The UK-based brand was founded in 2020, offering treatment products targeting hyperpigmentation among other skin concerns for melanin-rich skin.
It recently entered the Lane Crawford’s retail stores in China and Hong Kong and aims to ramp up its offline presence in retail stores across its current export markets this year.
Its founder Farah Bashir – also an aesthetician and a beauty blogger – saw a market gap for these products after having dealt with her own skin issues and having noticed the same problems faced by other influencers in the Instagram community.
"Across the [melanin-rich skin tone] spectrum, there are lighter, darker, and in-between skin tones. We looked at some skin care concerns and problems faced by this group, and that is from the likes of post-inflammatory, hyperpigmentation, discolouration which is the yellowing of skin tone. These are some issues our products have addressed so far. We want to look at diverse skin tone needs, and merge Ayurvedic botanicals with dermal science to create efficacious skin care,” she explained.
Skin care for people of colour
Before rolling out its first product, a hyperpigmentation correcting serum – also its current best-selling – Bashir said that it was one of the first brands in 2020 to undertake a clinical trial on diverse skin tones:
“We couldn’t find anybody in Asia who could host a clinical trial on diverse skin tones. The labs we were talking to just didn’t have that profile. We have to go all the way to Europe, and literally find people on top of that by paying extra just to find people of colour. If we were doing a normal clinical study with Caucasian skins or standard skins, you would pay a certain price, but we had to pay double the price.”
“A lot of brands have launched products, but they haven’t done these clinical trials on the onset. We did that even before we launched it because we wanted to show the consumers that we were serious about making sure they get results and including melanin-rich skins in the conversation.”
Its manufacturing is based in France for its technical expertise in “pharmaceutical-grade products,” and retailing mainly online via its website to customers in US, UK, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Bashir said that it is targeting US, UK, and Europe for its offline retail presence, as the market for people of colour is there.
In South East Asia, its focus is on consumer education debunking its products being associated with skin-whitening. For instance, the brand has received email inquiries from customers on whether its hyperpigmentation product has whitening properties.
Consumers are used to seeing East Asian women with “white porcelain skin” featured as the face of the brand, Bashir added.
“In order to be picked up by South East Asia, you need to have whitening, and I had this conversation with [another skin care brand]. When the brand launched into the South East Asia market, they changed the name of their brightening serum to whitening serum to be obtained by consumers because consumers recognise the word.
“They don’t recognise hyperpigmentation theorem. But we want to have an honest conversation with the consumer. We want them we want to get rid of the fear mongering, and we want to get rid of that whitening terminology. In South East Asia, we still don’t have that language so they can get a little bit confused,” she explained.
On the consumer education front, Sachi Skin has also developed hyperpigmentation e-book free for download on its website – detailing information about melanin-rich skin and treatment options available – which was developed over eight months after talking to industry professionals such as dermatologists from the US and UK.
Market gap for products addressing melanin-rich skin
With more than a decade of experience as an aesthetician, Bashir added that targeted skin concerns addressed by the market tend to be “rigid, in this very sort of boxed categories,” and the market is flooded with products that ends up confusing the customers.
Nipping the problem in the bud was the brand’s rationale for launching directly into the treatment products category. It currently has four treatment products generally categorised as brightening, hydrating, smoothening, and firming.
Hero ingredients include an Ayurvedic concoction known as triphala, silymarin, retinaldehyde, and 10.5% of its proprietary Ayurvedic bioflavonoid repair complex.
“We just don’t select any old botanicals from a farm. You can’t just take a fruit or powder to put it on your face and expect the same kind of results. We look for suppliers and compounds to deliver the right results through our proprietary blends that are very specific.”
The brand hinted of new product launches this year or early next year.
“We’re launching some more products that leverage on our heritage, and giving back the culture and ingredients to the beauty industry. Centella Asiatica, all these ingredients that have long been championed by the cosmetic industry, we will recognise them in our formulations. You’re going to see them in the new products.”