Soon to be launched beauty tech start-up, Secret Skin seeks to “meaningfully” disrupt the beauty landscape with a clean, holistic, sustainable and digitally-enabled brand developed on the premise of conscious consumption.
“An epiphany, a series of coincidences and a deep urge to promote mindful living” led to the birth of Secret Skin that is all set to launch in the UAE within a week. Secret Skin is a digital business built on a framework of social and environmental change. The brand is on a mission to support small businesses from around the world in the sustainable beauty space.
As consumers are becoming more aware of the impact of cosmetic ingredients on their skin and overall wellbeing, the demand for and supply of clean beauty brands and products are gradually increasing.
Amid a lot of uncertainty globally, Secret Skin founder, Anisha Oberoi – a cancer survivor – had a profoundly deep urge to do something meaningful and positive. This led to the conceptualisation of Secret Skin, built on a three-pronged commitment to people, planet and purpose.
On the outside, Secret Skin is an impact-driven beauty tech start-up and on the inside, it has a unique sensibility. “We are at an important juncture when a lot of conversations are happening around colour, gender, culture, diversity, inclusivity and Secret Skin is all about acceptance, self-love and a strong sense of purpose. Our goal is to build a gender-neutral, inclusive community of beauty lovers that will influence a collective change to benefit our ecosystem. Secret Skin is a tech-enabled, discovery platform that aims to connect global, conscious brands to mindful consumers who want to give back to the community,” Oberoi explains.
Also read: UAE start-up survives the ‘great lockdown’
Secret Skin will launch with over 1,200 products spanning across various categories from eight brands. These brands include the UAE-based KJ Serums; Amly Botanicals and Mauli Rituals from the UK; Purearth from India; Australian Grown Alchemist; Lola Lee from South Africa; and Ranavat and a limited unscented range of Art of Shaving from the US. The brand curation has been done keeping in mind a high standard of product integrity. All the brands are cruelty-free, gender-neutral and use ethically sourced ingredients, often following fair trade practices. On its part, Secret Skin has a strong sustainability commitment across the flywheel of sourcing, packaging and shipping.
“The global beauty industry is currently valued at $500 billion, and the projected sales of clean beauty are $22 billion,” Oberoi points out. “More and more consumers are moving towards clean beauty brands, as they realise the benefits of using these products on their skin. In addition, they are also keen to support communities that grow and wild harvest the ingredients that are used to create clean beauty products and the small businesses behind the clean beauty brands.”
“At Secret Skin, our consumers will be able to easily shop form such clean and conscious beauty brands. We will also give them an opportunity to become part of the plastic circular economy. Through our ‘Eco-Rewards’ programme, we strive to curb single-use plastic consumption to reduce our carbon footprint on the planet. The approach has to be holistic and that’s what Secret Skin stands for,” she adds.
As Secret Skin seeks to “meaningfully” disrupt the beauty landscape, going forward, the brand will launch a new-age mobile app before the end of this year. “While we plan to eventually set up an experiential space too where our customers can participate in holistic skincare rituals, conduct skincare workshops and AR/VR driven product testing, for now, we will concentrate on creating a great shopping journey online,” says Oberoi.
“We will also build on our existing product lines and partner with more clean beauty brands from around the world. We are keen to collaborate with like-minded start-ups; in fact, we might partner with an innovative femtech start-up to drive awareness around women’s health. Once Secret Skin launches, we will start a Seed round to strengthen presence in the UAE, while shipping to India. We will then think of expanding to the neighbouring GCC countries. If we are able to create good traction, we should be able to raise a decent Series A funding within 12 months to boost our future goals,” she continues.
Launching a business in the midst of a pandemic must not be easy. For Oberoi, an ex-Amazon executive, goalposts did shift and she had to quickly pivot to be agile. “Since we are a very young start-up, we have the mindset to keep learning, fail fast and scale even faster. We are ready to change gears if something doesn’t pan out as planned. For me, every day is like day one, which helps to challenge the status quo and to innovate constantly with a razor-sharp focus on the end game,” she concludes.
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