Joanna Vargas Skin Care

Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist, is broadening the reach of her natural skin-care line.

Vargas is primarily known for her self-named salons in New York and Los Angeles, where she caters to a high-end clientele, including Julianne Moore, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Karlie Kloss and Dakota Johnson. She launched her skin-care line in 2011, but it has mainly been distributed in small beauty boutiques that specialize in natural products — until now.  

Beginning this month, 14 stockkeeping units will launch in Nordstrom doors and online, following moves earlier this year into Free People, Violet Grey and Revolve. The assortment will go into 10 doors in August, with plans for 30 more doors by the end of the year. A few products will also be sold at Neiman Marcus’ Wellness Shops at North Park Center in Dallas and in Plano, Tex., as well as online.

Vargas’ expansion is timed with two relevant shifts in the beauty space — a groundswell of consumer interest in natural skin care, and vast improvements in the technology used to make efficacious natural products.

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“I’ve been doing faces for over 15 years, and you learn about ingredients very intimately, [about] different skin types and what people are looking for and certainly what works about products and what doesn’t,” said Vargas. “In the natural skin-care category up until very recently, results weren’t part of the equation — it was just about being clean.”

Vargas noted that because of improved technology, she is able to create more potent and active natural skin-care products than ever. And consumer interest is certainly there — Larissa Jensen, executive director and beauty industry analyst at The NPD Group, told WWD earlier this month that natural brands capture the largest share of dollar volume within the prestige skin-care space.

Product development is also being accelerated, said Vargas. The skin-care line went through a packaging redesign in 2016, and since then, the launch cadence has rapidly increased, and the line has expanded to include 15 products. Her latest products are the Rescue Serum — priced at $150 — and the Dawn sheet mask — $75 for five masks. Rescue serum is a concentrated corrective vitamin C serum, and the Dawn mask is a treatment mask with Mandelic acid to smooth the skin and even out skin tone.

Both products were designed around one of Vargas’ signature treatments — the Morning Glory, a skin-brightening facial that includes time in Vargas’ LED light-therapy bed and can run in the hundreds-of-dollars range. Said Vargas: “I wanted clients to be able to look at my packaging and feel what it’s like to be a client of the salon — what it’s like to get a facial [there.]”

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