Twenty-two years after starting The Art of Shaving with husband Eric Malka — and nearly a decade after Procter & Gamble Co. acquired the men’s grooming brand — Myriam Zaoui Malka is turning her attention to the women’s market.
This week, Zaoui Malka, in partnership with Dr. Loretta Ciraldo, a Florida-based dermatologist, are welding the worlds of clinical and natural skin care to bring customers Dr. Loretta, a “clean dermatologist line.” Comprised of nine products, the collection includes three regimens plus two “enhancement” items (glycolic pads and an eye gel). Prices range from $35 for a cleanser to $110 for a serum.
Everything is packaged in sleek bottles and tubes in varying shades of grey and Millennial pink, but don’t let the color scheme fool you. This is not Glossier; it’s a range that targets specific skin concerns (anti-aging, firming and brightening among them) for a demographic slightly older than teens and early twentysomethings. Zaoui Malka described packaging for Dr. Loretta as a “a little bit of medical as well as lifestyle skin care.”
“We didn’t want to do ‘very medical,'” Zaoui Malka said. “It’s a clay [colored], cool palette — and everything is matte. It’s feminine, it’s a soft color palette.”
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“Powered by nature, proven by science” is one of the brand’s catchy taglines for describing what Ciraldo called a combination of “the best of natural with the medical expertise,” a result of over 40 years of practicing dermatology and research in the field. Another is “skin unexposed,” which is what the two call Dr. Loretta’s point of differentiation. Ingredients such as dual-action antioxidant lipochroman, hydrolyzed algin and chromabright are as carefully selected as a host of inactive ingredients to ensure that product won’t sensitize skin.
“What we’re trying to do is have our exposed skin look just as good as our unexposed skin,” Ciraldo explained. “We aren’t just blaming the sun for all of the aging changes. That’s been the party line since the Eighties. Instead, what we’ve really discovered that it’s four factors.”
These are: pollution of both the indoor and outdoor variety; light that spans inside from mobile and computer screens to overhead and outside and includes visible light from the sun; irritants from other products, and climate.
“Most of us spend about 90 percent of our time indoors in climate-controlled environments which really suck out all of the moisture from our skin. We absolutely need to do everything we can and take a holistic approach to hydration — especially as we’re aging, it’s a natural thing that happens that we lose the hydration,” Ciraldo said, noting that the shift to more heat outdoors also affects skin in terms of redness, puffiness and other rosacea-like changes.
In other words, Ciraldo and Zaoui Malka developed their line based on keeping the skin unexposed to the four factors they believe are responsible for 85 percent of skin aging. And like the number of brands that are now part of a growing transparency movement in beauty, the two are vocal about a long list of ingredients that are banned from their products, including synthetic fragrances, dyes, parabens and sulfates. The brand does use essential oils when formulating, which has become a hot button issue in skin care, dividing many brand founders into either “pro” or “anti” essential oil camps.
“I’ve been working with essential oils for over 20 years,” said Zaoui Malka, adding that there are “a lot of misconceptions” surrounding the ingredients. “I believe strongly in pure essential oils…We say ‘oil’ but it’s not an oil at all. It’s an essence that’s very volatile and concentrated. They could be irritating so you need to know what kind of properties [each essential oil possesses].”
The two said the self-funded venture, which launches this week at drloretta.com, will start as a predominantly direct to consumer brand with select distribution at independent boutiques, apothecaries and spas nationwide. The plan is eventually to enter larger specialty retail and/or department stores.