Natural skin-care products can be great, but sometimes women want an extra punch.
That’s the premise of Karyng, a new antiaging brand developed by cosmetic dermatologist Karyn Grossman with skin-care formulas containing 90 percent natural ingredients and 10 percent advanced scientific ingredients. The initial five products — Revitalizing Eye Cream, Replenishing Cleanser, Complete SPF 50 Moisturizer, Restructuring Night Cream and Retinol Renewing Serum — are priced from $25 to $145.
“My patients were saying to me, ‘I want natural. I want natural. I want natural.’ But nobody wants to give up any efficacy, so that’s how I came up with this idea of adding more high-tech bioengineered things to really boost the efficacy of the products while staying away from any offensive or potentially concerning ingredients,” said Grossman. “The people I’m dealing with want to be comfortable putting things on their skin and, even if we don’t have 100 percent data to say there’s a problem, if there’s a concern, it’s better not to be putting those things on.”
Unusual in dermatology, a field that hasn’t wholeheartedly embraced the natural beauty movement, Grossman began reevaluating the synthetic ingredients in her personal skin-care products and the products she used on her family as far back as a decade ago. While she doesn’t adhere to a strict natural beauty products regimen, she tends to rely on mineral zinc-based sunscreens for her kids, for example, and keeps a close watch on studies analyzing chemical skin-care ingredients.
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“We’re beginning to see concerns pop up in our literature, so I don’t know where it’s going to go,” said Grossman, elaborating about herself, “I think being pregnant definitely made me start to think about it [natural skin care] and a lot of it was also hearing it from my patients. At first, it was one person a day coming in and then it was 20 people a day coming in and talking about it. I started in private practice in 1995. You could barely find anything on the Internet then and, now, people are coming in with a whole level of knowledge they never had before.”
Grossman sought not to overload Karyng’s products — “I’m the person who believes putting 26 of the same ingredient in everything just isn’t going to get you that much incremental benefit,” she explained — and focused on specific ingredients she understands best attack fine lines and wrinkles, inflammation, sagging skin, uneven pigmentation and dullness. At the heart of the products is the proprietary complex Pro-Verte that includes natural ingredients Echinacea Purpurea, Indian Gentian Leaves and Licorice, and Neodermyl, a technology designed to charge collagen and elastin production.
Available in two shades, Complete SPF 50 Moisturizer is a standout in the launch collection. The moisturizer, which doubles as a primer, has a level of SPF uncommon in a daily product that isn’t standard sunblock. Although the American Academy of Dermatology recommends products with SPF 30 or above, Grossman advises her patients to choose products with SPF 50 or higher because application is often imprecise and they are frequently slathering on photosensitizing creams or taking medications that they should pair with ample UV-ray shielding.
“Patients are confused about whether they really need an SPF every day, and the answer is ‘yes,’ they do. I’d say more than 50 percent of my patients don’t use SPF every day,” she said. “It was challenging to get an SPF 50 that’s a pure physical block that has the physical characteristics as far as slip, texture, not sitting on the skin and not feeling like a sunblock, so someone actually wants to use it. The biggest pushback I get is, ‘I hate sunscreens because I don’t like the way they feel and smell.’ I really wanted people to have that higher number and to get it in something that somebody wants to use everyday.”
Karyng’s packaging is silver, white and light green, a favorite color of Grossman’s that she feels conveys peacefulness, thoughtfulness and calmness. Featured on the packaging, brand’s logo is a circle composed of four Ks. “The circle to me [gives] a sense of continuity, a sense of completeness, and a sense of wholeness. Karyng is about those things that are important,” said Grossman. “The packaging is a reflection of who I am as a person.”
Ultimately, Grossman views Karyng as a lifestyle brand that can extend into many categories. At the outset, however, her goal was to release a tight collection addressing most antiaging skin-care concerns. “It’s kind of your one-stop shopping. You have your antioxidants. You have your hydration. You have your SPF,” she said. “My patients walk in with bags, and they’re like, ‘I’ve spent $10,000 on the 29 bottles in here.’ I say, ‘Please pick five that you need, and throw the rest away because you can’t use all those.'”