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After 15 years in the beauty industry holding various positions, Alisa Metzger founded Innbeauty Project in 2019. This clean beauty brand, which is aimed at Gen-Z consumers through an accessible pricing strategy, sells its products in major retailers like Sephora and Credo, as well as on its direct-to-consumer site.
“If you think about the average [skin-care] product price and even the average [skin-care] routine being $100 and up, and then you match that with the average U.S. salary being less than $45,000 a year, it became really evident that clean skin-care was not something that most Americans can afford,” Metzger said on the latest Glossy Beauty Podcast.
Metzger worked with Jen Shane, co-founder of Innbeauty, at Tula when they noticed, “The wellness movement had taken over [beauty],” Metzer said. The early pioneers of clean beauty were at the forefront of the industry because the ingredient messaging resonated with consumers within the wellness movement. However, Metzger and Shane said they noticed that clean products at an accessible price point seemed nonexistent. The two were passionate about democratizing clean beauty. Innbeauty’s prices range from $15 for a single lip oil to $120 for a 6-piece kit, which is still more affordable than the prices of individual products from some competitors.
“We wanted to create a brand that spoke to [Gen-Z] that didn’t exist. This industry is driven by innovation, which comes in many forms, including creating something that doesn’t exist for an audience that’s starving to consume,” Metzger said.
Metzer spoke to Glossy about the clean beauty industry, Gen-Z skin-care marketing and Innbeauty’s future goals for further innovation in the beauty space. Below are additional highlights from the conversation, which have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
Response to increased competition
“In order to create something, you need competition. You need your friend to the right and to the left [in the] retail space to create a category. I welcome all [the competition]. It legitimizes what we’re doing and it emphasizes this demographic. Ultimately, at the core of skin care is addressing a concern or benefit the customer is looking for.
Our brand has seen certain products that resonate with a younger audience. For example, our pimple paste has gone viral many times on TikTok. We’ve also seen that there is an older client — millennial and even older — coming to the brand because she is so delighted by the efficacy of the product and is loving the accessibility of it. With skin care, when what’s in the jar or bottle performs and does what it’s supposed to do, [the product’s success] does span an audience. It’s about getting that customer in the age of Gen-Z, when they’re younger, and making sure they can evolve and grow with the brand. Our product pipeline is thoughtfully created around [the idea that a customer sticks with us for a lifetime].”
Expanding the brand promise to the Gen-Z consumer through new offerings
“We have barely even scratched the surface, as far as product offerings. I love the fact that we have our communities on TikTok and Instagram, and our customers that we have through our D2C channel. [We get] incredible feedback and it’s in real-time. It’s honest, raw and unfiltered. And it’s based on product needs or it’s product commentary from [our customers, saying they] like the way something feels, looks or smells, or they like the packaging. [This customer feedback] has informed a lot of what we do.
We’re excited about the untapped potential of the acne and clean [beauty categories]. If you go to Sephora’s website or scan the market and look at acne, it’s a category that hasn’t had a lot of innovation in a very long time. The category leaders are still Proactiv and some brands that have been around for generations. Acne done clean and in an innovative way is something we’re excited about. That’s in our future.”
Next steps for the brand
“We have so much opportunity ahead of us. Bolstering and building the business with Sephora is a huge focus for us. We’re looking to launch new products later this year and grow within that environment. As far as developing our DTC, same thing.
In the next few years, I’m excited about building an interactive education hub, where people who may not even be interested in buying a specific product from us come for education, inspiration and ingredient learning. That’s in the works, and we’ve started laying the foundation for [our education hub].
Now, brands aren’t confined to a specific market. We have so much ground to cover in the U.S., but we have content creators from Australia, Thailand and Korea [asking where they can purchase our products]. I’m super excited about the global potential of Innbeauty. In terms of the future and how I envision our brand, it’s a global household name.”