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Skin Inc’s Skin-Care Device Entering the U.S. After Success in Asia

The Optimizer Voyage Tri-Light contains three LED light settings to address a variety of skin concerns.

A busy mother, founder of the brand Skin Inc and frequent traveler, Sabrina Tan always wondered why she couldn’t squeeze in facials on airplane flights, practically the only occasions affording her long uninterrupted stretches of time.

Flight attendants haven’t yet satisfied her spa-on-the-go demands, so Tan took matters into her own hands and created Skin Inc’s Optimizer Voyage Tri-Light, an LED device. It is designed to give consumers the ability to customize skin-care treatments for acne, hyperpigmentation and wrinkles. Already a hit in Asia, where it launched in January, Tri-Light is landing in the U.S. on sephora.com in September priced at $265.

“When I travel to New York, I have redness. My skin is jet-lagged like I am. During the movies, I’ve been using it on the plane. It’s battery-operated, so you don’t have to worry about a wire. You can treat yourself literally anywhere in the world,” said Singapore-based Tan. “I’m not reinventing the wheel. I just want to make it work with our lifestyle. Women don’t even want to lie down in a spa for an hour because we feel guilty as moms.”

As its name implies, Tri-Light features three light settings — yellow, red and blue — each of which is designed to handle specific concerns. Blue is for acne and sensitivity; yellow is for skin tone correction, and red is for firming and plumping. Tan explained that the device contains six bulbs for every color, requires 10 minutes or less for a single use and relies on low-frequency stimulation to increase penetration of active ingredients in the topical skin-care products consumers are applying.

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“I cheat because I don’t have much time and, if I have two minutes to make my skin care absorb better, I will do that,” she said. “I’m 42, and I tend to see more lines on my forehead and neck. I need the red for those areas. I use the blue light at the edge of my hairline and, where I might see spots due to age, I use the yellow. I even use it underneath my jaw, so my double chin goes away. Literally, I am customizing my facial.”

The three light settings are designed to give the device a broad reach from teenagers to senior consumers. “There is a huge spectrum, more than the skin care has. We have teenagers with severe acne, 50- to 60-year-old women who want the LED for lifting. Their skin is getting thin, and they feel the need to get the most out of their skin care, especially for laugh lines. And working women in their 30s simply don’t have the patience to be lying down in a spa,” Tan said. “I tell people it offers the cheapest facials in the world.”

The idea for the Tri-Light emerged from discussions Tan had with the team at Sephora in Asia. “We were talking about the Clarisonic. After people clean their face, is there something we could do to make skin care perform better so we don’t have to spend more on skin-care steps, but we get more out of the steps we are taking?” recounted Tan. That question prompted Tan to delve into Korean innovations, and discover the technology for a device incorporating multiple lights.

In the early goings in Asia, the customers fully embraced the concept. “Sephora Asia has sold out three times online and at retail. It is a huge success. We have seen a lot of posting on social media about it as well as retail sales going through the roof,” she said. The device also elevated Skin Inc’s sales overall. It’s helped triple the brand’s Asian e-commerce business and boosted product sales generally by 50 percent. Tan expects performance to be stellar in the U.S., too. “I don’t see a lot of territorial differences. Everyone is so global,” Tan said. “All of us are time-strapped and want to see results immediately.”

Tan said customers are imploring Skin Inc to produce additional devices, and she is considering them. “Mothers are using it for their stretch marks around their tummy, and they are requesting, ‘Can you do one for the body?’ People are asking for smaller ones for around the eyes and for spot treatments,” she said. “It takes time. Our philosophy isn’t to launch something new all the time. We won’t launch something unless it really fits into women’s lifestyles.”