Up until recently the most reasonably priced skincare formulas came from mass brands owned by major multinationals such as L’Oréal, Unilever and Procter & Gamble. If ingredients were named, they were usually patented blends with proprietary names. Today, more consumers understand and know about results-driven active ingredients and keep a sharp lookout for them when purchasing skincare products at all price levels.
Craig Schweighoffer, Founder of BOOST LAB, credits The Ordinary, the marquee brand of Canadian skincare company Deciem, with creating an entirely new skincare segment, which not only offers derm grade ingredients at everyday price points but also upped the transparency ante for the category overall. “They did a great job and built a cult brand when others thought the high quality at reasonable prices concept would be hard to implement”, he notes.
Known as “the beauty world’s most exciting disrupter”, Deciem received the ultimate thumbs-up for its pioneering groundwork when Estee Lauder acquired a majority stake in the seven year old company in March this year for US$1 billion – the multinational’s largest ever outlay. The global market for serums is expected to rise from US$2.17 billion to US$4.61 billion by 2030 and that’s why we founded BOOST LAB, adds Schweighoffer.
Five Star Quality at a Three Star Price/ Targeting the 7 Major Skincare Concerns
We describe the BOOST LAB range as five star quality at three star prices, he says. Following a highly successful career developing major skincare and lifestyle brands such as Skin Physics, ECOYA and Trilogy, Schweighoffer has again underlined his trendspotting reputation with a range of single focus serums at great price points. “The major point-of-difference for BOOST LAB was to create gold standard, clean beauty serums that address the seven major skincare concerns”, he says.
They are made in New Zealand, which has one of the highest reputations in the world for effective, science-based skincare and is a leading player in the natural beauty market, says Schweighoffer. “We engaged the best formulators and all of the products are dermatologically tested for use on sensitive skin. They are also free from nasties to fit with our do-no-harm philosophy. All of the serums are priced at $29.95, which is a very affordable price for clinical quality serums that help consumers to achieve clear, healthy and beautiful skin”.
The BOOST LAB range launched via its own online flagship store last October. The targeted lineup includes AHA Glow Resurfacing Serum, 2-D Hyaluronic Hydro Boost Serum, Vitamin C Brightening Serum, Vitamin B3 Blemish Rescue Serum, Multi-Peptide Anti-Aging Serum, Retinol Night Renewal Serum and Bio-Active Eye Reset Serum. “Consumers can use them with their favourite moisturisers and cleansers or combine two or three for the best results”, says Schweighoffer. “An amazing anti-aging routine is to combine the Multi-Peptide Anti-Aging Serum, Retinol Night Renewal Serum and the Bio-Active Eye Reset Serum, for example”.
Multi-Generational Customer Base/ Attracting a Wider Audience
We closely identified our customer base and we like to call them “Practical Beauties”, says Schweighoffer. ” BOOST LAB ‘s core consumers are mainstream/beauty conscious women aged from 18 to 64. They believe that quality is more important than price and don’t believe in paying luxury prices when they don’t have to. Results are the most important measure of success for them and they have a significant preference for clean beauty products that incorporate natural ingredients”.
All of BOOST LAB serums contain active ingredients that are thoroughly understood by women of all ages such as Vitamin C ( a brightening antioxidant), retinol ( a wrinkle reducer) and hyaluronic acid ( a major hydrator). An on-trend message that played well on social media. “Consumers no longer want to settle for one-size-fits-all and BOOST LAB helps them to personalise their skincare routines”, says Schweighoffer. “We have also received major third party endorsements such as a 4.5 star rating on beautyheaven, Australia’s leading beauty review site”.
The buzz for BOOST LAB intensified the fact that quality skincare is no longer defined by price points, distribution channels, retailers and e-commerce platforms as consumers search for authentic, functional and sensibly-priced skincare products. In February, BOOST LAB announced a partnership with Adore Beauty, one of Australia’s leading beauty e-tailers, to reach a wider audience. Adore Beauty are very happy with the launch numbers so far, says Schweighoffer. According to Danielle Chee, Senior Category Manager – Skincare & Wellness for Adore Beauty – “We are pleased to have BOOST LAB join our esteemed family of brands to service our growing database of discerning beauty consumers. In recent years, a spotlight has been shone on Australian beauty brands for the unique way in which they uphold the quality formula”.
