The Inkey List is giving its straightforward skin care a clinical edge.
The brand, which landed an investment from Aria Growth Partners earlier this year, is launching a new dermatologist-developed range. Called Supersolutions, the five products include a 5 percent benzoyl peroxide cleanser, 20 percent niacinamide serum, a 10 percent azelaic acid serum, a 1 percent retinol serum and a 10 percent urea moisturizer. Prices range from $17.99 to $24.99, and the collection will launch exclusively globally with Sephora on Sept. 20.
The impetus for Supersolutions came in 2020, when the brand introduced Ask Inkey, its costumer service and education platform. “We launched a service in 2020 called Ask Inkey, and that was in 2020. It is real humans supporting people with their skin care, answering any questions you’ve got on skin care — it doesn’t have to be Inkey-related,” said Colette Laxton, one of the brand’s cofounders. “It’s been really about trying to poll people.
“It’s been the most incredible data mine. Over the last few years, we’ve learned so much about our customer — what it is they want, what they’re looking for and what they can’t get. Twenty percent of our customers, each month, we couldn’t offer them a solution. These are people with a more serious skin concern that we can’t help them address. We’re an accessible brand and we want everybody to be able to have accessible support, but also accessible products. It felt pretty rubbish to us,” she continued.
Chief among those concerns were rosacea, eczema, psoriasis and acne, which the range treats with azelaic acid, niacinamide, urea and retinol, respectively. Each package also boasts which concern the formula targets. Industry sources expect the range to reach $20 million in sales for its first year on the market.
“Everything in our company is about the ‘why’ — there has to be a really good reason for everything. On the front end, it’s what gaps we want to fill, and what sales we need to hit,” Laxton said. “I’m still a luxury beauty consumer, I still want to enjoy my skin care experience. You shouldn’t have to have beautiful skin to enjoy skin care. Removing that stigma and being proud to go into Sephora to get a product for my rosacea — that’s quite empowering.”
Supersolutions faced a few different challenges, starting with creating user-friendly formulations and luxurious textures with medical-grade ingredients. Dr. Adeline Kikam, Dr. Kemi Fabusiwa and Dr. Cristina Psomadakis are among the dermatologists who consulted on the formulations. Finding a way to market less buzzy ingredients was another hurdle.
“With eczema and psoriasis, the key ingredient is urea. Everyone was like, ‘call it something more sexy.’ But that’s the point, where do you lean in? If you suffer from any of those conditions, that’s what you’re looking out for. That’s why you’re going through the drugstores, but getting another experience,” said Mark Curry, the brand’s other cofounder.
To that end, the brand’s campaign supporting the launch features unretouched before-and-afters. “How do we create a range of stigma-busting luxury beauty products?” Laxton continued. “No one represents [those consumers] in the luxury space.”