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Tinder’s Ex-Marketing Director Hired by ZitSticka, A New Acne Brand for Millennials

Marketing acne patches isn't all that different from marketing online dating, he says.

Seeking love, finding acne patches.

Josh Metz, Tinder’s former director of marketing, is now the chief marketing officer of ZitSticka, a new direct-to-consumer acne brand that is set to launch Thursday. The brand’s hero product, The Killa, $29 for a box of eight, is a transdermal patch containing freeze-dried microdarts that help ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and salicylic acid penetrate the skin to help clear acne cysts in the early stages. The product also contains a gentle peptide meant to help kill acne-causing bacteria.

ZitSticka, which is aimed at Millennial and Gen Z consumers, was cofounded by Robbie Miller and Daniel Kaplan — friends of Metz’s from his native Australia, who sought Metz’s creative savvy to “beautify” the antiacne skin-care space with a marketing campaign in the minimalist style that has become ubiquitous amongst brands targeted at Millennials.

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“When you look at the packaging on acne brands over the last 20 years, [from a design standpoint], it’s almost scary,” Metz said. “Our packaging normalizes acne treatment — it’s beautiful and you can leave it out on your shelf or your bathroom cabinet.”

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The Killa is packaged in a sleek white box accented with peach font. A paid social and digital campaign features trendy-looking young men and women sporting their acne patches.

“We want these patches to be the new fashion accessories,” Metz said. “Topics like “self care” and “empowerment” are trending — we want people to be proud to show [their acne patches] off.”

It turns out that selling acne products is similar to marketing a dating app — for starters, the core consumer is the same. “Getting that young female consumer who is very vocal on social media is incredibly important,” Metz said.

Acne patches are experiencing a surge in popularity in the U.S. thanks to the rise of K-beauty — brands like CosRX and Peach Slices have popularized the idea of applying hydrocolloid patches to treat acne wounds. ZitSticka’s differentiating claim is that its freeze-dried microdart technology is designed to help clear acne in its early stages, rather than simply help to heal it after an eruption.

“When I saw how [well] the product worked, I was sold,” Metz said. “It’s similar to how I felt when I was holding the beta version of Tinder in my hand — here’s a simple, effective product that worked.”