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Biossance president Catherine Gore has always considered skin care as medically significant, and believes customers will be more inclined to share that thinking as coronavirus lockdowns continue around the world. “Our skin is our largest organ, and it’s also our first line of defense against outside aggressors,” Gore said on the latest Glossy Beauty podcast.
Education is a big part of Biossance’s marketing strategy and value to customers. One of Biossance’s central ingredients for skin care, for instance, is squalane, which it derives biochemically from sugar cane — the larger cosmetics industry sourced a similar squalene (with an e) from a not-so-vegan source: shark liver.
That makes a big difference for the typical customer who has more time to do her research, according to Gore: “What’s actually driving her is a curiosity to do better for her own skin and the planet and to make better choices,” she said.
Here are a few highlights from the conversation, which have been lightly edited for clarity.
The thirst for knowledge
“I think the consumer is extremely wise, particularly the beauty consumer. You can’t fool him or her, nor should anyone try to. The power is really in their hands and their curiosity to want more information and to know more. We talk a lot about the microbiome, and that’s connected to skin health overall. That curiosity from the consumer is going to empower her to make better choices for her skin, and as a result she’ll have healthier skin overall. And that can only set us up better in this environment and any environment in general.”
Digital acceleration in the days of coronavirus
“What’s interesting about this particular moment is that consumers go to stores to have that experience, to get that advice from a consultant or a beauty advisor. That has now shifted to digital. I had a video call with my dermatologist. And it works really well, because you can see each other and have that interaction. As we think about the brick-and-mortar experience, for a long time that experience has been shifting digitally. Because we’ve always put digital first, I think we were well prepared to step up into that role. At the same time, there’s something so beautiful about going into a store and getting to see a full assortment at one glance. I think while some of that will shift, there will always be a need for the true, full experience.”
Skin care’s relationship with health
“Skin care can be a really comforting category. It’s kind of funny, sometimes you think it’s frivolous to be thinking of skin care at a time like this, but at the same time it’s very comforting, and your skin health is hugely important. What’s actually driving her is a curiosity to do better for her own skin and the planet and to make better choices. Think about a category like house cleaners and disinfectants, and wanting to make amore sustainable choice, when given one, towards cleaning your entire house and what your family is running around in. It’s similar to skin care.”