowadays. They want multi-purpose and easy-to-use products, and they are keen to try new ones.
“However, they are also questioning the safety of products and their ingredients. They want to be assured that whatever is put on and goes into their skin is beneficial. People are starting to see that makeup is no longer just about painting colour and synthetics on the face,” Cindy Luken, founder of Luk Beautifood, told CosmeticsDesign-Asia.
The brand is built on the concept of “feeding” and nourishing the skin with healthy ingredients, just like how nutritious foods help to support overall health.
“We ensure that every ingredient is a good ingredient and has a role to play,” said Luken.
With the rise in brands using the “clean label” term, Luken highlighted the importance of being accountable to consumers.
“Similar to what happened with organic cosmetics, clean beauty is a terminology that has been bastardised to a point where there are many definitions of what it means. I think it’s really important for brands to be completely transparent about their products so that their customers are empowered to make an informed decision,” she reiterated.
Multiple functions in one product
A former food scientist and a nutritionist by trade, Luken is heavily involved in the product formulation process, with her ideas driven by consumer needs.
The brand’s latest launch, Instant Glow Tinted Complexion Balm, contains 15 naturally derived ingredients that work together to provide a lit-from-within finish.
Some of the noteworthy ingredients include the L22 non-comedogenic lipid complex that is said to improve the recovery of skin barrier function, Noni plant stem cells to balance skin microbiome and fight acne-causing bacteria, and plant-based carotenoids to protect against blue light.
“Our products are for women who love to wear makeup, but have better things to do than stand in front of the mirror for hours. You don’t need to be a trained makeup artist to put on the Instant Glow. A few drops of it, and you are ready to jump into a Zoom meeting. It’s an instant pick-me-up, and yet very natural looking.
“It is packed with goodies — it primes, it moisturises, and it nourishes the skin. Most manufacturers wouldn’t do this, but we believe in making products that do it all. That’s why our product ranges are streamlined,” said Luken.
One common problem faced by consumers, according to Luken, is the difficulty in getting a makeup shade that matches their skin tone.
“Again, we want to make it easy for our customers. We leveraged existing technology to produce pigments that are able to adjust to fit an individual’s skin colour. The Instant Glow comes in six shades, which are suitable for most skin tones. Furthermore, it is relatively sheer and can be layered,” she added.
Currently, Luk Beautifood’s products are sold on its website and online stockists, as well as brick-and-mortar retail partners such as fashion boutiques and wellness stores.
Its only overseas market at the moment is Taiwan. The brand was previously distributed in Hong Kong and made available to Chinese consumers via Hong Kong e-commerce platforms, but these have been put to a halt since the pandemic.
The firm also lost its biggest export customer, Russia, due to Australia’s sanctions in response to the Russia-Ukraine war.
Nevertheless, it is in the midst of setting up a warehouse in the US, while entry into European markets is in the plans further down the road.
At the same time, new product launches have been lined up till the end of the year.
“We recently introduced the Lash Nourish Mascara, the Lipstick Crayon is coming out soon, and the packaging for Lip Nourish has just been refreshed. In fact, we’re already ready for Christmas — there will be a new lip tint and some festive sets that will be rolling out from late September onwards,” said Luken.