Strong Appeal for Pharmacies/ Groundbreaking Skin Advisor App
With its scientific, clinical-looking packaging, BOOST LAB has strong appeal for pharmacies. “We are currently ranged by SuperPharmacy and iCare Pharmacy and are in discussions with several other leading pharmacy banners”, says Schweighoffer. “In addition to Adore Beauty, we are also available from Activeskin, Lookfantastic and RY.com.au, Australia’s largest haircare and skincare online store”.
BOOST LAB also dovetails well with pharmacies and online retailers because of its targeted self-select approach. In March, the brand launched its Skin Advisor AI platform. “Skin Advisor is an AI facial analysis and recommendation app”, adds Schweighoffer. “It offers free, personalised skincare advice in only a few minutes.
“Users answer a few questions such as age and where they live and they are invited to take a selfie. Selfies are optional but are recommended because they analyse a consumer’s skin condition using algorithms, 100 different metrics and 30,000 images of demographically representative people. The app was 12 months in development and allows consumers to shop from home because of a better understanding of their skin. But we are also looking to expand the platform in-store to assist our bricks-and-mortar retailers”.
There has been a great uptake due to Skin Advisor, says Schweighoffer. “On average, consumers stay four times longer on our website and there’s a 2.5 times higher conversion rate. There’s also been a 30 per cent increase in shoppers adding to their carts”.
International Expansion/ Skinimalism On-Trend
With A-beauty, as Australian beauty brands have been dubbed, riding high, international markets are a strong focus for BOOST LAB. “We launched a flagship store on Alibaba’s Tmall in March and are also available on JD.com, the number two Chinese online giant”, says Schweighoffer. “We are also looking at Southeast Asia for future expansion”.
Schweighoffer has also dubbed the BOOST LAB lineup as serums for the people. A comment that also clicks with the latest US skincare report from SkinStore, the leading retailer of premium skincare. The number one product of 2021 in the US is Vitamin C serum, with close to 1.5 million searches and serums in general cleared the 3 million search milestone – up 49 per cent from 2020. Glowing skin also remains a popular desire and The Ordinary generated more than 7 million searches – up 71 per cent on 2020.
The Skinimalism trend has also surged in major markets such as the US, the UK and Australia since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, says the NPD Group. More consumers are adopting a back-to-basics skincare approach – cleanser, serum and moisturiser – which has led to an overall decline in overall prestige skincare sales as people have become more reluctant to spend, says Emma Fishwick, account manager for NPD. “At the same time, consumers focus on sustainability also means that Skinimalism has become very topical. Beauty buyers seem to be purchasing less products, and the products they are opting for are more targeted”.
One of Schweighoffer’s main aims is to build the sort of fervent fandom enjoyed by The Ordinary and his vision is to create Australia’s first successful global beauty brand. A strategy based on BOOST LAB ‘s ability to tick the seven of the major boxes of today’s skincare market – clean, proven active ingredients, Skinimalism, personalisation, natural, results-driven and affordable. “We have some exciting developments in the pipeline for the third quarter, including a skin balancing serum and a serum for dry, irritated skin”, he adds. An expansion that will cement BOOST LAB’S mission of changing the way women think about and buy skincare.
Fast Facts – Craig Schweighoffer
. With a formidable reputation as an entrepreneur and branding and re-branding expert, Schweighoffer entered the personal care and lifestyle space as the Founder & CEO of ECOYA/Trilogy from 2006 to 2012.
. From September 2014 to March 2020, he was the Founder/CEO of Biophysics, the brand owner of Australian cosmeceutical brand, Skin Physics, and Rapid Loss, Australia’s leading meal replacement shake and snack brand.
. In May 2020, he founded BOOST LAB, a groundbreaking new range of single focus skin treatment serums. For further information – go to www.boostlabco.com