Beauty products designed to work while users sweat it out in the gym continue to gain traction. With more people posting exercise workouts on social media, the need to keep skin looking fit is just as important as flexing muscles. Mintel identifies the ath-leisure beauty segment as a growth opportunity for the next year.
But what’s different in 2019, according to Michael Azoulay and Mickael Bensadoun, founders of a skin-care collection called FRÉ, is that consumers are digging deeper into ingredient stories to make sure the products deliver. There has been a flood of anti-sweat beauty products, they said, but not all have true benefits.
The duo created the FRÉ brand in 2015, driven by the discovery of the benefits of Argan oil as it relates to skin issues caused by exercise. Argan oil has starred in many beauty products over the past decade, especially in hair, but not widely marketed as an ingredient that addresses skin challenges active women face, Azoulay said.
“Athletes and fitness enthusiasts have skin-specific concerns from exercise — acne, dehydration, inflammation, redness. We have discovered that not only the oil, but also the Argan leaf and stem cells have powerful properties to address exercise-induced skin issues,” Bensadoun said.
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The founders explained that FRÉ specializes in skin-care concerns endemic to exercise such as breakouts, photoaging, dry skin irritation and redness. “Sweat increases the skin’s pH. Our extensive research led by the top biochemists and biologists in Israel resulted in the development of the most natural and effective products for active skin,” Azoulay explained.
The brand features a special Argania Active Complex that hydrates, calms, improves elasticity and protects skin from environmental aggressors like sun, wind and pollution, the founders said. Derived from the Argan trees that grow in the deserts of Morocco, the Argania Active Complex is a combination of Argan oil to reduce inflammation; Argan Leaf Extract — a powerful antioxidant — to detoxify free radicals and neutralize pH; Argan stem cells to prevent collagen loss and revitalize skin; Sterols to hydrate, and Essential Fatty Acids to regulate skin and maintain a healthy glow.
Currently, there are five products: Purify Me Hydrating Facial Cleanser, Protect Me Defense Facial Moisturizer with SPF 30, Glow Me Tinted Defense Moisturizer with SPF 15, Revive Me Deep Replenishing Serum and Detox Me Post-Sweat Clearing Mask. The products are sold individually and as sets. The individual products range in price from $35 to $65 and the sets from $115 to $189.
Realizing consumers listen to experts when making purchasing decisions, FRÉ relies on its Ambassador Program to build sales. Thousands of fitness professionals have already endorsed FRÉ, giving their approval that the products are formulated for their skin’s needs. “These women have become a passionate community and our brand’s best ambassadors,” Azoulay said. “It was purely logical for us to partner with fitness professionals who sweat for a living. Developing an ambassador program to work with fitness professionals who have the power to influence and make a difference with their honest endorsements has helped spread the message about FRÉ Skincare faster than we could have imagined.”
The program currently has about 2,000 Ambassadors. There are plans to expand the program while also exploring partnerships with fitness clubs and other retail opportunities. Currently, FRÉ is sold on its own web site as well as through its Ambassador Program.
The company also has an altruistic side. For every set sold, FRÉ plants an Argan tree, also known as the “Tree of Life” in Morocco.