Skin Laundry has gone through a few phases since its 2013 launch, thanks to having rejiggered its business model and changing its physical skin-care offerings. But currently, the laser-facial business is in a phase of hyper-growth.
As of the end of 2022, Skin Laundry had 30 locations, including in new markets in the San Francisco Bay Area. But in 2023, it will open an additional 30 new locations in the U.S., in six new states. Gregg Throgmartin, CEO of Skin Laundry, declined to share specifics about the company’s revenue growth but said expects it will conduct over 750,000 treatments in 2023. Chris Carey, COO and president of Skin Laundry, said the 10-year-old business will grow its revenue by 4x between 2022 and 2025, and operate at least 125 locations by the end of that period. The company reached $17 million in revenue in 2018. Its median customer age is 38.
About 18 months ago, when contemplating future locations, Skin Laundry began to compile its customer data to find patterns and correlations around what’s driven its first-time customers. Aside from looking at the volume of first-timers, Skin Laundry considered their zip code proximity to clinics, their work location and their household income, among other factors. Carey called the exercise a five-factor correlations study, but admitted that it was more like 25 factors. He said the resulting data has been especially important for directing new clinic openings, as it can generate lookalike customer groups in new markets. For example, Skin Laundry will open three new clinics in Denver, Colorado in 2023. The team had initially also considered Boulder, Colorado, before the data showed there wouldn’t be a sufficient local customer base.
“Coming out of Covid-19, there’s an opportunity to snag a lot of premium [retail] space at a discount to what it was three years ago,” said Carey. “[Our] story is incredibly compelling and the market was ready for a brand like us to expand quickly.”
Throgmartin and Carey used the same analogy when describing Skin Laundry’s relationship to other boutique medspas: Skin Laundry is the In-N-Out to the industry’s Cheesecake Factory.
“One of the things that make us special is our laser focus — no pun intended,” said Throgmartin. “When you look at the industry, many places offer a lot of stuff, like injectables, CoolSculpting, tattoo removal and laser hair removal. We want to be the absolute best at your skin care and treating your face, neck and chest.”
Skin Laundry currently operates a membership-based business model, offering three membership tiers for $150-$350 that provide various perks and services. Before this, Skin Laundry sold packages of three, five or 10 laser facials, which Carey described as an inefficient task for front-desk employees. Additionally, it obstructed people from receiving consistent treatments, thereby impacting the long-term quality of results. Skin Laundry memberships make up nearly 99% of revenue, but Carey declined to share how many members there are.
However, there is potential long-term appeal for its skin-care product business, which began in 2017 and was reformulated and re-packaged over the last three years. Skin Laundry has 18 products including sheet masks, serums and face wash sold through its own DTC e-commerce and shops. It previously also retailed through Sephora around 2017.
“Over the last three years, we reformulated all of our products and designed them for our treatments,” said Throgmartin. “We think about it like diet and exercise. If you do the [laser] treatments and use [our] right products, that is how you get the best results.”
When new locations are prepping to open, Skin Laundry starts generating buzz approximately two weeks before via email, social marketing and good ol’ fashioned knocking on doors. With eight years of compiling names, locations and emails, Skin Laundry has an undisclosed database of people it can reach via email. It also uses paid and unpaid social posts, and social ads geotargeted to new areas. For 2023 openings, Skin Laundry will partner with local like-minded businesses such as restaurants, bars, beauty salons and boutique fitness companies to promote its first-time client special of a $250 laser treatment for $75. Skin Laundry will also use its unopened spaces as billboards to advertise its services while the buildout is happening. In addition, it’s considering investing in direct mail and OOH advertising in metropolitan locations like Boston and Los Angeles.
“’Keep it simple’ is our running mantra, because it’s easy to get distracted from that and go all kinds of haywire when you’re moving as fast as we are,” said Carey. “That’s the challenge for Skin Laundry this year.”