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BeautyBio Develops At-home Facial Device

The tool, which combines several different technologies, is launching Aug. 23 at Ulta Beauty.

One patent and three years later, BeautyBio has launched its latest innovation.

The brand’s at-home facial device, which combines vacuum technology with microdermabrasion and blue light therapy, is dubbed the GloFacial. It is launching exclusively with Ulta Beauty on Aug. 23 before rolling out into the brand’s full distribution network, including QVC, HSN and Nordstrom, next month. It retails for $199.

The premise is similar to the professional-grade HydraFacial, a wildly popular in-office treatment that exfoliates, extracts dirt from pores and treats the skin in one session.

Keeping the price down was key, said Jamie O’Banion, BeautyBio’s founder, acknowledging macroeconomic pressures on consumer spend. “It all comes back to access and democratizing results. You feel like you just got a $300 to $400 facial after one treatment,” she said.

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Despite the price, industry sources expect it to reach a sales volume of $30 million in its first 12 months on the market. For O’Banion, the benefits are also in the tool’s replenishable nature.

Each device comes with a vial of concentrated active ingredients, including salicylic acid and hyaluronic acid, which consumers mix with water and fill the device with. One bottle of concentrate contains eight uses.

“It’s like a vacuum for my pores, and it’s also infusing my skin with plumping hyaluronic acid and clarifying salicylic acid,” she said, adding that the brand was developing more concentrates targeted to different skin concerns.

“It combines tools and topicals together. You’re getting pro-grade skin care with the tools, we just had our first patent issued, and we’ve been working on this for three years,” O’Banion said.

The device also fits into O’Banion’s broader strategy for the business, one that has allowed her to play across several categories at once, from skin care to hair care to tools for face, body and scalp.

“Structurally, we are set up wrong in beauty. We are in tools, topicals and hair care. Our dry shampoo is starch free and alcohol free, and then we have a rockstar skin care business with our retinol and vitamin C. Our tools are in skin care and hair care. Typically, someone owns one business and ends up cross-pollinating, but the consumer doesn’t think that way,” she said. “If you just look through the lens of ‘tell me what works,’ you will never have the wrong answer.…It would be far more frictionless in terms of growth if we weren’t set up that way.”

She also sees her innovations – which nabbed the brand a WWD Beauty Inc Award in 2018 — as category-agnostic. “Through a business lens, the compound annual growth rate of each of these categories is massive. There will be a convergence, and we have to stop looking at it through the eyes of a buyer and through the eyes of the consumer,” she continued.

The product’s instant results and payoff also informed its strategy on social media. The brand is launching a TikTok challenge, dubbed #PoreConfessions, encouraging the tool’s users to post videos of the device’s contents after treatment.

“This isn’t about perfection, but it’s about healthy skin. The tanks are designed to be crystal clear so you can see [the contents],” she said. “Part of what you get to see is what’s going on in someone’s skin. If it’s cloudy, that means it’s someone who works out a lot. If it’s someone a little orange or yellow, they probably wear a lot of makeup,” she said.

Added Penny Coy, vice president of merchandising, Ulta Beauty, “We’re thrilled to continue to evolve our partnership with BeautyBio and offer beauty lovers innovative tools that provide solutions to help them achieve their skin care goals. Our beauty enthusiasts are highly engaged with our unrivaled skin care assortment and we can’t wait to welcome them to our stores to discover BeautyBio’s latest tool and further disrupt the category.”


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